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TRCar54

Here is a gem. A parking ticket in NYC for parking on the wrong side of the street. Only problem is I have never been to NYC. As I explained this others, I have found that everyone has a similar story.

Here is part of the letter that I wrote concerning this situation. My neighbor told me of a scam that was reported in one of the Boston papers involving parking officials having access to neighboring states DMV records and randomly writing citations to plate numbers knowing that most people won't fight it and just send the payment. I didn't include this in the letter but if anyone read a similar article I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Sounds like a revenue generation machine to me.........

I sent the letter "certified return receipt requested".

June 28, 2007

NYC Department of Finance, Hearing by Mail Unit

P.O Box 29021, Cadman Plaza Station, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11202-9021

Re: Parking ticket #..., Summons #...

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter regarding a citation that was allegedly written to my car. I have tried to summarize the situation to the best of my ability using the information supplied to me in the "Request for Hearing After Judgment" forms and the NYC.gov website.

I would first like to emphasize that this "Notice of Judgment Enforcement" was the first notice of any kind received by me concerning this alleged parking infraction. I have lived at this same address since April of 1981 so a "first issue of complaint" would not have been lost in the forwarding process to a new address. In terms of character, I pay my bills and don't let things slide. This is clearly evidenced by my ....................

I received the judgment in the mail on Saturday June 23, 2007. I called the 212-440-5412 listed in the judgment documents on Tuesday 6/26/07 at 11:40 AM. The service representative at that number said I needed to ask for a hearing via the NYC.gov website. When asked, the service representative would not divulge her name. She stated that the car in question was a red Toyota and was a different year than mine. She then directed me to the NYC.gov website http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/parking/p...pute_mail.shtml . Upon hanging up with her I noticed that one of the forms that was sent to me was a "Request for Hearing After Judgment". NOTE: The "Request for Hearing After Judgment" form that was sent to me with the "Notice of Judgment Enforcement" was Rev 05/08/06. The form found on your website is Rev 03/17/06. The newer revision has had the instructions and return address removed. I would suggest that this information be added back into the form as this is helpful to someone on my end of the situation.

I visited the NYC website and was able to view the citation. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out some very obvious discrepancies.

1.The car cited in the citation is a red 2 door Toyota sedan. My car is a grey 4 door Toyota Corolla sedan and always has been. See attached pictures.

2.The time of offense is listed as 8:48 AM on Tuesday 3/06/07. I was at work.. Microsoft Outlook shows 32 emails originated from me at work that day beginning at 7:10 AM and ending at 3:59 PM.

3.My car is a 1995 model year. According to the service rep, the alleged violator was not a 1995 model year. I did not see any notation of model year while viewing the citation on your website.

4.My plate number is Massachusetts --- ---. I have been driving this car with these plates since February 2003 and the plates have never been missing from the car.

I have never been to New York City. The last time I was in New York State was during a short vacation to Maryland. I drove via the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike South from Boston on 6/30/06 and North via the same roads on 7/5/06.

The alleged offense occurred on Tuesday 03/06/07. I was a Field Engineer for many years and out of habit I have continued to keep a daily log of my activities, appointments and hours worked for each day. As a result of this routine, I was able to refer to this log and quickly verify that I was in fact at work that day. I also drove a person to work that day as part of an on-going carpool arrangement. The attached notarized letters from immediate supervisors and the carpool associate will testify to those facts.

With this communication I believe I have shown very clearly that it was not my vehicle that was cited, I would like to state my thoughts of what might have occurred on that New York City street on Tuesday 3/6/07. Perhaps the plate number was indeed --- --- but not a Massachusetts plate. Perhaps the plate number of the offending vehicle was incorrectly transferred to the citation or the citation information was incorrectly loaded into the database. Perhaps a 1 was interpreted as a 7. Or perhaps an N was interpreted as an M. Ex: --- --- or --- ---. Perhaps the prefix of a vanity plate was not included on the citation.

I do understand that mistakes happen. When explaining my story to acquaintances, I heard the following scenarios that they had personally experienced:

1.Jerry M - That happened to my daughter in Boston.....only problem is that car was in Missouri for the past 8 months.

2.Bill C - Boston Police said I was parked in Boston illegally. I have a distinctive special low number plate. Problem was my car was black and the car that was ticketed was red. Turned out to be the plate on the illegally parked car was a New Hampshire plate with the same number.

3.Bill C - They said my vehicle was involved in robberies in Boston. Police said the vehicle was registered to a William Clements. Problem was that another William Clements lived in Rockland, I live in Abington.

4.Richie T - I was notified that my car was parked illegally in Boston. The vehicle had the same plate number as mine except they failed to include the TC (Teacher) prefix on the vanity plate when the citation was written. There are currently 16 choices for special vanity plates where numbers are reused frequently.

All information previously described in this correspondence has been submitted with the "Request for Hearing After Judgment" form. I hope this information is sufficient to put this issue to rest. If it is determined that I received the citation in error I would like to request that a confirmation be sent to either the street address or email addresses below stating that the citation in my name has been expunged.

Regards,

...

Home phone: ..., Cell phone: ...

Vehicle information: 1995 Toyota Corolla, Plate Number: ... ... (Massachusetts)

I can also be reached at the following email addresses:

....com and ....com

11 pages in total with the following attached:

1.Completed "Request for Hearing After Judgement" form.

2.Copy of "Notice of Judgement Enforcement"

3.Copy of citation retrieved from NYC.gov website

4.Pictures of my car when purchased in 2003 and now

5.Notarized letter testifying to my presence at work on the day of the citation

6.Notarized letter testifying to my carpooling with a work associate using my car on the day of the citation

7.Photocopy of my auto registration

8.Copy of my electronic timesheet for the period of 2/26/07 thru 3/09/07

Sorry to hear that you got pulled into what looks to be a very sophisticated scam. Thanks for the heads up on this - let people know that something like this is happening. Keep us updated on the going ons of this development.

foobar

I had heard (or was it seen on TV) of this scam from NYC cops.

Bikeman982

Just send them a nasty letter stating that they are mistaken and it was not you or your car there at that time.

If they don't believe you, send them 20 more copies of the letter.

If they still don't accept it, send them 100 more copies.

Repeat exponentially as desired.

Eventually they may get a clue.

TRCar54

Well, I got the word in the mail yesterday....MOTION DENIED. I think his assistant probably perused my information and only included the info that I was never in NYC and never got an initial notice. Gee...forgot to tell him that my car is gray...not red and that my car is a 4 door....not a 2 door.....and oh yeah...he was at work with his car with loads of documentation to prove it.

It is just too difficult to get a person down there with a brain to discuss the situation so I may have to pay this within the 30 days just to get it off my back. A friend of mine who used to transport cars up and down the east coast by tractor trailer has had a few of these situations with the law taking advantage of out of staters and he said they are like junk yard dogs. One thing they will do for non-payment is send a rep to your local police office to identify themselves and then go take the plates off your car. It's just not worth the future aggravation.

I would be very interested for someone who remembers where they saw the scam article to respond and possibly forward a link to it.

In any case, I do intend to rattle some cages. I know a guy from my town who is very high up in the federal government. I will be bouncing this off him. I feel weird even bothering him with it as I'm sure he is very busy with more important things concerning national security. I won't be asking him to get personally involved in my case but I will ask him to consider having his assistants look into this type of activity.

I'll also be sending emails to the local radio stations and TV station Consumer Protection Show hosts to see if they are interested in pursuing the subject of Parking Ticket Scams.

I'll at least go down fighting for principle's sake if nothing else...

Jay in MA

=====================

From my file..........

Update: Information from Decision and Order from NYC Department of Finance

07/18/07 - received Decision and Order from NYC Department of Finance. Motion to vacate denied.

MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT DECISION:

Motion to vacate default judgment.

Respondent states he has never been to New York City and never received any of the notices until he received the notice of judgment. Motion denied respondent has not established grounds for excusable default.

ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) Name: Peter James Fama

Total Amount Due: $105.65

Retain this record of your hearing for 8 years and 3 months. This is not a receipt for payment of fine.

TRCar54

Thanks guys for the support. After reading the Channel 7 report I decided I will indeed get the top level friend involved. I don't want him personally to be bothered with it but maybe he has an intern who needs something to do. I will also be calling a lawyer friend and asking him if he wants to become involved.

I just now spoke to a friend from North Attleboro MA about this. His father-in-law has a 24 hour nurse. One of the nurses mentioned to him that she was puled over in North Attleboro. She had no idea why he pulled her over. He told her she had an outstanding parking ticket from 10 years ago. She had no recollection. He put her in handcuffs, arested her and towed the car.

Like I said...I may end up paying this but I will make a lot of noise.

If you know a cop in town you might ask them if they will arrest you if you have an outstanding parking ticket from another state.

I'll keep you posted.

Jay in MA

Channel 7 in Boston has just been notified and I've suggested it as an "interesting story".

http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/hank/BOS8667/

c2105026

I once got a parking ticket - however, it was fair and square. I worked at an office where there was a cul-de-sac and a few of us parked perpendicularly to the kerb to liberate another couple of parking spaces. Such an act in NSW is illegal. I paid it online within 10 minutes. However, this story sounds quite dodgy.....it is quite obvious that someone has been wrongly accused. Reminds me of an interesting incident that occurred in New Zealand a few years ago. A guy was pulled over by a cop for speeding; but instead of writing the date of the incident on the citation (say, 20 June 1997), the cop wrote down the offenders date of birth (Say, 15th April 1974). So what the authorities legally implied that the offender, on 15th April 1974, at only a few hours old, went forward into time to steal a 1987 Nissan Bluebird TR-X, took it back to 1974, and sped in it. The letter itself is quite funny, if I ever find it I'll post it....

Bikeman982

Don't pay the fine.

Take it to the highest court and fight it.

Don't give in to the perpetrators of this false accusation.

Let them come get you and pay to bring you to NY, then deny any of their false facts.

I was once stopped on my motorcycle for obstructing traffic.

The testifying officer said I rolled down the window of my black car to talk to a person alongside my car.

I was on a red motorcycle (it has no windows). The case was dismissed.

Do you think I should have just mailed in the fine - I don't think so.

TRCar54

Wow that was quite creative on their part. Imagine......I'm sure it was all kicked off by a nice computer software application that was doing it's job just as it was designed. Technology is wonderful until it takes over....and that comes from someone in the computer business for 30 years. default_biggrin

I'd love to see the story if you find it.

Jay in MA

I once got a parking ticket - however, it was fair and square. I worked at an office where there was a cul-de-sac and a few of us parked perpendicularly to the kerb to liberate another couple of parking spaces. Such an act in NSW is illegal. I paid it online within 10 minutes. However, this story sounds quite dodgy.....it is quite obvious that someone has been wrongly accused. Reminds me of an interesting incident that occurred in New Zealand a few years ago. A guy was pulled over by a cop for speeding; but instead of writing the date of the incident on the citation (say, 20 June 1997), the cop wrote down the offenders date of birth (Say, 15th April 1974). So what the authorities legally implied that the offender, on 15th April 1974, at only a few hours old, went forward into time to steal a 1987 Nissan Bluebird TR-X, took it back to 1974, and sped in it. The letter itself is quite funny, if I ever find it I'll post it....

TRCar54

Bike I think your suggestion is easier said than done in a situation like this but I am doing some homework and will be trying to start a grass roots opposition to this type of thing.

The citation is presently at $105.65. What is the cost of towing, time lost from work, perhaps you get pulled over with the family on a vacation...it's just not worth it.

As a matter of principle what I WILL be doing and have been doing is as follows.

I emailed:

  • Boston's Channel 7 investigative team...I've yet to hear back but will follow-up with a phone call.
     
  • John Stossel of ABC News to see if he would be interested in the story.
     
  • Howie Carr of WRKO and the Boston Herald
     

I will be consulting an attorney and contacting the office of the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. I suspect this is the department which fits the bill.

•Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit - The Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit handles the investigation and prosecution of federal offenses involving public corruption, whether such offenses occur at the federal, state, or local level. The unit also handles all civil rights prosecutions, and other cases of particular sensitivity, as assigned on an individual basis

I am VERY interested in anyone who has had this situations and will be soliciting all of the Froums to which I subscribe.

Thanks and I'll keep all posted.

Jay in MA

Don't pay the fine. Take it to the highest court and fight it.

 

Don't give in to the perpetrators of this false accusation.

Let them come get you and pay to bring you to NY, then deny any of their false facts.

I was once stopped on my motorcycle for obstructing traffic.

The testifying officer said I rolled down the window of my black car to talk to a person alongside my car.

I was on a red motorcycle (it has no windows). The case was dismissed.

Do you think I should have just mailed in the fine - I don't think so.

Bikeman982

Go ahead and pay the fine - paranoia is a terrible thing.

Good luck ever recovering the money!

Brendon

Personally I'm disappointed in how the police/legal system is set up in this country. Because it's so backed up, overbudgeted, and poorly enforced, police commanders lean on their street patrols to write up more tickets and pull over more speeders in order to create funds. I remember reading in the newspaper last year a report on cities and towns in metropolitan Boston who had Police chiefs, Fire department captains, school superintenants, etc making unreasonably high salaries. One town around here, Holliston, MA had a school official who was making $147,000 (over 4 times the salary of the average teacher). You wonder where the town gets the money to pay for these beaurocrats.

I suppose you could always look at it this way; at least you aren't living in Stalinist-controlled Russia. Back in the 1930s, the NKVD could throw you in jail without even telling you what the charges were. You would be lucky if you even got a show trial.

TRCar54

It's not a matter of paranoia.....it's how much hassle do you want to put up with.

I hate giving in to the !@#$%^& but there are ways to approach these things such as "Paid under protest".

Still doing my homework and consulting with an attorney today.

Go ahead and pay the fine - paranoia is a terrible thing.Good luck ever recovering the money!

TRCar54

True enough Brendon.

Stalinist controlled Russia??????? Not yet anyways.

Personally I'm disappointed in how the police/legal system is set up in this country.............................

 

.......................I suppose you could always look at it this way; at least you aren't living in Stalinist-controlled Russia. Back in the 1930s, the NKVD could throw you in jail without even telling you what the charges were. You would be lucky if you even got a show trial.

Bikeman982

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/pdf/appfrm.pdf

 

Go ahead and pay the fine - paranoia is a terrible thing.Good luck ever recovering the money!

As noted on the form -

Use this form only if you want to request an appeal of your hearing decision. If you accept

the judge’s decision and will pay the fine imposed, you should not submit this form.

There is no appeal if the fine is payed.

roosterteacher

I'm not sure there's much recourse on using any federal office. States clearly have jurisdiction over traffic laws. I would contact your state's attorney general though. He's the government official charged with defending the people of your state. He should help you figure out what to do. I'd be anxious to hear what your lawyer has to say as that's probably the most useful course of action.

Clearly any expense resulting from this mistake or malicious prosecution should be reimbursed in full by the offending agency (NYPD?). Sadly, that isn't the way it will probably work out.

This doesn't seem to be as big an issue in the mid-west. In Missouri a state law limits fines to 10% of any agency's budget. Thus you can strictly enforce any traffic law you want but once your fines exceed 10% of your budget you have to pay the rest into the state's general fund. This is government as it should be, protecting citizens from abuse.

Bikeman982

In this country you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Do they have a photo of you and your car in NY on the date of your offense?

If not, then it is your word against theirs and the burden of proof should be theirs.

TRCar54

Bike, could it be any more obvious? The form is an "Application for Appeal " of the judgment. See "B". To appeal using this form, you must also submit payment. If the appeal is granted, they will refund the payment.

At the bottom of the form.

In order to process your Application for Appeal, we require the following documents (one set for

each license plate). Please be sure this form is completed and signed.

A. A copy of the original Hearing Determination (also called the decision) and a copy of the Motion to Vacate Judgment (if applicable);

B. Payment, if it has not already been made;

C. The original ticket(s) or a copy of each; and,

D. If you are an unpaid representative of the registrant and the tickets are in judgment: you must submit either a notarized

Motion To Vacate Judgment signed by the registrant or a notarized letter of authorization from that registrant.

E. If you are an unpaid representative of the registrant and the tickets are not in judgment: you must submit written authorization

from the registrant.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/pdf/appfrm.pdf

Go ahead and pay the fine - paranoia is a terrible thing.Good luck ever recovering the money!

As noted on the form -

Use this form only if you want to request an appeal of your hearing decision. If you accept

the judge’s decision and will pay the fine imposed, you should not submit this form.

There is no appeal if the fine is payed.

TRCar54

I got this response from the Attorney General's office.......

================

Thank you for your recent letter to Attorney General Martha Coakley. Your e-mail has been forwarded to me for response.

In regards to your question regarding your NYC parking ticket, I first would recommend that you check your bank statements and credit report to ensure you are not a victim of identity theft. Oftentimes, someone who has lost their driver’s license will steal another’s identity to register a car which would result in their parking tickets being yours. You may also want to make sure that no family member has registered a car in your name; this is another common occurrence that would result in you receiving mysterious parking tickets. This isn’t meant to alarm, but it is certainly something to look into.

You may also want to contact the NY Attorney General’s Office and their Registry of Motor Vehicles about your issue; they may be able to help.

Ultimately, if none of the above mentioned avenues work, you may have to appeal in court. If you wish to pursue this matter further you may wish to obtain legal representation. If you are in need of a referral to an attorney, the Massachusetts Bar Association Referral Service can be reached at (617) 654-0400. Their website is http://www.massbar.org/. They can also be reached at:

Massachusetts Bar Association Referral Service

20 West Street

Boston, MA 02111

I’m sorry we could not be of direct assistance to you, but I hope this information has been helpful.

Sincerely,

Community Information and Education Division

===================

My identity has not been lifted and the RMV would not issue my plate number to a relative.....I already have the plate number. It's active and has been for years.

The federal office I speak of is the office of the US Attorney for Massachusetts. I browsed the site and this particular department caught my eye. I'll have a better idea of which direction I go after the weekend.

•Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit - The Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit handles the investigation and prosecution of federal offenses involving public corruption, whether such offenses occur at the federal, state, or local level. The unit also handles all civil rights prosecutions, and other cases of particular sensitivity, as assigned on an individual basis.

I'm not sure there's much recourse on using any federal office. States clearly have jurisdiction over traffic laws. I would contact your state's attorney general though. He's the government official charged with defending the people of your state. He should help you figure out what to do. I'd be anxious to hear what your lawyer has to say as that's probably the most useful course of action.

Clearly any expense resulting from this mistake or malicious prosecution should be reimbursed in full by the offending agency (NYPD?). Sadly, that isn't the way it will probably work out.

This doesn't seem to be as big an issue in the mid-west. In Missouri a state law limits fines to 10% of any agency's budget. Thus you can strictly enforce any traffic law you want but once your fines exceed 10% of your budget you have to pay the rest into the state's general fund. This is government as it should be, protecting citizens from abuse.

Bikeman982

Take it to the highest court - it is not just you individually - but everyone that has been or will be a victim of the same scam that you fight for.

TRCar54

I speak for the people!!!! default_unsure

Take it to the highest court - it is not just you individually - but everyone that has been or will be a victim of the same scam that you fight for.

Bikeman982

You are the voice of all Toyota owner's everywhere. If you go down - we all lose.

Don't go quietly into the good night!