Last Updated on December 19, 2019 by Lawrence Berezin
NYC sidewalk parking ticket, fight or pay?
An NYC sidewalk parking ticket was the last thing Myrna expected after she hurriedly parked her car on a side street with her blinkers on and dashed into a nearby store to use the bathroom facilities. She sprinted back to her car faster than a speeding bullet to find an orange outrage sticking out from under her wiper.
“I don’t deserve this evil parking ticket,” Myrna said. “It shouldn’t cost $115 for a bathroom emergency.”
Myrna took a few photos of her car and called it a night.
Does Myrna have a winning defense?
The first step is to check the front of the NYC sidewalk parking ticket for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements related to her car
Sadly, the Plate number, Registration Expiration Date, Plate Type, Make, and Body Type were all described correctly.
The second step is to check out the Place of Occurrence.
- Did the Place of Occurrence exist?
- Was there a sidewalk?
- Was the address entered correctly?
Here’s what the Place of Occurrence looked like
These are Google Map Street View images of the place of occurrence, 131-29 Sanford Avenue in Queens. Myrna parked on the side street, Fuller Place, on the evening the sidewalk ticket was issued
Myrna took these three photos shortly after returning to her car and finding the sidewalk parking ticket. Myrna parked on Fuller Place, the side street that intersected with Sanford Avenue in Queens.
Was the Place of Occurrence entered correctly?
As far as the first two questions, “Did the Place of Occurrence Exist” and “Was there a sidewalk,” the answer is a not helpful, yes. But, the answer to the third question, “Was the address entered correctly?” was a resounding, maybe yes and maybe no.
Myrna did not park on Sanford Avenue, she parked on the Fuller Place side of the building. Was the address of her parking space on Fuller Place compatible with Front of 131-29 Sanford Avenue?
[Please note: the address for the entire building on Sanford Avenue and Fuller Place is, 131-29 Sanford Avenue. There was no separate address for the Fuller Place side of the building]
However, I would argue that the proper description of the place of occurrence should have been entered by “Metes and Bounds,” i.e., “North Side of Fuller Place, 10 feet West of Sanford Avenue.” This way there would be no question that Myrna parked on Fuller Place and not Sanford Avenue.
A Place of Occurrence must unambiguously describe a unique location. “Front of 131-29 Sanford Avenue in Queens” described a location that may be on Sanford Avenue or Fuller Place and not unique.
Do Myrna’s photos prove her defense?
- Photos must identify the car that received the NYC sidewalk parking ticket by showing the plate number.
- Photos must identify the Place of Occurrence by showing the traffic sign and street number
Sadly, Myrna’s photos did not meet or exceed this criterion. The photos failed to display the plate number or the street address.
Do Myrna’s photos prove she did not park on the sidewalk?
No. The photos would have to clearly show that the right front wheel and the right rear wheel were not on the sidewalk. They failed to do so.
I was really sad to tell Myrna that I couldn’t beat this evil NYC sidewalk parking ticket. I figured out a workaround to prove that the photos showed a car parked in the crosswalk of the Fuller Place side of the building. But, I couldn’t figure out how to prove that it was the same car that was issued the parking ticket.
If I could have connected the car in the photo with the car that was issued the sidewalk parking ticket, I would have taken Myrna’s case and argued that the Place of Occurrence was misdescribed.
What would you have done?