NYC Parking Ticket Required Elements Redux

I love omitted, misdescribed, or illegible NYC parking ticket required elements

How great does it feel to find a defective NYC parking ticket because of an omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required element? It falls somewhere in between winning the lottery and finding your car keys after searching for 30 minutes.

Here is a diagram I prepared showing the required elements, and where they live on a real, live NYC parking ticket.

NYC parking ticket pointing out required elements

This image is a parking ticket with arrows pointing out all the required elements

Place of occurrence

One of my favorite NYC parking ticket required elements is, “Place of occurrence.” Why? Because you can oftentimes find parking ticket gold.

I am currently working on a case with a member of the NYC driving community.

Ramon was issued a NYC parking ticket for “No Standing.” I checked all the required elements, and found no apparent defects. So, the next step was to visit the scene of the parking crime (via Google Maps with Street View). Lo and behold, I found some parking ticket gold.

The place of occurrence was wrong because the “No Standing” parking sign’s ARROW did NOT point in the direction of the parking space where the parking ticket warrior alleged Ramon parked his car.

I asked Ramon to take some overlapping photographs of the block, and I used Google Maps with Street View to present an overview of the block to the judge.

Ramon, with a little help from his friends, is a winner.

Key take-away

It is very difficult to prove the “place of occurrence” entered on the NYC parking ticket is wrong. SO INSTEAD…Use the warrior’s misdescribed “place of occurrence” to advance your case by showing the arrow on the parking sign did NOT point to the parking space where the alleged parking crime occurred.

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How to solve the mystery of double parking in NYC
There are conflicting expert opinions

The anti- double parking camp says a passenger vehicle can never, ever double park. While the other side maintains that double parking is legal under certain circumstances.

Comments

  1. Blaine99 says

    What if they put the wrong state of your car? Will that help me fight it and win? How will they even know its my car? Also it is a handicap plate- it is not indicated on the ticket, is there a code for that as well?

    • Larry Berezin says

      Dear Blaine,
      Good morning.
      You’re a winner.
      The parking ticket warrior is required to enter the correct state in which your vehicle is registered. If this required element is misdescribed, you win upon application.
      You may wish to fight the parking ticket by mail, and submit:
      1. a brief letter explaining the defense
      2. a copy of your vehicle registration
      3. two photographs…One that shows the car with the plate, and the second that shows a close up on the plate showing the State of registration

      There isn’t a special plate type for handicap plate.

      Congratulations, Champ.
      Best,
      Larry

  2. AL says

    Dear Larry,

    What if my car is a NJ car and they wrote in the exp date “NA” not applicable. NJ doesnt show the expiration date of its registration on the license or the window… can I argue that they should write “Not shown” instead of not applicable. A Exp date is a required element and therefore definitely applicable!

    AL

    • says

      Dear Al,

      Good morning.
      Good thinking. I love when members of the driving public know the rules, and do their best to apply the facts to the rules. Your logic is perfect.

      However, I am sorry to report that the Evil Empire considers “N/A” and “N/S” as interchangeable entries under the circumstances you describe. The only requirement is that the space cannot be simply left blank.

      This interpretation is not logical. It reminds me of an exchange between Alice and the Chesire Cat:
      “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
      “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
      “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
      “You must be,” said the Cat, “otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.”

      Park safely.
      Best,
      Larry

  3. Alan says

    Larry, where can I find the actual rule that sets out the required elements of a parking ticket? I would like to reference the rule in my challenge to a ticket that showed my plate’s expiration date to be N/S when photographs as well as other tickets show that the expiration date was visible one month before, one month after and two months later when I took the photos. (Yes, I missed the 30 day window. My friend who was driving the car didn’t tell me of the ticket, I did not receive anything in the mail about it, and I happened to find it when I checked online after the car was booted for other, older tickets my perhaps former friend hadn’t told me about.) Thanks.

    • says

      Alan,

      Good afternoon.
      What a tangled web of intrigue…

      Chapter 39 of title 19 of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York. Chapter 39 was adopted by the Commissioner of Finance to prescribe the internal procedures and organization of the Parking Violations Bureau, the manner and time of entering pleas, the conduct of hearings, the amount and manner of payment of penalties, and other purposes
      of article two-B of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.

      Check out 39-02, which reads as follows:

      §39-02 Notice of Violation (Summons).

      http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/downloads/pdf/04pdf/parking_rules39.pdf

      (a) Contents.
      (1) The notice of violation (summons) shall be in such form as may be
      prescribed by the Director and shall contain the registration plate number, the type of registration, the state of registration, the date of expiration, a description of the vehicle, a general statement of the violation alleged, including a reference to section 4-08 of title 34 of the official compilation of Rules of the City of New York or applicable provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or of the Administrative Code of the City of New York or any other law or rule, information as to the days and hours the applicable rule or provision is in
      effect, unless always in effect pursuant to the rule or provision and where appropriate the word “all” when the days and/or hours in effect are every day and/or twenty-hour hours a day, the date, time and place of occurrence, and, if a meter violation, the meter number.
      A mere listing of a meter number in cases of charged meter violations shall not be a sufficient description of a particular place of occurrence of the charged violation.

      (2) Where the plate type or the expiration date are not shown on either the
      registration plates or sticker of a vehicle or where the registration sticker of a vehicle is covered, faded, defaced or mutilated so that it is unreadable, the plate type or the
      expiration date may be omitted from the notice of violation, provided that such condition is so described and inserted on the notice of violation.

      (3) If any information that is required to be inserted in a notice of violation is
      omitted from the notice of violation, misdescribed, or illegible, the violation shall be dismissed upon application of the person charged with the violation.

      (4) The notice of violation (summons) shall also contain information advising
      the respondent of the manner and time in which a plea with respect to the violation alleged in the said notice may be entered and information warning that failure to plead in the manner and time provided shall be deemed an admission of liability and that a default judgment may be rendered.

      Good luck, Alan. Let us know how you do.
      Best,
      Larry

  4. Mr Bond says

    Caught a ticket for failure to show muni meter ticket. Appealed it using the online website under two defenses:

    1. Meter number field was empty
    11. Registration expiration was N/A (North Carolina plates)

    Appeal just came back DENIED. First question – I thought that the meter number was REQUIRED per above? IF so, this judge ruled incorrectly – I have the possibility of appeal, but what ordinance, statute or precedent do I claim for point 1 on the appeal? Second question, what do I do with the fact that I also was under the impression Expiration of Registration was a mandatory field?

    Much thanks!
    -Bond

    • says

      Dear Mr. Bond,
      Good morning.
      I am sorry for your pain. It’s not easy to win in Parking Ticket Land.

      First Question:
      Meter # is a required element for some, but not all, meter violations. I apologize for not making the distinction in the body of the article. Failure to Display MM receipt is one of those parking violations where meter number is not a required element because the specific meter isn’t relevant. The only issue that’s relevant is whether you actually paid for the time.

      The defense to a Failure to Display violation is to submit a paid MM receipt matching the time on the ticket (taking into consideration the 5-minute grace period). A judge is now required to dismiss the ticket upon receipt of the MM receipt.

      Second question.
      If my old, feeble, memory serves me, North Carolina has the month and year of registration expiration on the plate. If so, the parking ticket should have been dismissed upon submission of the proper proof.

      The proper proof is simply a couple of photographs of your vehicle showing the plate attached and a close up showing the month/year of expiration, a copy of your registration, and a certification from you explaining the NC requirement of attaching the decals and that they were on the plate when the parking ticket was issued.

      I hope this is responsive to your questions. If not, send me a follow up.
      Best,
      Larry

  5. Alex says

    Dear Larry,

    I received a hand-written ticket that was so illegible, that I could only make out what the actual violation was, “No Standing Anytime”, but could not read the handwriting as to the place of occurrence at all. I waited and waited…and waited, and then it finally appeared on the NYC Finance website after a few weeks so I could take a better look at it, or at least I thought it would be a better look. Even the digitally scanned copy of the handwritten ticket is nearly illegible. The license plate number, registration expiration, registered state (NY), time and date of occurrence, year, make, and color are all correct.

    The place of occurrence is the sticking point here. In the location where each of the 5 counties of NYC appear as a small bubble to be filled in, none of them were filled in, so the county information is missing. The police precinct was filled in, so I don’t know if that has any bearing on location (or if that can substitute for filling in the correct county bubble). As for the actual field which says “Place of occurrence”, I can just barely see the following: “50 ft west of Bedford on”. The rest is absolutely impossible to read, if you were to look at the digital copy of the ticket on the NYC Finance website or the physical ticket itself.

    I’m not sure if this one has a chance or not. There are actual slots in the street for parking (set up in a row, like a shopping lot or a movie theater lot), which is why I thought it was a legitimate spot, and there were cars in the slot before and after mine. There is a “No Standing Anytime” sign there, but I don’t actually even remember which way the arrows are facing, and I’m not going to be in that location in Brooklyn for a little while, so don’t have easy access to the actual sign. Even the sign on the NYC DOT map is somewhat unclear, as the actual parking is in the middle of the street, along the median separating east-bound and west-bound traffic on Emmons Ave. in Brooklyn.

    So, now I’m looking to your advice, as this one has me confused about whether a real violation even took place, not just finding a mistake on the ticket. I could even have you privately look at the ticket by the violation number to get your take on it.

    Much thanks in advance if you are able to figure this one out, because I am stumped.

    -Alex

    • says

      Dear Alex,
      Good morning.
      Excellent questions…

      Let’s start with the “place of occurrence.” There are 3 ways a warrior is authorized to describe the place of occurrence:
      1. Front
      2. Opposite of
      3. A detailed description

      The detailed description must include the side of the street and the street name where you parked your chariot, and the number of feet from the intersecting street.

      “50 ft west of Bedford on” is not described correctly, entitling you to a dismissal upon application.

      In addition, the parking ticket that rears its ugly head on the Evil Empire’s website must be legible. If it’s not, you win, upon application. But, keep in mind that “legibility” is in the eye of the beholder (i.e. the judge).

      A parking sign regulates the parking spaces in the direction(s) of the arrow(s) that appears on the sign. If the arrow doesn’t point to the parking space your car occupied when ticketed, you win upon presenting the proper proof, properly.

      The proof consists of a series of photographs that clearly show the misdirected arrow and tell your story.

      In my continuing humble opinion, you may wish to present the first two defenses and hold off on the last defense because if you argue that your space wasn’t regulated by the no standing sign, it may conflict with your legibility defense and explain to the judge why there wasn’t a better description of the place of occurrence.

      I think you have 2 solid, winning, defenses. I’m happy to take a look at the parking ticket and do my homework, but then my wife insists I charge you for “Larry’s Advice.” I’m not sure you need to spend the money…Up to you.

      Let us know how you do.
      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

      • Alex says

        Dear Larry,

        Thank you very much for such a quick and informative response.

        There is one other piece of information which may make things a bit more complicated. The date of the violation was May 18, 2014. When I mentioned I would not be in that location in Brooklyn again too soon, it is because I am currently on a work assignment in Colorado, along with the ticketed chariot. While the assignment was originally scheduled to last one month, from late-May to late-June, it has now been extended through the end of September, which will keep me from physically being in New York (unless I choose to fly in just to see a judge about this ticket) for a while. From my understanding, penalties continue to add up on the ticket until it reaches the age of 100 days, at which time a default judgment is passed (likely never in the ticketed driver’s favor). I am able to physically get my hands on the original ticket here in Colorado, but my defense before a live judge cannot take place until at least late-September, though I suppose I could do a hearing by mail or an online hearing.

        This is really why I asked if you would be able to quickly look at the ticket as it is posted on the website (I could tell you the violation number) and just from first glance, immediately know that I would have a strong case for dismissal of the ticket (no homework necessary!). The ticket is currently up to $125, after the first penalty has been applied to it.

        Otherwise, the only thing I am certain about is that it costs more for round-trip airfare between Denver and New York than the actual amount of the ticket, so I wouldn’t consider jumping on a plane to see a live judge before the ticket reaches its 100-day deadline, and this same issue would make photographing the location of the violation difficult, as it doesn’t appear very clearly in Google Maps Street View.

        Thanks again in advance for any input you might have.

        -Alex

        • says

          Alex,

          Challenges are just tiny pot holes in the path of a solution.

          I fight our passenger customer’s parking tickets by mail.

          We offer our website friends, Larry’s Advice and Full Fight. You may wish to check out these services. I try to help everyone who asks questions on our blog when the conversation provides information beneficial to all.

          But, when you need more detailed information or help finding a solution to your particular parking ticket pain, the solution you seek exceeds the scope of the blog, passes through the looking glass, and enters the realm of Larry’s Advice or Full Fight.

          Good luck.
          Best,
          Larry

  6. Azeez says

    Dear Larry,
    I got a parking ticket where a required element is wrong. My license plate is written incorrectly. Can I simply ignore the ticket now since this is what identifies my car? Or did the parking cop actually scan my registration (and therefore it will catch up to me if I do nothing)?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Dear Azeez,
      Good afternoon.
      This is probably the number one question I’ve been asked over the years. My answer is still the same. I hate loose ends. Assassinate the parking ticket.

      The Evil Empire probably can’t track you down with today’s technology, if your plate number is entered incorrectly. But, a parking ticket lives for 8.3 years. Who knows what’s in store for the driving public during the next 8 years?

      If your plate number is incorrect, why not fight it by mail, prepare a brief letter stating the plate number is wrong and attach a copy of your vehicle registration? It’s one fight and done.

      Good luck.
      Best,
      Larry

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