2005-07-15 / Community

Expert Asks: Were You Given That Ticket To Meet A Quota?

By Erik Feder


The following article was written by the author of “Where To Park Your Car In New York City – And Where Not To Park.” The Wave opted to reprint this article with permission in light of all of the parking tickets that have been written in Rockaway in past months.

According to a handwritten memo obtained by the New York Post, NYC police officers are required to write a minimum of 35 parking tickets, 33 tickets for moving violations (speeding, improper turns, etc), 33 “quality of life” summonses and make 11 arrests each quarter of the year. Failure to meet these requirements for writing tickets often results in a poor performance assessment and other disciplinary action.

So how do you tell if you were given a ticket unfairly, just to meet a quota? What should the average citizen do after receiving a parking ticket to verify that the ticket is correct and that they indeed must pay the fine? First of all, it should be recognized that the fault doesn’t entirely fall on the shoulders of the police officer that wrote the ticket; human error is a factor - perhaps the officer made an honest mistake. In addition, the police officers shouldn’t be put in the position to have to meet quotas in the first place. As stated in the post article (COP TIX QUOTA BARED; New York Post, 6/20/2005): “ ‘Quotas damage the trust between the police and the public’, said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association board member John Giangrasso”.

People who suspect that they may have been issued a parking ticket in error should check for the following:

Did the police officer that wrote the ticket:

Sign it legibly?

Write your correct license plate #?

Write your license plate # legibly?

List the correct model of your car?

List the correct make of your car?

List the correct color of your car?

List the time of the infraction?

Furthermore:

Was the time listed indeed within a period where you’re not allowed to park?

Was the sign listing the regulation readable?

Was there even a sign posted on the street where you parked?

If the answer to any of the above is “No”, then you can fight this ticket and if it resulted in being towed, you can fight that, too.

Gather all evidence (photos, eye-witnesses, copies of the improperly filled out ticket), write a friendly but direct letter explaining why you shouldn’t have to pay the ticket (detailing any errors made by the officer who filled out the ticket) and mail it to the address on the back of the ticket with the box “not guilty” checked off. ALWAYS keep a copy of both sides of the ticket AND all evidence for your records.

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