‘As a Law Firm Owner I Take the Law Very Seriously’: Parking Ticket Appeals

Katie R. Ochoa

The New Canaan Parking Commission recently received the following appeals letters from ticketed motorists. 

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“Ticket says 15 minute parking zone but sign says 30 min parking. Also was previously a 2 hour zone.”

—$25 for overtime parking in 30-minute space on Locust Avenue, at 11:07 a.m. on June 23 (Wilton resident)

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“I went to go pay a dollar in quarters in parking space 155 around 9:20 a.m. to buy me some time because all I had was a dollar in coins on me at the time machine was jammed so I was not able to pay I ran inside my job over at Lepain Quotidian to get 3 dollars in charge to park at the back spots where it is 3.00 dollars for 6 hours at 9:23 a.m. my ticket was issued. I did not have time to resolve call and complain about the machine or to even pay but I had all intentions to pay.”

—$25 for unpaid space in Playhouse Lot at 9:23 a.m. on July 15

A motor vehicle ticketed on Elm Street for parking in a disabled space. Parking Bureau image

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“Dear Court: Badge 304 blocked my vehicle not permit me to exit a handicap spot that I wanted to enter to clear traffic on Elm Street while waiting for a spot to open. I was forced to remain in the spot and physically blocked by the officer on the street. This is the second time this officer has used her body, words, vehicle and badge in an unprofessional manner. The first time the town decided to install 15 minute parking spots as a solution to the letter I wrote about this officer. Falsely trapping a vehicle in a spot handicap or otherwise is unacceptable while I am still present to wait for a spot to open. No criminal restraining like blocking my vehicle is appropriate for parking tickets. When you are next or in your your car and maneuvering for traffic patterns you should not be trapped into a spot and given a ticket while in the vehicle or next to the vehicle. Such tickets should only be given when you are away form the vehicle and willfully breaking the parking requirements while full away from your vehicle. This officer at this point makes me fear for my well being. I am not quite sure what to do at this point about her behavior. As a law firm owner I take the law very seriously.”

—$150 for handicapped zone on Elm Street, at 9:20 a.m. on June 27 (New Canaan resident)

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“I didn’t see the sign or arrow show the next street. I’m working in Ann Taylor paid my $14 hour and sometimes I paid my parking instead to eat.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Elm Street, at 10:25 a.m. on June 28 (Rye, N.Y. resident)

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“Parked on sidewalk, no parking available, was just picking up coffee from sidewalk.”

—$50 for parking on sidewalk on Park Street, at 9:44 a.m. on June 27 (New Canaan resident)

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“In 2019, after 6 years of waiting, we were informed by the paring bureau that my name had come up for the parking lot permit. We accepted, and paid for a full year and then COVID hit and I never ended up using the permit. This week I had to go into NYC for work and recalled my permit at the Lumberyard Lot. I parked and went to the City and found this ticket on my car. Upon calling the Parking Bureau, Stacy reminded me that my permit was inactive because I had opted to be put on a priority list. I have no recollection of this discussion & no email to confirm. All I know is that I am getting ticketed on a lot I should be allowed to park in.” (File at Parking Bureau includes July 2021 request to put be put on priority list.)

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“Pulled up to new Canaan Toy Store (in front). Part of my car was in handicapped zone. I went in to get my Pokemon cards for my grandson—they were there & paid for. Was in 1-2 minutes blinkers on car running — I did not see ticket on car until I came out of Stewarts Market. It was there! I would appreciate any consideration you can.”

—$150 for handicapped zone on Park Street, at 10:04 a.m. on July 13 (New Canaan resident)

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“As a college student paying and working my own way through school, money is valuable and every dollar counts. As discussed on the phone, I left work in order to pick up a quick bite to eat during a break in my shift. I parked my car in the Main Street lot, as all spots for roadside free parking were taken. I parked and locked my car and took note of the spot number. As I rounded the back side of the Mobil Mart and my vehicle left my view, I pulled out my phone to unlock it and make my way to the Parkmobile app to go through the process and leaving my line of view. Before reaching my destination (UCBC Bagels), I paused to take out my credit card to put it into the app to process the payment. I then paused before continuing with my payment as I had a funny feeling and went to check back on my car. I then saw that I had already been given a ticket at 10:22 a.m., less than a minute after I left my car and when the officer passed by me on my walk. By the time I had retrieved the ticket and looked to spot the Parking Authority Officer, their vehicle was nowhere to be seen. I then called the Parking Authority office in an attempt to explain the situation.”

—$25 for unpaid space at Morse Court, at 10:22 a.m. on May 26 

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“I park in front of my business often for short periods of time and was unaware that location had been made into 15-minute spots. I did receive an email on February 24 inquiring if we as business owners would support this measure, and I responded that I was okay with it. But hadn’t been told that it was going into effect. I would have appreciated a heads-up the the parking in front of my business had changed, as it’s been 2-hour parking for at least the past decade. Now that I’m aware those are 15-minute spots, I’ll be sure not to use them for more than drop-offs.”

—$25 for overtime parking on Forest Street, at 1:18 p.m. on May 4

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“The parking lot across Spiga Restaurant (public parking) was occupied by a car show & Elm St. was closed to public traffic therefore I was told by a police officer to park in the spot I was ticketed. ‘Unfortunately’ myself and all Spiga staff was forced to stay working at the restaurant with no chance to get out until 11 p.m. since we were all very busy. Nothing planned nor was not thing about moving the vehicle (I just couldn’t). Therefore I am kindly asking to have a brake or pardon with this ticket. You can speak with one of the managers on duty that day that will confirm what just explained.”

—$30 for other violation at Main and Cherry Streets, at 5:35 p.m. on April 24

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