Double Parking Ticket

    by

    Yesterday at 4:20 pm, I double parked my car outside my home on Wash Ave to off-load my 3 and 7 year old. I left the flashers on and my wife came down the stoop to pick them up. In the 4 min transaction an 88 Precinct patrol car pulled in front of my car and issued a ticket even though they saw the kids. Arguing was in vain and the officer said she ‘wanted to teach me a lesson’. However, the ticket was incomplete and omitted the time. I plan on contesting it and have three witnesses who saw the bizarre exchange. Any advice?

    52 Replies

    1. Try this book: Beat that Parking Ticket by Haskall Nussbaum. I got nailed with 3 parking tickets one night last winter while working late in Ft Greene. I bought the book and read it cover-to-cover; I beat each of those tickets and was sorry I had not had the book sooner.

      Good luck.

      Steve

    2. Jaguar I like your comment, it made me think.

      If you have to double park to unload heavy or a multiude of items, society understands. Children are in this category.

      I don’t understand why it is difficult for people to park legally and a walk a half block to go to a store. Walking is permitted.

      Also WTF is up with people leaving their cars running when they aren’t in them. Obama would have a fit, no wonder he wants gas to be $7.00. I had a neighbor who would leave his limo to get cigarettes with the keys in it. He always said he would like to see someone try to take it.

    3. For once I agree with tybur6 about something. Most (but not all) of the parking tickets I’ve received in recent years have been the result of out and out fraud on the part of the TCAs. These usually get dismissed on a technicality, but the agents seem free to continue their illicit activities.

    4. tybur6, sounds like you’ve been scorned by the City a few times!!
      HansDelbruck, love the name!! Abby-Normal?

    5. Let me see if I fully understand this: woman with kids doubleparks to let the kids out and that is ok; brother in an SUV doubleparks in front of a bodega to go do whatever it is he does in a bodega and that isn’t ok. What’s the difference? Double parking is obnoxious no matter who is doing it and I suppose we all do it from time to time but when we do it is ok because it is important for x, y, z reason but when others do it, it is awful awful awful and destroys quality of life. The reason there are no exceptions to this particular law is because everybody thinks they are the exception.

    6. She needed you to hit her quota but gave you a break. No outrage necessary here; don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

    7. LafCH is a kind of person, who would drive in passing lane under speed limit just to teach rest of us that speeding law is the law.

    8. I think folks would be less “entitled” if there were less bullshit tickets — and I mean actually effed up, traffic agents pulling shit just to write more tickets. Unfortunately there are waaaaaaaay to many bad apples with a meter maid cap and they are overseen by a force of totally inept supervisors. So, yeah… there’s that.

    9. after filming documentaries for four years with the parking authorities multiple cities I can not believe how totally entitled most drivers feel about breaking the law. double parking is a hazard, I have small kids too, it is much more convenient to pull up in front of my house – but if you take the chance, how can you, as an adult, cry foul when you get caught. why are you above the lay? how is “i was just in there for 1, 2, 5, 10 minutes” an excuse? if there were no parking rules it would be complete chaos out there. and by the way, cars are a luxury, especially in an urban setting. so lets be honest – its more important to have clear roads and well built land to house our population – if you want to park anywhere, and have abundant parking lots, then move to the suburbs – no parking problems out there! otherwise, play by the rules, or take the bus/subway. only in the USA do people think driving & parking is a right!

    10. The ticket itself is the traffic agents sworn testimony. It means that they saw a double parked car. No kids, no driver, no unloading. Hard to prove otherwise. Even when the agent is lying on the ticket. I used to get meter tix on the UWS with minutes left on the meter. I hope god remembers those traffic agents.

      If you really are there, you could snap a cell phone pix of the traffic agent, he is required to get your license if you are present. If he doesn’t he will have an incomplete report.

      Life in the big city says you get a ticket once in a while. I double park all the time and I know every once in a while I will get a well deserved ticket. I often leave my trunk open as a strategy.

      Maybe you can hook your windshield wipers to the battery when you double park!

    11. Minisimon,

      The challenge you raise is one of the mysteries of the New York parking ticket universe. Is it ever legal to double park a passenger vehicle in NYC? The answer is, it depends upon who you ask.

      For example, The DOT website states double parking is illegal at all times, as stated by Bikinit. However, the “Guide to Parking Ticket Hearings” published by the adjudication unit of the DOF (The men and women who judge parking tickets) states on page 14 that it is LEGAL to double park while stopping temporarily to drop-off or pick-up passengers to the curb. Here’s a link to the Google landing page for “Guide to Parking Ticket Hearings.”

      “http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=guide+to+parking+ticket+hearings

      A terrific friend of the parking public, Council Member Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) has a Bill pending in committee before the NYC Council to make double parking LEGAL, and eliminate these conflicting opinions.

      I respectfully suggest to avoid double parking because of all the uncertainty. But, if you double park, when you fight your parking ticket refer to the “Guide to Parking Ticket Hearings.”

      In my humble opinion, the police officer is required to enter the time of occurrence. It is a required element. Since the time wasn’t entered, and you disputed your ticket…You win. Congratulations.

    12. I have no problem beating a ticket, however legitimate. It makes up for the illegitimate tickets I’ve gotten, such as for parking with my front bumper allegedly hanging 4 inches over the cross walk. NOT!! But there was no way for me to contest that ticket, and it cost me $115.

    13. Oh — and also, most of the ridiculous things that go on in this town is due to having supervisors that have no idea how to manage the “line” staff. I think ALL of the supervisors in the Non-Police Services of the NYPD and All of the Sanitation Dept. should be demoted and forced to reapply for their jobs… and NOT repromote many of them.

    14. Brooklyn Plumber — there’s a difference between writing a ticket and the ticket being correct!

      NYC Parking Rule #40 — “Stopping, standing or parking closer than 15 feet of a fire hydrant. Between sunrise and sunset, a passenger vehicle may stand alongside a fire hydrant as long as a driver remains behind the wheel and is ready to move the vehicle if required to do so.”

    15. Tybur6, you can’t stop at a hydrant at all. If they let you go, it’s only a courtesy and it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in the vehicle so you can move in an emergency. I was pulled over at a hydrant so I can answer my phone and not drive while talking. A ticket agent walked right over to my vehicle, my window was opened, looked at me, smiled and then proceeded to scan my registration. I asked why I was getting a ticket and she just said, “you’re parked at a hydrant”. Go figure. I also got a ticket once while waiting to parallel park a spot on 7th. Ave. The car was getting out of the spot and I was waiting with my signal on in my Commercial vehicle. The agent came over, blocked my car and scanned me. I asked why and he said becaue I was double parked. I said I was waiting to park in the open spot (which was now open) and he said I should drive around the block and get lucky like everyone else and I can’t just sit and wait. I asked if I could pull into the spot while he was finishing the ticket and told me that if I move, he’ll write me up for leaving the scene of the ticket. The stories can go on and on…..

    16. All the information on the summons must be factually correct, or it will be dismissed if you contest it. Yes, I’m guilty when I illegally park and receive a summons. And very guiltily happy when I get a summons dismissed on a technicality. Rules are rule. They work both ways.

    17. This thread reminds me of one from a while back where someone was outraged, OUTRAGED, that they were given an open container ticket for picnicing with wine in the park. Their arguement was that since it was wine (read:civilized) and since they were well-behaived they shouldn’t be treated the same as some lout with a 40 oz. But the law is the law and it does sound like the officer was really giving you a warning since the ticket is incomplete.

    18. I was thinking the same thing as you, fcpiii. We all know that there is NO quota system for tickets or arrests or anything at all like that here in our fair city. Still, this officer might just have THOUGHT that he had a ticket quota to fulfill and decided to write this driver a ticket. Then, he might have intentionally omitted a vital piece of information, one which he knew would probably result in an automatic dismissal. By doing this, he fulfilled his ticket quota and also didn’t cost the driver anything but some time. And perhaps, under his breath, sent a “screw you” to his precinct commander.

    19. Go the defective ticket route. You are pissed because everybody double parks and you got nailed, but it IS illegal.

    20. The way I look at it, I weigh the few parking tickets I’ve ever gotten against the numerous times I’ve flouted the rules for my own convenience, and I think I’m still ahead.

    21. DOT FAQ says “Double parking of passenger vehicles is illegal at all times, including Alternate Side Parking Regulation days, regardless of location, purpose or duration.” So pay the fine, you obnoxious double-parker!
      http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/faqs/faqs_traffic.shtml

      But according to DOF http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/pdf/translations/got_tickets_english.pdf p10, it says “I was dropping off or picking up a passenger” is a possible defense for Code-46 Double Parking. So you should be able to get off on the defective ticket or on the dropping-off defense.

      Relevant discussion here…
      http://www.newyorkparkingticket.com/Blog/bid/30673/How-to-Avoid-NYC-Parking-Tickets-for-Double-Parking

    22. As defined in Section 4-01 of Chapter 4 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York, Standing is “(1) The stopping of a vehicle,(2) whether occupied or not, (3) otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers.”

    23. How exactly is the officer supposed to know how long the person has been there? Ask the car owner and hope for an honest answer?

      I guess I don’t understand the mindset of ‘I’m guilty, I say I’m guilty, but I shouldn’t face any repercussions.’

      Double parkers cause lots of problems for other drivers, they take up lanes that would otherwise support traffic, make other drivers have to merge into the other lane in close quarters..etc. This is not a victimless issue, except for the double parkers themselves.

    24. Actually, you’re not guilty. “Standing” if memory serves me correctly is the expedious loading or unloading of passengers. So technically, if your story is complete, you were standing. There is no ticket for “no double standing”, only “No standing zones”.

    25. I’m surprised by the “you’re guilty, pay the fine” comments. Sure, it’s illegal, but it’s stupid to enforce it for someone who’s unloading kids for 4 minutes. Like giving a ticket for jaywalking, or for biking through a red light in Central Park. Agents should use common sense.

      I would mail it in to get it dismissed as defective for the missing time.

    26. I had a ticket with wrong license plate (one digit off) and wrong color listed. I did write to contest and went through the protocol. It was dismissed.

    27. This may sound crazy, but the cop may have actually given you a break by leaving that information off. Once in a while they have to write a ticket if they are with a superior perhaps but leaving that off may have been done intentionally

    28. NYC issues parking tickets to generate revenue, not because said activities are necessary causing traffic problems. They freely admit it, which is insane. Other places in the country don’t treat parking tickets as a means of renvenue in the same way.
      Why else would they have paid meters running until 10pm?!!! Or two trucks literally waiting for 8am alternate side parking?
      It’s unfortunate because it makes people very grumpy and hostile about driving and parking.
      Granted, some people are self-centered and do idiotic things (like double park in from of Trader Joes for 45 mins), but most people are just trying to function.

    29. Never put on flashers. Just leave your lights on. Brownies will think you are in your car and may not come down the block. Flashers say come get me. A brownie told me this. It was a while ago but it made sense.

    30. What about just being a good citizen about it? You did the “crime,” pay the damn fine.

    31. Funny how people who have obviously broken the law fight perfectly-deserved tickets.

      Did it ever occur to you that even though you can get out of it, you may have some moral imperative to pay it?

    32. You got my sympathy. It sucks that you can’t unload your kids or receive a reasonable warning. I think the disappointing part of the issue is the collective awareness (or un-awareness) when it comes to these situations. As a lifelong Brooklyner my general knowledge was that double parking in your particular situation was seen as a “courtesy” from your neighbors and the police under reasonable circumstances (not blocking the entire lane while quickly unloading grandmother,children etc).
      In the back of my mind I do realize that their is always the chance of getting a law enforcer who won’t be reasonable. Oh and…

      1. Parking at the hydrant? I would think that would get a swifter ticket.
      2. In my experience and rude awakenings cops are
      a) Revenue generators
      b)Keepers of the peace
      c) Law enforcers
      …in that order.I did not include reasonable or compassionate on purpose.

      Gotta wonder about some of our fellow posters.Sounds like they have an axe to grind. To them I say “Lighten up Francis”.

    33. Yes, it’s illegal, but there’s also the “death of common sense” factor. I have no problem with people double parking (or parking by a hydrant or in a no parking zone) for a few minutes while off-loading people or unloading the car, particularly given the dearth of on street parking (and particularly when someone is by their car).

      But, IMO, it also depends on where they’re double parked. As Pete points out, people double park by Trader Joe’s on Court all the time, often for long periods of time (my guess is they’re waiting for someone who’s shopping inside), and they sit their deliberately oblivious to how they’re backing up traffic and making it that much harder for pedestrians to cross as other cars try to navigate around the double parker.

    34. jb312 — Just to be clear, it is legal to stop in front of a fire hydrant for as long as you want… as long as it’s daytime AND you remain behind the wheel ready to move your car in case of an emergency. You don’t have to have your engine running or anything like that.

    35. NEVER say anything that suggests you were doing anything wrong! They will not be lenient regardless of the circumstances. ONLY contest based on the defective ticket.

    36. @Petebklyn – Standing or parking at a hydrant is the same fine as double parking. Luckily this all seems to be less well-enforced in Brooklyn than Manhattan, but it’s part of the cost of driving / living in the city.

    37. lol Rick. cool story.

      You’re lucky enough that you’ll get off on the time technicality.

      I had a situation where I got a ticket and I had a great excuse with doctor’s notes and ER room check in visit and guess what…GUILTY. The judge said “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”.

    38. Years ago, a guy was double parked on my block. He had his flashers on but looked to be sleeping. There were a few tickets on his windshield and the cops never tried to wake him up. It turned out that he was not sleeping at all, he was dead!

    39. Agree with dh. There is nothing to suggest that this was a “bizarre exchange”. Double parking is illegal and the police officer was just doing her job – writing a ticket for an illegal action (and protecting “quality of life” in the neighborhood).

      However, if the ticket has no time stamp and you can get off on this technicality, go for it. But don’t try to explain what you were doing – that will only hurt your cause. Good luck.

    40. well, if instead of building a building on every morsel of land and we had more parking lots for “free” for all the cars we have, which are not going away any time soon, we wouldn’t have this problem.

      but because every spec of land has to have a luxury condo on it, no wonder we have no parking anywhere….

      man, just doens’t want to make things easier for man….and to think, we create all this madness.

    41. “In the 4 min transaction an 88 Precinct patrol car pulled in front of my car and issued a ticket even though they saw the kids. Arguing was in vain……”

      I’m confused. Were you not double parked? Is double parking legal if unloading children? Sounds like a legit ticket to me.

    42. all these people think is so necessary to load/unload directly in front of house/shop whatever……. how difficult is it to pull up to nearest hydrant or whatever and let them out….
      All very inconsiderate self-absorbed….
      You see it every day on COurt st. …2 doors down an empty space to pull to curb…but no, they sit and wait double/parked and just make everybody go around them

    43. Yes, getit dismissed on the no time technicality.

      The reason you were illegally parked would make no difference. Many years ago, when there was one big hearing room where everyone heard everyone else’s story, I heard some really good excuses – better than yours. Made no difference. There was one guy who went out of town for a few days. While he was gone, they came along and changed the alternate side parking signs to a different day! Another guy was in the hospital for three weeks and got a load of alt. side tickets. He had the hospital bills to prove it. Not good enough.

    44. Appearing in person and since you only have one ticket you can go see the judge using the “express hearing” option they have there. No print out or anything so it should be much faster. The ticket is defective and you don’t need to say any other thing than “not guilty.” Seems like an officer gave you that ticket and NOT a traffic agent.

    45. And one more thing, Double Parking is illegal no matter how long your Double Parked, where your Double Parked or what you’re doing!! When I’m down at violations hearings, I hear it all. I once heared a person telling the judge that they were unloading their 95 year old Mother in front of a clinic to get dialysis treatments, and they had the proof of the appointment to show….guess what…..GUILTY!!!!

    46. I fight the parking violations we receive for my Company, and yes, it’s a defective summons and should be dismissed for omitting the time. My suggestion, however, would be to take the time and go down to 210 Joralemon Street and appear in person. It shouldn’t take too long and you can have a face to face to make sure that it’s dismissed. I’ve had obvious dismissals that I sent in by mail and the administrative judge overlooked it and I was found guilty. I then had to pay it, appeal, and go in person anyway.

    47. Yes, what arkady said. Leave out the witnesses who only serve to confirm the double parking. Contest by mail and focus on the lack of a time.