Last Updated on February 24, 2018 by Lawrence Berezin
You may not win the first round of your parking ticket dispute
When you’re right, fight! And, if you lose the first round of your parking ticket dispute, appeal. Most parking ticket judges do the right thing. They will dismiss an unjust parking ticket if you figure out a winning defense and present the proof properly.
However, there are some rogue judges in Parking Ticket Land who make up phony excuses to find you guilty. Arrgh!
Here’s a story of one rogue judge who didn’t do the right thing. We are appealing his bad decision.
How to appeal an unjust parking ticket decision
Our 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 at the original hearing. We are not permitted to offer new evidence on appeal.
The first step is to make sure you submit the proper proof to prove your defense(s) to the original judge. Here’s the evidence I submitted to prove that Sue did not stand her chariot in a no standing zone.
-We lost the original dispute
-Read the judge’s decision very carefully
-Focus on mistakes
-Did the judge consider all our evidence?
The rogue judge ignored most of our exhibits. He considered the Google images and rejected them because they weren’t certified by Google as an accurate portrayal of the location when the parking ticket was issued. This reasoning was ridiculous. My 5-year-old granddaughter knows that Google images are not current. We didn’t offer the Google exhibits to prove how the location looked today. Instead, we offered live photographs and the NYC DOT Parking Regulations Map images to prove which parking rules regulated the location (place of occurrence), and the absence of a no standing rule.
The rogue judge did not debunk each of our defenses.
The rogue judge assigned more weight to the warrior’s testimony even though his testimony conflicted with the official NYC records.
-Did the judge explain why our proof was not persuasive?
Weak attempt. The judge’s reasoning was debunkable because he based his decision solely on the Google images for the wrong reason. If a judge fails to base his opinion on credible facts and a proper understanding of the law, simply says guilty, and parrots the dubious “not persuasive” line without offering a reasonable rationale, he’s stated a net opinion. Net opinions can be reversed! Judge’s decisions should include the whys and wherefores.
-Did the judge justify why he assigned more weight to the warrior’s observations?
Weak attempt. The judge ignored most of our defenses, failed to read and comment on most of our exhibits, and relied solely on the warrior’s personal observations that conflicted with the official records. The rogue judge did not explain why his honor ignored the official, up-to-date, parking records for the place of occurrence. Bad judge!
Appeal (Here’s a link to the application to appeal)
Here’s my argument on appeal…
The original judge made mistakes of law and fact when reaching his guilty verdict. The verdict should be reversed.
I raised the following defenses at my original hearing:
“Dear Honorable Judge,
I hereby certify as follows:
I plead not guilty to this parking violation because:
-The TEA misdescribed the place of occurrence
-I did not park my car on any side of the property known as 3119 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx (the place of occurrence)
-A no standing rule did not regulate any of the 4-sides of the property known as 3119 Godwin Terrace in the Bronx (the place of occurrence)
-A no standing anytime rule did not regulate the place of occurrence.
I have submitted a series of exhibits in support of my defense.
Due to this circumstances, please dismiss this parking ticket.
-I hereby certify that my testimony is the truth to the best of my knowledge. I fully understand that if my testimony is willfully false, I am subject to punishment
-I certify that the image of the parking ticket contained in the exhibits is a true and accurate reproduction of the original parking ticket
-I certify that the images and photographs contained in my exhibits were true and accurate reproductions of the originals as they existed on the date and time this no standing ticket was issued
The original judge found me guilty because:
“The respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4-08(c) by standing or parking a vehicle where standing a vehicle is Respondent submitted a statement that, in effect, the vehicle was not at the location and there is no restriction in place as indicated on the summons. Respondent submitted google map information in support of the statement.
Respondent’s testimony and evidence are not persuasive to give a valid defense to the violation.
The google maps and google photos are not certified by Google that this is the accurate portrayal of the location at the time and date the summons was issued based upon the observations of the agent. Summons sustained.
The original judge exhibited a bias in favor of the respondent by his failure to engage in a thoughtful, fair-minded weighing of all the credible, certified evidence.
I presented certified testimony that I did not park in front of the place of occurrence, nor was the place of occurrence regulated by a no standing rule.
I offered a series of twelve certified exhibits consisting of:
-Photographs I took shortly after the ticket was issued showing that there wasn’t a no standing rule regulating the place of occurrence
-Images grabbed from the DOT Parking Regulation Map showing the place of occurrence wasn’t regulated by a no standing rule
-An image grabbed from the DOF Tax Map showing the location and configuration of the property at the place of occurrence (only two sides of the building abutted the roadway)
-Images grabbed from Google Maps showing the location and the configuration of the property at the place of occurrence (only two sides of the building abutted the roadway)
Yet, the judge ignored all of my exhibits except the Google Map images, assigned little, if any, weight to my certified testimony while comparing only the Google Map images to the TEA’s observations and found me guilty.
Further, the judge did not explain why he disregarded the bulk of my certified exhibits, many of which were official NYC records. He simply ignored these exhibits that showed the absence of a no standing rule regulating the place of occurrence.
I presented substantial, certified evidence that cannot be characterized as patently incredible in support of my defenses, including my testimony, my Maryland registration, and photographs of my rear plate taken shortly after this ticket was issued. (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.
Here are some valuable tips to follow when you prepare your original parking ticket dispute and appeal
- Make sure you figure out a winning defense instead of venting about a corrupt system. You won’t win with vitriol. For example, a winning defense to a no standing violation is that you stopped temporarily to expeditiously drop off your Aunt Tilly to the curb and left immediately. If you testify that your Aunt Tilly is 100 years old and you left the car unattended to walk your Aunt to her apartment, you’ll lose. Or, if you claim without proof that you are sure you parked more than 15 feet from a fire hydrant, you’ll lose
[Don’t forget a witness statement can be very helpful when possible, especially if your defense is that you dropped off a friend to the curb]
- If you argue that you didn’t park at the place of occurrence entered on the parking ticket because the warrior got it wrong, you’ll lose. It is almost impossible to persuade a judge that the warrior got it wrong without independent proof. For example, I prefer to see if the rule you were charged with violating did, in fact, regulate the place of occurrence. instead of trying to win a “he said-she said” argument with a judge. If the rule was wrong, use the NYC DOT Parking Regulations Map to prove that the rule was misdescribed
- On appeal, don’t simply regurgitate your losing argument. You gotta persuade the appeals panel that the original judge made a mistake. For example, in this case, the judge relied on the Google images for the wrong reason to find us guilty. Except his rogue honor ignored most of the exhibits we submitted to prove that there weren’t any no standing signs anywhere near the place of occurrence. The original judge’s failure to consider all the evidence and base his decision on real facts shows his bias against you. You are entitled to a fair-minded, objective consideration of your certified testimony and exhibits
Here’s what the Evil Empire tells us about the appeal process
Please, double please, don’t give up…Appeal.
Good luck with your appeal. I truly believe that the ‘no new evidence’ rule has to be changed. If the first judge finds you guilty because one of your photos was not clear, or you should have included another piece of evidence, you should be allowed to correct your mistake. After all, isn’t the goal in a true justice system to make the correct ruling? If a person did not do anything illegal but did not present the right materials, he should be allowed to at the appeal.
And regarding their routine ‘not persuasive’ statement-what a bunch of crap. If you recall my horrible experience when I was parked within my rights at a No Parking zone with a NYC handicap parking permit, the judge said the photo I took of my car was deemed ‘not persuasive’ because it was taken too long after the ticket was written. The truth is, as I approached my car I noticed the ticket and immediately pulled out my camera and took the shot. The time stamp was one hour and 45 minutes after the ticket was written. There is no way I could have taken the picture any sooner-I was at work, and had no way of knowing that I had gotten a ticket. And there was no arguing with this, since it was the appeal judge that said it. (The original grounds for losing my ticket in the first round was that the address on the building was not readable, although it actually was if you used a magnifying glass).
Until the system is revamped and made fair to both sides, I have to faith in it.
On the other hand, happy to see you are still working your magic for people.
Lawrence Berezin says
What a well-reasoned, informative comment. I really enjoyed reading and thinking about it.
-I agree 100% with you about the no new evidence rule. It is simply the Evil Empire’s way of making it much more difficult to win a reversal on appeal.
-The ‘not persuasive’ ruling without more is a bunch of crap. Instead of being encouraged to write reasonable decisions, the Evil Empire is pushing for too many written decisions in too little time.
-I do remember your unjust ruling about too much time in between ticket and photograph. These types of rulings make me nuts (or more nuts than I am already!).
Always great to hear from you, Lee.
Be well and park safely.
marc o says
Hi Larry, very impressive knowledge. I have question.
lost online case and wish to appeal.
1. charged with mismatch of registration (ny) and plate (md).
2. we moved to md in 2016, registered car in md, and back plate says registration till 2018. but wife never removed the NY registration and inspection. the registration expired in 2016, prior to ticket in late june, 2017.
3. ticket says registration in ny expired, notes the md plate, but does not note the md registration. we came in to go to old dentist.
4. do we lose? registration is non-entity, since it expired, and we have valid matching plate and registration.
5. officer said to take off and mail pictures. we did it. not sufficient.
6. how can NY have valid claim against us when we are properly registered in MD, both plate and registration sticker. Does not seem fair.
thank you sir.
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry to hear about the unfortunate decision.
It appears you violated 4-98(j):
(5) Registration plates, stickers, and tags must match. No person shall stand or park a vehicle bearing registration plates, stickers, and tags that do not match as to the information
I’m afraid the language is pretty clear and doesn’t talk about expiration or validity. So, the rule prohibits expired stickers as well. This one will be tough to win on appeal. Your burden of proof is to persuade an appeals panel that the original judge made a mistake of law or fact based on the evidence you submitted. We are not permitted to offer new evidence on appeal.
If I was ticketed on Feast of the Assumption Aug 15, Tues, doesn’t that mean I’m exempt from a double parking fine?
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry for the delay in replying, but I just returned from a visit with my children and granddaughter in Seattle.
The majority view is that double parking for a passenger vehicle is illegal at all times, including all holidays.
There is a minority view (me included) that you can double park temporarily to expeditiously drop off or pick up a passenger, and skedaddle immediately.
Your knowledge is very impressive. I just got a $65 ticket for “improperly displaying” my registration sticker. The sticker was displayed in the rear guy spot but I unfortunately did not afix it to the windshield because I didn’t have a chance to get he right tool to take down my ole registration sticker.
Is there anything I can do ? … seems so silly.
Lawrence Berezin says
I’m sorry to report that I am no longer answering questions on the blog.
Just a little too much for this old guy to keep up with.
PS…Thanks for your kind comment
Hi Larry, Thank you for the very informative post. I have question – I appealed a Hearing decision and appeared before an Appeals board where I explained why the parking ticket wasn’t valid. I received a decision from the Appeals board that finds me guilty. Is there a way to appeal this?
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry for the unhappy outcome.
The next step in your journey is to file an Article 78 Application in the NY Supreme Court. This is an expensive step (filing fees alone are $350) and it’s a real case in Adult court.
Unless you are incensed at the outcome and have a lot of money and free time (or hire a lawyer for $2500-$5000), you may want to close the door on this bad experience with the knowledge you fought the good fight.
Hi My name is hala
I’m a physician at Manhattan
Today I got a page from the hospital and I was returning the page so I was driving and I just try to pull over on the side I was inside the car and an officer came and scan my vehicle I tried to tell him I’m a physician answering a pag but he didn’t hear me and said this is No standing area I’m sorry I have to give you a ticket
I went directly to the business finance office at Bronx and the judge keep asking me questions about the no standing sign I told him I didn’t see it and I was answering my pager he didn’t listen to me and get the street sight on goggle and say there is a no standing sign and you said no but I told him I said I didn’t see a sign he didn’t give me time to explain and give me his decision that I’m guilty
Now Do you think I should file appeal
Thanks waiting for reply
Lawrence Berezin says
Sorry to learn about your parking ticket pain.
Here’s the scoop about the Doctor Parking Rule:
You certainly had a valid reason for pulling over to the curb and stopping your car to answer the page. But, sadly, in parking ticket land, it’s not a winning defense.
Did the police officer enter your name on the parking ticket? He or she was supposed to enter your name in order to properly serve the parking ticket.
Your burden of proof on appeal is to persuade the appeals panel that the judge made a mistake of law or fact based on the evidence you offered at the original hearing. You are not permitted to offer new evidence.
The tricky part is that at an in-person hearing, there should be a transcript of the hearing. However, it’s almost impossible to obtain for your appeal.
I would appeal, tell your story, described the Warrior or Cop and paraphrase your conversation with the Warrior or Cop. And, argue the ticket should have been dismissed for lack of proper service because your name wasn’t entered on the ticket, despite the fact you were seated behind the wheel during the entire ticketing process.
Good luck, Doc!
Deb Higgins says
I arrived in Brooklyn, NY and parked my car on a Monday at 3:30pm under a sign that said No Parking Monday Thursday 11:30-1:00. It happened to be in front of a school. When I went to my car on Wednesday, 2 days later, a red sign was attached to the top of that No Parking sign which said No Standing School Days 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. I got a $115 parking ticket. Apparently school had started on that Tuesday and being out of state I had no idea that school was beginning that week nor did I know of any No Standing parking rules. I appealed it but the judge denied it stating that the No standing sign was put in place 5 days prior to my ticket. This is simply not true. What do I do now?
Lawrence Berezin says
Oh man, sorry about the pain of a parking sign ambush.
You have a right to appeal the decision to the appeals panel. Your burden of proof is to persuade the appeal judges that the original judge made a mistake of law or fact based on the evidence you submitted. We are not permitted to offer new evidence on appeal.
This blog post may help.
Good luck, Deb.
Melisa Ganci says
I was issued in a parking ticket stating that I was parked 4 feet away from the fire hydrant.
I was parked about 20 feet away from a fire hydrant I submitted photos and disputed the ticket.
The judge stated “ Respondent stated they were about 14 feet away from the hydrant and submitted photos. Respondent has not provided a valid defense that they were not parked within 15 feet of the fire hydrant. Respondent fails to establish no part of the vehicle was parked within the prohibited zone. Moreover, Respondent’s estimation places them within the prohibited zone. Summons sustained.”
I had 1 photo that I did show my license plate number, and where my car was parked.
Is showing the license plate number of the vehicle and the vehicle and where it’s located enough evidence to actually pursue forward on fighting this ticket?
On the photo, it saves the date and time of when I took this picture.
Would I be able to appeal this and if so, am I going to be charge more on my ticket if I loose the appeal because I’m appealing?
Thank you so much for your time!
Lawrence Berezin says
You did a terrific job preparing your defense, but it may have come up a tiny bit short.
Your defense was that you parked your car “about 20 feet away from the fire hydrant.” But, I’m afraid that characterizing your parking space “about 20 feet” invites the judge to find you guilty.
In other words, you must show the judge a tape measure extended from the fire hydrant to your car or to the spot 15 feet from the fire hydrant (and your car parked further away) to beat the ticket. Your estimate of the distance or a time-dated photo of your car does not meet your burden of proof to beat a fire hydrant ticket.
You came soooo close, but I’m afraid it didn’t prove that your car was more than 15 feet from the fire hydrant.
Again, in order to successfully beat the ticket, you need the following:
-Tape measure extended from the fire hydrant to the car (showing plate number) or to 15 feet away, showing your car parked further away
-Photo showing the measurement with end distance
-Certified defense statement
You have 30 days from the date the judge signed the decision to file your appeal. If you appeal within that time frame, there will be no additional charges.