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Hey fellas - hoping you can help me with some suggestions here


1. I received parking ticket in mail for parking in construction zone (amount 61$).
2. License plate # on ticket is of my car, but color of car and last 4 digits of VIN don't match.

Now issues with this ticket are

1. While plate # on ticket is of my car, color of car and last 4 digits of VIN don't match.
2. My car is new and I haven't even had license plates put on car on the said date (of parking violation)
3. I was out of country - I know this can't be basis for appeal, but that's just fact.

So I appealed to city of Berkeley - with evidence as Photos of my car, VIN#, My car registration and dealer receipt which shows car VIN# and Color, make and model of car.


Guess what, I got mail today saying that my evidence is not sufficient and they find me liable for parking violation - this is ridiculous.


I can't imagine what other proof I should provide. Options given to me are either request administrative review of my case by mail or in person.

I could really use some inputs here - this is so stupid - because I don't want to drive 50 miles just to explain City of Berkeley that they screwed up twice.

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This would be my approach. You may want to research NY policies. Some areas will boot/tow a car for outstanding ticket... (more)

caterpillar123 (Jun. 02, 2010 @ 11:37a) |

That sounds like a good suggestion. Too bad paying the ticket was a requirement to file an appeal and I believed until t... (more)

titi2 (Jun. 02, 2010 @ 1:15p) |

The press will not be interested. This is par for the course in NYC. There have been several meter maids exposed for w... (more)

DTASFAB (Jun. 03, 2010 @ 1:25p) |

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

Did you happen to transfer your plate from your old car to the new car, or something like that? If not, it looks like the ticket writing person wrote down the wrong license plate number from a similar plate. If driving 50 miles is not worth the fine, request review by mail.

nycll said: Did you happen to transfer your plate from your old car to the new car, or something like that? If not, it looks like the ticket writing person wrote down the wrong license plate number from a similar plate. If driving 50 miles is not worth the fine, request review by mail.

Thanks for reply. No transfer of plate was involved, its new car.

As you said, most plausible explanation is ticket writing person messed up, but what ticks me off is this is simple open-shut case (just based on color and last 4 of VIN mismatch) but still my appeal denied!

Not open / shut case. Just becasue someone filled out the ticket wrong does not mean you did not park illegaly.

I am not saying I agree or disagree but looking at it from the court's view. You have proven the ticket was filled out wrong. You have not proven that you did NOT park illegally.

Hope that helps

On my cell. Sorry for spelling

maybe the previous owner of that plate # parked there? the plate # might be new to you, but they just recycle them. reasonable doubt, I'd fight it.

IS IT YOUR TICKET OR NOT?!?!?

Did the make and model match? When you were out of the country, did you park at the airport? Got a receipt for that? Your car could not have been parked at the airport, and in Berkeley at the same time.

This all sounds weird, I don't know Berkeley's laws, but why is a Berkeley City clerk deciding your guilt or innocence rather than a judge?

I think you would win your case if you appeared in court in person with a real judge.

Washington, DC is famous for doing this. All they care about is revenue so they almost always reject appeals via mail with the hope that you'll just give up and pay rather than take the time to show up in person for a follow-up hearing. Sad thing is that most people do end up paying because their time is worth more than the cost of the ticket. In fact places like DC are banking, literally and figuratively, on you deciding to pay rather than fight the violation in person.

BradMajors said: This all sounds weird, I don't know Berkeley's laws, but why is a Berkeley City clerk deciding your guilt or innocence rather than a judge?

I think you would win your case if you appeared in court in person with a real judge.


On same page with you - nowhere on ticket it mentions of court - its all run by City of Berkeley.

lonestarguy said: Did the make and model match? When you were out of the country, did you park at the airport? Got a receipt for that? Your car could not have been parked at the airport, and in Berkeley at the same time.

No mention of model, make matches (Honda).
Did not park at airport, my car was in my apartment parking all the time.
I flew in/out of SFO (never been to Berkeley)

Crazytree said: IS IT YOUR TICKET OR NOT?!?!?

No - and I am trying to prove that - (hence asking for inputs/suggestions)

LOL Why is this not surprising? This is California... they have no money. One of the best ways to get money is to start writing a lot of tickets. You should be prepared for this to happen more frequently.

BayAreaGuy said: Crazytree said: IS IT YOUR TICKET OR NOT?!?!?

No - and I am trying to prove that - (hence asking for inputs/suggestions)
Write a letter to the Mayor's office and let them know what is going on and what a travesty their appeals process is. Knowing Berkeley... they'll probably have the reviewing officer and his/her whole family shipped off the the hippie gulag in Humboldt.

It's a common practice... I have received a ticket before where my car broke down. I submitted receipts of repair/tow for initial review= DENIED!!! Then did written administrative review, ticket DISMISSED!!

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist... but I think it's an attempt to make people pay, because most think it's too much of a hassle... My friend actually paid for a ticket that was written to a car he sold... because they threatened that they will report it to his credit report.. HAHAHA.. I immediately asked if he wanted to pay for my tickets as well.. HAHA

You may want to go and see if the ticket shows which state the plate was from? Perhaps it was a student from a different state w/ the same license plate as yours. It is possible it was a data entry issue. You might also want to see if it is paid by the due date -- perhaps whoever got the ticket will actually pay it.

WhiteGuy said: Not open / shut case. Just becasue someone filled out the ticket wrong does not mean you did not park illegaly.

I am not saying I agree or disagree but looking at it from the court's view. You have proven the ticket was filled out wrong. You have not proven that you did NOT park illegally.

Hope that helps


On the contrary...
Parking there illegally or not, you are not liable for the fines if the ticket is erroneous!!!

WhiteGuy said: Not open / shut case. Just becasue someone filled out the ticket wrong does not mean you did not park illegaly.

I am not saying I agree or disagree but looking at it from the court's view. You have proven the ticket was filled out wrong. You have not proven that you did NOT park illegally.

Hope that helps


Maybe this locale is different, but the burden of proof where I live is on the court, not the person getting the ticket. The OP shouldn't have to prove what they did not do, the court should have to prove what he/she allegedly did.

Law enforcement these days, especially parking/traffic tickets, is all about revenue, not legitimate police functions.

When I was in high school, my Jeep got an overdue ticket in a major city hundreds of miles away. Fortunately the phantom vehicle on the ticket was a sedan, not a Jeep, and the city voluntarily dismissed with a letter and photocopy of the registration. Fighting that in court would not have been feasible. (this city was famous for lazy meter maids writing a day's worth of tickets at the donut shop and then going home early)

You all realize the person doing the review is some $9/hr outsourced employee with frighteningly long fingernails, right?

"HONEY, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY... YO ASS IS GUILTY!"

Call 7 on your side in ABC news.

WhiteGuy said:
I am not saying I agree or disagree but looking at it from the court's view. You have proven the ticket was filled out wrong. You have not proven that you did NOT park illegally.


Wish the whole innocent until proven guilty thing applied to nuisance things such as parking tickets more than it realistically does now. The way its setup is they often make the ticket enough that it pinches your wallet, but not enough that its worth going through the bs to fight it.

As for the OP. parkingticket.com fights the ticket for you at 1/2 the cost of the ticket (they beat it you pay them 50%, they lose you pay them nothing and just have to deal with the ticket). They don't have setups in all cities yet so it might or might not work for you.

My hearts out to you. I'm in Philly where we have a private parking authority who terrorizes us. They are apparently notable enough to warrant a tv series.

http://www.parkingticket.com/help/answers/whatcities.asp

similar service for stop sign/ speeding tickets??

Seems pretty simple to me. They could have written the plate down wrong and still contend that it was your car. They also could have written the plate number down wrong and got the vehicle info wrong.

Don't just try to prove it wasn't your car, prove the plate wasn't yours. According to your OP you already have that proof. .

1. While plate # on ticket is of my car, color of car and last 4 digits of VIN don't match.
2. My car is new and I haven't even had license plates put on car on the said date (of parking violation)
3. I was out of country - I know this can't be basis for appeal, but that's just fact.

Thanks for reply. No transfer of plate was involved, its new car.

Since the car on the ticket does not match your car the date you aquired your car doesn't matter. You need paper work showing the issue date of the plate to you. Make sure the registration paper work shows a new plate was issued and not a plate transfer from another vehicle.

Proving the plate was not registered to you at the time will pretty much prove that it must have been a different car

Something very similar happened to me. The mail arrived after the "dispute by" date. There was no phone numbers to call. How convenient.

No way I am going to travel 400+ miles to dispute a ticket in a town I have never been to.

I sent them a letter stating where I was on that day, and how everything on the ticket didn't match my car and that I wasn't paying that ticket. I haven't heard back.

riznick said: Something very similar happened to me. The mail arrived after the "dispute by" date. There was no phone numbers to call. How convenient.

No way I am going to travel 400+ miles to dispute a ticket in a town I have never been to.

I sent them a letter stating where I was on that day, and how everything on the ticket didn't match my car and that I wasn't paying that ticket. I haven't heard back.


That is crazy, just like all the other stories..... OP I would also really think about contacting your mayor. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

See if you can contest the ticket in person after your mail-in appeal was denied. If that doesn't work, get one of the local news station to help you. ABC7 or CBS5 might be able to help you.

deleted by poster

@OP and @riznick,

3 years ago, I had a similar situation where I received a parking ticket out in Suffolk county, NY and at the time I lived in Rochester,NY. Distance is close to 400 miles. In the mail, I received a parking ticket stating that I owed them $70 plus a $10 late fee however, I was never in Suffolk County at the date they stated. The only info on the ticket was my license plate and the color of my car. It did not state make or any other info. I called up the Suffolk Traffic Department and told them that I did not park my car there. I tried to get more information about the car on the ticket and the woman asked me what kind of car I had. I told her it was a Toyota Corolla, etc. She said, "Yup that matches what it says on the ticket." Then she says it probably was a mistake and that it will be removed from the system. 2 weeks later I receive another notice said that I owed them $80 and another $10 late fee. I called back again, same story. 2 weeks later again, I receive another notice saying I owed them another $90 plus another late fee of $10. I called back again, same old story. Since I didn't trust them, I drove down to Suffolk county to appear for my court date, and I explained to judge that I was never in Suffolk County. He asked me if I had my car documents, which I did. The judge looked at my documents along with what looked like the original ticket. He looks to me and says, "The ticket here doesn't match your car. It says that the ticket is for a 1993 BMW." So my ticket was dismissed.

I wouldn't trust any transaction done through the mail or phone. If your court date is coming up, I'd go. Just my two cents.

riznick said: Something very similar happened to me. The mail arrived after the "dispute by" date. There was no phone numbers to call. How convenient.

No way I am going to travel 400+ miles to dispute a ticket in a town I have never been to.

I sent them a letter stating where I was on that day, and how everything on the ticket didn't match my car and that I wasn't paying that ticket. I haven't heard back.
Maybe your state's DMV has been issuing same plate numbers to multiple cars

How much is the ticket? For a nominal amount I wouldn't fight this forever.

nycll said: riznick said: Something very similar happened to me. The mail arrived after the "dispute by" date. There was no phone numbers to call. How convenient.

No way I am going to travel 400+ miles to dispute a ticket in a town I have never been to.

I sent them a letter stating where I was on that day, and how everything on the ticket didn't match my car and that I wasn't paying that ticket. I haven't heard back.
Maybe your state's DMV has been issuing same plate numbers to multiple cars


Suffolk County gets a lot of commuters from CT and NJ, it could have been someone from one of those states. There could be 50 other license plates with your number on it in the US now. Before I get flamed, we have 50 states plus DC issuing plates.

Spac3d said: How much is the ticket? For a nominal amount I wouldn't fight this forever.

According to the OP it is $61

this clearly isn't the money, it's the principle. This is how the government works- they give you a modest ticket with methods to appeal that are either so painful you don't do it or they generically deny your appeals the first time through. Only if you are willing to fight the appeal (end up seeing a judge after waisting all day at the courthouse) will they overturn it. The whole time they will be throwing late fees at you. I'd fight it- try contacting your city council member (you have those in cali??) and talk to them. In houston,tx, they are about the ONLY ones I've seen in city govt who will respond to you quickly, intelligently, and have some power. I had an erroneous alarm fine from the city of houston and tried over the course of 2 months to reach the 'alarm officer' who was supposed to handle complaints but he was always 'away' or 'off duty' and they always said he would call right back etc.... the city council member got him to call back within one day and apologize...

OP - Did someone borrow your car and park there while you were out of the country?
Sure the VIN is wrong, but those little numbers are hard to see.

When your said: 2. My car is new and I haven't even had license plates put on car on the said date (of parking violation)

Do you mean you had not taken possession of the car from the dealer, or you had a temp permit on it, and simply had not put on the plates yet, which would be impossible to prove.

in jersey you can go to court however if you lose you will have to pay court cost too .if you lose or you cant persuade the prosecuter or the cop to drop the charges,next you can appeal the to superior court. I suggest just paying the ticket unless you enjoy court ,besides youll lose that much in pay from your job for going to court

Just the idea of "them" being wrong, and you being right, fight it whatever it takes. You may want to call a radio or TV just to show how stupid their system is and make it more miserable on them. Good luck!

Nevermind, you said outsourced.

Skipping 80 Messages...
The press will not be interested. This is par for the course in NYC. There have been several meter maids exposed for writing down plate numbers of legally parked cars, going out to eat at KFC, and then using those plate numbers to write fake tickets after the fact. Nobody does anything about it and nobody in government actually cares.

They typically don't do anything for unpaid parking tickets unless you have at least 3 outstanding unpaid tickets. I'd say getting a new plate number from your home state is the best suggestion. Just claim your current plate is damaged. Do not send NYC any money.



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