Tag Archives: Fighting Chicago Parking Tickets
Trying to sell your car?
Whatever you do, don’t park it on a Chicago street with a For Sale sign in the window–lest you risk an expensive $100 parking ticket.
Sure, it sounds a bit excessive, or perhaps an instance of big brother run amok. Allegedly, back in the day, the law was passed to clamp down on car dealers along Western Avenue from using the street as a an additional and free lot to hawk their inventory.
While the original intent of the municipal code may not have been to hassle individual car owners trying to unload an extra vehicle, that’s essentially who bears the brunt of the law in the modern day. Vehicle owners unaware of the law find out the hard and costly way when they come back to their car to find their windows plastered with $100 orange tickets.
9-80-080 Parking for certain purposes prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful to park any vehicle upon any roadway for the sole purpose of displaying the vehicle for sale. The vehicle shall be subject to vehicle impoundment under Section 9-92-030(c). Any person that violates this subsection shall be fined $100.00. Each day the vehicle remains in violation of this subsection shall constitute a separate and distinct offense for which a separate penalty shall be imposed.
While many ticketed motorists opt to fight their ticket by contesting by mail, the driver’s best chance at victory is to contest a ticket at an in-person hearing.
There are several ways to schedule a hearing.
BY MAIL: Simply check the box that requests an in-person hearing on the original violation, fill in your name and address, and mail it to the address listed on the back of the ticket.
It’s recommended you keep a copy of the ticket as reference for your ticket hearing defense.
If you haven’t scheduled the hearing using your original ticket, you can still mail in a hearing request when the Notice of Violation comes in the mail. It’s the same general process as mailing in your request using the original violation. Fill out the form at the bottom and detach it from the top of the letter and mail it to the address on the notice.
IN-PERSON: You can also drop off your hearing request at any of the city’s Administrative Hearing locations around the city. Just bring your violation or notice of violation to the parking ticket hearing desk and tell them you want to schedule a hearing. They’ll file your request and normally, they’ll give you a date and time stamped receipt to keep in your files–just in case the request is somehow lost and you need evidence you actually requested a hearing.
If you don’t have your ticket info with you, most clerk’s are kind enough to look up your ticket, print it out and file your hearing request right there.
I walked out of a parking ticket hearing today, smiling gleefully while firmly gripping the paperwork dismissing the ticket I received for parking in a residential permit parking zone back in May. It’s a happiness that needs to be shared by showing other drivers the best way to avoid and/or beat these tickets.
Residential permit parking zones restrict drivers from parking on a great percentage of Chicago streets.
The original concept for the restrictions was to make sure residents living near hospitals, CTA or Metra train stops or schools, were able to park in front or near of their homes without having to compete for spaces with visitors.
But the number of RPP zones have exploded over the past twenty years making it more difficult every year for motorists to find free parking on residential streets.
But parking tickets for RPP violations are pretty easy to avoid and not very hard to beat if you get one.
Sam Navin is new to Chicago.
And the city has made him feel more than welcome almost immediately issuing his truck a pair of bright orange parking tickets.
The only problem was that both tickets were issued improperly according to Navin.
The first was for having an expired truck permit, which made no sense to Navin who got his sticker just after he came to town. So he took a photo of his permit sticker, assembled all his evidence including proof of when and where he got his permit and mailed it off with a letter explaining why the ticket was issued improperly.
Unfortunately for Navin, the Administrative Law Judge ruled against him saying in his decision there was no date/time stamp on the photos he submitted as evidence. Puzzlingly, the photo of the truck permit sticker the city provided was unreadable.
Right after that, Navin was issued a ticket for not having a front plate on his vehicle–even though he says it was there. So he dutifully took photos–this time with a date and time stamp and a letter with his defense.
We’ll work through the city’s municipal code violation by violation and give readers the best strategies for each and every one.
9-64-020 Parallel parking – Obstruction of traffic
(a) It shall be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle, except for a motorcycle or motor scooter, in a roadway other than parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of lawful traffic movement and with the curbside wheels of the vehicle within 12 inches of the curb or edge of the roadway; provided, however, this prohibition shall not apply to the parking of any vehicle in a designated diagonal parking zone or space.
Anyone with a driver’s license should know when you parallel park a vehicle as close to the curb as reasonably possible–legally, the car’s tires must be no more than 12″ from the curb.
Sometimes drivers will get sloppy and park a little farther away from the curb than they should or, perhaps a buildup or snow or ice prevents or obstructs a vehicle from parking closer.
And that’s when the tickets get written.
In the case of a “12″ from curb” ticket, the tape measure is your friend.
Dear Parking Ticket Geek,
Last Friday I paid for parking in an uncovered lot managed by LAZ Parking at the corner of Weed Street and North Fremont Street from 7:55 p.m. until 4 a.m. The machine asked me to type the last three characters of my license plate.
When the receipt printed, it did not have any written explanation of where to place it. In fact, it didn’t even say to display it, and neither did the machine that printed the ticket. I assumed this must be why I had to key in my last three characters of my plate.
So I simply put the receipt in my wallet and headed off.
How wrong I was!
When I returned to the lot before 4 a.m., I found a ticket for $50. I contested this ticket with an email that included a photo of both my ticket and the receipt. They responded to my email in legalese saying I still have to pay the parking ticket, but they’ll reduce it to $30.
Am I really liable?
The Parking Ticket Geek is teaching a class.
The West Loop’s Civic Lab invited the Geek to teach a class on fighting parking tickets we’re calling Parking Ticket 101.
It’s a slimmed down version of our Driver Survival Seminars with a focus purely on avoiding and contesting those pesky bright orange tickets from the city.
Parking Ticket 101 will give attendees an overview of parking enforcement in Chicago and educate attendees on how best to both avoid parking tickets and how best to handle receiving a ticket, including how to successfully contest improper or unfair ones.
Civics Lab is a co-working education and office space created to help teach Chicagoans about civic engagement, activism and how to better understand and interact with their government. It was founded by Tom Tresser and Ben Sugar last summer.
Tresser is that famous troublemaker who, among his many other accomplishments spearheaded No Games Chicago, the group which furiously lobbied against bringing the 2016 Olympics to Chicago.
Seating is limited so reserve your spot right away. There is a nominal $10 fee that goes toward helping support Civics Lab in its great work.
EVENT: Parking Ticket 101/Driver Survival Seminar
WHEN: Wednesday, March 26th at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Civics Lab, 114 N. Aberdeen St. Chicago, IL 60607
SIGNUP: At Eventbrite
And it’s a worse idea to provide evidence of your threat by posting a video of it on YouTube.
According to RedEye, that’s what a 40-year old Country Clubs Hills man did recently and it landed him in jail.
The man was angry with the Administrative Law Judge who ruled against him and upheld a parking ticket he was issued on Milwaukee Avenue.
Instead of just paying the ticket, he uploaded a profanity laden, racist and homophobic 11 minute video to YouTube asking viewers to bomb the city hearing facility, blow up the ALJ’s car, and attack Parking Enforcement Aides and other ticket writers.
Then he mailed a letter with the link’s web address to the hearing officer.
Mr. Parking Meter guy,
This morning I parked my car at Damen off North Avenue to get a cup of coffee before heading to work.
I parked my car and walked almost a block to the parking meter box to see two people ahead of me paying to park. I patiently waited in the frigid cold for about two minutes before my turn came up to pay. I put in 25 cents to pay for 10 minutes, got my receipt, walked to my car and BOOM: orange ticket on my car!
The parking ticket was issued at 9:31 a.m. but my parking meter receipt says 9:33.
Is this legal? how can they get away with this?
Boy, I really dig this woman.
Loreen Targos fought and beat the 53 parking tickets she was issued for parking her motorcycle in a legal parking spot on Randolph Street near State Street.
The spot in question, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Problem Solver column, was un-metered and was not marked with any signs prohibiting or restricting parking.
Initially, she only won 51 of the 53 tickets she contested through the Department of Administrative Hearings. On two of the tickets she was found responsible. But, being the feisty woman she is, Targos she filed an appeal to the Cook County Circuit Court which is not an inexpensive process.