How do I get around these bullshit parking tickets?
April 4, 2006 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I need to renew my car tabs, but my ex-girlfriend stacked up $800+ in parking tickets on my car, unbeknownst to me. There's no WAY she's going to pay for them (she's got her own problems that lead to no money, and I really don't wanna talk to her anyhow). What to do?

It's a total of 11 tickets, all from last year, averaging about $75. They've already gone to collections, and I can't get my car tabs renewed until I present a "paid" receipt to the licensing office. Has anyone had any experience getting around these kinds of situations? I don't mind paying some of it (clemency?), but I just don't have that kind of cash, and I NEED my car.

Oh, and this is in Seattle, WA.
posted by mattoly to Law & Government (15 answers total)
Unless you want to talk to her, I think you're shit out of luck - the tickets aren't "bullshit" if she parked your car illegally.
posted by agregoli at 12:53 PM on April 4, 2006

You might be able to arrange some sort of wage-garnishing to pay the fines over a short period of time. You'll have to check with the collections people. In any case, I'd get something arranged, fast. If it's gone to collections, they can easily come for your car next. Or you.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:55 PM on April 4, 2006

If you don't want to talk to her, then it sounds like you need to borrow some money and pay for them yourself.

Or you could talk to her. Maybe bring her to small claims court if she refuses to pay for her tickets? Would he have enough evidence to prove that she is at fault?
posted by parallax7d at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2006

The tickets aren't written against a person, they're written against your car. The cops don't know who parked a certain car, they only care that it's parked illegally.

There's no way you're going to be able to convince the parking ticket people that you're not liable for the tickets, unless you're able to get your ex to fess up in front of some parking ticket appeals person.
posted by bshort at 1:00 PM on April 4, 2006

I believe you are legally liable, since you are the car's owner. However, I'm sure your situation is a pretty common occurance.

I suggest contacting the Seattle Municipal Court. You can request a hearing online, but it's probably a good idea to call the number listed on the web site and talk to someone.

Good luck.
posted by luneray at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2006

For all practical purposes, it doesn't serve the state to throw you in the slammer over a few parking tickets. Talk to your local court and see what sort of payment plans they can arrage.

$800, while certainly not pocket change, isn't a lifetime of penury. You'll get it paid off in no time.
posted by unixrat at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2006

You're out of luck sir. I paid approximately $2500 in parking tickets during two years in college (when I didn't have a parking place) due to inane street cleaning and short notice postings for filming/marathons/other ridiculous events in downtown LA. Pay them as soon as you can...they only keep piling on the fees.
posted by rooftop secrets at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2006

I think you're SOL. The tickets are against the car not the driver. As registered owner it's your responsibility regardless of who was driving.

If you had acted earlier you might have been able to go to the court and set up a payment schedule (and avoid the added fees of the collection agency) but at this point I think you're going to have to just suck it up and pay the whole thing. You can of course talk with the collections agency and pay them in bite sized pieces (since they are more interested in getting some money than none) but if the DMV wants to see the debt paid completely then you're going to have to pay it all off before registering.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:57 PM on April 4, 2006

he did say "ex"

Some places will let you do community service instead of paying cash. Cash might be cheaper, though.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:00 PM on April 4, 2006

Pay it and take her to small claims court. A judge will at least consider the merits of your story, but the DMV cares only that you're the registered owner of the car.
posted by scody at 2:27 PM on April 4, 2006

What scody said. You may be able to get a payment plan (check with the authority that issued the tickets) but in the end you will have to pay and try to get the money back from her. If you end up borrowing the money, be sure to add the financing fees in your suit against her.
posted by ilsa at 3:20 PM on April 4, 2006

You used to be able to transfer the title at independent agents outside your county - like in Spokane - and that shit wouldn't follow you. So you could sell the car to a friend - register it in his name - and then drive on a clean title. But I suspect, due to upgraded computer systems, they have thier act together on that little scam.
posted by tkchrist at 3:32 PM on April 4, 2006

This isn't intended as a snark, but with complete sincerity: often in life, we trust people that we should not, and we get bitten. $800 may seem like a lot of money now, but believe me, some people spend far more for college and learn nothing nearly as useful. Chalk it up as a life lesson, and get 'em paid.
posted by davejay at 4:04 PM on April 4, 2006

I don't know if this still works but it worked three years ago for me.

You need a friend in another state nearby like CA. Go there and use HIS address to reregister your car at HIS address. Now you've got a car with NEW California plates.

Now drive that around for like, six months. THEN, switch BACK to your old address and get NEW plates. They'll see it as a California car and never compare the VINs in the database.

Then just pay the tickets off one at a time for the next ten years on your own time.
posted by rileyray3000 at 5:12 PM on April 4, 2006

ooo, sneaky riley. sneaky.
posted by shanevsevil at 7:02 PM on April 4, 2006

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