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A ticket instead of a court date for infractions in Santa Monica

December 1, 2010 | 12:29 pm

For a long time, misdemeanors were all too easy to come by in Santa Monica. The city’s code required police to dole them out for every violation, even seemingly minor infractions such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk.

Some offenders complained the misdemeanors -- which require an appearance in court -- were disproportionately harsh.

An ordinance approved by the City Council last week eased the penalties, a move officials say will boost city revenues and relieve the burden on courts.

Now, police and other city workers will have the option to give minor offenders, such as sidewalk-cruising cyclists or those caught loitering in public parking garages, a ticket instead of a court date.

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-- Kate Linthicum

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