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Arizona's Photo Radar Lawyer

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Scottsdale, AZTraffic court judges may not be big fans of attorney Michael Kielsky, but his clients love him. Since Kielsky began fighting photo radar tickets in 2009, he has successfully squashed tickets for about 85 percent of his photo radar clients.

"Well, you don't win these cases on the facts," says Kielsky.

That may sound like a surprising statement, but when you understand the issues around photo radar, like Kielsky does, it all starts to make sense. "Not only is it unfair," says Kielsky, "much of the time, the agencies and the courts that are enforcing these judgements are not adhering to the rules of law."

About His Clients

Arizonians have good reason to fight hard for their rights against photo radar tickets. A conviction of failing to stop at a red light can have devastating effects. "For example," says Kielsky, "people who have a commercial driver's license can lose their jobs because of a single ticket."

A red light violation conviction in Arizona results in a three-point penalty on your driving record that triggers insurance rate increases. In addition, the motor vehicle office requires red light violators to complete an eight-hour traffic survival course. The course must be completed (at your own expense) within 90 days or your license is suspended.

"We know that most of the photo radar citations for running red lights are not tickets an officer would have issued," says Kielsky from the Scottsdale firm of Kielsky Rike. "These tickets are based on the fact that you crossed that imaginary line sometimes a tenth of a second after the light turned red. No police officer would issue a ticket for that."

Right on Red

Many of the citations are issued on so-called "right on red" turns. "There is nothing unsafe about that," says Kielsky "but the driver failed to come to a complete stop as measured by the equipment, but for all intents and purposes under the law, it is a red light violation and treated the same as if a driver sailed through an intersection at 40 mph."

Due Process

Alleged photo radar violators are usually confronted with a wave of technical evidence at their hearings, according to Kielsky, which is difficult, almost impossible for them to counter.

One of the ways Kielsky has delivered successful outcomes for his clients is to argue the case on personal service. "They can't just mail you a ticket in the mail," says Kielsky. "Arizona requires that the citation be personally served to you. This is not a problem if you get pulled over by an officer—that's your personal service."

Kielsky says that "process server companies" routinely take "shortcuts" and present evidence to the court that does not conform to "due process" rules.

"The system is profit motivated," says Kielsky. "And it is not fair."

Michael Kielsky is a name partner with the firm of Kielsky Rike in Scottsdale, Arizona. Kielsky earned his JD at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. He also has a B.SC in computer science. He has written and blogged extensively on photo radar law. The firm also handles cases related to bankruptcy, civil litigation, contract law, criminal law and family law.


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Posted by

Hello date is dec 2013 just received a letter from scottsdale showing my car going through an intersection the letter states no fine the letter also sates basically tell us who was driving since the letter does not have a fine will a fine arrive later via a process server the letter states i am under no obligation to respond who was driving my visor was down bAd picture
Thank you

Posted by

I recently rec'vd a red light ticket and one of the photos shows my back tire was on the intersection side of the crosswalk at 000.2 seconds at 43 mph (speed limit is 45). The problem is that at this intersection the 2 southbound lanes that go straight (vs 2 left turn lanes and 1 dedicated right turn lane) the crosswalk lanes start at the curb on the opposing traffic side and angle INTO the intersection - to meet the right turn island - at least an additional 12 feet forward from where they would normally be and about 25 feet past the right turn lane YIELD sign.

It seems that they have created a longer intersection zone for the yellow light - you now have to travel 24 feet to clear it vs. 12 feet or so at a normal light. If that is the case I would be well forward of the crosswalk line.

(See Swan & Grant intersection).

Not that it matters, but a car had come from the Walgreens parking lot and cut across in front of me to pass through 3 lanes of traffic to get to the left hand turn lane. I had to slow to avoid an accident and had just begun accelerating as the light turned. The extensive length of the signage to intersection did not allow me to clear the line. Have you ever encountered a non-parallel intersection line or extended crosswalk zones like this? Thanks.

Posted by

I have been recently been given a left on right red light conviction. I do not agree with the conviction what so ever. But at the same time, I cant really recall the event, since it has been over a week or so since the ticket was issued. This in itself seems like b.s. to me. I am now scared to approach the same red light, because I am scared of getting another ticket. At least back in the day when an actual cop would issue me the ticket, I would know what it was for and hence make an effort to avoid it in the future. Now, I just feel like some [expletive] wants to make money and is picking on me for free. I do not remember running this red light, and if I did, then it was yellow when I started to cross. I am a very carefull driver that has not ever been given a traffic ticket befrore(Over Twenty-five years).

Posted by

Here's the proof:

A lady showed up at my back door, in which she had to go through a gated area, which is trespassing. My girlfriend, who doesn't live with me, answered the door. She went to go look for me, but I was out in the front helping a friend with his car so it took like 6 minutes for her to find me. When I went to my back door, she was gone and had dropped the papers there.

I'm disappointed to see these process servers not admitting that there are bad eggs in their industry, like this one I experienced.

Posted by

I attended my brothers hearing for a photo ticket he recieved in Starr Valley. I was astounded at the unsubstanciated evidence that was read to the court. All evidence given was read from papers produced by redflex which recieves 25 % of all fines these cameras produce. Items like calibration, positions of vehicles, speeds of other vehicles ect. When I tried to ask the prosecutor about these items I was told to leave he didn't want to hear my crap. I was the manager of calibrations testing and designing of test equiptment for Internation ordance co. in Camden ARK< for around 6 years. I know about calibrations. They fell way short of convincing me on their calibrations. The court bought the reading of this paper work and found my brother responsible for a $ 200 ticket and reduced it to $ 100 out of the kindness of the judge's heart. Thanks mamm.

Posted by

If you read the comments, it appears a number of process servers are upset … and they should be, but not because of what I said, but what some of these process service companies are doing.

I too use process servers, and rely on them. Unfortunately, in the pursuit of revenue at the expense of due process, I have learned of and have evidence (including sworn testimony) of the following short cut by some process servers "serving" photo radar tickets.

1. Upon hire, a new process server will sign a release authorizing the process service company to place the process server's signature on an "affidavit of service", along with the process server providing a copy of their signature.

2. The process service company prepares the "affidavit of service" after they claim the process server served process, and affixes the process server's signature to the document, WITHOUT THE PROCESS SERVER ever reviewing the document, or even seeing it at all, before it is filed.

If anyone would like to verify my assertions, they are in the official records and recorded sworn testimony provided by the process server (in each of these three cases), as well as the sworn testimony of the custodian of records for a process service company (in the third case).

1. State v. GREENWOOD, Case # CT2010-070028, in the West McDowell Justice Court, Phoenix, Arizona; hearing date, 9/13/2010 at 2:00 pm

2. State v. ALLARD, Case # 10-B-1353331, in the Chandler Municipal Court, Courtroom #1, Chandler, Arizona; hearing date, 12/21/2010 at 9:45 am

3. State v. MALINSKI, Case # PR-2010021287 and PR-2010021364, in the Scottsdale City Court, Courtroom #8, Scottsdale, Arizona; hearing date, 1/28/2011 at 9:00 am

It is asserted that this method (of placing the process server's signature on the "affidavit" outside of their presence and without their review of the "affidavit" before it is filed) is used ONLY for photo radar ticket service, not for any other types of actions.

Posted by

I can’t disagree more with the comments by attorney Michael Kielsky. Maybe the process servers he works with take shortcuts, but the PROFESSIONAL process servers I know and work with are responsible. No shortcuts for us, ever!

Posted by

I’m disappointed with the quote from attorney Michael Kielsky. Professional process server perform a valuable service for the legal system. We cannot, and should not, take shortcuts. That’s ridiculous. I’m a professional and I take my job very seriously. I don’t take shortcuts.

Posted by

Attorney Michael Kielsky has it wrong and shouldn’t paint a broad picture of negative views for the thousands of professional process servers working in America. I belong to the National Association of Professional Process Servers ( and we are committed to the oversight and regulation of our own members. Check us out sometime, Mr. Kielsky

Posted by


By state law, the process server can leave the citation at an individual's home "with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein."

The server then submits a delivery affidavit to the court, even if the process server left the citation on the porch, with the landscaper or with a nine-year-old. A hearing date is then scheduled, and when the registered vehicle owners don't show, their licenses are suspended, even if they never knew of the citation and even if they weren't the actual the drivers.

Posted by

Kielsky says that "process server companies" routinely take "shortcuts" and present evidence to the court that does not conform to "due process" rules.

Really? Where is your proof that that back up this statement?


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