Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fighting City Hall

This happened last week and I'm just getting around to blogging about it . . . .
Sometime in August , I got a parking ticket and a second one issued 3 minutes after the first. Now, I admit that the meter had run out but I can't imagine what my car did without me to garner a second ticket so soon after the first. Did it roll itslef into a Handicap spot ? Did it swear at a traffic officer (it is MY car after all) The first was a hand-written ticket and the second was computer generated. WTF ?
I knew I was going to need to fight this one. When I lived in Somerville, I once parked on the wrong side of the street during a snow storm. I got two tickets within 20 minutes of each other. I admit I was in the wrong, but I couldn't imagine what could go even more illegal in just 2o minutes. So ,this time, when I got the overdue payment or fight notice, I knew I was going to fight City Hall.
I got up early , dressed in a nice black suit with a pink shirt. I had all my paperwork with me and I was ready to defend myself. My court time was 11:11 am. I got there early , in case I needed to find the room. I had trouble finding a parking place because all the legal spaces were taken up with temporary "No Parking" signs or city vehicles. I ended up parking about 4 blocks away. I got a meter and I had enough change.
I went to the address on my hearing notice, found the window and then was directed down the hall to knock on a door in a darkened hallway. It was really just at the end of the transaction windows but it seemed like it was a lot further away. I handed the casually dressed woman my paperwork and she asked why I was there and I explained my situation. She looked me up on the computer and said "You really pay your parking tickets". She decide that the second ticket was a mistake and she also waved the late fee for the first ticket. I thanked her and told her that most of my interactions with City Hall have been very pleasant and thanked her for her time.
When I went to the window to pay my ticket, the guy looked me up and said I had a credit from a ticket I paid twice in 2004 and after this ticket , I still had a $10.00 credit. It was a surprising day dealing with a beaurocracy.
You can fight City Hall. I did.


Blogger bigtiny said...

Gee...you're lucky....last time I 'fought city hall' I ended up in a cabin in northern Maine with the dirt floor dug out (so I could get below the walls for cover) with 2 tins of SPAM, a gallon jug of tepid water, a knife, a flare, and an M16 with 200 rounds of ammo. Oh...and 400 ATF agents outside....


Wednesday, October 17, 2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

So it's almost like getting a freebie, but what minor violation could you have that would only be be ten dollars? The cheapest ticket we have in LA is the $25 "no front plate."

Thursday, October 18, 2007 1:41:00 AM  

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