Two Issues with the City of Beverly Hills
In recent months, there have been several instances where our members have been told that Beverly Hills is charging $4,000 to $5,000 per hour for a Street Use Permit. After conversations with all involved parties, it was discovered that the permit company was using the incorrect rates. For now, this problem has been solved.
Our members are continuing to get citations for not having permits when traveling through the Trousdale Estates (east of Coldwater Canyon Boulevard and north of Santa Monica Boulevard) in Beverly Hills. When we have discussed this issue with Beverly Hills Public Works and the City Manager, we are told that Beverly Hills does NOT require a permit as long as the company stays on the haul route listed on the City of Beverly Hills’ webpage. See: www.beverlyhills.org/business/constructionlanduse/publicrightofwayhauling/
However, this message has not been delivered and/or understood by members of the Beverly Hills Police Department because they still continue to issue tickets to our members for not having a permit. To date, no one in Beverly Hills has been able to explain how tickets are issued for not having a permit when Beverly Hills does not issue permits. We continue to work with Beverly Hills to resolve this issue.
Officers are Judge, Prosecutor, And Jury at Santa Monica Court
This problem has been ongoing for quite some time at the Santa Monica Court. In the past, it has only been when Culver City officers have issued tickets to our members. As you may remember (or have experienced), the Culver City officers who issued the citations were present in the courtroom. In these cases, the presiding judge would not hear the case. Instead, the judge would defer to the citing officer and instruct our members that they needed to work out the penalties with the officer.
Now, this practice has become widespread in the Santa Monica Court. Our members’ fines range from $36,000 to $75,000. However, if they plead guilty to the offense, the fine is reduced to $175.00. (Also, a Culver City officer that I had understood had retired is giving advice to other officers on how to handle these cases.) Due to these practices, all of our members’ cases are receiving a guilty verdict regardless of the circumstances.
Where is innocent until proven guilty? Where is due process? Lastly, where are the ethics? We will continue to work on this issue for our Industry.