Disputing a Notice of Civil Penalty
After receiving a notice of civil penalty, you have up to 20 days to pay, schedule an in person hearing or send in a written dispute. A judge cannot reduce the penalty amount and will only decide whether you are responsible for the disputed civil penalty.
Written Dispute in Lieu of Hearing
In Person Administrative Hearing
Written Dispute in Lieu of Hearing
How do I submit a Written Dispute in Lieu of Hearing?
You can fill out and return the form included with your civil penalty. You may also go online, enter your notice number, print a copy and then complete the form.
You must either deliver the completed form in person to a customer service center in Seattle, Bellevue or Gig Harbor, or mail it to:
Good To Go!
P.O. Box 300326
Seattle, WA 98103
If you submit the Written Dispute In Lieu of Hearing form, you must also provide supporting documentation/and or evidence such a bill of sale for the vehicle or police report.
How does a written dispute work?
The administrative judge reviews evidence presented by the Toll Enforcement Office, which may include the civil penalty, toll bill(s) or other evidence such as photographs or documents. Because the Toll Enforcement Office initiated the case against you, it holds the burden of proof, so the information it provides will be reviewed first.
Next, the hearing officer reviews the package of evidence presented by you. You may submit your own written testimony on the document enclosed with your notice of hearing by mail. You also may attach the written testimony of witnesses and/or attach other evidence such as photos or vehicle title transfer.
Your documents must be received by the Toll Enforcement Office prior to the expiration of the 20 days in which you must either pay or dispute. Make sure to sign the bottom of your written testimony and keep a copy of all documents sent.
How is a decision reached?
The administrative judge will render a decision and issues a Final Order of Liability. To be deemed liable for the toll charge, by Washington state law, the administrative judge must believe that after reviewing all evidence it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred. A copy of the Final Order will be mailed to you. A decision made in a hearing by mail cannot be appealed.
Is a settlement option available?
No. Judges adjudicating toll violations are not authorized to offer reduced fees or settlements for toll violations.
In Person Administrative Hearing
How do I request an in person administrative hearing?
You must either call or come into a customer service center to request an in person hearing to contest toll violations:
Hearing requests must be made prior to the violation notice due date. A Notice of Hearing letter will be sent to you in the mail confirming the date and time of your hearing. If you call to request an in person hearing, a customer service representative will provide a date and time for the hearing. You also will receive this information in the mail.
Where are the toll violations hearings held?
Hearings will take place at a public court in Fife or at the Good To Go! customer service center off I-5 in north Seattle.
What can I expect at the in-person hearing?
Administrative hearings are less formal than a state court trial, but follow a basic structure to ensure fairness and due process of law.
The administrative judge will present evidence provided by the Toll Enforcement Office, which includes the civil penalty, toll bill(s) or other evidence such as photographs or documents.
You will then have the opportunity to present your evidence for the judge to consider. To present your case, you may:
- introduce written testimony
- testify yourself
- call witnesses
- offer other evidence such as photographs or other documents
After both sides have had an opportunity to present their case, the administrative judge will determine whether it is more likely than not that a violation has or has not occured.
What should I bring to my hearing?
Please bring valid picture identification. You may also bring any evidence or witnesses you believe are relevant to refute the toll violation for consideration by the administrative judge. The administrative judge may exclude evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial or repetitious.
How long will an in-person hearing take?
The length of time a hearing will take depends on the amount of information being presented by you and by others who appear for their hearing session. In-person hearings are scheduled in 90 minute sessions. You are required to arrive prior to the start of the hearing session.
What should I do when I arrive for my hearing?
Make sure you allow plenty of time to find parking, which may require a parking fee. You are required to arrive prior to the start of the hearing session. When you arrive at your hearing location to which you have been assigned or requested, a docket for the day will be posted, indicating the order of the cases to be heard. When you enter the hearing room, please remain seated until your case is called.
For your safety, please note that all persons entering a hearing facility must go through security. Weapons (including pocket or utility knives and pepper or chemical sprays) are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated.
What is the hearing room etiquette?
Individuals who request or attend an administrative hearing must dress appropriately and obey the posted rules of the facility. All proceedings are recorded and all persons are asked to sit quietly until their case is called. Wear suitable attire. Children may be present in the courtroom; however, if they disturb the proceedings, you may be requested to remove them. The court does not provide child care services.
What happens if I don’t appear for my hearing?
If you do not appear for your hearing, a default judgment will be entered against you. You will automatically be deemed liable and must pay the civil penalty, toll and fees. If you do not pay, a hold may be placed on your vehicle registration and the unpaid penalty will be transferred to a collections agency. Additionally, simple interest may begin to accrue on the unpaid sums.
Can I appeal the decision?
Either side may appeal the administrative judge’s decision to the Superior Court of Washington as prescribed under the within 30 days of the issuance date of the Final Order of Liability.
When is payment due if I am found liable for the toll violation?
If you have been issued a final order finding you liable for the toll violation, you must pay the civil penalty within 10 days of the issuance. If you do not pay the violation, a hold will be placed on your vehicle registration and the unpaid penalty may be transferred to a collections agency.
Will interest be charged if an civil penalty is not paid?
Yes. Simple interest may begin accruing after the due date on the notice of civil penalty.