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ADMINISTRATIVE VERSUS JUDICIAL ADJUDICATION OF MINOR TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS - PROGRAM EVALUATION

NCJ Number
51664
Author(s)
Y E ZARUR
Date Published
1974
Length
276 pages
Annotation
THE EXTENT TO WHICH TRANSFERRING JURISDICTION OVER MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES IN NEW YORK CITY FROM CRIMINAL COURT TO ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES HAS IMPROVED THE ADJUDICATION PROCESS WAS STUDIED THROUGH INTERVIEWS AND A SURVEY.
Abstract
ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES (E.G., TAILGATING, USE OF DEFECTIVE CARS, ILLEGAL PARKING) IS MORE PROMPT AND ECONOMICAL AND MORE EFFECTIVE FOR RELIEVING COURT CONGESTION THAN IS ADJUDICATION IN TRAFFIC COURT. TO RECONSTRUCT THE ADVANTAGES AND SHORTCOMINGS OF THE TRAFFIC COURT THREE SETS OF INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED. THE RESPONDENTS WERE PRESENT MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION BUREAU (AAB) AND OF THE PARKING VIOLATIONS BUREAU (PVB), AND INFORMED PRIVATE CITIZENS. QUESTIONNAIRES WERE GIVEN TO 100 NEW YORK CITY MOTORISTS FAMILIAR WITH THE OLD AND NEW SYSTEMS, WITH 31 PERCENT RESPONDING, AND TO 92 CRIMINAL COURT JUDGES WITH 21.7 PERCENT RESPONDING, TO DETERMINE THEIR OPINIONS REGARDING THE TRANSFER OF JURISDICTION. QUESTIONNAIRES WERE ALSO GIVEN TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXAMINERS TO LEARN THEIR OPINION OF THE ADEQUACY OF THE VARIOUS BUREAU PROCEDURES. THE INTERVIEWS AND QUESTIONNAIRE DATA WERE CONSISTENT WITH THE FINDINGS OF OTHER SOURCES INCLUDING THOSE FOUND IN LITERATURE REVIEW, AND SUPPORTED THE CONCLUSION THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION OF MINOR OFFENSES IS MORE EFFICIENT THAN JUDICIAL ADJUDICATION. THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRAFFIC COURT SYSTEM AND OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM IS PRESENTED WITH AN EVALUATION OF THE RESPECTIVE SYSTEMS IN THEIR CAPABILITY FOR THE FAIR AND RAPID ADJUDICATION OF CASES. BOTH THE AAB AND THE PVB ARE CHARACTERIZED BY RELATIVE INFORMALITY CONTRASTED WITH THE COURTS. BY HANDLING MINOR OFFENSES, THE AGENCIES FREE THE COURT SYSTEM TO CONCENTRATE ON MORE SERIOUS CRIMINAL CASES AND MAKE THE COURTS MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE PUBLIC NEEDS. FULL-TIME CIVIL SERVICE RATHER THAN PERDIEM HEARING EXAMINERS ARE RECOMMENDED. APPENDED MATERIALS INCLUDE THE THREE SURVEY INSTRUMENTS, SUPPORTING DATA, AND A LIST OF THE PARKING OFFENSES, MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENSES, AND CRIMINAL TRAFFIC CRIMES ADJUDICATED IN NEW YORK STATE. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS PROVIDED. (TWK)