Ruth666’s parking meter woes yesterday reminded me of my own recent issues with the City of Los Angeles parking department – better known as “The Ticket That Made Jillian Cry”. A month ago, I parked my car on the non-street-cleaning side of the street, in what I thought was a safe zone behind a handicapped spot. Hey, it was dark, and partially painted over, and I thought that the paint marked the end of the handicapped curb – not the beginning of the spot behind it.
So the next day, I woke up and found a ticket on my car. A $335 ticket. That is not a typo – that’s two ‘3’s and a ‘5’. That’s an awful lot of money to cough up. So I burst into tears, and then immediately went to the City parking citation office on Pico in Century City (in rush hour traffic) to contest it.
The next week, I received a courtesy letter saying that it would be two weeks before I received a judgement on the citation. After ten days, I monitored the mail obsessively. After five more, I called the Department. And now, over a month later, the contesting is still under investigation. Last time I called, I asked the lady, “but it’s been longer than two weeks! Shouldn’t I have an answer by now?”
She told me, “it doesn’t take two weeks. It can take much longer than that. There’s no timeframe for an investigation.”
Now, I’m kind of in limbo. I have no idea if I will have to pay the ticket or not, which tends to put a damper on holiday budgeting. But at least I have hope of not paying it. And at least I can pay it – I wonder what happens to people who get a $335 ticket and don’t have that money to pay?