Ask The Parking Ticket Geek

12/27/2008 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011


Hello Parking Ticket Geek -

I recently received a ticket for parking in a residential permit zone.

It was my own fault for not reading the sign correctly, however the officer issuing the parking ticket put the wrong license plate number on my ticket (off by one digit). I went online to check the photo record of this ticket, and while the license plate number on the ticket is wrong, the correct license plate is clearly visible in the photo.

Is this a valid mistake that I can use to contest the ticket, and claim that I am not the owner of the vehicle cited in the ticket?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Hi S.M.

You are absolutely correct, the vehicle license listed on the ticket is NOT your license and therefore the ticket should be dismissed.

To throw a little Latin at you, the city, because the wrong license number is listed, has not established a "Prima facie" case.

Here is the municipal code you need to refer to in your hearing or in your contest letter:

9-64-220 Parking violations - Enforcement - Prima facie responsibility designated.

(b) ...The issuer of the notice shall specify on the notice his identification number, the particular parking regulation allegedly violated, the make and state registration number of the cited vehicle, and the place, date, time and nature of the alleged violation and shall certify the correctness of the specified information by signing his name as provided in Section 11-208.3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

The photos should not factor into this at all.

While the photos obviously contradict the ticket, there is no provision for photographic proof when it comes to the accuracy of the ticket.

Don't let the hearing officer tell you otherwise.

The ticket was written wrong and therefore should be dismissed.

Please tell us how this turns out.

Very truly yours,

The Parking Ticket Geek

Dear Parking Geek,

Earlier this summer I received a ticket for a street cleaning violation ($50). As
a new inhabitant of the city this took me by surprise! I contested by mail pointing
out that I was a new resident of Chicago at the time of the ticket (less than 30
days) and out of town for family matters during the street cleaning.

To help prove my new residency I mailed copies of my apartment lease and the receipt of my recently purchased city parking sticker.

Just a few days ago I received a notice stating that I am still liable for the
parking ticket because I was out of town and the vehicle was still parked in a zone
marked for street cleaning. Why are they not honoring the clear fact that I am a
new resident? Did they not review the evidence in my letter?

Is this issue worth pursuing an appeal before the county judge? I am not happy
with the current outcome and it's unfortunate that this is how the city treats



First, I want to commend you for fighting your ticket. Good job.

However, sorry to say, being a new resident is no defense for a street cleaning violation. Neither is being out of town for family business.

The "new resident" defense only works with a city sticker violation and pretty much, nothing else.

Good try. Even though you lost this one, don't get discouraged. It happens to the best of us. Keep on fighting. I would definitely not encourage you to appeal this case. I believe you would lose and be out the $120 necessary to file with the Cook County Circuit Court.

Pay it and be done with it.

This will get you up to speed very quickly on driving and parking in Chicago.

Very truly yours,

The P.T.G.

Dear P.T. Geek:

My scooter was ticketed today for 94-64-110(d) (no park/stand on sidewalk), while parked on private property. It was parked next to my building in the Loop and roughly 10 feet away from the sidewalk.

The security guard and building manager told the P.E.A. that I had permission to park next to the building's bike rack, but she wrote a ticket anyway. She stated that I had to cross the sidewalk to get to the parking spot. They pointed out that I could access the spot via the alley and not cross the sidewalk. She said that the alley was a "public way", too, and that I could not use it to access to parking spot. What a crock! I can ride down the alley, but I can't use it when I park. Jeez.

I will be contesting this bogus ticket!!


Dear Tammi-

You'd better fight this ticket!!!

Of course you are correct. What the P.E.A. told you is a huge crock of steaming horse shit.

Vehicles of any sort, car, truck, scooter, tricycle, cannot, I repeat, CANNOT be ticketed on private property.

Here is the municipal code in question:

9-64-110 Parking prohibited - Roadways, sidewalks, bridges and similar locations.

It shall be unlawful to stand or park any vehicle in any of the following places:...

(d) On a sidewalk;


9-4-010 Definitions.

"Sidewalk" means that portion of a public way between the curb, or the lateral lines of the roadway, and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

By legal definition, a sidewalk is the public way and therefore cannot be private property.

If you were truly parked on private property, then you should be able to stick this one up the city's butt without much trouble and walk away with a victory.

Take photos of where you parked. Cite the code I listed above to the hearing officer. See if you can get a letter from the building management supporting your claim. Make sure you get the letter notarized so it can be considered legal testimony.

PLEASE keep us posted. This is the type of crap ticket that makes my blood boil.

Very truly yours,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Parking Ticket Geek

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