Last Updated on June 18, 2022 by Lawrence Berezin
A mistake to avoid with your parking ticket appeal
Winning a parking ticket appeal is very challenging. That is to say, the appeals panel only reverses about 21% of appeals. Therefore, if you miss one winning defense, you may lose your chance of beating the ticket.
So, where are you most likely to find a winning defense?
The original judge’s written opinion is a great place to look for that winning defense. I won most of my appeals because the judge wrote a defective opinion. That’s right, the judge’s mistakes will set you free.
For example, you may find that the judge’s opinion:
- It was a net opinion, devoid of facts and rationale.
- Ignored one of the defenses you raised in your supporting documents.
- Contained a mistake in law or fact.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
The parking ticket appeal burden of proof
You must persuade an appeals panel that the original judge made a mistake of law or fact based on the evidence submitted. Meanwhile, a petitioner cannot offer new evidence on appeal.
Petitioner’s parking ticket appeal argument
A defective decision
The Respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4- 08 (c ) ( 1) by standing or parking a vehicle other than a taxi in a taxi stand when such a stand has been officially designated and appropriately posted. A taxi is defined in Traffic Rule 4-01 as a motor vehicle
used for the carriage of passengers for compensation equipped with a taxi meter, painted yellow or green, and displaying a current medallion or other license issued by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Respondent testifies the signs are conflicting. This is not a persuasive defense as city resources show there is no conflict in the signs as the taxi stand is in effect at all times the no standing
regulations are on in effect and in either case, the Respondent’s vehicle is not authorized to park in a no-standing zone or a taxi stand zone.
Petitioner’s argument on appeal
Parking ticket appeal.
The original judge made mistakes of law and fact when reaching his guilty verdict. Therefore, the appeals panel should reverse his verdict.
I raised the following defenses at my original hearing:
“Dear Honorable Judge,
I hereby certify as follows:
I am not guilty of this parking violation:
The TEA misdescribed the parking rule
I did not violate a taxi stand rule, 4-08(c)(1).
There were two conflicting parking signs installed at the place of occurrence when I parked on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 7:17 am.
One rule was a taxi stand rule that was in effect all days. However, the DOT no longer officially designated this location as a taxi stand.
The other rule was a no-standing rule that was in effect all days 7 am-10 am except Sunday.
A driver can obey the less restrictive sign when there are two parking signs affecting the same area with conflicting restrictions.
In my case, the less restrictive sign and the only operational sign was the no standing sign.
2. A taxi stand no longer regulated the place of occurrence
“Taxi Stand. No person shall stand or park a vehicle other than a taxi in a taxi stand when any such stand has been officially designated and appropriately posted except that the operator of a vehicle may only temporarily stand therein for the purpose of expeditiously receiving and discharging passengers provided such standing does not interfere with any taxi about to enter or leave such stand.”
It is not sufficient for a taxi stand to be “appropriately posted.” The taxi stand must be “officially designated.” However, this location was no longer officially designated a taxi stand.
Firstly, the area underwent significant changes. It used to be an active shopping area. However, the space is now an enormous construction site.
Most importantly, The DOT no longer designated the place of occurrence as a taxi stand. (See a complete list of taxi and relief stands published on the DOT website and set forth in Exhibits 13 and 14).
I have submitted a series of exhibits in support of my defense.
Due to these circumstances, please dismiss this parking ticket.
-I certify that my testimony is the truth to the best of my knowledge. Likewise, I fully understand that if my testimony is willfully false, I am subject to punishment
-I certify that the images in my exhibits are true and accurate reproductions of the originals as they existed on the date/time this parking ticket was issued.
The original judge found me guilty because:
“The Respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4- 08 (c ) ( 1) by standing or parking a vehicle other than a taxi in a taxi stand when such stand has been officially designated and appropriately posted. A taxi is defined in Traffic Rule 4-01 as a motor vehicle used for the carriage of passengers for compensation equipped with a taxi meter, painted yellow or green and displaying a current. Medallion or other license issued by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Respondent testifies the signs are conflicting. This is not a persuasive defense as city resources show there is no conflict in the signs as the taxi stand is in effect in all times, the no standing regulations are on in effect and in either case, the Respondent’s vehicle is not authorized to park in a no standing zone or a taxi stand zone.
Parking Ticket Appeal Exhibits_ 3-14
I omitted exhibits 7-10.
Firstly, the judge agreed there were two rules that regulated the place of occurrence. They were; a taxi stand rule (in effect on all days/all times) and a no-standing rule (in effect all days 7 am-10 am, except Sunday). Yet, somehow he held that the two rules were not in conflict with each other.
The judge stated:
“This is not a persuasive defense as city resources show there is no conflict in the signs as the taxi stand is in effect in all times the no standing regulations are on in effect….”
This finding was a mistake of law (that the two rules weren’t conflicting) and fact (that both rules were in effect on all days and all times). Likewise, these mistakes clashed with the Department of Finance statement on the subject.
“When there are two signs posted affecting the same area, but with conflicting restrictions, follow the less restrictive sign.” (See Exhibit 3).
Secondly, the judge failed to consider my second defense: that the place of occurrence was no longer “officially designated” a taxi stand. (See a complete list of taxi and relief stands published on the DOT website and set forth in Exhibits 13 and 14). This should have been the judge’s threshold inquiry because a taxi stand ticket could not be issued if the location was no longer an “officially designated” taxi stand. However, the judge skipped this defense, and arbitrarily found me guilty.
These mistakes evidence the judge’s prejudice against the petitioner by his failure to engage in a thoughtful, fair-minded weighing of all the credible evidence. Further, the judge shouldn’t be allowed to cherry pick which defenses to consider, and which portions of a rule to follow (i.e. the judge only referred to the fact there was a taxi stand sign at the location, which was only one of the two criterion for an operational taxi stand).
I presented substantial, certified evidence that cannot be characterized as patently incredible in support of my defenses. (See, Young v City of New York Dept. of Fin. Parking Violations Adjudications 2007 NY Slip Op 51460(U) [16 Misc 3d 1117(A)] Decided on June 13, 2007 Supreme Court, New York County Goodman).
Please right this wrong and dismiss the parking ticket.
Appeal Panel Decision
Reversed the decision of the original judge and dismissed the parking ticket.
We won this case on appeal because the judge wrote a defective opinion. He made a mistake of law and fact by stating the the two parking signs that regulated the place of occurrence did not conflict. And, he doubled down by not even addressing our defense that the taxi stand was no longer officially designated a taxi stand.
Invariably, every time analyze the judge’s written decision. That’s your best chance of winning the parking ticket appeal.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
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