Winning a Double Parking Ticket Appeal can be done
Sue was clock watching at work. Tic…tic…tic…5:00 p.m. Sue put on her coat, gloves, and boots and was ready to face a cold winter’s night.
She got in her mini-van and braved the freezing weather to pick up her husband and one-and-one-half-year-old daughter from daycare. With her family seated and buckled in, she headed for their apartment.
There were no empty curbside parking spaces when Sue arrived in front of her building. So, she stopped temporarily on the roadway side of a vehicle parked at the curb, her husband jumped out of the van, unbuckled their daughter, and started walking to their building.
At that moment, a parking ticket warrior appeared out of nowhere, walked to the front of their van, scanned the registration and stuck a parking ticket under the wiper. Yikes!
Does Sue have a winning defense to this evil double parking ticket?
There were two viable defenses to this double parking ticket
What defenses would you raise to defeat this double parking ticket?
I raised the following defenses for our client:
- My wife stopped for a moment in front of our apartment building, while I unfastened our daughter from her car seat, and my wife immediately drove off looking for a permanent overnight parking space in the neighborhood (minority view of a double parking ticket defense)
- The TEA did not ask for my wife’s name and did not hand my wife the parking ticket while she was seated behind the wheel
We fought the good fight and lost. Yikes! Yikes!
Here are the defense documents we submitted:
- Defense certification
- Witness statement
- Evidence that the PVB recognized stop, drop and skedaddle double parking ticket defense
Should Sue appeal the judge’s decision?
Appeal Panel Decision
Original judge’s decision was reversed. The parking ticket was dismissed. Yea!
Did you think we’d win a dismissal on appeal? Only 13% of all appeals are reversed, so we were thrilled by the reversal of fortune after suffering the “agony of defeat.”
Here are some valuable tips:
- The burden of proof on appeal is to persuade an appeals panel that the original judge made a mistake of law or fact, based on the evidence submitted
- You cannot submit new evidence
- Do not simply regurgitate your original argument, you will lose for sure
- Carefully read and re-read the original judge’s decision to unearth mistakes. The judge’s are under a bunch of pressure to decide cases quickly. They will oftentimes resort to “boilerplate,” easy to insert reasons to deny your appeal that have nothing to do with the issues you raised
- In Sue’s case, the judge was so obsessed with denying our defense of lack of service, his honor failed to address our second defense in his decision…This is grounds for a reversal
- The judge mistakenly referred to our testimony as claiming a curbside passenger drop off when we acknowledged that Sue double parked when she dropped off her husband and child. This is “appeal gold.”
- Don’t make the mistake I made, i.e., taking for granted that a judge would know that the warrior scanned the registration before placing the double parking ticket under the wiper. Spell it out because you know what happens when we a-s-s-u-m-e.
- Don’t get discouraged when the original judge arbitrarily and unjustly finds you guilty. When you’re right-Appeal. Find the “smoking mistakes” and you’ll win.
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