Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Is it even possible to fight a parking ticket? Previous Next
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Diehard
Member
Username: Diehard

Post Number: 338
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 8:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On June 27, I got a $30 parking ticket in front of my house. It's legal to park there, but the street cleaner came through that day, and usually they put up signs the night before, but they didn't this time.
I took pictures of the entire block to show there were no signs, and sent them with a request for a court date. It says on the ticket I had 30 days to do that, and it was July 25, so I should've been OK.
Nope. I got a "default judgment" for $50 with no mention of a court date. I sent another copy of the first letter, by certified mail this time, and again requested a court date. I got a form letter saying "we cannot dismiss this ticket" and upping it to $80.
I sent another certified letter citing the city parking code, pointing out that a ticket is only a citation, not a definitive finding of guilt, and I'm legally entitled to a hearing, due process blah blah blah and making my third request for a court date. By then it was September. I got the same form letter again.
Now it's gone to a collection agency, and I know they won't want to hear my story. I have perfect credit and don't want to see it wrecked over a bogus ticket.
So, should I keep up the fight? Has anyone else ever dealt with this? I suspect my only hope is to call Sam, but it's only $80, not a million. I suspect the city parking nazis and 36th District Court know this and routinely ignore people, knowing they'll cave.
Thoughts?
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Spiritofdetroit
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Username: Spiritofdetroit

Post Number: 854
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 8:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am not sure about Detroit, as I have not received any parking tickets there, however I have attempted to fight a couple in Ann Arbor and East Lansing where it was clear a ticket was not warranted - I had a parking receipt with time, date, etc that matched that of the ticket - to no avail.

Now, mine were $10 fines and I did not pursue it as you did. I simply sent in the receipt with a letter and was informed that I would still have to pay - no extra charge though. I didnt think it was worth it to take it any further
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Crumbled_pavement
Member
Username: Crumbled_pavement

Post Number: 211
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why didn't you just go to 36th District in person?
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Benjo
Member
Username: Benjo

Post Number: 39
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I fought, and beat a parking ticket in Detroit. My previous attempt to schedule a hearing wasn't successful, resulting in a situation similar to yours. I just ended up paying that ticket. When I received this ticket, I sent a request for a hearing via certified mail and I got my hearing date about five months later. Hearings are held at the parking nazi HQ on Lafayette. Everyone is scheduled for 1:00, so get there early. I think the overly aggressive enforcement is a real barrier to progress.
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Diehard
Member
Username: Diehard

Post Number: 339
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In retrospect, that might have been a better idea. But the address on the back of the original ticket said to send money or your request for a hearing to the Parking Violations Bureau, so that's where I sent the letter. Which was ignored. Which is what got this whole ball rolling. Or maybe not, I have no idea if they ever give court dates.
Plus, what are the chances of walking into the courthouse and getting a different response? It's not like you'd get to walk right in and talk to a judge.
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Rel
Member
Username: Rel

Post Number: 241
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ouch. Pay the ticket, but before you do, make the collections agency agree to take it off your clean credit report!

You have already received the default judgement. It's too late to fix now. It'll be MUCH cheaper & easier just to pay it and keep your credit intact. Yes, go in person next time, promptly. Good luck!
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Diehard
Member
Username: Diehard

Post Number: 340
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 9:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Benjo - How were the two tickets different? Was it that you sent the request the second time by certified mail, so they couldn't ignore you?
I'll gladly go to the parking nazi HQ at the crack of dawn, if they'd only give me a date.

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