I had to go to court today to fight a parking ticket I received at the garage I park at everyday. The garage I pay a monthly fee for guaranteed parking.
Last March I parked in the permit section of the garage, but I had forgotten to swap the February mirror hanging thingy for the March one. (It was the first day of the month — a Monday — and it just completely slipped my mind.) When I got back to my vehicle, I saw the $25 ticket under my windshield wiper.
Now, this has happened to my dumbass before. I don’t blame the parking authority for ticketing my car, I can dig that it was my fault for not swapping out the mirror hanging thingy. So I planned on doing what I did before, which was mail in my March receipt, thus proving I paid, it was just a screw up. For some reason, though, I didn’t do it in a timely manner. So when the $50 notice came in the mail, I replied with the necessary copies and completely forgot about it.
Until a month later when the $100 fine showed up.
Assuming they did not receive my receipt, I gave them a call and explained that I had mailed them a copy of my receipt. I was told that “We don’t take those anymore. There’s nothing we can do. You can, however, contest it in court. And you have two days to give us the paperwork for that step.”
WTF? They can’t take proof that I paid for March? What kind of nonsense bullshit is that? I guarantee you it’s probably nothing more than a button push on their end to clear the fine. But I guess that’s too complicated for the parking authority.
To give you an idea what I was dealing with (and to make an extremely long story short), it took three faxes and numerous phone calls to two people in two days to get a court date. Keep in mind I wasn’t faxing different forms each time, either. It was one form. The same form. I had to fax it three times before they finally got it. To give you a sense of the retardation, the day after I had faxed the form twice, I called and asked if they had received the second fax. The lady I spoke to said, “Why did you fax it? We don’t take faxes here, not for court dates.”
“I faxed it because someone there told me to fax it. How do you think I got the fax number?”
“Do you have a name?” I could tell by her tone that she expected me not to have one.
“…oh. That’s me.”
Unbelievable. The dumb bitch didn’t even remember talking to me the day before. Of course I didn’t call her on it. I have a big mouth, and generally have no problem being a smart ass, but she also had me be the balls, so I said nothing. That was painful.
Anywho, I went to court today for the whole thing. The judge asked my plea, which was not guilty (although, technically, I was guilty, but not really). The metermaid gave the facts of the case, and the judge asked me what my case was.
I give him a much more condensed version of what I just wrote here. Basically, I held up the folder I was carrying and said, “I have the receipts for March. I mailed them to the parking authority twice, called them numerous times and faxed info over to them three times. Each time they told me there was nothing they could do.”
The judge gave me a look of understanding. He said, “The parking authority has not proved their case. Not guilty.”
Fuck yeah. That felt pretty good. Sure, it was a just a parking ticket, but after all the idiocy I had to deal with, it was vindication.
I never felt one way or another about metermaids before today, but I think they are scum, now. Notsomuch the ones ticketing vehicles in reserved spots, or firelanes or whatever, but the ones that give out ridiculous tickets. 90% of the people I saw fighting their tickets today (I was there for three hours, an hour of which was parking violations, so there were quite a few) had legitimate beefs. One guy got a ticket for parking against the flow of traffic. Outside his house. In a neighborhood. At the end of a deadend street. Seriously, what the fuck. That is asinine, and nothing more than a powertrip.
I can see why these Napoleon complex asses are hated.