Constitutional Law

Court Order Makes It Easier to Appeal Parking Tickets, But Philadelphia Calls Compliance Impractical


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There’s a potential legal battle brewing in Philadelphia, where a state-court judge, as a Philadelphia Daily News columnist puts it, recently issued an unusual order that “injects unprecedented fairness into the unfair process of appealing a parking ticket.”

The order by Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker requires ticket writers to sign the tickets and state the exact location where the law was violated. It also permits ticketed individuals to cross-examine those who issued disputed citations. And it says a hearing examiner who OKs a disputed ticket must explain why in writing, recounts Ronnie Polaneczky.

But Philadelphia isn’t following the order and, at least so far, doesn’t seem to have appealed it, although the city filed a motion for reconsideration that Tucker denied, the column says. Meanwhile, Polanecsky is getting calls from those who want to make use of the new ticket-fighting tools, but can’t.

When she contacted City Solicitor Shelley Smith for an explanation, she was told it isn’t “practical” for Philadelphia to follow the procedures set forth in the court order, especially since all the work involved would be for naught if the order is overturned on appeal.

Attorney Fintan McHugh, who is advising the individual who obtained the order from Tucker, analyzes the situation differently. Absent “an actual court order or a stay,” he contends, the city is supposed to do what the judge said.

Related coverage: “Filmed at Money Machine, Inserting Quarters, Man Is Simultaneously Issued a Parking Ticket” “Chicago Parking Ticket a Tough Case” “Lawyer Who Knows a Few Things About Parking Tickets Offers Self-Published Advice”

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