Fined for parking at a broken meter! Who would have ever thought that this was a real fine! Here is my appeal!
UCLA Citation Review Office,
Parking meters break. Citing a visitor for parking at a broken meter is an egregious interpretation of CVC 21113(A). One should not be held accountable for UCLA’s negligence in maintaining their parking meters. On 02/22/04 I parked my vehicle on Tiverton Dr. There was only one available meter and it was broken. I parked there to run an errand at the BioMed Library and shortly returned to my car, only to find that I had been cited for parking at a broken meter. 21113a 11 CVC.
I have lived in Westwood since 1997 and attend UCLA from 1997-2001. Over the past 7 years there have been many instances where I, and others, have parked at a broken meter, and this is the first time I have seen such a fine. In fact, it appears that UCLA is the only place that gives such a fine.
The City of Los Angeles will not fine for parking at a broken meter. If you are cited for parking at a broken meter a call to 1-877-215-3958 will void the citation.
Other cities in California also do not fine for parking at broken meters. A parking enforcement agent for the city of Santa Monica informed me that parking at a broken meter is valid for the time limit posted. The city of Berkeley also enforces such a rule “Many people do not realize that parking at a broken meter DOES NOT MEAN FREE UNLIMITED PARKING. In fact, Parking Enforcement Representatives will enforce the maximum-posted time limit for the meter and will issue citations based on overstaying that limit.” http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/news/2002/04apr/040102meters.html.
Furthermore, other public schools make no mention of the fine for parking at a broken meter. The parking enforcement site at UC Berkeley lists its fines as. (https://pst.berkeley.edu/Citation/bail.asp)
CSU Northridge do not mention the fine either, (http://www-admn.csun.edu/parking/violation.htm.)
CVC 21113a states that “No person shall drive any vehicle or animal, nor shall any person stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle or animal, whether attended or unattended, upon the driveways, paths, parking facilities, or the grounds of any public school, state university… except with the permission of, and upon and subject to any condition or regulation which may be imposed by the legislative body of the municipality, or the governing board or officer of the public school, state university, state college, county park, municipal airport, rapid transit district, transit development board, transit district, joint powers agency operating or managing a commuter rail system, or state, county, or hospital district institution or building, or educational institution, or harbor district, or a district organized pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 27000) of Division 16 of the Streets and Highways Code, or housing authority, or the Director of Parks and Recreation regarding units of the state park system or the state agency with jurisdiction over the grounds served by the Department of the California Highway Patrol.”
CVC 21113b states that “Every governing board, legislative body, or officer shall erect or place appropriate signs giving notice of any special conditions or regulations that are imposed under this section and every board, legislative body, or officer”
If UC Berkeley, CSU Northridge, and the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Berkeley do not cite for parking at broken meters, it appears that this would be a special condition for UCLA. Such a condition would require an appropriate sign giving notice of this special condition. Furthermore, the UCLA parking website makes no mention that one will be fined for parking at a broken meter.
It would appear rather draconian if UCLA interpreted that parking at a broken meter implied that I had parked there without permission. Such a broad interpretation sits somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan!
I had not violated the enforced time limit on the meter, nor did I cause the meter to malfunction. There were no other available parking spaces on Tiverton Dr. If UCLA does not want visitors to park without paying a fee it should do a better job of maintaining their meters and not fine the innocent public who had no other choice but to park at the meter. This is against public policy, the burden of mechanical failures and the lack of parking spaces should not fall upon the public. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Berkeley, and UC Berkeley are areas that are known for their inadequate parking. None of those areas fine for parking at a broken meter. I would not have been fined if I had parked 50 yards down the road at a broken meter on Le Conte. If UCLA is going to be inconsistent with the rules that are enforced in the surrounding city, it should notify drivers. There is a reasonable expectation for drivers to assume they will not be ticketed because of the prevailing policies of the city and similar establishments.
If all the meters on campus were broken, does this policy hold that for that time frame nobody could park at UCLA? Furthermore, according to UCLA’s interpretation of 21113A, if my car had been trapped in between two trees blocking the road, I should have also been fined. My vehicle was stopped at a public school, and I would have been on the road without permission. Of course the tree example is far fetched and does not hold water, so much so as a citation for parking at a broken meter.
On August 5, 2004 another letter was sent to the parking office:
Dear Citation Review Office:
On February 2, 2004 I parked my vehicle on Tiverton Dr. and received a citation for parking at a broken meter. The citation number was 15058059. A copy of the citation is attached. On or around the first week of March, I sent a letter to contest the citation. A copy of this letter is attached. On or around March 9, 2004, I received a letter titled Parking Violation Reminder Notice. A copy of this letter is attached.
After receiving the Reminder Notice, I thought that my letter contesting the ticket was denied. On March 22, 2004, I visited the parking office to schedule an administrative hearing. When I went to the Citation Review Office, the attendant looked at the Reminder Notice and said that I need to pay the fine before scheduling an administrative hearing. I paid the fine as instructed. A copy of the receipt is attached.
After paying the fine, I returned to the Citation Review Office where I was then informed that the person who schedules the citations was out to lunch. I called the office a few hours later and I was informed that my citation was still under review, and that the Reminder Notice had been sent before receiving the letter contesting my citation. I was told that the process of reviewing citations takes approximately six to eight weeks. I called again in six weeks, and again in eight weeks, on both occasions I was told that my citation was still under review.
It has been approximately four months since I first contested my citation and I have not received any notification from the Review Office. This is a complete lack of professionalism and a total disregard for my sixth amendment right to a speedy trial. The Review Office has taken my money and has not responded to my request for an Administrative Review. I would like my matter handled properly so that I can pursue other means to contest my citation.
Finally, after five months, the UCLA parking office found that I was not guilty and that I did not need to pay the fine! WOO HOO