Parking ticket - conundrum


#1

I received a letter from a municipality that I rarely travel through stating that I need to pay $60 for a parking ticket. (I goofed and misread the no-parking times on the sign.) I’m currently unemployed and, basically, was wondering what the odds are of my doing the illegal and unethical deed of not paying the ticket. Thanks.


#2

It’s a civil violation, not criminal. Don’t stop and or park there or committ any violations driving through, and nothing will happen. I would mail them back a response with a brief explanation and say when times are better, you will pay the fine.


#3

Even if you call and explain they could still send the ticket to collections, had it happen when we got a notice in the mail about a ticket from Seattle on a car that couldn’t make it there unless it was on a trailer (we are 60 miles away roughly and the car had been damaged in an accident) after sending in what we thought would take care of the problem we started getting calls from a collection agency


#4

It depends upon where you live. Here in Denver, not much happens until the third ticket. Then, you get the boot. Some places will add parking tickets to your registration or license renewal.


#5

If you did the deed, pay the ticket. You can go down and plea for a lowered amount if you want but pay it.

When my brother in law was living in DesMoines, he had gotten a parking ticket and forgot to pay. One morning, the police showed up at his house and took him away. Luckily he had the ticket and check all ready to mail in his suit coat pocket-he had just forgotten to mail it. The judge let him off.

I had sold a car and six months later I got a summons for a parking fine. I took me all day to prove that I no longer owned the car, file the proper affidavit, and force a title transfer. Luckily I keep copies of signed titles etc., when I sell a car. The next step was arrest or impounding the car.

So you think you can afford a lawyer but not the $60? Borrow it from someone who loves you and pay it.


#6

“was wondering what the odds are of my doing the illegal and unethical deed of not paying the ticket”

Ummmm…How can anyone in cyberspace determine the odds of you doing anything, including something like this? Is this a trick question?

However, to answer what I think you were trying to ask…the consequences will vary from state to state, and–in some states–you will be unable to register your car when the registration expires, due to this unresolved issue. In other states, the consequences might be more severe or less severe. Since we don’t know where you live, nobody can tell you exactly what the consequences might be, just as we can’t determine the odds of you doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing.


#7

Why do the unethical thing, risk additional fines and potential license suspensions, if your court date has not passed, call the Desk sergeant, he may have sympathy for you and give you a break. In our city they pay %75 for a collection service so the desk sarge is little influenced by loosing revenue.


#8

Before deciding not to pay, make sure your state DMV doesn’t prevent renewing the registration when there are unpaid parking tickets assigned to that license number. I’m not sure here in Calif if unpaid parking tickets make it to the DMV database, but unpaid moving violations definitely do. If you go to a local DMV office here in Calif, there are usually a bunch of upset looking people who’ve just been told the need to pay off their traffic citations before the can renew their registration. The DMV is not the safest of places to hang around! Otherwise you’ll just have to pay later when you try to renew, with a significant $$ penalty probably.


#9

Just to clarify…The reason I said you should nototify them is, first, they will do nothing outside of their jurisdiction physically, boots or otherwise ( they have no authority to) so you have only not to stop or be stopped in that town. But, if they turn it over to or sell it to a collection agency, it could affect your credit and estate value…
So you should notify them of your intent assuming you are unimployed and can’t temporarily come up with the money. But, I agree. At some point, you should plan on paying the fine.


#10

Some states won’t allow you to renew your registration until parking tickets are paid.


#11

Congress passed a uniform traffic code many years ago which allows states to suspend the drivers licenses of motorists who fail to pay tickets although I cannot say whether or not this would be done because of a parking ticket.

In a nutshell, if a motorist in City A or an out of state motorist doesn’t pay up it goes into a home state database with the drivers license being flagged as suspended until paid; and which sometimes involves renewal fees.

It might be best to clear this up because getting pulled over for a burned out tag lamp or speeding due to 3 MPH over the limit could lead to a flag popping up on the screen in the police car and waiting for a tow truck to haul your car off.


#12

It is also possible that they will tack on a late fee. For an inexpensive violation like this, the late fees might be more than the violation.


#13

I still have an unpaid ticket from about 20 years ago in a city I’ll likely never visit again. For me it was kind of an experiment to see what would happen. I got a couple of warnings in the mail and then they gave up.

However, this was a while ago–the danger these days is that all cities and states are much better linked up than they used to be with modern technology. Something that might have been ignored before may eventually come back to bite you. But it’s probably not likely for a single non-moving violation.

So probably nothing will happen unless you park in that city again, but of course it’s at your own risk if you decide to ignore it.


#14

@oblivion: after 20 years I’d think the SOL would have kicked in. After all, you weren’t properly served. If that’s the only thing keeping you away…


#15

Has anything weird like this every happened to any of you folk? I think this may be the only time this has ever happened. It’s an almost impossible co-incidence.

Years ago I flew from Colorado to Palm Springs (Calif) mid-winter for a week’s holiday of needed sun. I rented a car in Palm Springs. Palm Springs is a nice place to go in the winter I might add, better in late winter than mid-winter.

Anyway, this is where it gets weird. About two months after I returned to Colorado, I got a letter in the mail from Palm Springs City saying I had an unpaid parking ticket and when should they expect their money? But I never received a parking ticket while I was in Palm Springs.

And get this; this is the kicker: the ticket wasn’t for the rental car. It was given to the license number of my own Colorado car, my Ford truck, which never left the state! My poor Ford truck got a parking ticket in Palm Springs, while at the same time it sat in the snowbanks of Steamboat Springs, Colorado!

I wrote back and told them my truck hadn’t ever been in Palm Springs, or even to California. I explained tthe farthest west it had been was Utah. Palm Springs City wrote back saying in the interest of justice they were removing the ticket from my record. But offered no explanation. But I’ve always wondered how exactly that happened.


#16

Did you check the mileage on the truck when you returned? Did someone drive your truck to Cali while you were there? An unusual idea, but your story is unusual as you said.


#17

Huh. Somehow they got your name from the rental company-maybe several rentals old, and they just pulled it off the DMV listing. But then why not list the rental vehicle instead? Or maybe whoever wrote the ticket got the number wrong and turned out to be yours. But that would mean two events at the same time-another CO car and getting the plate number wrong. Interesting.


#18

The rental car had Calif plates. My truck had Colorado plates. I guess maybe the rental car company, they might could figure out which cars I owned because they know my name and address and transferred the ticket to one of my cars, but that sounds illegal to me.

It’s such an unusual thing that I have sort of suspected maybe somebody back in Colorado – a family member maybe who wanted to see if I was really going to Palm Springs? – maybe they wre suspicious or jealous and simply “borrowed” my truck and drove it to Palm Springs themselves? That’s the best idea I’ve been able to come up with. I didn’t pay att’n to the mileage so it is possible that is what happened.

Or maybe it is something even more mysterious. Edgar Allen Poe said about this kind of thing: “There are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.”


#19

Would FOIA help? I’d be a bit concerned. If my vehicle was AWOL, or if they transferred the ticket, I’d want to know.


#20

My suggestion: write the municipal agency where you are supposed to pay the ticket and explain your situation. There’s a good chance you will be given a greatly reduced fine, since many people who work for cities are pretty understanding.
You should do it before the due date for the ticket.
Years ago, when Boston police could have cared less about this, I had a collection of unpaid tickets made into a chain hanging from the dashboard of my old beat up city car. Wouldn’t do that now!!