A process server hired by an Australian photo radar vendor was caught dishing out racial slurs as he delivered a speed camera ticket to an American family of Mexican descent in Queen Creek, Arizona. A.J. Arnette, a private contractor with AAA Landlord Services working on behalf of Redflex and the Arizona courts, drove to the home of a motorist accused of driving 7 MPH over the speed limit to provide formal service of the violation notice.
"You're a [expletive] wetback, go back to Mexico!" Arnette yelled as he tossed the citation notice onto the ground and drove away.
Arnette had attempted to hand the ticket to a family member who explained that process servers must first verify that a person lives at the residence before attempting to give notice to a random person on a sidewalk. The woman in the video asked to remain anonymous but expressed disappointment that an officer of the court would act in such a disrespectful manner. Although several local police officers confided to the woman that, "this happens all the time," neither the Pinal County Sheriff nor Redflex were interested in investigating the incident.
"Now it looks like Redflex and their associated companies may be using racist intimidation methods," the group said in a statement. "This governor and the Department of Public Safety want to reward these same companies with multi-million dollar contracts to place hundreds more of these cameras around the state with the primary mission of raising revenue."
Unlike most states, Arizona does not allow companies like Redflex to simply drop a ticket in the mail to the registered owner of a vehicle. Because the state levies license points on photo violations, courts require acknowledgment of receipt of a ticket, whether through registered mail or personal service, before any punishment can be imposed. A 1992 appeals court ruling declared void any attempt to impose a fine without such acknowledgment (read opinion). To avoid the expenses imposed by this process, the Arizona legislature in June snuck a provision into the state budget creating tickets without points for the new statewide speed camera program (view law). The insurance industry, including AAA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, lobbied against this change which will cost the industry tens of millions in lost revenue.