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  • Report: #408254

Complaint Review: City Of Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau

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  • Submitted: Mon, January 05, 2009
  • Updated: Tue, November 16, 2010

  • Reported By:Downey California
City Of Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau
PO Box 30087 Los Angeles, California U.S.A.

City Of Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau Los Angeles City Parking Violations Bureau - Time for a Class Action Lawsuit... Los Angeles California

*General Comment: Absolutely

*Consumer Suggestion: Class Action Lawsuit seems to be the only way to stop City Of Los Angeles PVB from ripping us off.

*Consumer Comment: Class Action Lawsuit Against PVB

*Consumer Suggestion: Will join the class action lawsuit

*Consumer Suggestion: Supporting Case Law

*Consumer Comment: City of Los Angeles, Parking Violations Bureau

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In 1998 I leased a Ford Explorer on a 3 year term. Sometime in 2001 I returned that vehicle to the dealership, completed all the turn-in paperwork and ended the lease.

In July of 2008, some SEVEN years after having owned the vehicle in question, I receive a notice of parking violation in the West Los Angeles area which I live nowhere near. I knew this had to be in error as the license plate that was on the citation notice was a regular issued DMV plate. My currrent vehicle (as well as my wife's) both have personal plates.

The violation was for No Parking/Street Cleaning day or something like that.

I called the Parking Violation Bureau and after being on hold for an eternity, I got some apathetic, rude customer service person on the other end. I explained my situation and explained this ticket had to have been issued in error as I do not have any current vehicles with the license plate in question.

She verified the citation # and said it was issued to a FORD. No other description given, but she claimed that I was the RO of the vehicle. I told her I wanted to contest the citation as I do not own that vehicle. They said they would verify it in their system and respond within 5 days in writing.

Three days past, and this time I get TWO letters in the mail from the Parking Violations Bureau. The first one was a NEW citation, this time for Meter Expired. The second letter was to inform me that they had verified the citation and that I am the RO of the vehicle and would be held liable for the original citation.

The citations occured in a residental neighborhood (I googled both addresses) and discovered the streets intersect together in this residential neighborhood.

I went down to my local Police department (thank god I don't live in the City of Los Angeles), and the desk officer out of courtesy ran the plate in question.

He told me that I was the ORIGINAL RO of the vehicle but the vehicle was transferred to a new owner in 2001 who lives...guess where? In the same neighborhood where the citations were issued. The officer went on to tell me that the vehicle had current registration and that another gentleman is showing up as the CURRENT RO, not me.

For security reasons, he could not give me a print out and I understand that. He told me to call the Parking Violations Bureau back, explain my findings and ask them to re-run the registration.

I called them back and got yet another unhelpful, apathetic person on the other end who told me they do not run vehicle registrations and that the burden of proof was my problem, not theirs. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told no supervisors where available. I asked for their voicemail and was shut down there as well.

I was told they would put a message into their system and have a supervisor call me back in 2 days. I never got the call.

I called back a few days later and tried to explain my story again. This time I was told that they would look into the situation and try to resolve it. I never heard anything back from that conversation but made the assumption it had been resolved as no communication came back that they were still holding me liable for the citations.

Months past and right before the holidays in December I get a notice from LDC Collection Systems that my failure to pay for the citations have caused them to be turned over to collections and of course more money is owed. It also warned me that my credit rating would be affected unless I pay ASAP.

I called the # on the letter and got a recorded message with just payment instructions.

A few days later I get ANOTHER letter from the Parking Violations Bureau stating that I now have a NOTICE of ENFORCEMENT SANCTIONS, the fees have increased and now the vehicle is on holding status with the DMV and the vehicle can not be re-registered. Like that is my problem. I feel sorry for the poor guy that owns the vehicle now.

I went to the Auto Club (I am a member there) and tried to get the registration information. The clerk at the Auto Club verified in her DMV computer that I AM NOT THE CURRENT RO of the vehicle in question. She said she could not give me the printout for security reasons and she said neither would the DMV if I went there.

So today (1/5/09) I take time away from work to try and resolve this matter AGAIN. I call their main # and guess what? I did another unhelpful, arrogant representative from the Parking Violations Bureau. I attempt to plead my case and they pulled up the records of my account. They claim that a supervisior indeed try to call me back the following day. I said I never got the call or voicemail. She verified that the phone # was correct and then she said...oh the supervisor said it sounded like a wrong # so he didnt leave a message...how convenient.

She then told me that I exceeded my window to appear in person and dispute the citations so I have to pay for them. I asked to speak to a supervisor again and was told that no one was available but they would call me back in 2 days. Here we go again.

I told her that I am not the current RO and she said that they have no way of pulling vehicle registration, so I would be better off just paying the fines to make this go away.

I asked her for the name and address of the Commissioner in charge of Parking Violations and was told that information is not available. Are they not a public office? After I pushed the issue she said the persons name was "Sonny" and refused to give a last name or mailing address.

I could not find any information via Google on "Sonny" so my next call was to City Hall. I actually got a nice person there who said the City Department of Transportation oversees the Parking Violation Bureau and got this information:

Board of Transportation
Paul Kim, Director
100 S. Main Street
10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-8455

When I called that # it went to voice mail with someone's name other than Paul Kim...who indicated she was out of the office on vacation but to call this # instead (213) 972-8456. I called that # and that person was out on vacation as well but was told to call this #, (213) 972-8449 for help. I called that # and yes believe it or not, that person was out of the office on vacation. So, no one apparently works there or they allow everyone to take vacation at the same time. Got to love being a public servant.

I got the main # to the receptionist (213) 972-8470 who had no clue what to do with me and she dumped me into someone's voicemail who yes, was out on vacation as well. I left a stern message there indicating I want a call back ASAP and then I found their department's website and I sent an email to their general email box explaining my needs and that I want someone to contact me ASAP. I am not expecting to hear back.

My last call was to the the West LA station of LAPD. I got their community service officer who was rude on the phone and said parking violations are not his problem and that I would have to call someone at the Transporation Bureau.

So here I sit, 3 hours wasted today trying to fix something that is not my fault or problem.

I am seriously considering filing a lawsuit or small claims action against all these departments....this is ridiculous.

Anyone interested in a class action? They need to be fixed and regulated better.

Jay
Downey, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/05/2009 02:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/City-Of-Los-Angeles-Parking-Violations-Bureau/Los-Angeles-California-90030/City-Of-Los-Angeles-Parking-Violations-Bureau-Los-Angeles-City-Parking-Violations-Bureau--408254. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Absolutely

AUTHOR: tressa - (United States of America)

Yes!!
I have serious problems with L.A. city parking and their corrupt tactics to bleed money from me!
I received a citation, so I PROMPTLY contested it.
But they sent me a form letter claiming I did not. And they charged me late fees and then sent me to collections.
I proved that I did contest it on time, but they have ignored me.
I'm so Mad!!
I'll be happy to join your class action, if you choose to file.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Class Action Lawsuit seems to be the only way to stop City Of Los Angeles PVB from ripping us off.

AUTHOR: Miked - (U.S.A.)

I recently received two parking citations for parking within 8 am 6 pm parking restriction zone; one citation was issued at 12:21 am and another one was issued in about a week at 9:37 pm.

My reaction on the first ticket was officer is just a man prone to error, however the second ticket raised a red flag something is wrong! First ticket was dismissed by City Of Los Angeles Parking Violations Bureau but second was not. I was too nave to believe that hearing discovers mistake and even brought the picture of the sign. Here is the quote from hearing examiner report:
In regards to the sign posted, the Hearing Examiner does acknowledge the discrepancy, however, he did not provide other photographs, along the street. Officer noted no parking anytime. The picture of the sign taken by the Responded did not state no parking anytime. Therefore it is assumed that another sign must be posted on the same street.
No comments!

Class Action Lawsuit seems to be the only way to stop City Of Los Angeles PVB from ripping us off.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Class Action Lawsuit Against PVB

AUTHOR: Classactionpvb - (U.S.A.)

Never used this site before but let's see how it works. The power of the internet is a great thing. I am writing because I feel that all of us have seen how the PVB takes complete advantage of people and simply robs them of money on fraudulent tickets. I agree with others on here about filing a class action lawsuit against them. If you are interested let's start to pull together a collection of people. We have set up an email address for this - classactionPVB - It's at hotmail. Send a message and we'll see how far we can get this. We also have some access to media outlets so there is the hope that we could get this "in the public court." And we all know how the public court feels about the PVB of LA. Please get in touch and we can begin to form a group so that we can finally put an end to this. There are thousands of people who have been scammed by the PVB and it's really about time to sort out this problem.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Will join the class action lawsuit

AUTHOR: Lost Angeles - (U.S.A.)

A class action lawsuit would most certainly hold SOMEONE accountable. The objective would be to develop a clear and trustworthy department that has some oversight. At present the individuals issuing citations are their own "bosses" they do as they please. Case in point, I just received a "Notice of Delinquent Parking Violation" for a citation I never originally received. After checking the address, it is near the area where I reside and frequently travel THROUGH. It is in an impossibly absurd location that would block traffic horrendously as the street narrows there... the alleged citation.... RED ZONE....

My wife and I were on a local road trip that day miles away.... the questions are WHO issued the citation and HOW. I have a personal theory as to how this might be possible.. the point is that yes one spoiled apple may not rot the whole barrel but it certainly casts doubt on the WHOLE system. I am pursuing this matter further.... I will take it to wherever it needs to be taken. There is almost no point in bringing public shame to the City of Los Angeles' Parking Violation Bureau it is such a big conglomerate that it may have little effect... this if it were exposed via an Local Television Investigation and subsequent Expos... the problem is that ONE unethical, uncognitive, retrograde, dishonest, untruthful son of his/her mother who needs to be held accountable. Who ever this person may be, who falsely issued this citation to us will most certainly be loosing his/her job.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Supporting Case Law

AUTHOR: Jordan60 - (U.S.A.)

In researching traffic violations I came across this case on findlaw.com.....free to use. The case supports your argument.
Maybe you should write a letter to the Mayor Villaraigosa to address your claim. The Mayor's office oversees all city organizations, right? Worth a try.

Good luck!



People v. Levinson (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th Supp. 6 , 18 Cal.Rptr.2d 657
Appellate Department, Superior Court, Los Angeles
[Crim. A. Nos. BR31105, BR31222.

Feb 18, 1993.]

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. RICHARD LEVINSON, Defendant and Appellant.

(Municipal Court for the Los Angeles Judicial District of Los Angeles County, Nos. 275493422 and 275522041, Douglas W. Weitzman, Temporary Judge. fn. * )

(Opinion by Soven, J., with Johnson, Acting P. J., and Watai, J., concurring.)

COUNSEL

Tom Stanley and Darold Shirwo for Defendant and Appellant.

James K. Hahn, City Attorney, Debbie Lew and Candice I. Ochi, Deputy City Attorneys, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

SOVEN, J.

This case involves the present system of issuing parking citations. [1a] Defendant, apparently the owner of vehicles on which [14 Cal.App.4th Supp. 8] parking citations were posted, contends that the evidence is insufficient to show that he was the registered owner of the vehicles and that no complaints were filed as required by law.

Bail was posted and trials held at which the citations were contested.

Defendant's argument assumes that only the registered owner or his or her attorney can post bail and can appear to contest the citation. As we explain, the parking-citation system is two-tiered. After the parking citation is issued, any person can post bail and appear in court to contest the citation. Only if the citation remains unpaid is the registered owner cited to appear in court. We conclude that no error of substance occurred, and we affirm.

First, the Vehicle Code does not require that the registered owner be proved, where, as here, a person posted bail on the citation and appeared in court to contest the citation. Vehicle Code fn. 1 section 40202 authorizes the issuance of parking citations by attaching the citation to some part of the vehicle. That section also specifies the information to be included in the citation: approximate time; location; license number; registration; expiration date; last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if visible; color of the vehicle and, if possible, make of the vehicle. A person can then either pay the citation or post bail and contest the citation. ( 40203, 40205.) If the citation remains unpaid, only then must the registered owner be notified about the delinquent citation. ( 40206.)

The procedures described in section 41102, fn. 2 relied on by defendant, do not apply unless the citation remains unpaid and the prosecution must prove the case against the registered owner. In this case, a person chose to appear, pay the fine, and contest the citation. No one forced defendant to appear; he was entitled to wait until the People initiated proceedings under section 40206.

[2] Defendant contends that a violation of a parking ordinance cannot be proved unless the citation contains all the information required under section 40202. The contention is without merit. A fully completed citation is not a [14 Cal.App.4th Supp. 9] jurisdictional requirement in proving a parking violation. The obvious purpose of the information requirements under section 40202 is to permit identification of the vehicle and sufficient information to prove that a violation has been committed. Defendant does not contend that the vehicle was incorrectly identified or that the information contained in the citation was inadequate to prove the violation.

[1b] Defendant's constitutional arguments are without merit. He was not forced to incriminate himself; he was not denied equal protection; and he was not denied due process. Defendant chose the simplified system for paying and/or contesting parking citations.

Second, although we agree with defendant that under section 40230, subdivision (a) a complaint must be filed within 15 days after the defendant requests a court hearing, defendant does not contend that the court was without jurisdiction to proceed, absent a complaint, or that the citation did not provide him with adequate notice of the illegal parking that led to the citation. fn. 3 In short, defendant can show no prejudice by the People's failure to file a complaint.

The judgments are affirmed.

Johnson, Acting P. J., and Watai, J., concurred.

FN *. Pursuant to California Constitution, article VI, section 21.

FN 1. All further statutory references shall be to the Vehicle Code unless otherwise noted.

FN 2. Section 41102, in part, provides that "[i]n any prosecution against the registered owner of a motor vehicle charging a violation of any regulation governing ... the parking of a vehicle under ... any ordinance enacted by local authorities, proof that the particular vehicle described in the complaint was parked in violation of any provision of ... that ordinance, together with proof that the defendant named in the notice of delinquent parking violation issued under Section 40206 or the complaint was at the time of parking the registered owner of the vehicle, is prima facie evidence that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person who parked ... the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred ...."

FN 3. Section 40205 provides that when a person appears to contest a parking violation, the processing agency "shall proceed in accordance with Section 40215." That section describes the duties of the processing agency as to persons who appear to contest a notice of parking violation or notice of delinquent parking violation. Section 40230, subdivision (a) provides that a criminal complaint pursuant to various sections, including section 40215, "shall be filed with the court within 15 days after the defendant requests a court hearing or fails to appear." However, section 40230, subdivision (b) specifically authorizes the processing agency to "file a copy of the notice of delinquent parking violation ... and a copy of the affidavit of service or of the promise to appear," and further states: "That notice shall serve as a complaint on which a warrant may issue." Thus, the reason for requiring a complaint is to permit the issuance of a warrant, and, under the parking violation system, no warrant is ever issued based on the initial notice of parking violation.

[End of Volume 14 Cal.App.4th]
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#6 Consumer Comment

City of Los Angeles, Parking Violations Bureau

AUTHOR: L.a. Lawyer - (U.S.A.)

Don't feel as if you are alone. Under the best possible scenario, the people that staff Los Angeles' Parking Violations Bureau ("PVB) are lazy, ignorant jerks. For the most part, their answer is "just pay," or "it doesn't make any difference that you sold the car (or turrned it in, or whatever other legal excuse you may have) you are still responsible for paying the parking violation.

The PVB refuses to abide by California law with respect to the nonliability of a former owner. The PVB requires that a party provide a copy of one of the following: (1) a copy of the notice of transfer and release of liability that was filed at the time of the sale/transfer of the vehicle, or (2) a copy of the bill of sale/trade in agreement from a licensed car dealer, or a copy of an IRS approved
vehicle donation document from a charity.

Assuming for the sake of discussion that a notice of transfer and release of liability (Cal. DMV Form 138) was completed, the face of the form does not indicate that one should keep a complete copy. So, most people who submit the form likely do not keep a complete copy, but keep the bottom half of the form instead. Moreover, the form states:




5602. An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is not, by reason of any of the provisions of this code, the owner of the vehicle so as to be subject to civil liability or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle thereafter by another when the selling or transferring owner, in addition to that delivery and that bona fide sale or transfer, has fulfilled either of the following requirements: (a) He or she has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership as provided in this code. (b) He or she has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either of the following documents: (1) The notice as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4456 or Section 5900 or 5901. (2) The appropriate documents and fees for registration of the vehicle to the new owner pursuant to the sale or transfer.

On the face of the DMV form, there is a warning that the information contained in the form shall not be recorded if the writing is illegible or there is a lack of complete information, etc. Moreover, form indicates that the information will not be updated unless the buyer completes the transfer.

Having said all that, the Vehicle Code provides for nonliability on the part of a transferring seller as set forth in Vehicle Code section 5602 which provides:

"An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is NOT, by reason of any of the provisions of this code, THE OWNER of the vehicle so as to be subject to CIVIL LIABILITY or CRIMINAL LIABILITY for the PARKING, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle thereafter by another when the selling or transferring owner, IN ADDITION to that DELIVERY and that BONA FIDE SALE or TRANSFER, has fulfilled EITHER of the following requirements: (a) He or she has made PROPER ENDORSEMENT and DELIVERY of the CERTIFICATE of OWNERSHIP as provided in this code. (b) He or she has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either of the following documents: (1) The notice as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4456 or Section 5900 or 5901. (2) The appropriate documents and fees for registration of the vehicle to the new owner pursuant to the sale or transfer. (Emphasis in CAPITALS.)

In other words, the proper endorsement and delivery of the title together with the delivery of the vehicle in a bona fide transaction (sale or transfer) is sufficient by itself to relieve a transferor from any liability, civil or criminal.

As of this writing, the PVB has refused to acknowledge VC section 5602. It is my understanding that the PVB performs the admisinstrative services pursuant ot a contract with the City of Los Angeles. As of this writing, a public records request pursuant to Cal. Gov. Code section 6250, et seq. is being sent to the City of Los Angeles. The City is required to respond within ten days, although they may elect to take a 14 day extension. This report will be updated when the information has been received.
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