Here is more on the fight against predatory ticket practices in NYC. Kudos to Vacca, Dinowitz and all our elected officials making laws to promote fairness in NYC parking policies. Please do read some of the ridiculous instances sited by Dinowitz below, proving that many of the parking tickets issues were nothing more than a hidden tax on hard working New Yorkers.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) contacted the New York City Police Department and the Department of Finance today to demand a halt to predatory ticketing practices by traffic agents and unfair convictions by administrative law judges. Citing bogus parking tickets that constituents had brought to his office, he lambasted particularly egregious practices that are unfortunately all too common. He is also sponsoring legislation to ensure that wrongfully issued tickets are dismissed.
One of the problems with the new electronic muni-meters is that motorists have to walk down the block to feed the muni-meter, opening a window when traffic agents can prey on motorists before they can purchase and display their muni-meter receipts. One such motorist is Margot Stern, who was issued a parking ticket on Riverdale Avenue at 2:17pm before she could return to her car with her muni-meter receipt, which was time-stamped at 2:16pm. Ms. Stern pled not guilty via mail, and shockingly, an administrative law judge found her guilty. Only after Ms. Stern appealed the decision, with the aid of Assemblyman Dinowitz’s office, was her unjust violation dismissed.
“How can you park without getting a ticket if the traffic agents don’t give you a chance to pay the meter? The traffic agent told me I should mail my receipt in, but the judge found me guilty anyway. The ordeal took months to resolve,” said Ms. Stern.
Another victim is Ellen Feld, who was ticketed because she mistakenly placed her muni-meter receipt face-down on her dashboard. She pled not guilty and submitted a copy of the receipt to prove that she had in fact paid the meter, but the judge found her guilty anyway. Again, only after appealing the unfair decision was the ticket finally dismissed.
“I understand why I was ticketed, but when I provided clear evidence proving my innocence, I couldn’t believe that the judge found me guilty anyway. On appeal the decision was finally reversed, but I thought the process was a huge waste of time, money, and effort,” said Ms. Feld.
Assemblyman Dinowitz is sponsoring legislation that mandates that violations be dismissed if the motorist can produce a muni-meter receipt time-stamped before or at the same time that a violation was issued. This will ensure that innocent motorists will not have to go through the annoying appeals process for justice to be served.
“It’s bad enough that too many traffic agents function as predators by issuing many tickets that are unjustified. It’s even more outrageous that there are some Parking Violations Bureau hearing officers who ratify this outrageous behavior by finding innocent motorists guilty of violations when they in fact complied with the law,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “A person should not receive a ticket for failing to feed a muni-meter when they in fact have. Traffic agents need to be a little more aware of what’s going on around them. Administrative law judges who find such people guilty are in serious need of continuing legal education.