Oregon legal definition of good cause
November 23, 2009 8:08 PM   Subscribe

I received a parking ticket, ended up paying late, and now I am looking to file an affidavit for relief. What qualifies as "good cause" in Oregon?

I received a parking ticket and sent out my payment electronically through my bank's bill pay. Either due to a browser session problem, the switch over from WAMU to Chase, or simply stupid user error, the payment never got issued to the County. I received a second notice and an increased fine, which I paid promptly after explaining what happened. The traffic person on the phone kindly informed me I could file an affidavit with the court asking for relief and they could refund the money. She sent the affidavit and I'm filling it out now. The affidavit says that relief will be granted for "good cause". My question is, what qualifies as "good cause"? How do I explain browser sessions, dropped packets, bank mergers, and/or stupid user error as "good cause" so I can get my $90 back?
posted by herda05 to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Is there some kind of confirmation mail from Chase/WAMU or record of the attempted/failed billpay on their online interface?
posted by floam at 8:13 PM on November 23, 2009

I suspect a browser session issue. There's no record of the transaction in the website's ledger output, so the bank never received any confirmation after I pressed the confirmation button. I never went back on in the interim to verify the payment was sent (about two months ago). I don't remember seeing any errors. I was in the midst of working, so it's possible stupid user error played a role with me not noticing an error and moving onto to whatever else I was doing. So no, no electronic record exists.
posted by herda05 at 8:22 PM on November 23, 2009

Oh man, NEVER use your bank's bill pay. I ran afoul of this system with MY RENT one month. Fortunately the property management company was familiar with this issue, they said it happens all the time. I later was on the receiving end of a bill pay error.

Here's what the banks don't tell you: they all contract out with a 3rd party to handle the bill pay. This 3rd party has (as far as I can tell) zero accountability. And they suck. SUCK.

Print out the record of the money having been debited from your account. Submit it to the court with the simple explanation of "banking error."
posted by ErikaB at 9:05 PM on November 23, 2009

Oh I just noticed your reply, sorry! Um. Well.

Unfortunately I'm afraid "I wasn't paying attention, like, at all, for about two months" may not be considered "Good cause." But hey, you never know, right?
posted by ErikaB at 9:09 PM on November 23, 2009

You're the one filing the affidavit. You should basically boil it down to a few sentences of why the bill didn't get paid. If it were me, I would write something like "I made a good faith attempt to pay my bill but the payment didn't go through and I don't know why. When I realized the mistake, I paid promptly." Your mileage may vary. IANYL ... parking tickets are beyond my pay grade :-)
posted by Happydaz at 9:30 PM on November 23, 2009

There was recently an article in the Willamette Week about getting out of a Portland parking ticket. Some of the excuses looked pretty thin to me but it did inspire me to try to write a letter with my last parking ticket to try to get it reduced. I haven't heard back yet so I can't say for sure. It seems like if you just explain the situation, you have a chance of getting it reduced. Do note that you paid the second notice promptly.
posted by amanda at 9:38 PM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Keep working on this with your bank too. They will generally take responsibility for late payments, but you're obviously hurt by the fact that you and they have no record of the payment request. At the same time, the Chase/Wamu transition has caused such massive confusion that if you keep insisting that you did legitimately make a payment, they might eventually pay you back the late fee in the interest of making you happy. You can presumably demonstrate that you added the city/county parking ticket address as a payee on a date substantially before the due date, which is good evidence that you also attempted to make a payment at the same time. If you get through to the right agent, or perhaps launch an EECB, you may well have a decent chance of having this covered.
posted by zachlipton at 10:48 PM on November 23, 2009

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