Friday, June 6, 2008

Jason vs. the City of Chicago

Anyone who knows me to any degree of knowing me knows that I think I know how be smarter than "the system," which usually knows better. You know?

Take for instance, Jason vs. the State of West Virginia, pitting me against the state over a $120 unemployment check I collected after I stopped working at WVU. I ultimately lost that one when I mixed up the time of my Circuit Court of Marion County appearance, and was an hour late to an appointment with an unhappy Judge.

Then there was Jason vs. the City of Morgantown, where I attempted to avoid payment on outstanding parking tickets accumulated through college. I ultimately lost that fight when my Father, the registered owner of the car in question, demanded that the tickets be paid in full. Definitely a good move by him.

There was Jason vs. the District of Columbia, over a traffic camera nabbing the Mazda doing 16MPH over the speed limit in a residential zone near Columbia Heights. That battle was lost when my argument involving Physics equations was too far fetched to prove that my car couldn't have been speeding.

Last year there was Jason vs. Jessica, who refused to be a willing part in Jessica vs. the City of Chicago, when Jessica's car was ticketed for not having a City of Chicago parking sticker while parked on the street. That one didn't even reach the planning and scheming stage, because, well, let's put it this way - if Jessica was a cereal, she'd be Moral Fiber.

So now comes Jason vs. the City of Chicago, which, by most accounts, is a legitimate wrongdoing by the Chicago Department of Revenue, a.k.a. the parking ticket cops. Seriously, they wear big "Department of Revenue" jackets. The Mazda was harmlessly parked in its usual spot near the Metra train stop on Western Avenue for the day, unaware that street cleaning was to take place on that side of the block. Why was the owner unaware, you may ask? Because there were no damn signs on that block indicating the pending street cleaning.

Needless to say, I swung into full battle armor for this one, especially confident that I could win. I took pictures and immediately compiled a comprehensive report to contest the ticket. I would show you the lovely document, but it has my license plate in the pictures, so I'm not sure if I should expose that to the mercy of the Internet.

But much to my chagrin, the response arrived today that I would be held liable for the ticket, because:

It is the finding of the Administrative Law Officer that the information submitted supports a determination that the violation occurred.


What. The. Hell. My argument wasn't that a violation didn't occur, my argument was that there were no damn signs, which there weren't, which my pictures show. There is even a box on the ticket response to select, indicating your excuse is that there were no signs.

So where does this leave Jason vs. the City of Chicago? Will Jason pay the $50 and give up? Or will he fight on, following the instructions quoted in the final paragraph:

You may appeal this order to the Circuit Court of Cook County within 35 days of the order date by filing a civil law suit against the City of Chicago.


Stay tuned.

4 comments:

Arthur said...

I hear Leavenworth is lovely this time of year.
To be in Chicago in the Spring and to be in the right. It doesn't get any better, does it?
Good luck.
Next we tackle the Palestinian situation. It's only been going on for two thousand years. Should be easy by comparison.

Arthur said...

Let us know where to forward your mail.Do you like cookies?

The Parking Ticket Geek said...

Jason-

I say go for it. It will cost you about $100 to do so, but if you are correct in the law, and the hearing officer did not follow the law, your ticket at best will be thrown out or you get new hearing.

The hearing officers for the city of Chicago are notoriously lacking in knowledge of the law. No lie. I have fought many tickets and have found myself to have better knowledge of parking law than the hearing officers and often have to cite the law to them. So, the fact that you lost is not a surprise.

So, if you presented the correct evidence (photographs of the lack of signs) and the proper testimony explaining there were no signs, then you should probably win at the circuit court level.

But please remember, the judge at this level is only ruling on what occurred at the hearing and will not hear any new evidence at this point.

It takes a few months for the entire process to culminate, but it's kind of fun.

And, if you win, you can request your $100 filing fee to be refunded and it will be.

Good luck and if you have any more questions, check out our website that educates Chicagoans on fighting Chicago parking tickets (www.theexpiredmeter.com) or e-mail me at: info@theexpiredmeter.com.

The Parking Ticket Geek said...

Jason-

I say go for it. It will cost you about $100 to do so, but if you are correct in the law, your ticket at best will be thrown out. At worst, you get new hearing.

The hearing officers for the city of Chicago are notoriously lacking in knowledge of the law. No lie. I have fought many tickets and have found myself to have better knowledge of parking law than the hearing officers and often have to cite the law to them. So, the fact that you lost is not a surprise.

So, if you presented the correct evidence (photographs of the lack of signs) and the proper testimony explaining there were no signs, then you should probably win at the circuit court level.

But please remember, the judge at this level is only ruling on what occurred at the hearing and will not hear any new evidence at this point.

And, if you win, you can request your $100 filing fee to be refunded and it will be.

Good luck and if you have any more questions, check out our website that educates Chicagoans on fighting Chicago parking tickets (www.theexpiredmeter.com) or e-mail me at: info@theexpiredmeter.com.