Last Updated on August 14, 2016 by Lawrence Berezin
Can you name another famous parking ticket ambush?
As most New Yorkers are painfully aware, you’ve always been welcome to dispute your parking tickets online. The injustice occurred because you were unable to submit the evidence you needed to beat most NYC parking tickets with your online dispute. You were enticed by the ease of disputing your parking ticket online, but the House always won when documents were necessary to prove your defense.
It got so bad that the NYC DOF had to issue a warning to the unsuspecting driving public not to fight a parking ticket online, if you wished to submit proof.
A major photo opportunity on Monday
We all witnessed one of those alert the media moments to announce the Beta version of the fight your parking ticket online tool. Beta permits you to submit materials, such as photographs, affidavits, witness certifications, post office proof, etc., online, along with your tiny defense statement. “Disputing that parking ticket just got easier.” (Crain’s New York Business article)
According to the Crain’s article referred to in the previous sentence, “Disputing that parking ticket just got easier” (see above link), the driving public will receive a decision to their online dispute within 10 days of submission. Judges will review online cases in between live hearings. How can the DOF claim the driving public will receive a decision within 10 days when it generally takes 75 days? With pressure to complete live hearings, how does a judge have spare time in between hearings to review cases submitted online?
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”
This is a quotation from the English poet Alexander Pope’s An essay on criticism, 1709. It means, “The rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of.” I prefer Brenda Lee’s version.
The Bloomberg administration and the NYC Department of Finance allowed the unsuspecting driving public to dispute parking tickets online without the possibility of beating a ticket that required a photograph or other document. Now, these same stakeholders are promising you fast, easy, one click justice from the comfort of your own living room with Beta.
I have a few concerns:
- What is the quality of the uploaded photographs that eventually, and hopefully, reach the parking ticket judge entrusted with deciding your case? To what extent are, they degraded?
- How many online disputes is a parking ticket judge required to decide in one hour? The promise made to all online disputers is their NYC parking tickets will be decided faster under the theory justice delayed is not justice.
- Will your documents always be connected to your dispute? Here’s a comment by one New Yorker to the article in the NY Times about Online Beta
“It doesn’t actually work! I tried the service, where you fill out the reason for your dispute in one web window, then get directed to another to upload your documents and evidence. I got the decision and the judge only considered the pictures, writing in the opinion that ‘nothing else was submitted
What’s the point of all this technology when it doesn’t work? Now I still have to take time off to appeal this decision!”
I suggest you fight your parking ticket by mail (certified, return receipt requested) or in person until the Theta online tool comes along; or an online video is posted demonstrating the answers to the concerns I’ve raised. How about a little transparency?
You control the quality of your proofs, and can take proper steps to secure your documents to your Defense Letter.
Oftentimes, you are required to present overlapping photographs of all the parking signs on a block; or you may wish to use Google Maps with Street View to prove your case. Can you imagine the uploaded version of those proofs?
How about an envelope from the U.S. Post Office marked “Return to Sender, Address Unknown.” What will that document look like in an online upload?
Did you purchase the first IPAD without a camera?
Please comment and share your views about Beta? Your opinions really matter to all of us.