The city is responsible for ensuring that all unissued traffic ticket citations are accounted for, and some person must have physical control of them. That person may be the city court clerk or someone in the police department, depending on the needs of the individual city. Officers should be required to sign for each book of pre-numbered traffic ticket citations issued by the designated person.
Upon completion of all court processes relating to a case, the original tickets should be filed in sequential ticket number order. Many court clerks file the tickets in alphabetical order while the case awaits trial, but the proper final filing style should be numerical. If the court desires an alphabetical filing, copies should be used. The numerical filing system provides another audit method to ensure that all tickets are recorded. When there are missing ticket numbers, the missing tickets can be in only a few places:
- Unassigned ticket books;
- Unwritten tickets in an officer’s ticket book; or
- Pending court case (including failure to appear).
As long as ticket books are signed for as they are issued, as is required, any unwritten tickets can be accounted for quickly. Pending court cases are recorded in the docket and also can be accounted for quickly.
For detailed procedures, review the Internal Control and Compliance Manual (June 2010), Title 5, Chapter 15, Sections 13-32. (www.comptroller.tn.gov/la/citymanual.asp). The procedures include additional requirements for traffic citations issued by surveillance cameras.