We all know how frustrating it can be to receive a traffic violation or, even worse, a parking ticket. You might be faced with the prospect of having to fight a costly ticket even though you did absolutely nothing wrong.
Still, no matter how bad you think your situation is, it can't possibly be any worse than that of a Chicago woman who recently set the city record for the most parking tickets and the highest fine.
Reports indicate that Jennifer F., an unemployed single mother, received 687 parking tickets totaling $105,761.81 over a three-year period. This shattered the previous record, which was 400 parking tickets totaling roughly $65,000.
However, if you are tempted to place the blame for this mountain of parking tickets squarely on Jennifer F., you may want to hear more about the circumstances under which they were written.
According to Jennifer F., her former boyfriend purchased a 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo from her uncle back in 2008 for $600. Subsequent to the purchase and unbeknownst to her, he registered the car in her name.
However, after the couple broke up in 2009, he decided to simply abandon the Chevy in a parking lot at O'Hare International Airport.
Jennifer F. claims that she originally had no idea that the car had been dumped, and that when she first learned about the parking tickets she tried to move the car but couldn't get the keys.
She indicates that she then took the following measures to try to rectify the problem:
- Asking the Chicago Police Department for help only to learn that they didn't have access to the lot
- Having the Secretary of State revoke the license plates in 2010 only to see the car still receive tickets
- Transferring the title and registration to her ex-boyfriend, only to be told by the city of Chicago that such a move was inadequate
The car was ultimately towed on October 26, 2012 -- nearly three years later -- and taken to an impound lot where it remains.
Jennifer F. has since filed a lawsuit against the city, her ex-boyfriend and United Airlines for all of her troubles, which include not only the fines but a suspended license.
Interestingly, she is arguing that the city of Chicago failed to abide by its own laws, which clearly state that any car parked in a city-owned lot for over 30 days has to be towed to an impoundment lot/authorized garage. Specifically, she states that if the city had towed the car like they were supposed to, there is no way it would have been ticketed so many times.
It should be very interesting to see how this case transpires. Stay tuned for further developments from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...
If you are dealing with a suspended license, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.
CBS News, "Chicago woman racks up $105,000 in parking fines," Michelle Castillo, Nov. 26, 2012