Parking ticket trouble in New York City

Seven On Your Side
April 22, 2013 2:54:49 PM PDT
The Long Island car owner said he felt like David going up against Goliath fighting over a parking ticket.

He duked it out with New York City for nearly a year and got nowhere, and then turned to 7 On Your Side.

"I said 'No. I'm not gonna give this to the city," explained Jose Rivera.

Rivera has drawn his line in the sand. The professional importer is refusing to pay the city of New York $115 to settle this 3 year old double parking ticket.

"I just knew I wasn't going to pay for this bill," Rivera said.

The reason's simple - the ticket was issued a few days before Christmas 2011, but Jose didn't buy his car - a Honda CRV - until a month later.

"So obviously there's a mistake," he said.

And there's other trouble with the ticket, which states the offending car was black. Jose's car is red.

"I said I'm gonna exhaust every effort that I can," Rivera said.

That meant paying DMV for the history for his plate, revealing Jose was the first and only owner - a month after the ticket was issued. Then he made some calls. When that didn't work, he appealed in writing.

"Three times. First time they basically didn't open the envelope," he said.

The next 2 times - guilty. No explanation given. In March, the fine had grown to $175. If he doesn't pay, his account could be sent to a collection agency, his bank account could be frozen and his car even seized.

"A lot of people were telling me, just pay the damn thing and get rid of it. I said no," Rivera said.

But we said yes - to helping - and asked the city's Department of Finance to take a second look.

Finally, the city admitted their error in writing and tore up the ticket.

A rep for the Department of Finance says the officer who wrote the ticket probably got the plate number incorrect. He couldn't explain why the appeals failed, but said they're happy they got it right.