A case study about losing a fire hydrant parking ticket hearing in NYC
The best mistakes to make are new mistakes. Here is a case study about the efforts of a wonderful member of our driving community to fight a fire hydrant parking ticket. Joe (“fictitious”) parked his car more than 15 feet from a fire hydrant but still received an evil orange epistle for violating the curb space between an NYC fire hydrant and a motor vehicle. Joe diligently prepared his defense letter and created some terrific exhibits. Joe fought his parking ticket by mail.
A few months later, Joe received a letter from the Evil Empire notifying him that he lost his case.
What went wrong? (This is the first of a two-part series. The second part is Larry’s defense letter and exhibits used to beat this fire hydrant violation).
Joe submitted this defense letter in support of his fight against a fire hydrant parking violation
On Jan 20th, 2013 at 1:58 pm, I was charged with a $115 fine for parking within 15 yards of a fire hydrant in front of 333 East 91th street.
I plead that I am not guilty as I did not park within 15 feet within the hydrant and I have photographic evidence that proves it.
Prior to leaving the scene, I have taken several pictures of my car in relation to the fire hydrant. Later I came back to the scene and measured the distance between the two. I have provided picture s I took as evidence. Explanations for the provided evidence are below.
The evidence below can be confirmed by the witness, Mr. JC Park whose cellphone number is 347-266-1283.
Please view the next page to see the submitted picture evidence with an explanation.
As the above evidence indicates, my vehicle was not within 15 feet of the fire hydrant. I can provide more pictures should you find above evidence are not satisfying. Please right this wrong.
Here is a description of Joe’s exhibits
Picture 1 (above): Indicates that my vehicle, black Mustang 2002 was parked near 333 East 91st Street. I circled the building number, fire hydrant, my vehicle, and a pole which a bicycle is chained to as a landmark
Picture 2 (above): Shows return to scene and tape measure extending from the fire hydrant to my car
Picture 3 (above): Indicates the street, and avenue of the incident on the day of the incident. I circled the street and avenue sign
Picture 4 (above): A close up of the tape measure showing the distance from the fire hydrant to my car is 17 feet
Larry’s analysis of Joe’s fire hydrant parking ticket defense
Kudos to Joe. He parked his car more than 15 feet from the fire hydrant and fought the parking ticket because he was right. I am truly sorry to report that Joe failed to present the proper proof properly. Here’s why:
Joe’s defense letter is simply a note and does not tell a story. It contains cold, hard, unsworn, facts.
- Joe was attending a meeting at his church, which would have provided a great backstory
- Joe’s witness was a church member who parked his car in front of Joe’s car
- Joe’s defense letter should have been an affidavit or a certification (preferably an affidavit), addressed the judge respectfully, and signed by Joe. Remember, the parking ticket is considered a sworn statement by the parking ticket warrior. If you’re contesting the sworn statement of a warrior, do it with a sworn statement of your own.
- He offers to submit more photographs (If Joe had additional, relevant, photographs he should have submitted them).
- He offers the name and cell phone number of his witness (Joe’s kidding, right?!)
- Joe should have submitted a witness certification and a photograph of his witness observing the measurement of the distance from the pump to Joe’s car
Joe’s pictures left gaps in the proof necessary to beat his parking ticket
- Picture 1 shows the relationship of his car, the street address of the building, and the fire hydrant. Great. But, Joe should not have included a picture of a red parking sign located directly in front of his car. If it must be included, Joe should have submitted proof that his car didn’t park in violation of the red sign. A parking ticket judge isn’t going to give Joe the benefit of the doubt with the fire hydrant violation if he thinks Joe parked illegally, anyway.
- Picture 2 shows a tape measure is stretched out between the fire hydrant and a strange car. Why not park your car where it was parked when the parking ticket was issued; or explain why there is an SUV in the picture (along with the red parking sign).
- Picture 3 attempts to show the name of the street where Joe parked his Mustang. The only thing this picture proves is that Joe doesn’t know how to present the proper proof, properly of a street address. Joe needs to submit overlapping photographs and the traffic sign at the corner.
- Picture 4 shows a close up of the tape measure. Joe needs more pictures to demonstrate to a parking ticket judge’s satisfaction that this is the actual measurement
Experience have proved there are specific, inflexible, unadjustable ways to beat each of the 99 NYC parking violations. You can’t guess at what they are. When you’re right, fight. But, if you don’t learn how to present the proper proof properly, you will lose. I promise.
Check out the difference between a customer success story about defeating an evil fire hydrant parking ticket and Joe’s proof. Viva la difference? Or, why re-invent the wheel?