What to do after getting a parking ticket in NYC, despite never driving there
Joe walked to his mailbox in rural Pennsylvania, reached inside, and pulled out a bunch of envelopes. Joe thought to himself, “the usual suspects, my Verizon bill, non-paperless bank statement, and what’s this? A letter from the NYC Department of Finance. “
Joe ruminated, “why would the New York City Department of Finance be writing me?” Unfortunately for Joe, he was about to become another victim of the overreaching, fundraising arm of the Evil Empire.
The NYC Department of Finance sent Joe a letter advising that he ignored a parking ticket (he never received) for parking in a safety zone on the North Side of Randall Avenue, 75 feet from Zerega Avenue, the Bronx, NY on March 24, 2014. The sad truth of the matter is Joe and his trusted chariot have never been to NYC…ever.
Joe went nuts! “NYC is trying to reach into my wallet and steal $115, I’m going to fix this immediately.
Joe’s first mistake
Joe’s parking ticket tale is true and recently happened to a customer of ours (the name has been changed).
Joe reacted emotionally, and immediately looked up the telephone number for the Evil Empire. He called and spoke to a very nice lady, who told Joe to simply write a letter explaining the mistake, and the parking ticket will be dismissed. Joe followed her advice, and two months later paid the price.
Joe received a notice from one of the Evil Empire’s judges that he was guilty as charged. Pay up.
What steps should Joe have taken after receiving the parking ticket?
- Knowledge is power. Joe should have done his homework and learned how to fight an NYC parking ticket before blindly after the advice of one of the Darth Vaders
- Carefully reviewed the front of the parking ticket for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. Joe would have discovered that there wasn’t even a safety zone on the North Side of Randall Avenue, Bronx, NY. His parking ticket would have been dismissed for a misdescribed required element (place of occurrence) upon presenting the proper proof properly
- Kept checking for defects on the parking ticket. Joe would have found that Pennsylvania required all vehicles to display the month and year its registration expired on the plate. The parking ticket warrior had arthritic knees and failed to bend down to check the plate. Instead, the warrior inserted “N/S” for the registration expiration date on the parking ticket. Joe’s parking ticket power meter got a lot stronger. This is an omitted required element (the more the merrier).
- Researched how to present the proper proof, properly
- Submitted his defense certification and exhibits by certified mail, return receipt requested to the NYC Parking Violations Bureau at the address on the back of the parking ticket
Since Joe lost his original parking ticket hearing, he was forced to appeal the adverse decision. It is much more difficult to win a parking ticket appeal. The standard of proof is different (you are required to persuade an appeals panel the original judge made a mistake of law or fact). And, technically you are not permitted to submit new evidence. Your appeal is based upon the evidence submitted to the original judge.
About 13% of all appeals are successful.
Joe sought our help with his appeal. I did my homework, and decided to submit the following appeal:
What do you think the outcome will be? Guilty or not guilty? Love to hear your insights on this real life case.