The parking ticket case
The parking ticket case involved our heroine, Claire Meadow, who was issued a ticket for parking 5 feet from an NYC fire hydrant. She decided to contest the parking ticket, checked the not guilty box on the back, and mailed the ticket to the PVB. Ms. Meadow expected to receive notification of a hearing date.
Instead, she received a guilty verdict from the Evil Empire.
Ms. Meadow did not know she officially requested a hearing by checking the not guilty box on the back of the NYC parking ticket and was required to submit her evidence when she returned the ticket.
Since she failed to submit any proof, the Evil Empire found her guilty.
Our heroine has the heart of a lion. She filed an appeal in the PVB, which she lost. Then, Ms. Meadow filed an application for an Article 78 hearing in the NY Supreme Court. She lost her Article 78 hearing.
Fortunately for all of us, Ms. Meadow appealed the adverse Supreme Court decision to the NY Appellate Division.
Her theory of the case
Ms. Meadow argued before the Appellate Division the notice on the back of the parking ticket does not clearly inform her that by mailing the ticket back with a not-guilty plea, she thereby consents to adjudication solely on the basis of the summons and any documents submitted by mail, without the “hearing” provided for in Administrative Code § 19-206 and 19 RCNY 39-08.
The Appellate Division agreed with Ms. Meadow and reversed the prior bad decisions.
The great part of all of this is a decision by the Appellate Division is BINDING on the PVB. In other words, the PVB must enforce this decision, instead of ignoring it because an appellate court decision is a binding authority on all lower courts and agencies.
When you’re right-FIGHT. We tip our hat to Ms. Meadows for putting her principles first. This is yet another example of the inflexible manner in which parking rules and regulations are enforced by the PVB judges, who are pressured to find you guilty.
It was obvious the instructions on the back of the parking ticket were not clear. So, why not give Ms. Meadow an opportunity to be heard? The consequence is the appellate division gave the PVB a spanking, and now the PVB is stuck with a decision they must follow.
Have you made the same mistake made by our heroine? What action did you take to make things right? Please share your experiences. They help all of us.