When Writing a Parking Ticket Defense Letter, Keep it Simple, Holly

NYC parking ticket defense letterTell a NYC parking ticket story

My adult daughter, Julie is circling the Big 3-0, and recently gave birth to Natalie, the most beautiful, intelligent, and athletic granddaughter in all the land (strictly objective observations from an unbias grand pop). My daughter now faces the same “bedtime” challenge that I faced with her. My solution was always, tell Julie a story.

Whenever Julie heard the words, “Once upon a time, a long time ago…” it was attention grabbing, and relaxing. We are all wired for stories.

[Second in a two-part series of blog posts, "The Secret to Writing a Defense Letter to Fight a NYC Parking Ticket"]

How to tell a parking ticket story

I once began a parking ticket appeal, “It was the week before Christmas, and all through the house, I was home with my family and never stirred out to take a four hour drive from Pennsylvania to double park in Queens.”

Use story-tellling to persuade. For example,

“I received a parking ticket in Manhattan on a cold day in January. I carefully reviewed the front of the ticket and found a mistake. The TEA (aka, parking ticket warrior) did not enter the month and year of expiration on my parking ticket, even though it was clearly displayed on my Massachusetts license plate.

Attached please find:

  • Three photographs showing my plate, my car, and a close-up on the month/year of registration
  • A copy of my vehicle registration”

Some other observations:

  • The parking ticket judges know the law, especially the part about required elements. No need to spend a lot of white space in your defense letter presenting New York Parking Tickets 101.
    • There may be rare instances when quoting the law is essential to your case (the interpretation of the language in the rule may be an issue), but generally it is not necessary to enlighten a judge; or demonstrate how smart you are
  • If you feel the need to explain the law, make sure it’s the NYC parking law, and refer to¬† the appropriate NYC parking rule. NYC parking rules may differ from NY State parking rules. Guess which rules are more persuasive to a NYC parking ticket judge?
  • “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Persuasive use of facts is your key to victory. We cherish and fight for our own conclusions, as long as they are our conclusions. Don’t hit a judge over the head with your conclusions, persuade by using the facts wisely.
  • Don’ be redundant, redundant. “I, Holly Smith, plead Not Guilty to summons, NYC parking ticket #123456789-0″ may be amended to “I plead not guilty to this parking ticket.”
  • Use pictures to help tell your story. When I fight a parking ticket for blocking the box, I always add Google Maps street view screen grabs to my presentation to help the judge visualize the intersection.


Keep it simple…

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