Suburb Considering How Parking Tickets Are Contested

If you want to fight a parking ticket from north suburban Winnetka, you don’t do it in Winnetka.

Drivers who feel they have been wronged for parking illegally there have to drive to the Cook County courthouse in Skokie to fight it.

And if they lose, they possibly face an additional $165 fee for court costs–even if the original ticket was as low as $25.

But according to the Chicago Tribune, village trustees in Winnetka are considering handling parking ticket adjudication locally.

But it’s not just for the fundamental fairness issue–it’s also to bring in more revenue. Currently, when a parking ticket in Winnetka is contested in Cook County court, the town is supposed to get 45% of fines and fees. But the town is receiving substantially less, plus many tickets are thrown out altogether by judges for expediency’s sake.

According to the Tribune, turns in the surrounding area all handle contested parking tickets differently.

Highland Park and Lake Forest use administrative adjudication for parking citations, non-moving vehicle violations and a bevy of other local ordinance infractions. Glenview and Northfield have a combined hearing process for building code violations. Northfield also has an independent process to hear objections to red-light camera violations.

Glencoe is not home-rule, but has a separate statutory authority for parking tickets and Denver boot cases.

Here’s the Tribune’s story, “Winnetka to consider local hearings to contest parking tickets.”

4 Responses to Suburb Considering How Parking Tickets Are Contested

  1. DoR Employee says:

    I’d happily contract out to them to show them How to Do it properly.

  2. Pete says:

    The only reason Winnetka is thinking about changing is because they are losing money this way. If they could count on the Crook County judges to always uphold tickets, they’d be all in favor of a system that essentially provides no due process at all (who would risk paying $165 to contest a $25 ticket?).

    Fairness has nothing to do with it; parking enforcement is all about revenue maximization.

  3. Drew says:

    Pete…in regards to Chicago tickets only..

    the only tickets that get issued in Chicago that usually end up in Cook County on appeal are Tinted Windows and the occasional City Sticker ticket.

    Nothing else is worth the 165 fee…assuming the $165 is per citation fought.

    City Citations shouldn’t be allowed to be fought at the County level at any rate since it is a City Municipal Fine and not a County violation.

  4. B says:

    Court costs are just another way for the government to be lawless. Where the law is what they say it is when they say it. 12 century stuff. Court costs are accepted because the majority of people think that just about every ticket is deserved and the system can fairly deal with the ones that aren’t.

    Local towns also play the court costs game often doubling the fines or more in the process. The hearings aren’t fair either. The “judge” IME would not even look at the laws to see that none were violated. The written law had no meaning, it was just force and their perception of the law or just the hunger to steal money.

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