Another NYC parking sign ambush
Joe drove to the Dollar Store on Saturday to buy some party items for his daughter’s birthday celebration. After circling the block for a few minutes, he came across an empty parking space in front of the store. He checked the parking sign, which appeared to allow parking on Saturday. Since Joe knew the life expectancy of an empty parking space, so he immediately parked his chariot.
Joe read the parking sign that regulated his parking space again. He read the sign as follows:
No Standing, trucks unloading only, on Monday-Friday 7A-10A and 4P-6P. In other words, Joe considered the white Truck Loading Only sign as a rider to the red No Standing sign.
Did Joe read this NYC parking sign correctly? Sadly, according to one parking ticket warrior, Joe was wrong. The warrior read the parking sign as restricted the curb space to Trucks Loading only, all days/all hours. Yikes!
Here’s a copy of the parking ticket that the warrior issued to Joe.
Joe fought the good fight
The original judge found Joe guilty. Here’s the judge’s decision and order:
The respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4-08(k)(2) by standing or parking a vehicle where a posted sign reads No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading. Respondent claims that the summons incorrectly describes the sign posted at the cited location. Pursuant to Traffic Rule 4-08(a)(1)(i), “one authorized regulatory sign anywhere on a block, which is the area of sidewalk between one intersection and the next, shall be sufficient notice of the restriction(s) in effect on that block.” Respondent’s claim is not supported by persuasive evidence. Submitted photos do not identify the address on the summons. NYC DOT record shows sign as cited on summons at the location.
Joe asked Larry B (that’s me) for my opinion about the meaning of the NYC parking sign
I read the parking sign and totally agreed with Joe’s interpretation. So, I offered to appeal the unjust decision (no charge).
Click to enlarge
Here are some suggestions to improve Joe’s original defense statement:
- Always certify your defense statement. Remember, the parking ticket warrior certified his testimony (consisting of the data entered on the parking ticket). Here’s how: ” I hereby certify:____________________________Then at the end of your statement state: “I certify that my testimony (statement) was the truth to the best of my knowledge. I fully understand that if my testimony was willfully false, I am subject to punishment”
- Always certify your photographs and images. For example, “I certify that the photograph of my license plate was taken shortly after this parking ticket was issued and represents exactly how my plate appeared on the date/time this parking ticket was issued”
- Joe submitted some excellent photographs of a parking sign on a block but did not connect the photographs to the place of occurrence. The place of occurrence was Front of 92-20 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. There are several acceptable ways to connect the photographs to the place of occurrence. For example, take overlapping photographs of the entire block starting with the street sign and extending the entire block showing the addresses of the buildings behind the sign. Or, use Google Maps and the DOT parking regulations map
- Our burden on appeal is to persuade a 3-judge appeal panel that the original judge made a mistake of law or fact based on the evidence considered at the hearing
- We were lucky that the original judge stated in his opinion that he looked at the DOT parking regulations map to view the parking signs that regulated the place of occurrence
- This opened the door for me to submit screen grabs of the parking sign that the judge looked at on the DOT parking regulations map
- This allowed me to connect the photographs Joe submitted with the place of occurrence
- Plus, it allowed me to argue that the white truck loading sign and the red no standing sign should be read as the red no standing sign limiting the hours the truck loading only, rule was in effect. Why else have the no standing sign display the hours in effect if the correct interpretation was that the truck loading rule was in effect all days and all times?
How would you interpret this NYC parking sign? Do you agree with Joe and me? or do you agree with the original judge[Larry’s note: Joe’s appeal is pending. I’ll tell you of the outcome in about 30 days].