Last Updated on October 24, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
Larry’s process for fighting a NYC parking ticket
Spotting a NYC parking ticket sticking out from under your wiper can be a shock to the system. Figuring out whether to fight or pay the evil orange epistle is overwhelming…and rightly so. There are 99 parking violations, a bazillion pages of rules and regulations, and myriad laws passed by the NYC Council and the NY State Legislature to contend with.
Here’s the process I use to fight the good fight against the Evil Empire and win. Hopefully it will bring some order to the chaos.
Larry’s step-by-step process
- Divide the parking ticket into four sections (in your mind’s eye)
- Carefully examine each section searching for omitted, misdescribed, and illegible required elements
- Section #1: This section applies to parking permits. For example, if a person with a handicap parking permit doesn’t properly display the permit and parks in a handicap parking space, a warrior typically enters N/S or N/A. Or, if a member of the driving public gets a parking ticket, and doesn’t have a special permit N/S or N/A will be entered. However, if a parking permit is properly displayed, the warrior is required to accurately enter the permit data
- Section #2 is the “quick dismissal” section. If the Plate Type, Make, or Body Type is omitted, misdescribed, or illegible, you win…Yea! The month/day/year must be entered for chariots registered in NY, and match the information on the vehicle’s registration. If the registration expiration date is displayed on an out-of-state plate, the month/year must be entered on the parking ticket. If not, then N/A or N/S is required. The tiny box cannot be left empty
- Section #3 is a “treasure trove” of parking ticket gold. Lot’s of data that needs to be entered. Lot’s of room for blunders. For example:
- The proper reference to the parking rule (found in 4-08) must be entered. If a warrior charges you with no standing, and enters the subpart of 4-08 for no parking, you win!
- The days and hours a rule is in effect is required. On this parking ticket, the warrior claims the rule is in effect Sunday and Saturday, all times. If she’s wrong, you win!
- A warrior has three options to describe the place of occurrence: (a) Front (b) Opposite (c) Detailed Description. Front and opposite are self-explanatory, and should be checked for accuracy. But, I urge you to take the time to check out the detailed description for accuracy. The proper format for a detailed description is…”N/S of BLANK street, avenue, BLANK feet East of BLANK street, avenue.” This means, North side of BLANK street, avenue, 20 feet East of BLANK street, avenue. If the warrior errs on (1) describing the side of the street, (2) the name of the street, (3) or the direction/distance from the intersecting street, you win!
- VC stands for violation code. Surprisingly it’s not a required element.
- County and Precinct are not required elements
- Section #4 bestows gold or destruction. This is the space for a warrior’s comments. An experienced warrior will use this space to strengthen his case, or hand you a get-of-of-jail free card. For example, the below parking ticket charges standing in a no standing-authorized vehicle only zone. The warrior is required to identify the type of vehicle that is authorized to park in this particular parking area…and did. Another example is for expired registration violations. A warrior is required to enter the registration certificate number and date of registration expiration. If she fails, you win!
Some Rules and Laws are simply ignored
How frustrating is it to find parking ticket gold, only to have your gold ignored by a judge. For example, we have yet to win a dismissal of a parking ticket because a warrior failed to hand the driver sitting behind the wheel the parking ticket. This law and rule seem to be universally ignored by NYC parking ticket judges. The judge’s opinion generally states that the evidence was “not persuasive.”
I recently fought a parking ticket for a great friend of New York Parking Ticket, who happened to be a journalist, and always carried a camera with him (smartphone will do). He was sitting behind the wheel of his chariot when a warrior issued a parking ticket and placed it under the wiper (totally ignoring our friend). Check out the photograph below. We raised lack of personal service as a defense, and are waiting for the judge’s decision. Is this amazing snapshot “unpersuasive?”
Signature is another rule that is ignored. If the warrior kills a fly anywhere near the signature line, and the “signature” is deemed sufficient. There seems to be no such thing as an “illegible” signature.
Finding a substantive defense to defeat the parking violation
If you throughly examine all sections and come up empty-handed, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. Now it’s time to formulate a substantive defense to a parking ticket. For example, if you were dropping off Aunt Tilly in a No Standing zone, a substantive defense is “stopping temporarily to drop off a passenger and depart immediately.” If you were charged with parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, a defense is to prove that you parked more than 15 feet from a fire hydrant. Or, that there was a licensed driver, sitting behind the wheel, with the keys, between sunrise and sunset, ready to move the chariot upon request.
Never pay a parking ticket “no questions asked.” It’s bad business. Take the time to look for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. Try your best to formulate a substantive defense.
The last time I looked, out of approximately only 1.2M of the approximately 10M parking tickets issued were contested. Shame on us!
More than one-half of the 1.2M contested parking tickets were dismissed. Amazing!
When you’re right-FIGHT.
Just found your website. Thank you for all the information!
I recently got a bus stop ticket where I thought I parked legally. The bus stop was at the corner of the block, then there was a hydrant about 200 feet down and I parked another 20 feet beyond the hydrant thinking that the bus stop ended at the hydrant. Now after reading your site, apparently the bus stop extended past the hydrant to the next parking sign which was behind me.
Do you think there is any chance for me to win this ticket by claiming that I thought the bus stop ended at the hydrant? I took photos of my car and the bus stop at the time of receiving the ticket.
Thank you very much!!
Lawrence Berezin says
Happy you found us!
It’s great to hear you’re working on a defense to your parking ticket, rather than paying it no questions asked.
Every one of the 99 separate parking violations has a specific defense. I am sorry to say that “ignorance of the rule” is not a defense.
You may wish to check for defective required elements. Was the place of occurrence accurately described? The make of your chariot entered correctly? How about the plate type? Or, expiration date of your registration…
If you find an omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required element, you win upon application.
I just checked the ticket for errors and it says the year of my car is 2012 where it’s actually 2014. Does this qualify for dismissal? If so, do I just submit it as Not Guilty with a copy of the registration and note saying the ticker is not for my car?
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry…The model year of your car is not a required element.
Oh that’s too bad. I thought I had a winner 🙁
Looks like he also didn’t put the entire VIN number, just the last 5 digits. I assume that’s probably not a required element either? Or combined with the wrong year or the car?
Thanks again for your time Larry.
Lawrence Berezin says
The agony of defeat…Sorry Alex. You don’t make up for a winning defense in volume (I wish).
kiley timmins says
Late to the party but found this information very useful and now I am curious about a nitpick-y issue that might qualify as a mistake on my ticket.
I have a parking ticket for street cleaning violation, under section 3 where they list the rule they only mentioned the day I violated and not both days that are listed on the rule for street cleaning on this street, is this something that would be considered “wrong” as far as fighting the ticket goes? She listed MO/ 8:30-10am which is the day I violated on but the rule also includes WE/8:30-10am. I ask because a lot of these little blunders seem like splitting hairs so perhaps this counts! and perhaps you’ll see this comment 8 years later! thank you for the useful information.
Lawrence Berezin says
I’ve seen it both ways. And, judges don’t dismiss as long as the day and hours the rule was in effect were correct when the ticket was issued.
However, was the location where the street cleaning ticket was issued subject to the revised rule? That is, street cleaning is only on the last day and not both days?
If the place of occurrence is stated wrong and I also believe there is such address (2044 Troy Ave.) could my mother’s parking ticket for street cleaning violation be dismissed?
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry to learn about your Mom’s parking pain.
The place of occurrence is a required element for a street cleaning ticket. If you can prove it was misdescribed, your Mom wins.
However, your proof has to be more than saying the location was incorrect. You have to present independence proof. For example, if a street cleaning rule didn’t regulate the place of occurrence entered on the ticket.