Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
What to do after getting a phantom parking ticket in NYC?
Parking ticket story. Joe walked to his mailbox in rural Pennsylvania, reached inside, and pulled out many 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. “
Meanwhile, 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.
That is to say, the NYC Department of Finance sent Joe a letter advising that he ignored a ticket (he never received it) 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 NY.
In short, 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 ticket tale is true and recently happened to a customer of ours (the name has been changed to protect the innocent and Joe’s privacy).
Joe reacted emotionally and immediately looked up the telephone number for the Evil Empire. Subsequently, he called and spoke to a very nice lady, who told Joe to write a letter explaining the mistake simply and will dismiss the ticket. 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 a NYC parking ticket.
- Before blindly following the bad advice from 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 hearing, he was forced to appeal the adverse decision. It is much more difficult to win an appeal. The standard of proof is different (you must 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? I love to hear your insights on this real-life case.
(Larry’s comment: We won the appeal! Ticket dismissed)