Here’s why you should always take a picture of your car after you get a parking ticket

I don’t know what to do about Clare Goyette’s case with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. I’m about to move her case into the “unsolved” file, but thought I would ask you before I did. Maybe I’ve overlooked something.

Goyette rented a car from Dollar on a recent visit to Philadelphia and parked the car along the 1900 block of Sansom Street.

“A city parking official assisted me with the parking kiosk and walked to my car with me and remarked that the receipt is to be displayed on the curb side of the car,” she says.

When she returned to the car, she discovered a citation — probably written by the same helpful attendant who had followed her to the car, but we don’t know that for sure. It fined her $301 for parking between two handicapped spots.

“I’m a fairly smart traveler and clearly know the difference between handicapped spaces and non-handicapped spaces,” she says. Also, the citation had the location of her parked car wrong. She was actually parked a block away from where the alleged violation occurred.

The appeal

The Philadelphia Parking Authority allows motorists to appeal a citation in writing, and since Goyette doesn’t live in Philly, she decided to go that route. She attached documentation and street maps to bolster her claim and even included a notarized letter and, to make sure they received the appeal, asked for a return receipt.

A week later, Goyette called the office and was told that the person who had signed for the letter “didn’t exist,” but that it hardly mattered — her appeal had been denied. The Parking Authority then sent a bill to Dollar, which in turn charged her American Express card $326 — $301 for the citation and a $25 “service” fee.

“The amount is now disputed through American Express,” she says. “I am due the right of appeal.”

No easy way out

Maybe she is, but I don’t see an easy way out of this one. If she wins her appeal, Dollar will be stuck with the parking violation, which goes to the owner of the car, not the driver. For $326, it might not hand the bill over to a collection agency, but she’ll be blacklisted from renting from Dollar.

It seems the only way to appeal this is in person, which isn’t an option. Looks as if the Philadelphia Parking Authority — a city agency with a reputation for aggressively collecting fines — is $326 richer.

The lesson to the rest of us: Always take a picture of your car when you get a ticket. That way, you can prove your innocence when you appeal your case in writing. If Goyette had photos, she might have won this.

My success rate in contacting cities who have issued incorrect parking tickets is zero. But I was hoping that one of you, dear readers, would have a suggestion for me. How can I help Goyette fix this? Better yet, how can she fix this ticket herself?

Should I mediate Clare Goyette's case?

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Update (4/9): Looks like the Philly parking gods have answered Goyette’s prayers. Shortly after this story appeared, I was contacted by representatives from the Parking Authority. And today, I received a note from her that the case had been dismissed.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • David Powell

    if the parking authority can issue a ticket in this circumstance, surely they are liable to prove this with a photograph also? or else the fine can be waived

  • technomage1

    Reminds me of this.

    Lady in Tel Aviv was painted into a handicapped parking space then towed. She appealed, the city said, no, then she managed to find video from a store across the street that showed the whole thing. The fine was dropped after that.

  • y_p_w

    In this day an age of electronic ticket writing, why wouldn’t it be a requirement for ticket writers to document the location/time with a photograph and timestamp? I’ve seen the equipment used these days, and it’s about as complex as a notebook computer. It would be a simple matter to add a camera to these machines and to require that photographic evidence be used.

    However, I do remember seeing parking enforcement at work a week ago with San Francisco’s new Sunday meters. Now this vehicle did have a disabled placard, which would normally allow it to be parked indefinitely without paying as long as it wasn’t during a no-stopping or tow-away period. However, this car was poorly parked – too far away from the curb, a few inches into a red zone, and with the wheels curbed in the wrong direction. I would think a meter main documenting all those with photos would be a slam dunk case for a ticket.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Crooked parking lot attendants working for crooked elected con men in a crooked city!?


  • Josh S

    In Chicago, the “Department of Revenue” folks (no kidding, that’s the department that the ‘meter maids’ & ‘meter men’ work for…which says something about the motivation of the rules), have cameras with their electronic ticket-writers. After a day or two, you can see the photos online by referencing your ticket number. Typically, they’ll take a photo of the violation (wide angle of illegal parking job, expired meter, etc) and a second photo of the license plate.

    Still, I’ve had about 50% of the tickets I’ve gotten thrown out. But that’s typically only with photographic evidence of my own, and a very close adherence to the rules for appealing a ticket. The “But that’s not fair” defense doesn’t work–you really have to stick with one of the few reasons for which appeals are approved.

  • EdB

    I don’t see where pictures would really help. They would just say you moved your car and then took the picture. If you have ever watched Paking Wars, this wouldn’t be much of a surprise. I’d never drive/park in Philly.

  • Josh S

    In my experience, government rarely needs to *prove* guilt for a parking ticket. The ‘proof’ is the affidavit of the person issuing the ticket, who is essentially attesting to the facts as presented on the citation. If you challenge/appeal that ticket without evidence of your own, it’s basically a “he-said, she-said” scenario. And in that case, the government’s agent, with all the training and experience s/he has, along with a signed citation attesting to the facts as reported, carries much more weight than your mere protestations.

    It’s not really fair, and wouldn’t hold up in a court where a standard of guilt of “beyond a reasonable doubt” was in play. But parking tickets (similar to civil seizures/forfeiture rules) don’t rise to that standard, since they’re not charging you with a crime (ie misdemeanor or felony) but an infraction.

    The onus is really on you to offer evidence that the citation was either filed with erroneous or false information, or that other circumstances (typically very strictly interpreted) allow you to be off the hook.

    It’s crap, I know, but you can’t fight city hall.

  • parking expert

    Generally government parking enforcement do not take photographs
    ticketing/impouding because it is too hard to establish a foundation in a
    hearing(ie who, when, where photos are taken). In a meter violation,
    photograph only needs to establish expiration of time.

    In case
    of “he said she said”, it comes down to credibility. The parking
    enforcement agent does not have a personal stake in the matter whereas
    the citizen does. From my experience, drivers generally are mistaken
    about their location of where they parked, especially visitors to a new
    city versus parking enforcement agents station in that city (more likely
    than not). Most major city can give you information on where the
    parking receipt was issued.

  • john4868

    Chris.. Maybe its just me but I’m lost. What are you supposed to mediate? If it’s the actual parking ticket, there’s this process called the “legal system” that the OP needs to use and for that, she needs a lawyer if she needs help. There doesn’t seem to be a spot for a travel ombudsman there. If you are supposed to mediate the charge from Dollar, I don’t see any grounds for mediation there. There is no dispute that a parking ticket was issued. As the owner of the car, Dollar is going to pay the ticket so they don’t get added fees or get the vehicle towed. The rightful payer of the ticket is the OP. I’m not sure why the OP would think it’s right to “stick” Dollar with her fine.In short, I don’t see a place for you in this one or anything for you to mediate.

  • Meghan Guilford

    I guess she never watched A&E’s Parking Wars. I don’t think I’ll ever park in Philly or Detroit after that show!

    I voted NO because this isn’t what you do. If you fight for one parking ticket, you’ll soon be getting a lot of emails for invalid parking tickets.

  • EdB

    I’m guessing that the OP feels the ticket is invalid because they were not illegally parked and since the city didn’t take the appeal seriously, even with documentation supporting their claims, that Dollar should deal with the city about it since they can’t come back in person to fight it.

    My feeling is that the person issuing the ticket knew it was a rental car and the renter wouldn’t be able to fight the ticket so they gave it knowing that the car was legally parked. This is just my opinion based on the city’s parking enforcement reputation. I feel for the OP but not sure if forcing Dollar to pay it is right. I would be interested to know how often rental cars are ticketed with alleged improperly issued tickets. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more than with other large cities.

  • BillCCC

    I voted no. Without any evidence on her side and having already been denied once I do not think that this is a case worth your time. I usually take a photo when I am unsure as to the parking regulations in the area. Sometimes there are multiple signs that are contradictory.

  • Alan Gore

    It’s commendable of you to take the case, but a picture wouldn’t have done any good. When they need the revenue, they issue tickets until the amount needed is raised. That appeal person they already admitted doesn’t exist would have been no more apt to honor a picture than the story.

  • Christopher Elliott

    I think she wants me to step in, contact the parking authority on her behalf, and persuade it to drop the ticket. I’m not sure if I would be successful. I’ve tried mediating these kinds of cases before and they’re exceedingly difficult.

  • john4868

    In that case….. I’m not even sure you can take the case since this is a legal matter and you aren’t a lawyer. If I was the PPA, I’d tell you that she can appear in court (which she already said isn’t worth her time) which is her avenue for fighting the ticket. Looks like I’m voting No today.

    Thanks Chris

  • EdB

    Hmmm…. The part about the person who signed was not someone there got me thinking. Could she file a claim of mail fraud because of it? :-) I doubt it would do any good or even go anywhere but if it did, would be interesting to see what those people did when the feds came around. Hehe.

  • Traveling Salesman

    I voted for you to mediate BECAUSE . . .

    It’s been the law of the land for the history of our United States that you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
    The Parking laws in most cities are built around the opposite and it’s time someone stands up against that unjust principle.

  • EvilEmpryss

    I was just thinking the same thing. I think if I were the OP, I would have gone and gotten the attendant ans asked about it immediately, if that had been an option (during normal business hours and I wasn’t rushed to get somewhere else). Then again, for $300 I think I would have risked being late to my next location to argue the ticket.

    Not sure that anything can be done for the OP, though. Once she left the scene she lost all chance of proving she was where she claimed she was when she parked.

  • Traveling Salesman

    The “AMOUNT NEEDED” will NEVER be raised, because our government has an insatiable desire for more and more from us. We are all equal, except for the ruling class. They are MORE EQUAL than we are.

  • mszabo

    Wouldn’t those pictures just end up in the same missing envelope as the other evidence? It would likely help her case with Dollar, but Dollar would still be out the 300 bucks.

  • sirwired

    I don’t see why she filed the credit card dispute against Dollar. Her beef is with the PPA, not the rental car agency; they passed on the ticket (and $25 isn’t entirely out of line for a service fee, although I’m sure they aren’t losing money on it), which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

    Does she think a credit card dispute against Dollar will magically cause the PPA to fall into line?

  • Joe_D_Messina

    That was the exact story that came into my mind, as well. One of those stories too crazy to be believed!

  • Joe_D_Messina

    Theoretically, maybe. But, wow… On the one hand she’s got the crooked parking authority claiming nonexistent people are signing for letters and on the other hand she’s got the Post Office who periodically catches delivery people dumping mail so they don’t have to deliver it. King Solomon wouldn’t be able to decide that case!

  • cjr001

    You know it’s getting downright ridiculous when we have to take photos of EVERYTHING any more just for the hope that it might help out.

  • Tricia

    Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love! As a non-resident who works in the city, I can attest to the fact that while I think you SHOULD try to mediate for her, you probably won’t get far. And pictures won’t help.

    I was parked in a spot about a year ago that people park in EVERY DAY. It was the first spot on a street, near a perpendicular street. I was issued a citation for $76 for parking in a crosswalk. I took about 10 pictures showing that I was not anywhere near the crosswalk, in fact standing on the cross street looking towards the street I was parked on, you couldn’t even see my car!

    I disputed the ticket with the PPA, and requested a hearing. After sitting in their deplorable waiting room for over two hours, I was flat out denied by they PPA employee, rudely stating that if the ticketing agent thought I was in the crosswalk, then I was in the crosswalk. So $76 and a half day off work for nothing, I was stuck with the ticket. Philadelphia is notorious for practices like this…I could give you at least 20 other stories of my own or those of my friends who’ve had similar issues.

    Needless to say, Philadelphia Parking Authority will NEVER be on your Excellence in Customer Service wall.

  • fozziedoggie

    I would confirm the license plate number on the ticket. Many times, people that have received tickets will search for a similar model car and place the ticket on that windshield in the hope that the unsuspecting person will just pay the citation. In this case, compare the rental contract license plate number to the one on the citation….you never know.

  • pauletteb

    “… the parking enforcement agent does not have a personal stake . . .” You’re kidding, right? Parking agents most definitely have quotas to meet, and if that’s not a “personal stake,” I don’t know what is!

  • EdB

    I don’t think this was the situation here. The OP was billed by Dollar for the ticket which means they had to match the car identified by the ticket will a rental contract to do the billing. But it is good advice because if it isn’t your license number on the ticket, would be hard for them to ding you for it.

  • shannonfla

    I moved to Philly in August. I have gotten 3 parking tickets since then mostly because of the one-way streets, something I’m not used to from living in Florida. One was definitely my fault (overstayed a loading zone), one was semi my fault (I parked on the right side of a one-way street next to Reading Terminal and only looked at signs on the left side!) and the last was because I put my parking receipt on the driver side (oops!). The last one I got dismissed by mail.

    I will say that PPA is probably the closest I will ever get to experiencing what living in a nation with no rights feels like. They bark at you as soon as you enter the building and are extremely rude, except for one person.

  • Philip Brown

    I had a situation in NYC, where my car was stolen from PA & “chopped” somewhere – with the frame tossed on a NYC street. When I was identified as the owner, I received four (4) citations for not moving my vehicle – WHAT???
    First of all, the car was stolen & secondly, how do you move a car devoid of wheels, engine, etc. I filed an appeal & submitted paperwork from my insurance company (that had paid me for a total loss); still I was appeal was NOT granted.
    I smell a FAT RAT; these parking suthorities know you can’t take time off & the expense to appear in person – to fight some $400 of fines. I would bet upon closer inspection, these agencies “pad” their coffers with too many of these denied claims. THIS IS UNETHICAL & ILLEGAL, the atty. general of each state should get involved; this is a license to EXTORT & STEAL!!!

  • Ian Parrish

    Chris, I’m not sure that you’ll get anywhere mediating this. These bureaucracies that process tickets are designed to make appeals almost impossible. I don’t know about the Philly situation exactly, but in California, there’s up to a 3 step appeal process: a first written dispute, a hearing (either by mail or in person), and then an appeal for an actual trial. In my experience, the first step, results in an automatic denial in all but the most blatant cases, e.g. mistaken identity. Google tells me that Philadelphia also offers a hearing by mail option. I would suggest she follow up this way.

  • EdB

    If the insurance company had paid you for a total loss and kept salvage rights, then the insurance company is the owner, not you. I would have passed that back to the insurance company to deal with.

  • Michael__K

    Good samaritans can do something about parking enforcement shenanigans. If you witness someone getting a parking ticket that you believe is inappropriate, then take pictures if you can, but leave a note for the driver with your contact information and let them know that you are prepared to testify about what you saw.

    Most tickets in my area are completely legitimate, but I’ve left notes when I’ve witnessed what seemed like exceptions and it works. And I have yet to be asked to appear in person — the fact that someone has left a note for a complete stranger and emailed them pictures apparently makes an impression on the judge or hearing administrator.

  • Dane Carpenter

    Philly is the worst city to park. Philly makes all of its money on parking fines, much like airlines make tons of money on fees. There parking fines are inflated and unnecessarily high.

  • Phillydriver

    I live and drive in Philly but almost never park downtown. I learned years ago that time is simply wasted on appeals. They are rude, corrupt and inaccurate but their decisions are almost always in their favor. My daughter beat them once but I still,wouldn’t waste my time. I take the bus a lot.

  • kitkator

    I received a ticket for illegally parking in a handicap space. Luckily, it was at a hotel in the town where I lived. I was visiting some friends and did NOT park in a handicap spot but my license plate frame was from another Oregon town. I went to court and the standard here in Oregon is when a parking citation is issued – the officer takes a picture of your car in the illegal spot. That is their proof. There was no picture taken and the issueing officer didn’t show to defend the citation. I won ($400+) She should see if the officer took a picture. That may be the standard also in Phillie. She will have to go to court.

  • KaraJones

    I got a ticket in New York City for being parked less than 15 feet from a hydrant. I was about 25 feet from the hydrant. I took pictures from every angle you can imagine. I made sure that the pictures not only included my license plate but that they also included the building I was parked in front of and including the address of that building displayed on its awning. I made copies of all the pictures. I labeled each picture and explained exactly what was in each one.
    Then I went online to Google and printed a Google Maps photo of the exact location where I was with all the same elements in the picture, to prove that, according to Google, my pictures match up to where my own photos said I was. I sent all of this in for my “Hearing By Mail” and they still found me guilty. I disputed it and requested a hearing in person. I had to go downtown to file the paperwork for that hearing. Then I had to go downtown again for the actual hearing. They had no idea what “pictures” I was referring to…they weren’t in my file (magic?). But, of course, I brought copies of all the same clearly labeled pictures, and I handed them to and explained everything in detail to a panel of 3 people, and they still found me guilty. I had no history of any parking or moving violations. So it cost me $150 and a lot of wasted time and travel expenses.

    While I was there, I read a brochure they had stating that if you want to prove where you were via photo, you have to take overlapping pictures, that can be laid end to end, of the entire block. In other words, if the car was parked on 79th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave., you have to take a picture of the street sign at the corner of 79th and 2nd, with a reference point in the picture showing where it is, then you have to take overlapping pictures of the entire length of 79th Street, including wherever your car is, all the way to 3rd Ave, including the sign at the corner. Seriously!!

    So, although sometimes pictures do help, it’s very unlikely that they will help in these situations. These are corrupt money hungry cities. They know you’re not guilty but they don’t care. And the way it works in these situations is not even “Guilty till proven innocent”….it’s “Guilty and we don’t care if you’re innocent – you’re guilty.”

    Nevertheless, it might be worth a bit of time for Chris to mediate. I doubt that it will be successful but what it might do is let them know that this is being publicized and it may help, in a small way, to bring this corruption out in the open.

  • y_p_w

    Didn’t Chicago sign a 75-year contract with a private company to perform parking meter collections? I though Chicago got a large lump sum payment in exchange for the company being able to collect revenues for that 75-year period. It would seem to be nuts in a way, since a private company can heavily influence the parking ordinances to increase revenue.

  • Tom

    Not worth trying, just a waste of time. In Philly to beat this you need a lawyer , a least 3 personal appearances and days of your time. They designed the system to collect money.

  • Josh S

    Yes, Chicago signed a long-term lease of its parking meters in exchange for $1.3 billion or so (almost all of which was spent in the 2 years following the deal). Now LAZ Parking (the private operators) can ticket your car for a meter violation. So can the Department of Revenue people. So can a police officer.

    But only the Dept of Revenue & the cops can ticket you for non-meter-related parking violations, and any ticket you receive (no matter who issued it) can be appealed through the city.

    And LAZ Parking has no say in determining changes to the parking statutes (though depending on the issue, the city may have to pay a penalty to them).

  • DN

    Fighting a ticket is useless and really doesn’t make economic sense. I received a ticket in downtown Seattle on a meter that still had 5 minutes left on it. I had three Union construction worker witnesses who saw the parking enforcement officer write the ticket and could testify that I didn’t add more money to the meter. I tracked down the “meter maid” and she basically told me to “tell it to the judge”.

    To fight a $25 ticket, I would have had to subpoena the construction workers (probably have to pay for their time) and bring them in front of the administrative judge. Then it’d be a case of their words versus the enforcement officer and who knows what that decision would be. I think the City anticipates that few people would ever challenge tickets and that they make it too expensive to go through the process.

  • Chuck

    A couple of months ago you could have just used the ticket fixing mechanism that was in place here in Philly but that’s getting changed.

  • emanon256

    I know I am going to get flames, but I agree with you.

    I used to oversee parking operations for a university. We had trained employees who wrote tickets and were told 100% of the time to give the person parking the benefit of the doubt. We had a policy that unless the person was in a handicap space without a placard, that if the person returns before you put the ticket on the car, to void the ticket. We also had no quotas, and employes knew they would get in trouble if the wrote a ticket and the recipient proved it was written in error. I told all my employees that if they wrote no tickets on a shift, it means they were doing a good job, because no one was violating the rules.

    We still wrote quite a few tickets. Mosley expired meters, parking in a more expensive lot with a permit for the cheaper lot, parking in a permit lot with no permit, and improper parking. We had an appeal committee, and they were very fare. In fact, they gave everyone who had a permit, and parked in the correct lot but forgot to display their permit one freebee. Also, anytime someone parked in a paid permit lot without a permit the first time, their appeals were always approved and they were given instructions on where to park next time. The only time someone didn’t get a second chance was for over time in a meter, parking in a handicapped spot, improper parking, and parking in the expensive lot with a permit for the cheep lot.

    You would still not believe the angry people, and nasty appeal letters, and the people who still refused to pay after their appeal was denied and raised a huge stink. While we were lenient, fare, and gave them the benefit of the doubt, we also added late fees (Clearly disclosed on the ticket), placed fines with collection agencies, and reported to credit bureaus. I had one angry person call me (Three tickets for parking in a handicapped sot, never appealed and never paid) because he was denied a mortgage. He finally paid, and we released him.

    Our goal was to ensure the people paying for parking always had a place to park, not to make money. We did have to adjust fines and permit costs occasionally. Snow removal and asphalt maintenance is pretty pricy, far more expensive than the small staff.

    As far as appealing, we always took the side of our staff in a dispute. They are trained professionals and what they write on the ticket is what they saw. Their eyes are better than a picture, and legally we didn’t have to prove anything with a picture, so it wasn’t worth it to spend the money on additional equipment. I even wrote tickets on occasion, and would often see appeals where they flat out said I was lying on the ticket, yet I know exactly what I saw. I think parking brings out the worst in people.

    I am not saying the OP is lying or that Philly isn’t corrupt, just sharing my experiences. I woudl not be surprised if Philly is corrupt and they wrote it only because they knew she was an out of towner.

  • Miami510

    You want Philadelpia stories? I spent 40 years there.
    Someone took the license plate from my car. I reported the theft and was given a new license plate from Harrisburg. The thief proceded to park illegally and rack up 20 tickets… which came to me. I answered each one with a copy of the certified letter with which I notified the state MVD of the loss and a copy of my new plate.
    I went to traffic court all to no avail… and they increased the fine.
    I called the police and told them the location of most of the tickets… they were all on two blocks in the center of the city. I told them it probably was a stolen car. The officer told me they were too busy for such matters. I asked his name and he hung up.
    The tickets kept coming. Finally, the doorbell rang late one evening and I answered through the speaker system. It was a process server with a warrant.
    I finally spent two hours on the phone to the traffic court judge… getting through only because I lied and told them I was a doctor calling the judge about a family member. When I got him on the line I told him the story and that I was going to call the Bulletin and get a reporter to expose the crooked traffic court. He asked me if I was going to be in the office for another hour and he sent someone to pick up copies of all the tickets. That… and only that is what it takes in Philadelphia.

  • CFK

    I successfully appealed a Philadelphia ticket from out of town. The signage downtown is horrible and confusing. We parked near a restaurant with my elderly inlaws and parked in what we thought was a handicap space with the proper handicap tag. However it turned out to be time restricted. We did not notice that sign (among 4 others) despite 4 of us studying all the signs for several minutes. I sent a letter along with my explanation and much to my surprise they voided the ticket. My suggestion is always try and challenge. You may get a pleasant surprise.

  • Michelle

    The Philadelphia Parking authority is one of the worst in the country. Go get em, Chris

  • john4868

    I’m shocked that people wouldn’t accept responsibility for their mistake especially on a College Campus (eye roll). Just the administration trying to keep to students down and collect more money…. Of course the same people would have complained if they couldn’t find a parking space. I’m also sure that your had lots of the “but you let me off the last 5 times” :-)

    Again to comment toward the OP…

  • emanon256

    You are very right. Especially the law students, they would try to argue that we set precedence by not ticketing past violations, and that their for our tickets were not valid. Those arguments didn’t fly.

  • Cmmsfam

    I voted no because I live in Philly and unless you have a local reporter with a video camera investigating, it’s a lost cause. Don’t come to Philly and if you do park in a garage.

  • Cmmsfam

    Chris, the local reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer has done multiple stories on the PPA. Not sure if it will help but her name is Ronnie Polaneczky

  • LindaB

    A number of years ago I inadvertently parked in a handicapped space while driving a rental car in San Francisco. I took several photos from the driver’s seat showing that the handicapped sign was obscured by tree branches, mailed them with the ticket and letter explaining the situation, and never heard from them again. Frankly, I was surprised.

  • cjr001

    Yes, and the rates on those meters have gone up every year since the deal went in place:

    “Most parking meters in Chicago neighborhoods cost 25 cents an hour after the City Council approved the meter lease by a 40-5 vote in December 2008.

    Neighborhood meters went up to $1 an hour in January 2009 and have increased each year since, along with those downtown.”

    Maybe Chicago should’ve charged more in the first place, but then-Mayor Daley let the city get fleeced (and probably lined his pockets in the process).

  • technomage1

    If you’d have let them serve you and jail you, you’d have probably wound ul with a nice big out of court settlement or jury award….eventually.

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Call the Mayor! Give the story to the 6 o’clock news The city is doing this just because they can. What twits.

  • JenniferFinger

    I don’t see what you can do to help her. Even though she’s being treated terribly, the Philadelphia Parking Authority isn’t going to listen to a word she says or you say and is going to force payment out of someone. Maybe in this case you should represent Dollar! ;-)

  • technomage1

    It’s not just in the US either, check out this Australian news program.

    Incredible some of the stories.

  • Cybrsk8r

    Many years ago, I got a parking ticket from Philadelphia. It had my license plate number on the ticket, but the make, model, and color of the car were wrong. What happens is this. The owner returns to their car as the cop is writing the ticket. The driver gives the cop a few bucks to change one number/letter on the citation. The unlucky person who happens to have that plate gets the ticket.
    I went to the office of my state representative and swore out an affadavit that I was not in Philly on that day. I never heard from the city again.

  • StarKiller

    I think if I was anywhere near that location I would try to find the car and steal back the license plate.

  • StarKiller

    Just wait till you apply for a new mortgage

  • historygeek7

    I’ve successfully appealed a parking ticket once, and I had photo documentation. No way around it at this point. It’s her word against theirs, and nobody in government is going to believe her, I’m afraid.

  • SJRP

    This is a common scam in big cities that officials may not endorse but certainly make no effort to stop. Some years back I got a ticket for parking overtime at a meter in NYC whle my car was in ANOTHER COUNTY. When I submitted notarized affidavits from witnesses, the parking violations bureau found me guilty anyway but when I appealed and demanded an in-person hearing, suddenly the ticket was dismissed. A few weeks later a newspaper article appeared that a meter maid was wiritng down a bunch of license plate numbers and then hanging out someplace and just writing up a bunch of tickets.

  • William_Leeper

    $300?!?! Now I know why I live and work where I do! Parking violations here are $5.00 and you pay them at curbside boxes mounted to a meter somewhere in the block.

  • David

    After reading all the comments and how the city is obviously simply taking people, why dont people just refuse to go there? I avoid St Petersburg Florida at all costs because of tickets I’ve received there. And they have red light cameras now as revenue enhancers (oh pardon me, for safety) When cities do that the only thing you can do is hit um where it hurts, stop visiting there. After reading these notes I’m adding it to NY City, St Petersburg, and Chicago as cities I won’t travel to!

  • Anna

    I agree. It doesn’t even appear as though they read her appeal at all, so more evidence wouldn’t have mattered. Making sure that they actually look into the appeal is the first hoop.

  • BMG4ME

    She won’t be able to rent from Dollar any more. And the problem is…..?

  • James Penrose

    Problem is, you only have her word that she didn’t park where they said she did. I’ve watched Parking Wars also and people tend to like like a rug about these things even if the parking enforcer is standing right there the entire time.

    I don’t think you can win and this isn’t directly travel related. I’d suggest she spend a hundred or so and have a lawyer send her appeal on letterhead, that may work better as sometimes they just yank your chain until they see you are serious.

  • James Penrose

    That only applies for crimes and trials. Parking tickets are not criminal charges, they are infractions. Different set of rules. Just like getting cited by a building inspector.

    Make sure you understand how the game actually works, not how you *think* it works as that argument will get you exactly .000 inches if you try it.

  • James Penrose

    If the tickets were issued before the insurance co. paid off, they didn’t own it, he did.

  • Tom_Blackwell

    I have the solution – – I’m avoiding Philadelphia. There are places where I can vacation without running into such people.

  • DarrylJones

    ANYONE who works for the parking authority, I don’t care how “nice” or “family-oriented” or “polite” they are, deserves no respect and should be publicly shunned.

    They are willing participants in, and enablers of, the ongoing destruction of freedom and the creation of Police State America. I spit on all of them, and may they all rot in Hell.

    Statists love to argue that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Well, I say that that ignorance of the ramifications of one’s own cooperation with evil is no excuse either.