T Nation

Fighting Parking Tickets or Ordinance Citation

Today, for the first time, I went on a new hike at the local reservoir. Got there at 4 and they close at 6. I figured my friends and I would be done by 6 but we werent. Ended up finishing at 6:15. Come to my car where an officer is waiting for me. I received a parking ticket from the “East Bay Regional Park District, East Bay Municipal Utility District.” Do I have to pay this, even with it not being the police department?

I paid for my parking but since they closed at 6 I was fined. The officer then told me to pull out of the reservoir where he would talk to me. There he gave me not a ticket, but an “ordinance citation.” Is there any possibility to fight the ordinance curfew citation? Or either or neither?

How much are we talking here?

The parking ticket is 40. The being in the park past hours is 150. I thought it was a little overkill, especially since we had talked to the officer earlier in the day and told him it was our first time there. We thought 2 1/2 hours were enough…Guess not. And then he says I could fine all of you, but Im only going to fine you the driver.

But since its not officially the police, does one need to pay? And even though, its not the police I do have to go to normal court if I want to fight it

What authority does the park have? I’m sure there is a law or ordinance you can look up somewhere. If there authority doesn’t extend beyond the park, I’m not sure there is much they can do if you don’t pay it. Maybe boot your car if they see it parked there again.

I don’t know, I’m just brainstorming here.

[quote]Dustinsk wrote:
The parking ticket is 40. The being in the park past hours is 150. I thought it was a little overkill, especially since we had talked to the officer earlier in the day and told him it was our first time there. We thought 2 1/2 hours were enough…Guess not. And then he says I could fine all of you, but Im only going to fine you the driver.[/quote]

Jesus Christ. Just pay the 150 and be done with it. I assume that when you were talking with the officer earlier and you mentioned that you’d never been there before he told you the park closed at 6pm, right?

And yet, there you were, showing up at your car at 6:15pm. Is it a little nitpick? Perhaps, but keep in mind that you WERE there longer than allowed and like most other publicly-funded parks around the country, this one is probably hurting for funds. So I don’t blame them for being a stickler for the rules.

What would be your argument if you chose to fight the ticket? That even though the guy most likely told you the place closed at 6pm and even though it is ostensibly posted somewhere that the park closes at 6pm and even though you still didn’t get back to your vehicle until well after 6pm you should get a break? Why, because you’re such a swell guy?

You mentioned something about the East Bay. Are you referring to the Bay Area? If so, what park and what city were you in?

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]Dustinsk wrote:
The parking ticket is 40. The being in the park past hours is 150. I thought it was a little overkill, especially since we had talked to the officer earlier in the day and told him it was our first time there. We thought 2 1/2 hours were enough…Guess not. And then he says I could fine all of you, but Im only going to fine you the driver.[/quote]

Jesus Christ. Just pay the 150 and be done with it. I assume that when you were talking with the officer earlier and you mentioned that you’d never been there before he told you the park closed at 6pm, right?

And yet, there you were, showing up at your car at 6:15pm. Is it a little nitpick? Perhaps, but keep in mind that you WERE there longer than allowed and like most other publicly-funded parks around the country, this one is probably hurting for funds. So I don’t blame them for being a stickler for the rules.

What would be your argument if you chose to fight the ticket? That even though the guy most likely told you the place closed at 6pm and even though it is ostensibly posted somewhere that the park closes at 6pm and even though you still didn’t get back to your vehicle until well after 6pm you should get a break? Why, because you’re such a swell guy?

You mentioned something about the East Bay. Are you referring to the Bay Area? If so, what park and what city were you in?[/quote]

Crime (being in a public park 15 minutes late) does not fit the punishment ($190 in citations).

I’d fight it if I were him, too.

Besides, haven’t you ever fought a traffic violation even though you were guilty?

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]Dustinsk wrote:
The parking ticket is 40. The being in the park past hours is 150. I thought it was a little overkill, especially since we had talked to the officer earlier in the day and told him it was our first time there. We thought 2 1/2 hours were enough…Guess not. And then he says I could fine all of you, but Im only going to fine you the driver.[/quote]

Jesus Christ. Just pay the 150 and be done with it. I assume that when you were talking with the officer earlier and you mentioned that you’d never been there before he told you the park closed at 6pm, right?

And yet, there you were, showing up at your car at 6:15pm. Is it a little nitpick? Perhaps, but keep in mind that you WERE there longer than allowed and like most other publicly-funded parks around the country, this one is probably hurting for funds. So I don’t blame them for being a stickler for the rules.

What would be your argument if you chose to fight the ticket? That even though the guy most likely told you the place closed at 6pm and even though it is ostensibly posted somewhere that the park closes at 6pm and even though you still didn’t get back to your vehicle until well after 6pm you should get a break? Why, because you’re such a swell guy?

You mentioned something about the East Bay. Are you referring to the Bay Area? If so, what park and what city were you in?[/quote]

Crime (being in a public park 15 minutes late) does not fit the punishment ($190 in citations).

I’d fight it if I were him, too.

Besides, haven’t you ever fought a traffic violation even though you were guilty? [/quote]

I’ve never had a traffic violation, except for a DUI in which I blew a .29, so I had no leg to stand on there.

I agree that the fine seems excessive, but what is he going to do to fight it? Take a few hours off of work, spend a bunch of money on gas driving to the courthouse or wherever he must go to fight it, waste a bunch of time researching ways in which he can fight it and preparing his argument and all that shit? Or just bite the bullet and pay the $190 in fines and be done with it? It might be worth it to just accept that he broke the rules and pay the price.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
Crime (being in a public park 15 minutes late) does not fit the punishment ($190 in citations).
[/quote]

The citation is a set amount. In the park after hours = $190. 1 hour, 2 hours, 15 minutes… Doesn’t matter. The ticketing person doesn’t have the ability to write a lesser ticket im almost positive. This is true if its the same as a parking enforcement agent in the city

So he has to either issue the standard citation ($190) or not issue one at all. The guy was technically breaking the rules that he already knew about.

[quote]
Besides, haven’t you ever fought a traffic violation even though you were guilty? [/quote]

I never have. I have wanted to in the past but didn’t.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:

[quote]DBCooper wrote:

[quote]Dustinsk wrote:
The parking ticket is 40. The being in the park past hours is 150. I thought it was a little overkill, especially since we had talked to the officer earlier in the day and told him it was our first time there. We thought 2 1/2 hours were enough…Guess not. And then he says I could fine all of you, but Im only going to fine you the driver.[/quote]

Jesus Christ. Just pay the 150 and be done with it. I assume that when you were talking with the officer earlier and you mentioned that you’d never been there before he told you the park closed at 6pm, right?

And yet, there you were, showing up at your car at 6:15pm. Is it a little nitpick? Perhaps, but keep in mind that you WERE there longer than allowed and like most other publicly-funded parks around the country, this one is probably hurting for funds. So I don’t blame them for being a stickler for the rules.

What would be your argument if you chose to fight the ticket? That even though the guy most likely told you the place closed at 6pm and even though it is ostensibly posted somewhere that the park closes at 6pm and even though you still didn’t get back to your vehicle until well after 6pm you should get a break? Why, because you’re such a swell guy?

You mentioned something about the East Bay. Are you referring to the Bay Area? If so, what park and what city were you in?[/quote]

Crime (being in a public park 15 minutes late) does not fit the punishment ($190 in citations).

I’d fight it if I were him, too.

Besides, haven’t you ever fought a traffic violation even though you were guilty? [/quote]

The park can likely make the argument that the fine is necessary to discourage people from staying in parks with reservoirs past sunset. People drown in reservoirs every year when they try to sneak in and swim at night.

I agree that they will probably reduce the fine if you go to court though, but that’s not guaranteed and who knows by how much. If they reduce it from $150 to $75 then you just spent all day in court for 75 bucks, not including what you’ll pay for parking and gas. Not worth the time to me.

If you $20/hr or 40k $150 is about a days pay.

So if you make a modest income I’d definitely fight it.

[quote]therajraj wrote:
If you $20/hr or 40k $150 is about a days pay.

So if you make a modest income I’d definitely fight it.

[/quote]

I would spend the time finding a better job instead.

I’d should fight it if I thought it was unfair. It’s not always about money.

I’ve fought a bunch of tickets in my time. That’s just the way it is in New Jersey. The cops write a bunch of bullshit tickets then you have to go to court to get the dropped.

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
Crime (being in a public park 15 minutes late) does not fit the punishment ($190 in citations).
[/quote]

The citation is a set amount. In the park after hours = $190. 1 hour, 2 hours, 15 minutes… Doesn’t matter. The ticketing person doesn’t have the ability to write a lesser ticket im almost positive. This is true if its the same as a parking enforcement agent in the city

So he has to either issue the standard citation ($190) or not issue one at all. The guy was technically breaking the rules that he already knew about.

Vacation days, man.

Besides, for me at least, I’m salaried and as long as my work is getting done no one cares if I spend a day in court fighting some ticket.

Lanky.
That’s what I’m saying. It was the park municipal police. So technically if I don’t park there again I wouldn’t get in further trouble by not paying it. Right?

And DB. It was the lafayette reservoir. I live in wc

And last, my and girlfriend and I had actually seen the officer earlier that day. He was about to give my girlfriend a fine because her dog pulled the leash out of her hand and the cop saw. He stopped us for 15 minutes because of this but ended up giving her a warning. So technically if he wouldn’t have wasted our time we would have made it lol. And finally, a parking ticket was one thing. But then to tell me to leave the reservoir because he wants to talk to me and fine me for accidentally taking too long.

That’s ridiculous and he never told me earlier that they closed at 6 however it is posted. A woman also told us that typically the ranger sweeps the trail when they close but that didnt happen. And also, at 5:45 I knew we wouldn’t make it so I started jogging because it was getting dark. What else could I have done??? Fly down to the parking lot magically?

Also. I just quit my job and I’m just taking a full load at school currently

Ps ps. He did show me after he fined me that the times were posted but before that I had thought the park closed at sunset. I wasn’t aware it was 6 on the dot

Does the citation have any directions for fighting it? Normally there is a process to go through on the back or something.

Yeah it does. I have to go to court and set a court date. Otherwise it says I can do it through written declaration but that says for traffic violations which I don’t believe mine is.

[quote]Dustinsk wrote:
Yeah it does. I have to go to court and set a court date. Otherwise it says I can do it through written declaration but that says for traffic violations which I don’t believe mine is. [/quote]

If you choose to fight it, keep in mind that the offenses like these are strict liability in nature. This means that you did not have to intend to be in the park after hours; the officer merely has to prove that you were in fact there after hours.

Yeah, the judge may be lenient and reduce the fine since it was your first time. The judge could also be pissed if it’s a full docket and you’re wasting time on a petty ticket. The best thing you can hope for is that an officer does not show up to testify.