After many unreturned messages, conversations with two main players regarding the citations and confiscated bikes have recently occurred. While none of them provided groundbreaking information, here is what we learned this week:
- Last week, contact was made with the Central Violations Bureau (CVB), specifically with a clerk who stated that no citations have been processed into the system at this time. She described the delay as a normal occurrence, that processing happens “slowly” and that they are simply backed up in processing the citations. She said that at any time, there is an average of nearly 10,000 citations that they are responsible for processing, and that it can sometimes take up to 3 months from the citation date.
- Contact was then made with the handling officer at MCAS, who processes the citations and forwards them to the CVB. She stated that after collecting the citations from the officers on the ground (who distributed the citations) she then submitted them for further processing to CVB on or about January 19th, 2016. After that, she stated that she has no control or oversight of the citations until they come back across her desk a few days before the hearing. After a request for any way someone could be able to follow up with the status of the citations (in efforts of repairing the image of the Marines on this issue and expediting the return of the confiscated bicycles), she said that she did not know of any way to do that at this time.
- A conversation was later had with an Assistant Calendaring United States Attorney with the Federal District Court yesterday afternoon, and got some more information. She confirmed that the process can sometimes take 3 months, and that the “45 days” on the citation is not realistic at all. Ultimately, she stated that a civilian attorney may be handing the cases, but would be taking direction from the Marines. So, until the Courts actually have the citations to discuss (filed as case numbers in the Federal system), they won’t know details and or be able to discuss resolution with MCAS.
Unfortunately the issue does not seem much closer to a resolution, but hopefully this article can provide some understanding and update on the process and expectations.
Should you have any questions regarding the above, feel free to comment or contact us directly.
— Article written by avid mountain biker and attorney Joshua Bonnici with Bonnici Law Group, APC. In addition to running an injury and disability law firm in downtown San Diego, Joshua is currently helping a group of riders affected by the citations. If you have any questions, feel free to email him directly here. No information in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship, or be considered legal advice.