Palatine Parking Ticket May Violate Constitutional Protected Privacy Rights
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled early this week that printing personal information on a parking ticket may infringe upon a driver’s Constitutionally protected right to privacy.
The plaintiff, Jason Senne filed a lawsuit when he received a $20 parking ticket in 2010 for parking overnight in Palatine. The ticket, according to the plaintiff was on his windshield, available for the public to view it and contained personal data about him including his name, address, driver’s license number, date of birth, height and weight according to Courthouse News Service.
Monday’s reversal of the decision came after the full court agreed to rehear the case this year.
Senee’s lawsuit claimed the ticket was a violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). But a federal judge ruled against him and that decision was upheld by a three-judge panel in the 7th Circuit last year.
But when the court ruled for the plaintiff, it wasn’t on grounds there was a violation of the DPPA, but instead said the posting of someone’s private information could pose a threat to residents.
The DPPA was passed in 1989 after an actress named Rebecca Schaeffer was killed by a man stalking her who was able to track her down by obtaining her address through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using just her license plate number. Since then, public officials are now prohibited from giving out private information about drivers.
According to The Newspaper’s report quoting from the decision:
“The real effect of the placement of the ticket was to make available Mr. Senne’s motor vehicle record to any passer-by,” Ripple ruled. “This sort of publication is certainly forbidden by the statute…. There are very real safety and security concerns at stake here. For example, an individual seeking to stalk or rape can go down a street where overnight parking is banned and collect the home address and personal information of women whose vehicles have been tagged. He can ascertain the name, exact address including the apartment number and even other information such as sex, age, height and weight pertinent to his nefarious intent.”
One example given by the decision was of a stalker or rapist gleaning personal data on women in the neighborhood where the car was parked in order to prey on them.
Read all the details.
Courthouse News Service: “Privacy Issue in Parking Tickets, Full Circuit Says.”
The Newspaper: “Illinois: Appeals Court Upholds Parking Ticket Privacy.”