There has been an extensive amount of discussion regarding a Smog Citation and your STAR Certificate.
The question is:
Do you fight the citation?
Yes. Absolutely. An unqualified yes. There is no way on earth you should EVER fail to fight your smog citation. It could be the difference between keeping your STAR and having it revoked.
We’ve seen a huge uptick in undercover runs being sent to STAR Stations, especially with the new DAD/OIS issues. We’ve even seen as many as 2-3 undercover runs to the same facility – even after the facility has successfully found the induced defect.
In short, STAR Stations are being targeted.
Best we can tell, there is a top down policy to revoke as many STARs as possible in an attempt to make the administration of the new DAD/OIS policy seamless, without a proprietary interest such as a STAR certificate to compete with.
You see, because the STAR entitles the facilities to certain benefits provided by the state, such as the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) it’s considered a property right, requiring due process of law. This means the Bureau has to hold a hearing in regards to the STAR Certificate.
What the Bureau does is pretty ingenious.
Here’s how it works:
A STAR gets a citation.
There’s an office conference.
The local field reps show video/pictures/eis reports telling you that you have no chance to win the citation appeal, just pay your fine, take your class, that’s it.
You ask about your STAR. The Bureau reps say that is not at issue at this time – “Sacramento deals with the STAR.”
So you pay the fine. You take the class. You don’t think anything of it.
30 days later after your time for appeal lapses, you get a letter from Sacramento – your STAR Certificate is going to be revoked. You can no longer appeal the citation that is the basis for the revocation of STAR.
They knew very well you’re STAR is at stake – but they of course fail to tell you otherwise.
In legal parlance, you’re estopped from fighting the citation. The very reason for revoking your STAR is not at issue – you’ve failed to appeal the citation – being issued a citation is grounds for revoking your STAR Station Certificate. You’re only remedy is to appeal to the Bureau – the same Bureau who has already made the decision to revoke your STAR Certificate.
Think about it.
Always fight your citations when it comes to STAR.