Friday, July 15, 2005

Flying Kiwi vs the City of Berkeley

Warning: kind of boring post about a stupid parking ticket

So one day, I go to move my car because I've parked it in a two hour spot and I don't want to get a ticket. Now, I clearly remember parking in a sensible manner, space behind me, parallel to the curb, wheels turned in, handbrake on (facing uphill). When I get back however, my car is no longer parked in a sensible position. It is now half on the footpath* at an angle, resting against the car behind.


There is a note on the windscreen** from a police officer asking me to call her. I do so, and she says it seems somebody had bumped me, but the eyewitness description didn't match the numberplate, and there was no damage anyway, so case closed.

Except, there is also a parking ticket for $47 for parking across the footpath.

City of Berkeley loves giving out parking tickets. I once got two, one after the other, for the same violation. I forgot to move my car the night before, so my bad, I paid them. But in this case, hello, what idiot parks a car like that?

So I write to the nice people at City of Berkeley offices and explain.

They write back and say, sorry, insufficient evidence, pay the ticket.

Evidence? At this point I'm tempted just to pay the ticket. But no. I go to the City of Berkeley offices (which in itself was a challenge, given I was on the wrong street to start out with), stand in a queue for 30 mins or so to put my name down for an Administrative Hearing. Sounds impressive, eh?

About 15 mins later I get called in to an office. I'm ready to fight. This superbly nice woman says she's reviewed my case and she agrees, I don't have to pay. Oh.

Bit of a letdown really after all the buildup. But at least I won.


*sidewalk, whatever
**windshield, whatever