11/17/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

Dear Mr. Geek,

I got a parking ticket about a month ago for around 100 dollars but than 2 weeks ago I sold the car and did the title transfer. Now, what can happen if I don't pay the ticket?

Can I get arrested for non payment of the ticket?


Dear Lee,


Are you putting me on?

Holy crap! If parking ticket scofflaws could get arrested for not paying their tickets, I would probably be on the D.O.R.'s Most Wanted List.

Think of how busy the cops would be trying to track down ticket deadbeats.

No. You can't get arrested for not paying a parking ticket.

Very truly yours,

The Parking Ticket Geek

Dear Geek,

Today, we were in the South Loop on Michigan Avenue and got a parking ticket. We live in the suburbs and hardly get downtown. There were no signs posting no parking and a block of meters. The parking ticket does not have a meter number and says"Soldierfield", description, "event" and the violation is #9-64-041(b). It was on Sunday 6:29 p.m.; we had no idea there was a game that night. We even had a handicap sticker with Florida plates.

Can they just issue tickets without meter numbers and not post a sign when there is an event?



Dear Roxy,

I checked the law and don't see this violation listed.

Here's what the law says currently.

9-64-041 Temporary signs - Other uses.

(a) For the purpose of facilitating temporary uses of the public
way requiring the absence of parked vehicles, including but not
limited to athletic events, parades and special events, the
commissioner of streets and sanitation and the superintendent of
police are authorized to post temporary signs designating the day or
days of the week and hours of the day and the part of the street or
streets in which the parking of vehicles is prohibited because of
such temporary uses of the public way and to further designate such
street or streets as "tow zones." It shall be a violation of this
section, and shall subject the violator to the fine set forth in
Section 9-100-020, to park any vehicle on any street in violation of
a sign posted, erected or maintained pursuant to this section.

(b) [Reserved.]

It looks like whomever wrote the ticket wrote it improperly. This means the city did not establish a "prima facie" case and therefore must be thrown out by the hearing officer because it meets one of the city's seven accepted defenses.

5. The facts alleged in the parking or compliance violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violated;

I would contest the ticket, explain the ticket was written improperly because no such violation exists ... but make sure you cite the law I have just sent you to demonstrate this fact.

This law was on the city's official vendor for online publishing of the Chicago municipal code.

I would also make the argument that there were no signs posted. In this situation, it would help to take some photos demonstrating this fact.

This should be a winner for you just based on the mistake on the wrong violation being listed.

Good luck and keep us posted.

The P.T.G.

Dear P.T.G.,

Hi. I pull up to a video store, put hazard lights on, jumped out to drop off a DVD, and in less than 10 seconds, find the guy walking up writing a ticket. I shoot him a dirty look, and drive off. Keep expecting them to send the tickets in the mail (they got my license plate number and can find my address right?) but haven't got it after 2 weeks. Checked my license plate online from the city's website, nothing.

What's going on?


Dear W.C.

Maybe the ticket writer cut you a break! But most likely not.

We get a lot of questions like this. Sometimes, it just takes time to get in the system.

Our pal Ticketmaster has explained that tickets written by P.E.A.'s usually make it into the system fast. Sometimes that same day. Other times it takes more time for whatever unknown reasons.

Tickets from cops usually take longer because they are writing tickets from a book. Not only are these not computerized and must be entered manually, but often police officers don't turn their ticket book in for weeks or months.

Be patient. If you actually did get ticketed, the city will let you know sooner than later with a Notice of Violation via the U.S. mail.

Very truly yours,

The Parking Ticket Geek

P.S. If and when you get the ticket, send me the info and let's see if we can beat it.

Every week, The Parking Ticket Geek doles out his insipid brand of Chicago parking ticket advice.

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