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E-Z Pass is an electronic toll collection company in the East Coast of the USA. I have an account with them, and it works great.

I forgot to update my credit-card and the account was not able to automatically add money to the account balance. As a result, I got two violations. Both violation letters state that the violation is "UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ETC SYSTEM". I searched for my State's (MA) law about this, and found the Code Of Massachusetts Regulations 730 CMR -- Massachusetts Turnpike Authority section 7.04 Electronic Toll Collection ("ETC"). In Table 11 describes the General Subject Matter to be rooted in section 700 CMR 7.04(1)(a) that reads:

  • 7.04: Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)
    • (1) Use of the ETC System. The Department establishes the terms and conditions governing the use of an ETC system and requires that account holders accept these terms and conditions.
      (a) Unauthorized Use. No person may use the Department's ETC system or possess an electronic device that the Department issues for use with its ETC system unless: 700 CMR: MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 7.04: continued The electronic device is properly programmed to assess the appropriate toll charge that the Department determines is appropriate from time to time for the classification of the vehicle that is using the ETC system (i.e. commercial versus passenger vehicles), in accordance with the classification for that vehicle designated by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and in accordance with the vehicle classifications enumerated in 700 CMR 7.03; and
        1. the person is duly registered with the Department as a current account holder;
        1. the person is operating an authorized ETC-equipped motor vehicle with the permission of the account holder of the ETC-equipped motor vehicle; or
        1. the person is using an electronic device of an electronic toll collection system of another jurisdiction that the Department accepts for use in its ETC system.

I did not contact them within the required 60 days, and for each of the violations they added late fee. Question is, can I dispute those violations based on the fact that they used a wrong violation description? (similar to how you can dispute a traffic ticket if there are errors on the ticket itself?)

Is the description wrong of the violation type? I do have an account, and it was good, but just did not have money at the time.

  • Unclear: Are you being fined under the statute, or could the fines stem from the terms and conditions of the service you accepted when you created an account? – feetwet Jun 24 '15 at 15:40
  • I got fined for not having money in the account because the credit-card on file was expired. However, the "reason" on paper for being fined made me think that they considered me as someone who deos not have an account. – KingsInnerSoul Jun 24 '15 at 16:55
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    Who is fining you? Is it an administrative EZ-pass fine added to your account, or is it a summons in the state court system? If it's a summons, then you shouldn't be guessing at which statute is implicated; the summons should indicate this. If it is an administrative fine on your account, then it is controlled by the terms and conditions, as @feetwet indicates. If you edit your question to include the exact wording of the notice, we might be able to help you figure that out. – phoog Jun 24 '15 at 20:55
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EZ-Pass is an interstate consortium, so unless your "violation" was a summons citing a state Statute I would assume the "violations" were sent to you pursuant to the consortium's Terms and Conditions, making this a contract question (and something you would address accordingly, by either attempting to negotiate an agreement with the counterparty or waiting to see if they will sue you at which point you can defend yourself in court).

If your violation is a demand under state law, and you can show that you did not violate that law, then it should be straightforward to have the demand dismissed by a letter or appearance to the summoning authority where you show your exculpatory evidence.

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