Hollywood Parking Fines = Outrageous

imagesDang. I think I just got caught up in the latest version of a speed trap, disguised as a parking meter. Yesterday, on my round of errands in Hollywood, I dashed into the bank. Like a good citizen, I dropped 2 quarters into the meter for fifteen minutes.

Silly me, I thought that would be enough to do a simple transaction, so imagine my surprise when I strolled out to see a ticket on my windshield.
Checked my watch. 15 minutes on the nose, no parking officer in the vicinity… so how did I get a ticket? Are the meters rigged to run less than 15 minutes?

And then I glanced at the fine. FIFTY DOLLARS!!!!!!! Fifty big ones for either being two minutes late, or the meter went off early. The hourly rate is $2.00, so the fine is 25 times the fee. Seems a bit off. And clearly designed to irritate people who live here. It’s bad enough that we pay higher parking fees when everyone is hurting for money… but the fine seems pretty hateful. Makes me hate the city government who decided that the very people who elect them should pay outrageously for parking fines and any parking in the city.

I suppose I will just chalk it up to the occasional random charge I get for living in Los Angeles.

16 Replies to “Hollywood Parking Fines = Outrageous”

  1. The extra nice thing about the parking patrol is that you need not even violate any parking ordinance to get a ticket. I have gotten two tickets in my three years in LA for parking in areas/times/durations unambiguously permitted. I have also, I confess, gotten several other tickets where I was at least in violation (expired meter or whatnot). You have the “right” to contest a ticket, by filing an appeal in writing, then agreeing to show up in court at some time in the distant future, to be scheduled (eventually) at the sole convenience of the court, but most certainly amounting to a full day affair for the disputant. So mark out your calendar for the foreseeable future, and you have a shot of avoiding the $50 extortion fee (or I think it was still $30 when I got one last).

  2. It’s not unusual for parking meters to run fast. I got a ticket in Santa Monica a few years back on a meter that expired well before it should have, so I went back with a stop watch and handful of quarters. I was able to show that it only gave 23 – 27 minutes per quarter, instead of the 30 it should have. Needless to say, the ticket was dismissed.

    And I have seen meter people in L.A. write tickets on meters that hadn’t quite expired yet, evidently assuming they would before the driver got back.

  3. I always put twice the time I think I’ll need on the meter. But, that doesn’t save me when I take out our car with no front plate and forget not to park on city streets. $35.00 a pop regardless of how much time is on the meter;-(

  4. I’ve taken a couple of the tickets to task via appeal in court and won. It was a wasted day off which didn’t make me happy but it was better than paying the fine.

    Since then I’ve just learned to pay ample coinage into the meters when I can’t find free parking. In areas where there is no hope with the parking nazi’s on patrol (Old Pas) in particular, I just don’t even bother going there.

  5. Before you file your appeal, call the 800-number on the meter to report it as running fast. If a meter is logged as having a problem, you are more likely to get your ticket dismissed.

    The last time I got a ticket at a broken meter, I reported the meter & my ticket was dismissed without me having to ever go to court.

  6. I will not gloat being a car less person. Instead thank you for the warning since I am often a passenger who wants to look out for the people who drive me around.

  7. MacDuff: Thanks for the tip. Just got dinged $50. We got to Blick on Santa Monica at about 7:02. Our reciept from Blick shows we paid at 7:19 pm. We walked out to a ticket. Either the ticket was written and meter person gone in about 2 minutes, or that meter was running fast. Even with different times on our car clock and the reciept register adding +/- five minutes, I don’t think we could’ve gotten a ticket if the meter worked.

  8. Or you can put your money to good use and leave LA. That’s what I’m doing. Actually leaving the state. CA can kiss my moneh goodbye.

    Actually leaving because I want to experience more than Los Angeles in my life.. move someplace that actually has seasons.. I can’t wait.

  9. Or how about getting a delinquent notice in the mail for not having paid a parking ticket THAT I NEVER GOT BECAUSE I HAD NEVER PARKED WHERE THEY CLAIMED I HAD?? How does one prove that? I had to pay the ticket and am now waiting to get my contestation date. But I have no proof that I wasn’t parked there, as it was over 6 weeks ago and I assume I was asleep at home. Any suggestions on how to beat this? (I have no receipts from that night proving I was elsewhere)…

  10. wow. that’s terrible. I don’t have any suggestions…. but was anyone with you that night somewhere else? Maybe they could do a written notarized statement to take to the court with you.

  11. city councilmembers don’t have to worry about parking tickets and on top of that, at $175K+ per year salary, i bet their attitude is “it’s only $50, what’s the big deal.”

  12. I hope I am not wading into a flame attack here, but as a longtime blogging.la fan and as the councilmember for much of Hollywood, let me see if I can be helpful. We work on ticket issues all the time Tammara (they are tough, but I think it is one of our core duties), both systemic and individual issues. Give my office a call (323) 957-4500 or email sally.castro (at) lacity.org and she will be sure to check things out or to refer it to the appropriate deputy. (BTW, we do get parking tickets, too :)

    Thanks!

    Eric

  13. Okay…. thanks! I will. I am very impressed you responded Councilman Garcetti. I’ve always been a fan, but it’s great to know you are paying attention to everyday concerns. It’s really makes a difference.
    Granted, parking irritations are low on the totem scale of life. However, parking issues in Hollywood do seem to be the bane of many peoples day to day issues. I know the balance of money to support city services has to be made and parking is one of those juicy money-makers. It just seems the zealotry of going after citizens is really intense these days. Thanks again for the help… and arisp… if you are reading this, you can follow suit!

  14. Absolutely–I’ve noticed this too and while there is no grand conspiracy after most of my investigations, something is definitely amiss and the city does a terrible job of communicating the changes to parking requirements. I am working with the business community in Hwood right now to see if we can address some of these issues. Where was the ticket, if you don’t mind me asking?

  15. Councilman Garcetti, i too have a ticket that i need help with, claiming i went over my 2 hour limit on my residential street when in reality there was still 1 hour 13 minutes to go till i was done with the 2 hours. From 8 o’clock, to 6 pm i go every 2 hours to move my car to the next available spot on the street. so at 10 am i moved it, at 12 pm, i came out to move it again and to my suprise, found a shiny new ticket, at first i thought, well thats what i get for being a minute late, but when i saw the time the ticket was issued, it was at 10:47, i was nowhere near being over the 2 hour limit, and there was no chalk on my tire to lead him to believe i was either, what might have happened?

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