Ask The Parking Ticket Geek
Apparently I have over $4,000 in parking tickets.
Arnold Scott Harris (the collection agency) has been contacting me like crazy.
The problem is I have no money. I have been unemployed since September of 2010.
Do you have any idea what my options are? I wanted to see if they would offer me a settlement where I can pay half, but they claim they don’t do that. Do you know if that is true?
The lady said my only option is a payment plan. Is that true?
Unfortunately, the payment plan is your only option Jake.
The city doesn’t offer settlements–at least not under the Daley administration.
Work something out. The fact you are unemployed may qualify you for a hardship payment plan.
But try to do it with the city and NOT Arnold Scott Harris or any other collections firm.
You can probably work a better deal with the city and by doing so you may be able to screw Arnold Scott out of their fees.
Sorry to hear about your ticket troubles and the challenging employment and financial situation you’re facing now. That’s a lot of cash. But I’ve been there myself.
Parking Ticket Geek!
I got a ticket sent to me that is nearly 9 months old! or 3 days away from being 9 months old.
The ticket states I was too close to a fire hydrant on South Michigan.
Is there a time limit for this? Shouldn’t I have heard about this sooner? Is there a way to get them on these grounds? I attempted to look at a photo of this online, and there isn’t a photo of it. I get the feeling they were looking to patch up the end of the year budget, and this came up or something. What is going on here?
My car has New York plates, and is registered in New York state, but I use it in Chicago for most of the year.
Is my best bet to contest by mail? Or in person?
The funny thing about parking tickets JL, is there is no statute of limitations.
Murder and parking tickets. No statute of limitations for each.
It’s probably due to your out of state plates that it took so long for the Violation Notice to get issued.
The fact it took so long to get you weakens their case a bit, but it doesn’t automatically make it dismissible.
Whatever you do, DON’T contest it by mail.
Fight it at an In-Person Hearing as a bad ticket for the following reasons:
1-You never received the original ticket.
2-And when you got the Violation Notice it took 9 months to get to you.
3-You don’t have a recollection of being there. ( See if you can produce any credit card statements showing you were somewhere else on that date)
4-Even if you were there, you have no memory of the event as you never received the original ticket and it happened 9 freakin’ months ago!!!! How
would you be expected to remember something this far back?
5-Explain that you know you cannot park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant and would never do that.
Essentially, you’re trying to build up some doubt in the mind of the Administrative Law Officer presiding at your hearing. It will come down to whether or not you are believable or not.
Contest it and see if this works. Either way, it’s a coin flip on whether you prevail or not. I’ve seen these situations go either way.
I am a Michigan resident.
I was visiting Chicago last February and received two parking tickets (didn’t know I needed to feed a meter). I have not paid them. I received a letter threatening to have my car booted.
Again, I live in Michigan.
Will they bother to come up here an have my car booted?
Bootless So Far
The vision of a Chicago boot truck on a bounty hunter road trip mission to track your car down in Michigan makes me laugh Ms. Bootless So Far.
I can see the boot crew right now, with a cooler full of Mountain Dew and/or Red Bulls, a fistful of beef jerky and a big ass styrofoam cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee merging onto the Skyway out of town.
But the reality is Chicago can only boot on the public way (streets, alleys, etc.) within the borders of Chicago only.
Not in a suburb. Not in another state. Not even on private property.
So, don’t sweat it. You’re safe hiding out in Michigan.
I have a six foot wide port in front of my garage and its blocked on one side by a building.
Recently, I have been receiving $150 dollar tickets (3) from the city for parking in the alley. Standing in the alley by the adjacent building you cant even see my car. I have sent pictures and letters but keep getting determination letters.
This is wrong!
Without seeing your situation, I can only go by your description Cedric.
If you are parked on private property, there is no issue.
An alley is considered the public way. Private property, but it’s definition cannot be the public way.
It sounds like you have this small indentation off the alley that is private property and should be legal to park.
But you need to verify this by looking at CDOT’s online plat map of your property that shows your property lines. I would encourage you to go downtown to CDOT’s offices at 30 N. LaSalle to get them to print you an official City of Chicago map of the area in question. If the map backs your contention that you’re on private property, there’s no way you can lose with evidence from the city itself.
Another important thing you need to do is quit contesting these tickets by mail.
This is much too complex of a situation to fight via mail.
My opinion is you will continue to lose if you do it by mail. Fight it in person so you can show all your evidence and interact with the hearing officer. This should increase your chances of prevailing dramatically.
I would also contact Dept. of Revenue Street Operations to complain about what seems, from your description to be bordering on harassment. Here’s the number. 312-744-4500
Also, contact your local alderman’s office to step in on your behalf. This is what they’re there for.
Hope this helps.
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:email@example.com