School parking citation

  • #1
leroyjenkens
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I need your opinion on this.
I got a 30 dollar citation for parking in the grass at my school. The school has too many students and not enough parking, so every day at around noon, there's no parking spots. You have to circle the parking lot with 40+ other cars hoping to catch someone pulling out. Well I normally get one, but today I was circling the parking lot for 20+ minutes and finally decided that I had to stop the car because I was about to be late for class. If I'm late for class, it's an automatic zero on the homework because he hands out the answers at the beginning of class.
So I park in the grass next to somebody else who also parked in the grass. I just hoped I wouldn't get a citation.
Well I did, and I'd rather die than pay them that money. I already paid 55 dollars for parking that I apparently can't use, and now I have to pay 30 dollars for parking in the grass just so I can get to a class I paid 500+ dollars for on time? It's a joke.

I can appeal the citation, which I'm obviously going to do. If that fails, I plan on getting a lawyer or something. Either way, they are not getting that money.
What do you think?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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I think you'll lose. They just had a story about parking in the grass on the news last month. If they have signs posted, you're most likely not going to win. I would appeal the cost of your parking permit if they have sold permits well beyond the amount of space available.
 
  • #3
dlgoff
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What. Only $30? You're lucky. That's about what it cost me back in the '70s. I once came out of class to find my car missing. Now I had the cost of the ticket plus the towing and storage fees.
 
  • #4
leroyjenkens
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I think you'll lose. They just had a story about parking in the grass on the news last month. If they have signs posted, you're most likely not going to win. I would appeal the cost of your parking permit if they have sold permits well beyond the amount of space available.

I don't think they do have those signs, but if they do, what else can I do? Get 0's on all the homework in that class because I'm driving around the parking lot for half an hour?

How would I appeal the cost of the parking permit? I think I'm going to do that too.

All they're doing is trying to squeeze as much money out of the students as possible, not caring how unethical it is. I'll take it to court if I have to. This is absurd.
What. Only $30? You're lucky. That's about what it cost me back in the '70s. I once came out of class to find my car missing. Now I had the cost of the ticket plus the towing and storage fees.
Well, there's about 20-30 other cars parked in the grass too. They can't tow them all. But they can make a business out of it, which is what they're doing apparently.

There's two lots. They're both always full and people are always circling the lot mid-day. At one of them people park in the grass. At the other, people park at this dirt lot that's for construction crews.
Some people opt to pay 3 dollars for a pass to park in the garage for the day, even though they've paid for the sticker to park in the lots. But since they can't find a spot, they give up and pay for the garage for the day. I spend enough money at this school. Should I just go ahead and deposit every paycheck into their account?
 
  • #5
Ben Niehoff
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$55 for a parking permit? Lucky you! Here it costs $496 per semester, and it is also oversold. I take the train.
 
  • #6
leroyjenkens
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$55 for a parking permit? Lucky you! Here it costs $496 per semester, and it is also oversold. I take the train.

Why aren't more people going to college? It's such a mystery. I hope we figure it out one day.
 
  • #7
Pythagorean
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I was granted my first appeal
 
  • #8
Pythagorean
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I ride my bike now. Cardio is better than fines.
 
  • #9
leroyjenkens
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I ride my bike now. Cardio is better than fines.

I would love to do that, but it would take 45 minutes according to Google maps, and I'd have to take the highway, which I don't think I'm allowed to do on a bike.
 
  • #10
lisab
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You should go ahead and appeal - what do you have to lose? Chances are fair that you'll get a reduced fee, but you'll still have to part with something.

Remember: there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. Some lessons cost a lot more than others*. Lessons will be repeated until you learn them.

Take away message - be early next time you have a must-turn-in assignment.


*Trust me, this one was cheap!
 
  • #11
leroyjenkens
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You should go ahead and appeal - what do you have to lose? Chances are fair that you'll get a reduced fee, but you'll still have to part with something.

Remember: there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. Some lessons cost a lot more than others*. Lessons will be repeated until you learn them.

Take away message - be early next time you have a must-turn-in assignment.


*Trust me, this one was cheap!

I'm going to appeal, and the fine better be reduced to zero. I can afford to pay the fine, but paying is not an option for me based on principle. I'll get a lawyer if I have to.

People will take every penny from you if they can. Some people let them do it just to avoid conflict. But I won't do it. I'm right and they're wrong. They have no defense on this matter.

What lesson could I possibly learn from this? Get there earlier? I get there as early as I can. I get off work, stop by my apartment on the way there and get my stuff and go. I guess maybe the lesson is to not choose classes at that time? Well hindsight is 20/20. And sometimes the only times for those classes I need WILL be that time, so I have no choice.

I do appreciate your response though, I'm just really passionate about not letting people walk over me, and that's exactly what someone is trying to do to me now.
 
  • #12
Pythagorean
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I would love to do that, but it would take 45 minutes according to Google maps, and I'd have to take the highway, which I don't think I'm allowed to do on a bike.

That's about perfect for cardio! :]

Is there anyway you could take a bike to nearby destination, park there, and ride in?
 
  • #13
Travis_King
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What would paying a lawyer do? Don't be ridiculous.

I'd appeal though.
 
  • #14
AlephZero
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Lessons will be repeated until you learn them.
Until either you learn them, or you die - whichever occurs first :smile:
 
  • #15
Q_Goest
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Reminds me of a parking citation I got just before I started as a freshman. I was in the USAF for 4 years and had come to the college to schedule classes and stuff. I accidentally parked in the wrong lot (I didn't have a parking permit) and got a ticket. I talked to some administrator about it and explained I had traveled 500 miles from my base to get there to schedule the classes and didn't realize the parking situation, had to take leave, blah blah blah... The sob story worked and they tore up the ticket on the spot. So I'd suggest you fight it and give them a sob story, basically what you already said about driving around for 20 minutes, the automatic zero on the homework, parked next to another car in the grass, etc... But don't get pissy, that'll work against you. Play the part of the beleaguered student.
 
  • #16
Pengwuino
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Oh man, $30 for a citation and $55 for parking permits? They must be rich. My current university sells annual parking permits around $700. My old university was around $160 but the fines were always at least $50.

What you could do is tell your professor what happened, have him sign something saying it would hurt you academically to have not done what you did and bring that in with your appeal. Doesn't your ticket or parking department have information about appeals? Our tickets do and the parking department website does have info as well. Maybe it will help but I don't know.

Also, you should get a lawyer. The lesson you will quickly learn is that not all fights are worth fighting and life consists of getting screwed over every so often. If it makes you feel any better, remember that you probably screwed over someone, maybe intentionally or not, in your life and that's just kind of how the world works. People get screwed, such is life. If you want to do something about it, get more people involved in your cause. Get petitions for new parking structures. Have a rally. Then they may build more parking! Of course, they're just going to tack on the fees for any new parking onto your increased parking permit fee :)

Again, screwed.
 
  • #17
micromass
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Some people opt to pay 3 dollars for a pass to park in the garage for the day

I really don't see why you don't pay the 3 dollars.

Fine, the situation sucks, it's dishonest and they're screwing you over. But there's nothing you can do about it. Sometimes you got to learn to let things go.
 
  • #18
Vanadium 50
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What do you think?

I think you want our agreement, not our opinions. I also think it was worth $3 not to get a $30 ticket, and I think if you get a lawyer, you won't have a legal leg to stand on. Did the university promise that there would always be a spot for you whenever you might want one? Oh, and if you refuse to pay, odds are that your university will refuse to send out transcripts until you do.
 
  • #19
micromass
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I think you want our agreement, not our opinions. I also think it was worth $3 not to get a $30 ticket, and I think if you get a lawyer, you won't have a legal leg to stand on. Did the university promise that there would always be a spot for you whenever you might want one? Oh, and if you refuse to pay, odds are that your university will refuse to send out transcripts until you do.

And even if you do win, the cost of that lawyer will be significant!! You will likely pay more on the lawyer than that you will pay on the $30 ticket.
Furthermore, fighting this is a total waste of time. You could use that time for studying or having fun.

So, is it really worth it??
 
  • #20
Vanadium 50
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To quote the great Chico Marx: You know what I say. Whenever you got trouble the best thing to do is to get a lawyer. Then you got more trouble, but at least you got a lawyer.
 
  • #21
edward
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Get one of the new Fiat 500's and deck it out as a lawn mower.
 
  • #22
Evo
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Get one of the new Fiat 500's and deck it out as a lawn mower.
Lol!
 
  • #23
I_am_learning
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Your university provides cheap parking permit. That means, they can't well guarantee that you can get parking space at your convenience. That doesn't mean you can park at the grass if you can't find space. Your university has parking scarcity, you already know this. So, either you needed to find alternatives or you should have long complained about lack of parking spaces. Nothing allows you to break the rules.
 
  • #24
Andre
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Such a first world problem. But could biking have solved it? It may take longer to get there but you can do 4 miles easily in 20+ minutes orbitting time.
 
  • #25
AlephZero
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Such a first world problem.

You could try moving to a university where undergraduates are not even allowed to have cars unless they can demonstrate they have legal 24-hour off-street parking arrangements. (And even then, there is zero car parking for undergrads anywhere on campus )

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/aug/17/cambridge-model-cycling-city

Actially the comment that "drivers are considerate of cyclists" is mixing up cause and effect. If one car tries to fight one bike for road space, the bike loses. If one car tries to fight 500 students on bikes heading from one lecture to the next, the car loses!
 
  • #26
ThinkToday
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I'm going to appeal, and the fine better be reduced to zero. I can afford to pay the fine, but paying is not an option for me based on principle. I'll get a lawyer if I have to.

It's that kind of thinking that paid my way through college (family full of lawyers). Clients with principles and money. :smile:

IMO, bottom line is you likely broke the terms of your parking permit by parking on the grass. I'd be willing to bet somewhere in the fine print it says something like "Purchase of this permit does not guarantee an available parking space." If it doesn’t state that, perhaps you’d have an argument that they broke the terms of your agreement (the permit) by overselling permits and not providing alternate parking.

Getting a lawyer is VERY $$$, so forget it. I have a friend that was morally right but legally wrong, and he had the money to fight. After $25,000 plus lawyer fees and damages, he was still morally right but legally wrong and that much the poorer for his decision to fight.

As others have said, you could appeal it based on the school not providing adequate space for the permits issued, first time offender (at least getting caught), etc., and ask to have the fine to be set aside. It may also help to plea your case about the penalty in class for being late, even when it’s beyond your control, and ask them what they are going to do for students like you that make a good faith effort to park appropriately and get to class on time. Does the school have any arrangements for alternative parking?

Win or lose, go to the student government body and work for change. Things don’t change unless people like you try to make a difference within the rules set out to effect change.
 
  • #27
EricVT
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Appeal if you like, but you will almost certainly have to pay. The university can withhold whatever they like from you if you have outstanding citations on your record.

When I was an undergraduate I took summer courses every year and always parked in the same lot. The lot was normally a commuter lot requiring a commuter permit, but during the summer months they changed it to an open lot that anyone could park in.

After 3 years of parking in that lot they (arbitrarily) changed half of the parking spaces to employee-only parking spaces, and they did it without posted notice. There was no signage or markings to differentiate the left half of the parking lot (still general use) from the right (employee only). On the day they changed it I came back from class and my car had been towed. I appealed, obviously, but the appeal was immediately discarded and I had to pay several hundred dollars for towing cost, storage cost, and the citation fee itself.

Discovered shortly thereafter that several other students had experienced the same thing. I was blown away at the time at how the rules could just be made up and enforced on a whim, despite how illogical and unfair they seemed. Turns out that happens a lot in life.
 
  • #29
cristo
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I'm going to appeal, and the fine better be reduced to zero. I can afford to pay the fine, but paying is not an option for me based on principle. I'll get a lawyer if I have to.

I don't understand what your defence will be. I bet in the terms and conditions of your purchase of a permit there is something that says this permit allows you to park on college property but does not guarantee a parking space. Furthermore, it will tell you where you can and cannot park using the permit (usually 'designated bays'). You parked in an area that was not covered by your permit and got caught, so you have to pay the penalty.
 
  • #30
Mech_Engineer
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By appealing what you're really asking is for them to give you permission to park on the lawn... It's obviously against the rules to park on the landscaping, just pay the fine and be done with it. An erroneous parking violation after legally parking is one thing; you knowingly broke the rules, pay the fine.

Do you have any idea how much it would cost to "get a lawyer," to fight a $30 parking violation?! You'll probably pay the lawyer $200 just in the initial consultation, and he'll tell you the same thing we are.
 
  • #31
WannabeNewton
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I can't believe all this is for a $30 parking violation. Don't you have more important things to do then try to seem big by making a huge deal out of your "principles"?
 
  • #32
BobG
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George Maynard of New Hampshire is the only person to win an appeal of his traffic ticket in the US Supreme Court.

Of course, his ticket (actually three of them) was for covering up New Hampshire's state motto with electrician's tape. That might seem like a stupid thing to hand out traffic tickets for but, remember, New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die". How they could not ticket someone for covering up a state motto like that!

His first ticket, he appeared in court to fight the ticket. The judge found him guilty, fined him $25, and then suspended the sentence based on the presumption of good behavior in the future. In essence, Maynard escaped with paying nothing.

Maynard also decided to show up and fight the second ticket for covering up the motto, but, to make things worse, received a third ticket while awaiting his court date. The judge found him guilty on the second ticket, fined him $500 and sentenced him to 6 months in prison!

But then the judge suspended all but $50 of the fine and suspended the prison sentence entirely based on the presumption of future good behavior. And then the judge reinstated the $25 fine from the first ticket, since the presumption of good behavior in the future was obviously wrong for the first ticket.

And the judge dismissed the third ticket, feeling he'd adequately made his point.

And then Maynard told the judge he wasn't going to pay the $75 ($25 for the first and $50 for the second). He felt the tickets were unfair and he wasn't going to pay!

And so the judge tossed him in jail for 7 days for contempt of court. (The good behavior only referred to future traffic tickets; not conduct in court.)

By time Maynard got out of jail, a lawyer that had witnessed the second court appearance had gotten in contact with the ACLU. Upon Maynard's release, the lawyer convinced him to appeal the ticket to the US District Court. The US District Court granted an immediate injunction to prevent Maynard from accumulating even more traffic tickets for his license plate and then eventually won their appeal based on a six month prison sentence being an unreasonable punishment for covering a license plate.

New Hampshire appealed the US District Court's decision to the US Supreme Court, claiming the US District Court lacked jurisdiction. Traffic court is a state court and any appeal should have gone up the chain through state appeal courts instead of federal courts.

The US Supreme Court found against the state. In cases of on-going violations of a person's civil rights, US District Courts do have jurisdiction to intervene. While Maynard couldn't appeal a single traffic violation to federal courts, the fact that the state had already given him 3 traffic tickets and had every indication of continuing to violate his civil rights gave the federal courts jurisdiction.

And the US Supreme Court also decided the law itself was a violation of New Hampshire residents' First Amendment Rights - and it was this finding, that the law was violating Maynard's First Amendment Rights, that provided the logic for the US District Court having jurisdiction over Maynard's appeal.

Additionally, since it was the state that had appealed to the US Supreme Court and the state had lost, Maynard's lawyers could recoup the cost of representing him in the US Supreme Court even though they were representing Maynard pro bono (they couldn't charge the state for the initial appeal to the US District Court, since it was Maynard that initiated the appeal).

New Hampshire disagreed, claiming they only had to recoup Maynard's costs, which were zero since he was being represented pro bono.

So Maynard's lawyers filed the proper motions and got a US federal marshall to serve the state with a demand for $21,000. The problem was actually serving any state officials. They simply refused to see him or let him enter their offices.

But, New Hampshire is a little different than most states. Liquor can only be sold from state liquor stores, as opposed to most states where any store having the appropriate license can sell liquor. The state liquor stores are part of the state government and state liquor store employees are state employees.

So, the armed US federal marshall simply showed up at a liquor store and demanded that the cute clerk at the counter give him $21,000!

Obviously, the marshall didn't get his money. In fact, the state got an injunction to prevent the marshall from knocking off any more liquor stores. But the judge did make it clear that the state better come up with a compelling reason why the marshall couldn't collect his $21,000 by going from liquor store to liquor store, because, as the law was written, it sure looked like that would be a valid way for the marshall to collect his debt!

And so the state finally decided they better pay the $21,000 and make this whole nightmare go away!

Funny thing happened several years later. Maynard moved to Connecticut. Their license plates have a motto, "The Constitution State", which Maynard also covered up - and, naturally, he received a ticket for that, too. But, if your name is actually part of a US Supreme Court decision, it usually only takes a phone call from your lawyer to convince the court to dismiss your ticket!


http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/US/430/430.US.705.75-1453.html
 

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