I received a fraudulent parking ticket for an expired meter on Laveta Terrace, a side street off of Silverlake Blvd., in Los Angeles, CA on December 03, 2010. I am disabled and have a valid handicapped placard issued to me by the CA DMV on the advice of my doctor. As a disabled person, I have the right to park at a meter without pay and without time
I was specifically directed by a parking enforcement officer to the particular space/meter where I parked because all of the spaces on the main street were taken. When I parked, I prominently displayed my handicapped placard, but found a
ticket for an expired meter upon my return (1/2 hour later). To add insult to injury, the enforcement officer wrote "no placard displayed" in the comments portion of the ticket.
I immediately took pictures with my phone to document the fact that I had a placard displayed, and contested the ticket. The Parking Enforcement Bureau rejected my initial appeal, so I asked for a an administrative hearing in front
of an administrative judge pursuant to CA vehicle code, 40215. I received an initial hearing date of Feb. 18, 2011, but I could not make that hearing because of complications with my disability. I requested a 2nd hearing (also pursuant to 40215), which the Bureau granted.
However, when I called to request the 2nd hearing date, I specifically requested a date BEFORE May 01 or AFTER May 09, 2011. I explained that I was in law school and that I had exams in early May 2011. Of course, I received a 2nd hearing date of May 03, 2011 at 2:30 pm - the exact date and time when I had a law school exam scheduled. I called the Bureau to REMIND them of my request for a date that did not conflict with my exams, but I was told that they could not change the date because I had already missed one date and I am only entitled to one rescheduled hearing (i.e. the May 03 hearing). I explained that I had not missed the 2nd hearing date, but that I was calling preemptively to prevent my missing the 2nd
date. I was told to write the Bureau a letter explaining the conflict, which I did on March 27, 2011 - a full month and a week before my scheduled hearing on May 03, 2011. I included with the letter a copy of my school exam schedule listing May 03, 2011, from 2-5pm as a date and time when I had an exam scheduled.
I never heard from the Bureau in response to the March 27 letter. I called the Bureau again on May 02 to REMIND them that I would not be able to make their scheduled hearing date. I received a letter on May 06, 2011, informing me that I had missed two hearings and thus, had forfeited my right to a appeal the citation and that payment was due immediately. On May 10, 2011, one day after my last scheduled final, I went to the Bureau office nearest to my house (on 3333 Wilshire Blvd.) and asked for a new hearing date or, in the alternative, to speak to a supervisor. I did not get to speak to a supervisor, but instead, I was asked to fill out a form describing my grievance and request.
On May 14, 2011, I received an erroneous letter from the Bureau that was completely unresponsive to the grievance I filed on May 10, 2011. The stock letter merely informed me that I had 21 days to contest the citation (from Dec. 03, 2010, when the citation was issued) and that I had forfeited my right to contest the citation since the 21 days had passed. The letter
failed to address any of my grievances (e.g., that I had been issued a fraudulent violation; that I had contested the violation within 21 days of the citation; that the Bureau had rejected my initial appeal; that I had requested an administrative hearing; that I had missed that initial hearing because of my disability; that I had requested a 2nd hearing on a date that did not conflict with my school exam schedule; that I was given a 2nd hearing on a date that, in fact, conflicted with my school exam schedule; that I had written the Bureau about the conflict WELL IN ADVANCE of the 2nd
hearing date to request a new date; that I had not heard back from the Bureau; and that I had requested a review, in person, following the completion of my last school exam).
I plan to go back to the Bureau office to demand that I speak to a supervisor and to get a new hearing date. If the Bureau continues to be unresponsive, I plan to exercise my right to a review by the LA Superior Court pursuant to CA vehicle code 40230, which allows a person to file a civil action against the Bureau to have its decisions reviewed by a proper judge.
It is unconscionable that a Parking Enforcement Officer could issue a fraudulent ticket to a disabled person in the hopes that the person is too sick or weak to fight it. It is even more unconscionable that he has the support of the Parking Enforcement Bureau, who tries to make the appeals process so rigid and tiresome that citizens buckle and pay the ticket whether fraudulently issued or not just to get the matter resolved.