Customer Success: Fight Fire Hydrant Parking Ticket and Win!

fire hydrant with tape measure extending

A NYC fire hydrant parking ticket customer success story

It was great to see the adjudication process of fighting a NYC fire hydrant parking ticket working perfectly.

The NYC parking ticket facts

Joe parks his car on a NYC street, more than 15 feet from a fire hydrant. When he returns to his vehicle, he sees that all too familiar orange envelope under his windshield. His heart starts beating faster, and his face turns red. He reads the parking ticket charging a violation of Code 40. The parking ticket warrior’s sworn comment on the front of the parking ticket says Joe’s car is parked only 6 feet from the hydrant.  Joe’s reaction is anger, outrage and a commitment to fight the parking ticket because he is right.

The NYC Parking Rules and Regulations

Code 40 prohibits:

Stopping, standing or parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.  Between sunrise and sunset, a passenger vehicle may stand alongside a fire hydrant as long as the operator remains behind the wheel and is ready to move the vehicle if required to do so”

Chapter 4-08(e).    No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle in any of the following places…

(2) Hydrants.  Within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant, unless otherwise indicated by signs, or parking meters, except that during the period from sunrise to sunset if standing is not otherwise prohibited, the operator of a passenger car may stand the vehicle alongside a fire hydrant provided that the operator remains in the operator’s set ready for immediate operation of the vehicle at all times and starts the motor of the car on hearing the approach of fire apparatus, and provided further, that the operator shall immediately remove the car from alongside the fire hydrant when instructed to do so by any member of the police, fire, or other municipal department acting in his/her official capacity”

Joe’s Action to beat his parking ticket NYC

Joe:

  • Always carries a tape measure and camera with him in his car
  • Asks a witness to assist him in measuring the distance between the fire hydrant and his car
  • Takes a number of dated photos that clearly demonstrate his car was parked more than 15 feet from the fire hydrant
  • Hires New York Parking Ticket LLC to fight his parking ticket

Outcome

  • We prepare detailed Affidavits for execution by Joe and his witness
  • Send a defense letter, detailed Affidavits, photographs confirming the facts contained in the Affidavits; along with the signed NYC parking ticket to the address on the back of the parking ticket
  • Enter a plea of NOT GUILTY and request a hearing by mail
  • Approximately four weeks later, Joe receives a letter from the DOF advising him that his parking ticket is dismissed

Photographs

fight new york parking ticket, parking ticket nyc

nyc parking ticket law, beat nyc parking ticket

parking ticket, parking ticket nyc

Commentary

A $3.00 tape measure saved Joe $115. When you are right, fight your NYC parking ticket. You can see the power of a photograph and tape measure.  The NYC parking ticket hearing official did the right thing after reviewing the evidence, which is really nice to see.

How about the NYC parking ticket warrior?  She clearly lied about the distance from the fire hydrant and got caught. Shame on you!

In response to a frequently asked question, the fact that a parking ticket warrior fails to accurately state the distance from your car to the fire hydrant is not enough to win a dismissal. You must prove that your vehicle was parked MORE than 15 feet from the fire hydrant.

I went out and purchased a tape measure. How about you?

[Editor's note: "Joe" is a fictitious name to protect the privacy of our client. "Joe" gave us permission to tell his success story and publish the photographs]

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Learn about the rule and its exception

There are some major tips and tricks contained in this E-book. More importantly it shows you how to beat a fire hydrant parking ticket.

Enough said?

Comments

  1. Lou rod says

    I just received a ticket for bieng 7 feet from hydrant when it clearly shows in photos that I’m more than 7ft(I took pics an it shows 11 1/2 feet..can I still fight it thou the officer who write the ticket is wrong?

    • Larry Berezin says

      Dear Lou,
      Good afternoon.
      Great question.
      I am sorry to report that the fight isn’t about whether or not you were 7 feet from the fire hydrant. The fight is about proving you didn’t park you car within 15 feet of the hydrant. In NYC parking ticket land, a warrior is required to enter a number (any number). It doesn’t matter that the number is wrong.

      You may wish to check for mistakes. If a required element is omitted, misdescribed, or omitted, you win upon application.
      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

  2. Blake says

    Hi. Silly-sounding question: On either side of some hydrants are found two pipe-type posts, a little less than a yard in height and spaced such that each is a little less than four feet away from the hydrant itself. They look like they’re there to block out an open path to the fireplug, but who knows — maybe that idea’s too sensible. Why, exactly, ARE they there (if we can’t park within fifteen feet of the plug, anyway)?

    • says

      Dear Blake,

      Good morning.
      I think it’s a great question.

      The reason a fire hydrant is fitted with posts on each side is to protect it from errant drivers, or other activities that may damage the fire hydrant.

      Best,
      Larry

  3. says

    Hi – I just moved here from another city and was unaware of the 15 ft rule. I parked too close to a hydrant (there was no marker on the pavement for where the “no go” area begins or ends – it is confusing at best). I received a parking ticket @ 11:30 am and then a tow at 12:48. Is this legal? Isn’t this basically double jeopardy? Can I fight this?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Dear Sarah,
      Good morning.
      A warm welcome to NYC.
      I am sorry you were introduced to one of the Evil Empire’s henchman so soon after your arrival.

      I feel your pain about fire hydrant violations. The “no park zone” is, as you correctly stated, 15 feet from ALL sides of the pump. NYC doesn’t ascribe to the painted curb notice, as many other cities and towns do.

      http://newyorkparkingticket.com/safe-park-nyc-fire-hydrant/

      All NYC is a tow away zone, no notice or warnings required. Once you park illegally, you may be towed at any time (until you remove your car from the illegal space). So, yes, I am sorry to report that it was a legal action, consistent with these draconian rules, to tow your vehicle.

      You may wish to check for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. If you find one or more, you win subject to presenting the proper proof properly (and your tow charges will be refunded).

      Best,
      Larry

  4. nila says

    Hi,, i parked in front of my house the fire hydrant is in front of my neighbors house the traffic agent wrote my neighbors address on the ticket making my car in violation, ,, any suggestions

    • says

      Hi Back, Nila,

      Man-o-live, a fire hydrant in front of your house? Torture, absolute torture.

      This is really piling on by the Evil Empire. First, they plant a fire hydrant in front of your house, and then they start raising revenue by issuing parking tickets. Yuch!

      Send me:

      Your address
      Some photographs

      Our email is larry@newyorkparkingticket.com

      I’ll see what I can come up with to assassinate this evil conspiracy.

      Best,
      Larry

  5. Karl says

    Hi,
    I just moved to NYC from Philly. I parked my car about 10 feet from a hydrant this past weekend, went away, and now have 2 $115 tickets – 1 each from Saturday and Sunday. I found the tickets Monday morning.

    My question is, do I have to pay both tickets? Wouldn’t the one issued on Saturday be enough? Or can I at least appeal and get it reduced to less than $230. This is really steep for me.

    Karl

    • says

      Dear Karl,

      Good evening.
      Ouch!

      A parking ticket judge will generally dismiss a second location violation if issued within 3 hours of the first location violation (same parking space, same violation). Beyond that time period, it’s going to be tough to get a dismissal for multiple parking tickets.

      NYC eliminated fine reductions 3 years ago.

      You may wish to check for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. If you find one, you win (upon presenting the proper proof properly).

      Sorry.

      Best,
      Larry

  6. MJ says

    I had received a ticket for parking 4 ft. from a hydrant.

    I thoroughly check for error from the details of my car, sadly couldn’t find any. When I checked for the place of occurance, the address was wrong instead of 1234 Orange st. it was 1236 Orange st. And on 1236 st. there is another hydrant but on the front side of the address. I was parked on the opposite side of 1234 Orange st.

    Is the error of 2 houses apart enough to dismiss the violation?

    • says

      MJ,

      Good afternoon.
      Fire hydrant tickets are painful!

      2 houses apart is more than enough. The big but is, how are you going to prove the place of occurrence entered by the warrior on your parking ticket was wrong? Any ideas?

      Best,
      Larry

      • MJ says

        Thank you Larry for your reply.

        What I was planning to do was take a picture of the address 1236 Orange st. and show that the hydrant is in front of 1236 Orange st. and not on the opposite side. Proving that where I was allegedly parked, there are no fire hydrants.

        My question now is, do I have to state where I was actually parked, and show a picture of the hydrant?

        • says

          MJ,

          You lost me.
          I’m old and easily confused.

          Why don’t we try this…What is the summons number of the parking ticket. I’ll take a look at it online. Let’s see if that clears it up for me.

          Best,
          Larry

  7. Vikas says

    Hi
    I stay in Chicago Suburbs and went to city for meeting a friend and was unaware of the 15 ft rule. I parked too close to a hydrant (there was no marker on the pavement for where the “no go” area begins or ends).
    I thoroughly checked for error from the details of my car, and found that the distance is not mentioned on the ticket. It simply say “Within 15′ of Fire hydrant”.
    Can I fight this?

    • says

      Vikas,

      Good evening.
      I am sorry to say that we’re not quite ready to share advice for our wonderful friends in Chicago…Need more study time.

      In NYC, a parking ticket warrior is required to enter their “estimate” of the distance you parked from the fire hydrant. Not conversant with the Chicago version of the rule…Sorry my friend.

      Soon…
      Best,
      Larry

  8. says

    Larry,
    I’m not an activist. Not one for taking up a cause. But I do like to argue against injustice.

    What do we as a public need to do to enact laws (local ordinance) such as “Fire Hydrant easways shall be marked by 8′ long 4″ wide Yellow Stripes from the curb toward the center of the street. If the indicated area is a walkway or similiar space and parking is no permitted further out from the curb, said area shall be identified by Yellow Diagonal Stripes of no less than 4″ wide and boxed in by an outline of Yellow of no less than 4″ wide paint”.

    This whole “Thousand Dollar Forsyth Hydrant” is totally a means to rape the driver, as are not appropriately marking curbside hydrants. Spend the thousands and spray some paint!

    Thank you for listening.

    Kevin

    • says

      Kevin,

      I love your comment…In my humble opinion, we are all activists at heart. However, some of us are motivated by a cause that awakens the activist in us. Others are activists in search of a cause. I think you and I are the former.

      Your idea was introduced to the City Council. The bill is pending. I fear it will not see the light of day.

      Best,
      Larry

  9. solohabel says

    Hi I parked my car in 10 feet from a fire hydrant to drop off a customer and I got a ticket. for parking in front of it . how can I fight it ?
    i am a cab driver by the way. thx

    • says

      Solohabel,

      Good morning.
      This is a great question that oftentimes confuses many drivers…

      A fire hydrant is a NO STOPPING zone. The general rule is that no vehicles can stop within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. There is a well known exception, which states that a passenger vehicle can stop, stand or park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant under certain, enumerated circumstances.

      However, this exception does NOT apply to commercial vehicles.

      Therefore, a taxi cab can never stop within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, even to drop off or pick up a passenger.

      You may want to check for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements on the front of the parking ticket. If yes, you win upon application.

      If no…please don’t shoot the messenger.

      Best,
      Larry

      • solohabel says

        according to the taxi and limousine commission a taxi can drop and pick up a passenger at a fire hydrant. its just said in the ticket that i parked 6 feet from the fire hydrant which is false.

        • says

          Solohabel,

          I didn’t know that…Please refer me to the rule that says a taxi can drop off a passenger at a fire hydrant. I want to share it with our community.

          If the rule is as you say it is (a taxi can stop temporarily to pick up or discharge a passenger at a fire hydrant) than you can beat this parking ticket.

          You’ll need to either fight it in person or by mail, and:
          1. Bring with you a copy of the rule that permits you to drop off a passenger at a fire hydrant (great to know, thanks!)
          2. Proof that you stopped, dropped, and left immediately. Hopefully you can secure documentation from the dispatcher. If not, I would appear in person and explain to the judge what you were doing

          Any mistakes on the front of the parking ticket?

          Please let me know how you make out.
          Best,
          Larry

  10. Melissa says

    Hello, I was in fact parked by a hydrant while running into a store and came back out 10 min later to a ticket however the violation was marked double parking which is the same $fine. Could I possibly fight this?

    • says

      Hi Melissa,

      Good afternoon.

      Your simple question requires a complicated answer, with a lot of facts I need to elicit from you to give you an intelligent reply. For example, did you park alongside a car parked next to the curb? If not, then you weren’t even double parked…But, you have to be able to prove the facts we allege.

      You may wish to check our Larry’s Advice. Here’s a link…http://newyorkparkingticket.com/larrys-advice/

      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

  11. Magnus Langton says

    Hello Larry,
    I’m really enjoying reading to your advice . My family was on vacation in the U.S. I had a hire car. We came to stay with friends in NYC the night before flying out from JFK. They are fairly new to NY and told me I could park on the street around their apartment block. This I duly did and returned to the car to find I had been ticketed for a fire hydrant violation. I was certainly parked within 15ft of the hydrant. The ticket was written at 5:15 am. Does this ticketing in the middle of the night make any material difference? Thank you for your thoughts. Magnus

    • says

      Hi Magnus,

      Good morning.
      Thanks for your kind words…I appreciate ‘em.

      I am sorry to say NYC is the city that never sleeps, and neither do the 24/7 battalion of parking ticket warriors. You’re chariot is still fair game during the middle of the night.

      Did you check for any mistakes on the front of the parking ticket? If you find omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements, you win upon application.

      Park safely across the pond.
      Best,
      Larry

  12. Shah says

    Hello Larry, On February 8, 2014 I had been ticketed for standing at hydrant during the day (3-4pm). I remained seated at driver site for time been there. No police office and traffic agent approached me to issue a ticket. Rather I received via mail a warning for not paying the fine for hydrant parking violation. I paid fine to avoid suspension of my license, however I plaid not guilty and went to court. But judge found me guilty. I appealed the decision but second judge didn’t consider what the law is giving the permission for it. I still believe that I should be ticketed for it. What do you think can I still appeal the first judge’s decision of me finding a guilty? What would you suggest me to defend?
    Thanks ahead for your response.

  13. Jonathan Cucco says

    I was parked at the fire hydrant in front of my house for a matter of 3 minutes it took me to use the bathroom quick because I was already looking for a parking spot since i had to move it anyway because of alternate side of the street. when i arrived back outside there was another car double parked right next to me not allowing me to leave the spot. Then i returned to my house. when i came back out hoping the car was gone i found a ticket on both of our cars. What was i supposed to do? I feel stupid as i have no photos because i was too aggravated to think straight. Do i have a fighting chance?

  14. Lucinda says

    Dear Larry-
    I parked around 15 feet within the fire hydrant. Yet, I was still fined. Luckily, a guy had a tape measure and sure enough, it was around 15 feet. I took photographs.

    However, was it fair that I got fined but a car didn’t get fined which was in front of me (30 feet away from my car, 15 feet away from the hydrant)?

    Thank you!

    -Lucinda

    • says

      Dear Lucinda,

      Good morning.
      I’m not sure “fair” is the right question. I might ask whether the fact is “helpful” to winning your case.

      Were the parked cars without parking tickets…
      1. Parked in the space before you arrived?
      2. Were they closer to the fire hydrant than your chariot?
      3. Parked in the space before your parking ticket was issued?

      If your answer is yes to the above questions, I would argue the fact that cars were parked closer to the fire hydrant and were parked before your parking ticket was issued, demonstrates the arbitrary, and inaccurate manner in which your parking ticket was issued.

      Life isn’t necessarily “fair.” But, “fair” isn’t a defense to a NYC parking ticket.

      Best,
      Larry

      • Lucinda says

        Dear Larry-
        I only know that the car in front of me is actually slightly closer to the hydrant and I was far enough. The car in front was parked there for hours, yet there was still no ticket.

        Also, if I were to write a plea, is there like a “correct” format to write it? Or there is no specific way and I can write it however I like it? Also, who should the plea go to?

        Lastly, will the judge say if the photo is not clear enough (meaning he can’t see the measuring tape)? (Because to me, it looks very clear.)

        Thank you very much!

        • says

          Lucinda,

          There is no “correct” format.
          I prepare a defense certification using Word or Pages, exhibits using Keynote that I save as a PDF, and securely attach each document together.

          I recommend sending your defense package (consisting of defense certification and exhibits) by certified mail, return receipt requested, to prove delivery… to the address on the back of the parking ticket. I don’t send the parking ticket itself.

          The judge will evaluate the evidence you present. If the photograph(s) aren’t clear and persuasively support your story, it’s going to be tough to win a dismissal.

          Good luck, Lucinda.
          Best,
          Larry

  15. julia says

    Hi Larry,
    I parked near the hydrant in NY (close to 15 feet), probably just on a nose. I didn’t have a tape measurement nor cell phone with me at the moment, so I left. However, I found some mismatch on a ticket , but it’s a color of my car. The ticket says its grey, but my car is brown. Do you think it can make a difference and I can get a ticket dismissed? Also, how do I prove my car is brown? Just send a picture or I need something from the dealership?

    Thank you for your help.
    Julia.

  16. Diana says

    Hi Larry,

    What kind of omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements am i looking to find on the ticket in order to argue it?
    thank you!

    • says

      Hey Diana,
      Good afternoon.
      If you question is a general type question about required elements, you may wish to check out this blog post. Here’s the link… http://newyorkparkingticket.com/nyc-parking-ticket-required-elements-redux/

      On the other hand, if your question is directed at fire hydrant parking tickets, we’ve had great success fighting these tickets because the place of occurrence is misdescribed by a warrior. The place of occurrence is the location of your chariot’s parking space when the ticket is issued. Therefore, the place of occurrence must be within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. A number of times it’s not.

      For example, if the place of occurrence is described as in front of 15 Park Place, NYC…There must be a fire hydrant within 15 feet of that address. If not, you win upon application and presenting the proper proof, properly.

      I love required elements. When you find an omitted, misdescribed, or illegible one, you struck parking ticket gold.

      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

  17. Richie says

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for setting up a great place for us average Joes to get some credible information and help from!

    Deos parking at 47W 56th street and getting a ticket that states the location as 56W 56th street a big enough gap to bother fighting the ticket? I did not have a tape measure and without it I do not think I have a strong case. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Richie

    • says

      Richie,

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.

      A simple question requires a bit more complicated answer.

      Common sense dictates that wrong is wrong, right? But, the key to victory is presenting the proper proof, properly. How do you prove the place of occurrence is misdescribed?

      Here’s a suggestion…the wrong address is an even number (56) which means it’s on the opposite side of the street…Oftentimes, the parking rules vary from side to side.

      I suggest checking out the addresses on the NYC DOT parking regulation map. Here’s the link…http://newyorkparkingticket.com/resource-links/
      Click on the red button.

      Click on parking regulations in the menu on the right side…Next, Click on location…insert the street address (either address first) and check out the signage by clicking on the red flags that appear.

      If the parking sign the regulates #56 is different than the parking rule you that appears on your parking ticket…You win!

      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

      • Richie says

        Hey Larry

        That was fast! Thanks for your response.

        I checked the parking map and indeed, the sign next to 56W 56th street has no fire hydrant rule, the sign opposite 56W56th street has night regulations and a 3 hour metered parking, which was paid.

        How do you best suggest presenting information from the NYC DOTMAP portal as defense?

        Thanks, again!
        Richie

        • says

          Richie,

          Not bad for a 65-year old parking ticket fighter!

          I use live photographs, along with screen grabs of the NYC DOT map, and sometimes Google Maps Street View grabs.

          Your goal is to show that the parking space misdescribed by the warrior is regulated by a parking sign that displays the “wrong” rule. In other words, your defense is a misdescribed required element…The parking rule displayed by the parking sign regulating your space was entered incorrectly. The warrior entered ________________________ and the parking rule regulating your space is _______________________.

          You don’t have to raise the fact that the warrior got the address wrong. Your key to victory is that the warrior did not enter the rule that regulated the place of occurrence was misdescribed.

          Let us know how you do.
          Best,
          Larry

        • says

          Richie,

          I’m posting this as my 3rd comment.

          Let me make sure we’re clear on this.

          What was the place of occurrence on your parking ticket, FRONT or OPPOSITE? If your ticket was a fire hydrant violation, there’s a different set of proofs.

          1. Check out the place of occurrence entered on your parking ticket
          2. That represents your parking space
          3. Is there a fire hydrant within 15 feet of your misdescribed parking space?

          This isn’t about a sign when it involves a fire hydrant violation. There are no signs posted prohibiting parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. It’s an invisible enemy.

          You win if there is no fire hydrant within 15 feet of the parking space where the warrior claims you parked.

          If there is a fire hydrant within 15 feet in either direction from your place of occurrence, you lose…Unless you can somehow prove that the place of occurrence (#56) was misdescribed.

          Best,
          Larry

          • Richie says

            Hi Larry,

            Thanks for the follow-up. I contested with four images that showed:

            1) the location I was cited at has metered parking enforcement while the ticket did not cite me for an unpaid parking meter
            3) the closest fire hydrant is ~98 feet away in front of a restaurant as measured via Google Maps (between the location of the restaurant and the citation location).

            I will update this thread when I hear back from the MAN.

            Thanks
            Richie

  18. David J says

    Hi Larry,
    Well here is one for you, I got a ticket like 11:11 am today, its now 2:56pm. So this morning my girlfriend ask me to do the laundry so while I was walking to the laundry I saw the ticket on my car. It indicated that I am 9 feet from the fire hydrant. So I was so tick off that I bought a 2 bucks tape and using my cell phone I video tape the step I took and guess what? its 15feet. My question is how do I present this evidence that is in my phone. $115 buck is to much for my budget. Could you suggest how to prepare my visit to dmv. (my first opposition to a ticket)

    David J.

    • says

      David,

      Good afternoon.
      I totally tip my hat to you for purchasing a $2 tape measure to help you establish evidence to fight a $115 parking ticket. Well done! Most people would have cursed, crumpled the ticket, and drove off…

      With that said, it’s tough to begin your career as a parking ticket fighter with a fire hydrant as your opponent.

      Can you upload your video from your cell phone to your computer? If so, one way is to edit your video on one of the video editing apps. This will allow you to view your video, frame by frame…Pick the the frames that tell your story, either grab ‘em or if possible download the frames as images.

      If you video is of a very good quality, you could even fight your ticket in person.

      The measurement should be from the middle of the fire hydrant to the front bumper of your car…How will you respond to the judge’s challenge that you moved your car before taking the video?

      Best,
      Larry

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