Friday, July 24, 2009

Hearings for parking tickets in Philly

Drafted july'09, post activated a little later...
Yesterday I had a hearing for a parking ticket (Philadelphia). Figured I'd write about it since I tried to do a little research on the web before attending and couldn't find anything.
So, I got to the Parking authority half hour in advance but signed in anyway. They told me to sit and somebody would call my name. They said it would be 1 hour wait, give or take. Room was crowded, I left and came back 15 minutes later. I had printed photos, etc (they said to bring "evidence") but once they called me (aprox. 30 minutes after sign in) I was in for a surprise: a woman showed me a paper with my ticket nr and amount owed and asked if that was the ticket I was disputing. I said yes. She asked if the vehicle was in my posession (had been towed! -uggg. Got it back the same day after paying the towing), I said yes and just like that she said "The city of Philadelphia would like to cancel this ticket as a courtesy". No showing photos, no explaining....seems the money collected for the towing was enough. I asked about a refund for the towing amount since I didn't agree with the fine, she said impossible (!!!)
Hearings are usually scheduled approx 3 months after the fine. My ticket was a relatively small amount ($45), and it was defective (they said I was parked in the wrong street). They had no reason to issue it either because the signs were not where they should have been. In fact they towed like 20 cars at once...
It would have been easier to me to pay that fine than having these adventures, and if I had been guilty I certainly would have. But quite a few of the people in charge of traffic fines in Philly are of the highly predatory, abusive and cheeky kind (NY too), and that should be fought, if it's a nuisance. Abuse is never something one should remain passive about.

And just for the record, traffic officers in general have all my admiration (once my car stopped dead in the middle of the Walt Whitman bridge, electric everything not working -battery-, couldn't even turn on the lights or use the car horn to signal (yep, really really scary). I managed to place the emergency triangles with cars speeding by and making gestures to me and blowing their horns -like it was my idea to stop there!-, and officers showed up really soon, pushed my car with theirs all the way to a safe location, and made sure I got it under control. But there sure are some rotten apples in the basket.
Just info...
Tags: disputing parking tickets Philly

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