City Investigating Parking Tickets At Private Parking Lots
And unlike their bright orange cousins the City of Chicago issues, these parking tickets were stuck to vehicles parked at downtown parking lots.
Based on a Chicago Sun-Times investigation, many drivers who normally use a parking lot at 550 W. Kinzie, came back to find the yellow envelopes on their cars. The tickets were “issued” due to lack of payment.
The truth was, some drivers admitted to the Sun-Times they didn’t pay for parking. However, the payment kiosk that day was not working. Without an actual human being on the premises to accept payment, regular drivers parked anyways.
Many frustrated drivers ended up going to the online payment website and paying their fine. But now, these motorists may get a refund.
Now the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is investigating and are conducting investigations of all 52 lots managed by ABM Industries. In addition, the city has issued a subpoena for more records from ABM, which could lead to a deceptive practices charge against the company and possible compensation to the ticketed drivers.
The problem is not as simple as the private lot owner cannot issue parking tickets in their own lot. It seems they can.
However, proper signage must be posted warning drivers parking in these lots of what can occur if they do not follow the rules. At this particular lot, it seems proper notice was not given.
Here’s the Sun-Times full story, “Drivers hit with private-parking lot tickets may be due refund.”
GEEK TIP: We don’t advise paying any of these parking ticket issued at or in a private parking lot or garage.
Mainly because there’s no way to really enforce these. These tickets are meant to confuse the driver into paying. Not only is there not a way to adjudicate this alleged violation like you can do with the city, but there’s no real way to enforce payment.
If the vehicle was trespassing, it could have been towed.
But if a “ticket” was issued, how can the company collect if the driver refused to pay? They can’t boot the car. There is the possibility of sending it to collection, but that’s probably a longshot as well.
The best advice would be to contact parking lot management and resolve the issue with them. In the case of unpaid parking due to a malfunctioning paybox, it would seem reasonable that the lot would just want to be compensated for the normal daily charge. It would be shocking that the fine was not waived.
But in general, don’t pay these fines.