Sunday, March 2, 2014

Are Excessive Parking Ticket Fines Unconstitutional?

L.A. residents launch offensive against parking tickets


Transcript and research links below with contact information...

It happens to the best of us, you park your car on a busy city street to grab a bite to eat or run your errands - you drop a few quarters in the meter, check your watch, look out for the meter maid, and then cross your fingers. When you return to your car a bright orange paper is on your windshield - you've just been nailed by the city for being a few minutes late to the meter.

Well the fight against Parking Tickets has just heated up in the city of Los Angeles as two LA men have failed a lawsuit, claiming the fines are so expensive, they are unconstitutional.

The class-action lawsuit filed by Jesus Pimentel and David Welch is open for other victims to join as plaintiffs.

So what are the facts of the case? Both men were forced to pay $175 in fines for parking tickets, then denied due process to contest them. The initial $63 initial fine, doubled if not paid in 14 days. on top of that $49 was added in fees and collection costs.

These costs are so great, the plaintiffs say they violate the Eighth amendment to the constitution which states:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Donald G. Norris, the attorney representing Pimentel said, quote:
We believe that the parking meter penalties are oppressive and violate the prohibition against excessive fines in the United States and California Constitutions, because the fines are grossly disproportionate to the failure to put a dollar or two in the meter. Unfortunately, Los Angeles City appears to be attempting to remedy its fiscal woes on the backs of City residents and workers, who in many cases can ill afford to pay such steep penalties.
For average wage earners in the Los Angeles, $175 represents nearly two days work. For low-income Latinos in there, the situation is even worse. That fine is over three days of average wages.

The problem is compounded even more when people who can't pay the fines are restricted from registering their cars, which can ultimately lead to their vehicles being impounded.

Those affected by the Los Angeles Parking fines, who wish to join the lawsuit may do so by emailing


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Anonymous said...

Public roads are created for public use. They are public easements.

Government has the right to regulate those roads, but not the right to collect taxes from them. There is no reason to collect money from parking meters. The only enforcement is that you register the time you parked and that your car is moved before that time is up. There is no money required.

Anonymous said...

Interested to see where this goes.

Anonymous said...

This is just another part of the racketeering operation that the DOT and DMV is all about.
WAKE UP SHEEPLE. The Department of Transportation along with the trucking industry and insurance companies are the biggest racketeering enterprise operation in the country that has been robbing and plundering the people for generations and we the sheeple have bought into this fraud since day one.
The highways, as validate by the SC more then once are OPEN by a matter of RIGHT to the traveling public, but all the local empires, (counties) and lower dens of corruption, (courts) have totally ignored this fact. Too much money to let go of. SA

Anonymous said...

The Meter maid is paid to victimize and claims "just doing my job".

When you get a speeding ticket a percentage goes to the judicial retirement fund so you can see this is a rigged system as well.

Glen Dooer said...

Like a desperate gambler they will do any thing to get some loot in and it will get worse as the economy tanks.

Anonymous said...

Roads are public easements. Government may regulate them, but not tax them. At one time, parking was enforced by paying small amounts measured in pennies. Today, it has become a high ticket item using credit cards. This is an unconstitutional tax on the use of public easements that you are entitled to use without the payment of highway taxes.

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