Could Santa Clara's Special Response Fee be Unjust?

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Santa Clara residence and Police Dept. are impacted by the existence of this unjust law. The benefit of recovering funds is not outweighed by the violation of due process with the Special Response Fee creates. Individuals are not to be arbitrarily harmed by the state—which is exactly what happens when they are forced to pay fines just because police are summoned even if the police find no wrongdoing.

Debate Summary

Present your argument: 

Section 9.05.020 of the Santa Clara City Code outlines a Special response fee (SRF). Under the
law, the SRF is to be implemented if individuals are responsible for a second police response
within 72 hours after a first response had been deemed to cause a threat to the peace, health,
safety of any member of the public, or that the free use of property or comfortable enjoyment of
life or property has been interfered with. The problem with the SRF is that it leads to individuals
paying fines when no wrongdoing is detected. It makes individuals responsible to pay fees up to
$1,000 simply for having the police summoned —even if the police find no wrongdoing once
they arrive. Normally, if police are unwarrantedly summoned, the individuals that the police are
responding to will not be negatively affected, but with this SRF, individuals who find police at their doorstep can be fined even if the responding officers consider their presence to be undeserved. The SRF needs to STOP!

Additional Information

Additional Description: 
Students of Santa Clara University are being held responsible to pay large monetary penalties intended to reimburse the county for the cost of a police response even if the police response was deemed unnecessary.

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C. Tulchin

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