Improperly written parking ticket: is it valid?
June 16, 2014 6:57 AM   Subscribe

We got a parking ticket in the city of Ottawa (we live here), but the officer made an error in writing the ticket.

There are two dates on the ticket (1) the date of infraction (12/06/2014...June 12, 2014). The other is the Due Date, after which the fine increases by 50%. For the due date the officer wrote 27/06/2012, that is, June 27, 2012. (Our time machine is in for repair, so we cannot pay it by the incorrect due date.)

Is this ticket still valid because of the incorrect due date?

(We have reason and some grounds to contest the ticket on other grounds, but would not be worth a court appearance.)
posted by mbarryf to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Without dwelling on the fact that this is an obvious scrivener's error, and the date the payment would be due--i.e., 15 days after the infraction--is pretty easy to guess, I expect that whenever some clerk adds it to the DMV database of violations, they will put in the 2014 date, either as an intentional correction, or unconsciously, or the system may just add 15 days to the infraction date automatically to save on data entry.

Then when the ticket goes past due, you can have the pleasure of explaining to a traffic court judge how the 2012 typo invalidated your ticket, and s/he will chuckle, and you will be out some money.

Just pay the ticket (or contest it on your other grounds).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:09 AM on June 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Technically speaking, this would be grounds for invalidation in most areas I've lived, but you have no guarantee that it will be automatically invalidated (unlike with, say, an incorrect license plate), so you would have to contest it to be sure.
posted by Behemoth at 7:11 AM on June 16, 2014

You can look up your ticket on the City of Ottawa parking infraction website and it should give the date that the officer entered/the late payment increase starts there.
posted by urbanlenny at 7:34 AM on June 16, 2014

You don't have to go straight to court -- you can initiate a review. "At this meeting you will have the opportunity to discuss the parking ticket. No appointment is necessary." Bizarro signage and a handicapped permit had me thinking I was in the clear to park; I went to city hall with this explanation, got "I can totally understand how this happened," and, no more ticket; it took ten or fifteen minutes.
posted by kmennie at 9:50 AM on June 16, 2014

THANK YOU, kmennie! I just came from the First Attendance Facilities (Provincial offences court offices), and they cancelled the ticket due to the improper date.
posted by mbarryf at 8:08 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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