Once on a rainy day in Westwood, I found a parking ticket in a plastic bag on my windshield wiper when I walked out of the restaurant I was having lunch at. I immediately took it out to see what violation did I commit, it says that I illegally parked because I did not feed the meter. I went over to double check the meter to see what happened, and indeed I still have 20 minutes as I have thought. Right away I know that the parking officer whom issued the ticket never even bothered to get out of his car in the rain to check the meter. Instead, he must have just simply drove by and opened his window to put it there. Otherwise, he would clearly see I still have plenty of time left on the meter.
I called the number on the citation immediately and told the person answering the phone what had happened. All she did was tell me to contest the ticket according to their procedure. I asked her how in the world can I prove that I had 20 minutes left in the meter? She says that's not her job. I asked to speak to her supervisor because I need to find a way to ensure that they will not reject my appeal for lack of evidence. Right after I said I want to speak to your supervisor, she hung up on me. I could not believe what had happened and tried to call back but could not reach anyone.
I proceeded to fight the ticket by writing in my appeal letter and waited. Weeks later I still have not heard from anyone, I wrote in again to see what was going on. They said that they have responded already to my first appeal and it was rejected, but right now I have given up my right to further contest it because I have pass the 30 days policy. I couldn't believe what I was hearing because I never received anything in the mail! So how can the 15 days policy be in effect when I haven't received anything.
Their policy states that "Within 15 days of the mailing of the results of the review, you can request a mail-in or in-person review by a City examiner". I argued that I never received anything from them so I can't be held accountable for the 15 days that I am not aware of. Their only response is that they are not responsible neither for mailing error. I couldn't do anything except to pay their fine, I was furious!
I thought that was just a isolated incident and did not necessary reflect the way parking enforcement operate in general. Boy was I wrong! Recently when I went to renew my registration at the DMV, they told me I have a hold and can't get my renewal because I have an outstanding ticket unpaid. I was like what?! I never got a ticket in the entire year. DMV said I would have to check with the Parking Violation Bureau because they don't have any information on it. When I did, the PVB told me that I was cited for illegally parking in a No-Stopping Zone in March (it's now August). I said I was never given a ticket, nor did I receive anything in the mail. They said that they have sent me the ticket, and two notices of delinquency. The ticket is now over two hundered dollars instead of $60! Once again, I said how can this be my fault if I never knew I got a ticket (the citation itself was suspicious because I don't remember ever parking there in March, but that's another story) and I did not receive any notices when the PVB obviously got my address wrong (and indeed they did)!
So I appealed to the delinquency charge and paid for the original amount of $60 (I have no proof that I didn't commit the violation) hoping to just get my registration done. They told me that it was going to take only 21 days for them to make a decision and then I will be issued an "abstract" to bring to the DMV and get my renewal.
It's been over two months now since I submitted my appeal!! Everytime I went to the PVB to ask about the status, they tell me it's still in progress and have no information of when the matter will be resolved. I asked them what is there to contemplate about? They got the wrong address and it was their fault, not mine...why does it take so long? They simply answer I don't know, you can call this number to try to get more information.
I called the number they gave me and only got a run-around. They told me to go back to the PVB to get the information. I explained to them that the PVB was the one who told me to call. They just kept repeating that I have to go to the PVB.
Frustrated and mad as hell, I asked them for their address so I can go there and see their supervisor. Then they tell me that they cannot give out that information! I said you guys are a public service under the government, I am a tax payer and a citizen, why can't I get those information?! I was shocked when I heard their response, they said that they were not public! They are a private company sub-contracted by the government to handle reviews and related matters! I was outraged because that means they have something to gain from issuing all these tickets and denying all the appeals!
To this day I still have not gotten my registration as a result of this matter. I believe this is extremely unfair and the county needs to do something about this to clean up the corruption. If anyone out there shares similar horror stories, please post it here and suggest what we can do about this...one person can't change anything, but together we have strength in numbers!
Los Angeles, California