A computer error caused hundreds of payments for traffic tickets to be sent to a New York address instead of Downey Municipal Court, which resulted in arrest warrants for some area residents who tried to pay their fines on time.
Thousands of "courtesy notices" sent to drivers cited in Downey, Norwalk and La Mirada were printed with the wrong ZIP code, Court Administrator Elaine Osborne said. Instead of carrying the Municipal Court's nine-digit ZIP code of 90241-0049, the computer dropped the first four digits, which left 10049, a New York City code.
The error affected notices sent out Oct. 3 until last week, when the computer program was corrected, Osborne said. Most of the payments were eventually received.
"Some of them made the round trip in two days, and some of them in seven days," Osborne said.
But others took longer. Julie Shaw, 30, of Norwalk received notice last month that a warrant had been issued for her arrest. She used a courtesy notice to pay a $64 fine for making an illegal left turn on Dec. 19.