Hello Parking Geek,
I’d love to get your response to this new & improved excuse for a parking ticket!
Friday night, while parked in West Rogers Park (with a handicapped placard), I got
a $50 ticket for having a clear plastic cover on my license plate.
I confess that I’d heard that tinted covers were a no-no, but never heard that a
clear cover with a clear view of the license and registration sticker was illegal.
I did some research: Illinois General Assembly passed this new law against
tinted covers, and added “clear covers” on the last draft, and the law went into
effect on June 1, 2008 (date of ticket 6/6/08).
Anyway, on the ticket, the violation is listed as # 9-76-160d
I’ve gotten tickets before, appealed them and paid the ones that didn’t win on appeal, but I just thought this one wasn’t fair. I will be appealing it by mail.
Many thanks for your website!
Sincerely and with sympathy,
Ellen “Good Driver”
First, let me explain that the state law you mentioned does not apply to your case. That’s because you were ticketed for a violation of the city code.
I looked at the municipal code on your violation.
9-76-160 (d) …No registration plate shall be covered by any tinted or colored screen. It is illegal to park a vehicle on any roadway if the registration plate or other registration material fails to comply with this subsection…
The law says NOTHING about clear plastic. See, this happens more often than people think–many people writing tickets DO NOT know the law.
If they had written it up as a violation of state law, this may have been a correct violation.
But Chicago municipal law only prohibits tinted or colored coverings. The officer listed the city law NOT the state law. Ergo, your clear plastic cover is not in violation of the law.
Here’s what I would do.
1-Request a hearing.
2-Photograph your plate with the clear plastic covering. Take a few photos.
3-Perhaps you should even bring the actual clear plastic plate holder with
you to the hearing for further emphasis.
4-Print out a copy of the actual municipal law that was cited on the ticket.
Argue the ticket was issued improperly. Read, actually verbalize to a hearing officer at an in-person hearing or in a letter, quote the code verbatim in your written testimony so it makes it into the official record.
Show the hearing officer (or send with your letter) your photos and plate covering. Demonstrate it is not tinted nor colored.
If you have a hearing officer with a brain, you will win this easily. Slam dunk. However, let me warn you, some of these hearing officers are dolts and don’t know the code. I’m serious. It’s not surprising but still frustrating.
If somehow, you get a moron hearing officer that doesn’t rule in your favor and have done what I have said, you will have an excellent case on appeal. I have made appeals to the circuit court three times and have won all three because, me, a layperson (and not a very intelligent layperson)
with no legal background, knows the law better than the hearing officers who allegedly have law degrees.
Try that and you should win.
Please keep me posted to your situation.
Very truly yours,
The Parking Ticket Geek
I’m thinking of contesting a ticket I recently received for parking in an double
alleyway for a mere 5 mins.
The alleyway I parked in was in no way marked with any signs nor was it used for
garage access or housing access. I was all of about five minutes running to the
thrift store, dropping of donations, grabbed a tax form and returned to my car which had a huge ticket of $150. I in no way knew that what i was doing was illegal, as no sign etc were posted.
I have since taken photos of the area from all angles showing that in no way I was
blocking any way in or out. same for the parking signs that were non existent.
Should i contest this or will I simply be wasting my time with the parking courts.
P.S I have attached some pictures of the alley and where my car was.
Thanks and keep up the good work.
You have a good case here.
Here is the law.
9-64-130 Parking in alleys.
(a) It shall be unlawful to park any vehicle in any alley for a
period of time longer than is necessary for the expeditious loading,
unloading, pick-up or delivery of materials from such vehicle.
(b) It shall be unlawful to park a vehicle in an alley in such a
manner or under such conditions as to leave available less than ten
feet of the width of the roadway for the free movement of vehicular
traffic or to block the entrance to any abutting property.
First, the ticket does not list an A or B subsection.
Make the argument that the city doesn’t make a “prima facie” case because it doesn’t specify which part of this particular law that you violated as there are two subsections (A & B).
Secondly, you can make the argument that you were not in violation of either A or B.
In A, you were unloading materials to make a donation to a thrift store.
In B, you left enough room for other vehicles to get by.
In either situation, a hearing officer with a brain should dismiss the ticket.
Thanks, good luck and keep us posted on the results.
Very truly yours,
Sunday evening I parked at a meter on Belmont at 7:50pm. Grabbed my things,
and took off to my apartment.
Monday morning, ticket. at 7:53 pm. That meter was supposed to be fed until
8pm, so 7 minutes before, TICKET.
Any advice on how to approach the contest? it was my boyfriends car (its
registered in his name, in Naperville)… so is that the right way to go? Or
should I try a plea for some humanity and those 7 minutes… please help!
What a bummer. Believe me, I’ve taken chances like that and have been burnt myself. So I share your frustration.
Parking in the Wrigleyville/Lakeview area is a real bitch. That area in Tom Tunney’s 44th Ward is one of the few areas in the city where the meters need to be fed on Sunday. In the vast majority of the city, Sunday is the one day you don’t have to feed the parking meters. But in that Clark/Belmont and surround neighborhood, meters must be fed 7 days a week.
Using the defense that the car being registered in Naperville or throwing yourself on the mercy of the court looking for sympathy will fail miserably.
Other than telling an outright lie (payment didn’t register, meter broken, etc.) in your testimony (and of course I am not officially endorsing that strategy), I don’t have any advice for beating the ticket. I always advise contesting tickets, but I don’t think you will win this one.
My only advice I can give would be a tip from our friendly PEA, Ticketmaster says, “A quarter saves you $50 bucks!”.
Very truly yours,
Ask The Parking Ticket Geek is a weekly parking ticket advise column here at The Expired Meter.
If you have a question for The Parking Ticket Geek, please e-mail the Geek at: firstname.lastname@example.org