Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

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Hi Geek,

I received a notice for 2 parking tickets I supposedly received in 1991.

Although the address on the tickets are close to where I lived at that time I had a private parking space so I really doubt they are valid.

What’s the legality of this? Isn’t there some sort of statute of limitations on parking tickets?  I think the total fine for the 2 tickets now stands at $120.00. Not only can I not afford the fine, I truly believe these tickets were never valid. I don’t ever remember receiving a notice before this. Come on! 18 years?

I’d appreciate your opinion,

Larry

Larry-

18 years huh?

How pathetic on the city’s part. And incredible it’s taken them 18 years to get you these notices.

Unfortunately, there’s no statute of limitations on parking tickets.

There are only two violations of the law that have no statute of limitations. Murder and parking tickets.

However, they’re from so far back, I don’t see how the DOR can stand behind the legitimacy of their claim.

Try this. Call 312-744-PARK and get a human on the line. Give them the
ticket numbers and see if they can fax or e-mail you documentation. No documentation, no payment, PERIOD!

They are supposed to have breakdowns of all tickets, notices, dates, etc.

If they cannot provide, you cannot be expected to pay.

If the the notice you received is a Notice of Violation, you can still fight these tickets as goofy as it sounds.

I would fight the ticket on the basis that it’s 18 F@#King YEARS OLD!!!

The fact that it took them 18 years to issue the notice should undermine any credibility of the ticket AND how can you be expected to remember an alleged parking violation from nearly two decades ago?

Thanks

The Geek

Dear Parking Ticket Geek,

While dog and cat sitting for a friend out of the country I received Parking Permit Violations for Parking on her street.

I had a temporary permit in both instances, although in one case it had fallen from the window.

She lives in an area that is strictly permit or meter parking.

Do I have grounds for contesting the tickets?

Thank you,

Mellissa

Mellissa-

Those were two very cold nights, right?

My guess (wink, wink) was that the adhesive on the permit, because it was so cold, came unstuck from the glass.

To me, this is a completely legit defense.

When you contest the ticket just write a letter (or when you testify in person), explain that you did have the permit affixed to your window, but because of the cold, the adhesive failed and came off the windshield.

Send a copy of the permit with your letter (or bring it to the hearing) and bring a copy of a weather forecast for that night with the low temperature to prove your point.

I don’t see how you lose.

Good luck.

The Geek

Dear Geek,

Right off Broadway and Briar, there are still the old meters and no new meters up yet. I have permit parking for the area. I left my car there for 2 days, then returned and there were no tickets. I return to my car the following day and there was 2 tickets for expired meter.

Was I supposed to pay the old meter? I thought we were done with those. Let me know if this is something I can fight or something I’ll have to suck up and pay.

Thank you and long live the geek!

William

William, William, William…

After reading your e-mail, I had to close my eyes, and am trying not to grind my teeth as I prepare to answer your question.

YES! Of course you still need to feed those old meters if they’re on the street.

The new meter company has replaced the vast majority of the old meters with the new pay boxes.

However, in some cases, usually on side streets off a major street where there are just a few spaces, they left the old ones there. It doesn’t make sense to put in a very expensive pay box for two or three spots.

According to Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, there are about 600 or so of those old meters left in operation.

Sorry. I think you’re gonna have to pay those.

The Geek


Hi Geek,

Long time reader, first time with a question.

I just received two tickets on my motorcycle. But my motorcycle was being stored in the back of my landlord’s building, in a fenced in area on private property, with a tarp over it, as this is how stored it away for the winter.

In addition, the motorcycle hasn’t been working in months.

The tickets were for expired plates and no city sticker. Two issues I would have gladly dealt with come spring or when I get it working again.

Whoever gave the ticket actually lifted up the tarp off my motorcycle just to check. Is this even legal?!?!

Another weird thing is that I recently moved, and the address on the ticket is for my old address, which happens to only be a block down the road from my new place. Is the address on the ticket from my registration or something? I definitely received it at my new address.

Please help me beat this. I can’t believe they can enter private property and uncover my stored motorcycle just to ticket me. I am about to sell it, and my car, just to screw over this city’s addiction to tickets.

Thanks a lot for any help,

Russ

Russ,

It sounds like some ticket writer is being an overly aggressive jerk.

Now, it is legal (unfortunately) for a ticket writer to write a city sticker violation on private property, but only if they can access it from an alley, city street or in a parking lot. It’s has to be easily accessible from a public thoroughfare.

The best example is a car parked on private property in the back of a house on a concrete apron. Walking down an alley, a ticket writer can easily determine if you have an up to date city sticker.

From your explanation, it seems like the ticket writer was trespassing.

And I think it’s a load of crap. A big, hot, smelly pile of it.

It’s just amazing and pathetic what lengths the city will go to, in order to generate revenue.

But, I think you can beat this.

I think you use the photos to explain it was being stored. It doesn’t work. And you didn’t renew the registration for those reasons. When and IF you get it operational, you will renew the license and get your city sticker.

Make sure you provide photos of the motorcycle within the fenced in area and explain the ticket writer had to enter this fenced in area to write these tickets.

You should also exploit the fact that the ticket was written for the wrong address. That will probably be the defense that works. Bring bills from your new address or a copy of your lease and any photos that may prove the location as well.

In the meantime, I would strongly encourage you to report this situation to your alderman and consider filing a formal complaint with the police for criminal trespass.  Complain to the Dept. of Revenue Street Operations and inform the City Clerk’s office too for good measure.

This strategy may go nowhere, but this uncool and possibly illegal behavior by city employees needs to be discouraged.

Good luck Russ.

The Geek

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek is a semi-regular parking ticket advice column.

If you have a question for The Parking Ticket Geek, please e-mail the Geek with your query at:askthegeek@theexpiredmeter.com

55 Responses to Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

  1. FreedomFighter says:

    And DoR after my initial rant when I received this ticket, I don’t think that 22 will want to see me anymore. I did that for effect.

  2. J.Wilson says:

    Dear Geek

    I lived in Chicago and moved to another state in November 1998. Before I moved I called the city to make sure I had no outstanding tickets. I called twice and each time was told that there were none.
    Last week I received a notice of a parking ticket supposedly issued in May of 1998 from a collection agency (CTI).They want $122. I called to get documentation as you recommend but in order to get it I have to send ID, address, etc. I input the ticket number and it was verified by the system attached to your recommended number. The Citation number on the letter had an extra zero but the CTI rep. told me the what the number was supposed to be.
    I told the rep. that I wasn’t paying and why. She said she would just write that I refused to pay.
    Do I have to pay this shakedown for free money, or do I have other options short of spending lots of time spinning my wheels?

  3. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    J.Wilson,

    I wouldn’t pay it. If you live out of state, there’s very little anyone can do to you.

    They’re not going to file a lawsuit over $120. Credit agencies typically don’t pay attention to parking tickets as part of their rating system. They can’t boot you since you live out of town/state.

    I say screw ‘em. But ultimately, it’s your own decision.

  4. Ivoron says:

    Dear geek, I have a vechile that I haven’t drove in three years in the course of these years I never renewed the plates, now I plan to drive the car again, so my question is will I have to pay for the stickers that I didn’t operate the vechile or will I be able to just buy the current sticker?

  5. Ivoron says:

    *vehicle

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