Last Updated on July 19, 2017 by Lawrence Berezin
How to vacate a default judgment
I kinda remember being issued an NYC parking ticket last spring. What did I do with that darn parking ticket?
As the sands of time pass slowly through the hour glass, you are running out of time to take action on your NYC parking ticket. After 100 days, you and your misbegotten parking ticket are toast. In addition to the face amount of your parking ticket fine, penalties of $60.00 are imposed. The ransom on a $115.00 parking ticket is now $175.00. Is there anything you can do to vacate a default judgment?
Yes, there is!
Request a Hearing after Judgment
You may file application with the NYC DOF to vacate your default judgment (The application is entitled, “Request for Hearing after Judgment”) for a vehicle registered in your name if the judgment was entered less than one-year ago, and you prove that:
- There was excusable neglect in your failure to respond; and
- You have a real defense to the violation.
What constitutes excusable neglect?
Here are some examples of excusable neglect that will be approved by the DOF, with proper documentation. The following items are set forth on the application for a hearing after judgment. They are:
- The notice was not sent to me at the address where this vehicle is registered.
- I requested a hearing and did not receive a response (submit a copy of hearing request materials).
- I had a serious medical condition when the summons was issued (submit a copy of health records).
- My vehicle was sold/transferred prior to summons issuance (submit proof of transfer).
- I reported my vehicle stolen at the time of summons issuance (submit a copy of police report).
- The summonses were issued to plate(s) that were stolen from my car (submit a copy of police report).
- I serve in the military and am covered by the Soldiers and Sailors Act. Submit proof of active military service when the judgment was entered.
- I was incarcerated.
- I was detained out of the country.
These are representative samples of the kind of excusable neglect the DOF will accept. If you submit other “excusable neglect,” the decision to accept your excuse will rest in the discretion of the hearing officer assigned to your case.
What are some examples of a real defense?
The best example is an omitted, misdescribed or illegible required element. Other examples are proof of a defense, i.e., I stopped temporarily to drop off or pick up a passenger.
Am I entitled to a refund of my towing charges, if my NYC parking ticket is dismissed?
Annie from New Jersey recently shared her NYC nightmare with us. Our heroine was issued an NYC parking ticket for parking in a no-standing zone; and to pour a little salt on her $115 parking ticket wound, Annie’s car was towed. Annie’s luck turned to parking ticket gold when she carefully inspected the front of her ticket and noticed a misdescribed required element; which entitles her to a dismissal upon application.
You are absolutely, positively entitled to a refund of your towing charges upon application, after your NYC parking ticket is dismissed. Here is a link to the Parking Violations Refund Form.
Preventive medicine is the best cure
You have 30 days to fight, apply for a reduction, or pay your NYC parking ticket without spilling any further blood. Don’t delay. Once you file a request for a hearing, the DOF is no longer permitted to impose any penalties (or additional penalties). Do your homework, speak to an expert, and make your decision sooner than later. Don’t let your parking ticket fall into default judgment.
Do you have any stories to tell about your efforts to vacate a default judgment? We’d love to hear them. Drop us a note.