Can I win this, and how?
January 6, 2012 9:07 AM Subscribe
Defending a parking ticket appeal in court -- is my evidence sufficient, and should I mail it in or attend court in person?
posted by six-or-six-thirty to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hi, all. I didn't see anything like this specific question asked before so I hope it's okay (I've never AskMefi'd before).
I received a parking ticket on 12/6 on a residential street. I supposedly received this ticket because I was parked in an area outside my apartment where 'No parking this date: 12/6 from 7 am to 3 pm'.
However. These signs were not in place on 12/5 when I parked on the street at about 6 pm. I am very positive of this. Additionally, I loan my car to an ex-boyfriend so that he can drive to his night-shift job. He left at about 2 am on 12/6 and saw no signs, and returned to the same spot at about 7:30 am, seeing no signs. To be fair, he is not the most observant but I believe him--the car was parked right next to a post where the signs were later posted.
When I came down to the car at 10:30 am to go to school the signs were up and I had a ticket. The entire two city blocks of street, aside for maybe 3 spaces, still had cars parked. They all had tickets. A neighbor came out at the same time I was looking at my ticket and moved his (ticketed) car from the street to his driveway, where I'm sure he would have parked if the signs had been up the previous day. When I asked him he said I should just send in a letter because it happens all the time.
The ticket included hardly any information. I was ticketed for "Date posted 12/6/11 no parking 7 am-3pm Blotter (?) PS 246 (?). The handwriting is hard to read. There was no fine listed. On the back it let me know that I could schedule a hearing to contest the ticket and where to mail it.
The actions I have taken thus far are as follows:
- Called and spoke to a very unhelpful woman whose response to my story and my inquiry about how this all works was just to tell me to mail in the ticket to the address listed. She was also not interested in telling me how much the fine for the initial ticket was, and I should have pressed the issue but did not. She also did not want to provide any advice re: the actual court proceedings.
- Scanned the ticket for my records.
- Sent the ticket to the provided address along with a written explanation of why I was contesting it including all information above. Also included my return address, because while common sense nothing on the ticket suggested I should.
I now have a court date coming up mid/late January. The announcement likewise included almost no helpful information aside from the date/time/room I need to go to.
I do not know how much money the ticket was, and additionally if I lose the appeal I do not know how much I will be charged for that. I didn't think to ask about it, which was admittedly dumb.
The only 'evidence' I have for my case is my testimony, my ex's testimony, and I am considering bothering the man across the street who came out to his car for his testimony.
I have received one parking ticket within the city before and paid it promptly.
So my question(s) are as follows:
- Is my testimony and my ex's testimony sufficient to fight this ticket and win? Should I bother my neighbor for his testimony?
- What format would be best to have these testimonies? I can record them on my iPod (video or audio) but I was planning on just having written testimonies (handwritten or typed? obviously with signatures). I don't know if I could easily show video in the courtroom.
- Should I go to the proceedings? I have the option of mailing in the relevant materials at latest 5 days prior to the court date. This is an incredibly busy time for me and I will have to pay at least $5 to park downtown. If I don't need to go I really don't want to.
- What should I expect in court? As in, what should I wear, what should I be prepared to answer, is there anything beyond the testimonies I should bring, etc.? I really have absolutely no idea, but I don't have a lot of nice clothes and can scrounge up something 'business casual' at best.
Please note: I understand and acknowledge that none of you are my lawyer. I'm only asking for general information or information from personal experience. I have never been involved in something like this before and so have absolutely no clue how these things typically go.
Thanks in advance for your replies.