Alameda County Superior Court to change qualification standards for reduced traffic violation fines

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Daily Californian – By Nathan Chin

The East Bay Community Law Center, or EBCLC, announced Monday that the Alameda County Superior Court will use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “extremely low-income” standard to determine eligibility for applicants seeking reduced traffic infraction fines under the court’s Ability to Pay, or ATP, program.

ATP allows citizens who receive public benefits, qualify as extremely low-income and have a monthly disposable income of less than $400 to receive reduced fines for traffic violations, according to the court’s website.

Programs such as ATP and these changes provide a more accurate estimate of how expensive it is to live in Alameda County, according to EBCLC attorney and clinical instructor Brandon Greene. For example, the median price of a home in the Bay Area is more than $800,000.

“Rents are continuing to increase, and salaries are not keeping up,” Greene said. “I don’t see it going down.”

Under the new guidelines, ATP will give individuals six months to submit income documentation, require individuals to submit only one month of pay stubs and require individuals to have a disposable income that does not exceed $400, according to a press release from the EBCLC.

Previously, the press release said, applicants were required to submit their income documentation within 60 days after the filing of the application, submit three months of pay stubs and have a gross income that did not exceed $250.

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