Thursday, January 12, 2006

My first foray into our legal system

There is a small parking spot on 1st Ave that is not restricted with a one hour limit, and this is often where I park my car for a few hours if I'm running between Coe, my office and Brewed Awakenings. This past November, I returned to my car to find it ticketed.

Now, I understand that the intent was to regulate the entire street - they probably didn't mean to leave a 10 foot space free from time limitations. However, I was parked fully in front of the sign, which points away from my car and technically doesn't cover the spot where I was parked. If they want to cover that spot, they need to either move the sign forward or make it point both ways.

So I called the parking office and said I wanted to contest the ticket. Apparantly, before you can go to court, you have to file an appeal by mail. I printed off this picture and several others showing clearly that I was parked in front of the sign as well as a verbal discription of the situation. A couple days ago, I received a response - the ticket was upheld. I'm not sure their reasoning, they didn't say.

So today I'm going to the parking office to set a court date. They make it really difficult to actually go to court, understandably - they don't want everyone contesting their tickets - but its still annoying. I have to physicially go down to the office and request a hearing, I can't do it over the phone. And they try to scare you off by telling you all the fees you might have to pay. If you lose, you have to pay court costs on top of the ticket. Plus you are responsible to pay for the police officer's time to appear. The lady at the parking office thought I might have to pay for this even if I won. Which I highly doubt, but this would be outrageous if it were true . Why should I have to pay for the cop to show up at court? Would they compensate me for my time if they lose?

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how things go. I'm really looking forward to arguing my point, having all sorts of posters and diagrams and of course a really long pointer...


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