Mayor London Breed, The Financial Justice Project, and the SF Superior Court announce the launch of MyCitations—a new online tool for people struggling with traffic court debt
On December 10, Mayor London N. Breed, The San Francisco Financial Justice Project, and the San Francisco Superior Court announced the launch of MyCitations—a new online tool for people with low incomes or who receive public benefits to request a significant discount (up to 80% or more!) on their traffic court citations. This discount can be worth hundreds of dollars.
The launch of MyCitations is part of The Financial Justice Project’s ongoing efforts to alleviate the adverse impact of fines and fees on San Franciscans with low incomes and communities of color. Traffic citations in California can exceed $400, the most expensive in the nation, and an additional civil assessment of $300 is added when people cannot afford to pay.
At a time when half of Americans report not being able to pay an unexpected emergency expense of $400, local governments and courts need to prevent fines and fees from driving vulnerable communities into debt.
Using the MyCitations tool, people can look up their traffic citations online, answer a series of simple questions about their eligibility, and submit a request for a discount of 80% or more on their traffic court fines and fees. The MyCitations tool can also be used to request a payment plan, more time to pay, or community service. Using MyCitations can also save people an in-person trip to San Francisco Traffic Court.
Click the image below for a video demonstration on how to use the MyCitations tool! And check out our flyer (also available in Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino) and use it to spread the word about the MyCitations tool and the Court’s Ability-To-Pay program!
We are thankful to the San Francisco Superior Court and The California Judicial Council who worked with other county courts to develop and pilot the tool and to the many community groups who provided feedback to strengthen this tool.
Our work is not done to reform fines and fees. The State of California still tacks on too many fees to citations that heap unpayable debt onto people who cannot afford it. Yesterday California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued to the California Supreme Court: “Unaffordable court fees imposed on impoverished Californians belong in the past."
We look forward to working with all of our partners to build the movement for Financial Justice!
Yours in Financial Justice,
Anne, Michelle, and Shawn