September 23rd, 2003


(no subject)

Back in March, I parked my car on one of the streets near Penn's campus, in one of my favorite spots pretty close to my dorm. I went back the next day to use my car, and found a $25 parking ticket, indicating that I parked in a space where parking is never permitted.

This was a parking space where I had parked many times before, sometimes for as long as a week and a half at a time, without a ticket. I have seen other cars parked there without a ticket. I even asked a police officer once, and he said that to the best of his knowledge, it was a legal spot. The parking signs on the block are very ambiguous.

Unwilling to simplly pay the fine, I wrote a letter formally requesting a hearing. I recieved notice back that my hearing would be on September 23rd. Six months away! I hope I don't forget about it, I thought.

Well, yesterday I went back to the parking space. Drew a sketch of the street with the locations of the parking signs. I took pictures of the space, including the car currently sitting there without a ticket.

I have a court date today. Wish me luck.

(Let's see. $0.37 for the stamp on the letter. $3.74 to get the pictures printed. $1.30 for the bus token back (I intend to walk there). Wonder if I can counter-sue the city for my costs, equal to 22% of the original fine...)

Oh, yeah, and they offered me one hour of free parking at the courthouse. One hour. There's no way they'll even hear my case on time, right? That just seems like they're baiting me into another ticket...

(no subject)

A continuation of sorts of my last post:

Had my hearing today. Scheduled for 5:15pm. Got there by 4:55pm. Checked in. Waited until 6:10pm. Was done by 6:20pm. Good thing I walked there, and didn't try to take advantage of the hour of free parking, eh?

So, yeah. Not a court hearing or anything. It was just me and the Parking Hearing Examiner, who my uncle tells me is neither a judge nor a lawyer; he's just a guy hired to do this. We were in a room smaller than my bathroom, with chairs for each of us, a desk, a computer for him, and a tape recorder to record the hearing.

I stated my name, address, and connection to the vehicle in question for the record. I explained that I contend that where I was parked on the day in question was either a legal parking space or one that was unclear as to its legality.

"Well, which one was it?"

"I still don't know."

I showed him my diagram of the street and the parking signs. He showed me that No Parking Sign #2 meant that I was parked illegally. I explained how it was unclear, and showed him my 7 pictures. He looked at them for a bit, and then said, "Okay, I'm going to dismiss the ticket."

Go me! Go me! Working the system!

He said that even so, he still never wants to catch me parking on the left side of South 40th street between Spruce Street and Delancey Place again.

He gave me back my diagram and 3 of the pictures, but he kept the other 4 for the record.

Collapse )

Yeah, so I really feel good about myself today. Now, if only I could get employed...