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Violation Notices (Tickets)


General Information

Federal tickets are issued by law enforcement personnel from federal agencies for offenses committed on federal property or for certain federal offenses that occur on private property. Federal tickets state "U.S. District Court Violation Notice" at the top of the ticket.

What happens when a ticket is issued?

When a federal law enforcement agency issues a violation notice (ticket), it sends the original copy to the Central Violations Bureau (CVB). The CVB enters the violation notice into its database and monitors the status of the ticket, including the payment history, until the case is closed. The CVB will notify you of your court date by mail. In most cases, you will avoid having to appear in court before a magistrate judge if you pay for your ticket before your court date.

If your ticket is marked mandatory or states "Appearance Required" in the amount field, your court appearance is mandatory. This means that you must appear in court on your court date.

What is the CVB?

The CVB, Central Violations Bureau, is the national center responsible for processing violation notices or federal tickets. For information on how to pay for your ticket or the status of your ticket, and answers to common questions visit the CVB website at: www.cvb.uscourts.gov or contact the CVB at 1-800-827-2982.

How do I pay for my ticket?

You must submit payment for your ticket to the Central Violations Bureau on or before the date you are scheduled to appear in court. You may pay your ticket online at www.cvb.uscourts.gov or by mailing payment to the following address:

Central Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 71363
Philadelphia, PA 19176-1363

Under Local Rule 58.1(c)(2), by paying your ticket, you waive the right to contest the charged violation.

What happens if I do not pay for my ticket and do not appear in court?

Under Local Rule 58.1(d), if a defendant does not pay for his or her ticket (fixed sum) and does not appear in court, the judge may: (1) "impose any punishment — including fine, imprisonment or probation — that would be permitted upon conviction;" (2) "direct that a new summons be issued that orders the defendant to appear on a new date;" or (3) "order that a warrant be issued for the defendant's arrest."

Fixed Sum Payment Schedules

Under Local Rule 58.1(a), "the court may accept a fixed-sum payment in lieu of the defendant's appearance and end the case" for the offenses listed on the court's fixed sum payment schedule. This means that if an offense is listed on one of the following schedules, the defendant may pay the fine instead of appearing in court.

The schedules are organized by federal agency.