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Man Sues Los Angeles over Excessive Parking Meter Fines

When a fine for an expired meter grew to $175, one man decided he was mad as heck and wasn't going to take it anymore.

A Los Angeles man is suing the city for what he claims are unconstitutional excessive fines imposed for expired parking meters. Patch file photo.
A Los Angeles man is suing the city for what he claims are unconstitutional excessive fines imposed for expired parking meters. Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 5:25 p.m. Feb. 27, 2014. Edited to fix an error.

A Los Angeles man is suing the city for what he claims are unconstitutional excessive fines imposed for expired parking meters, according to court papers obtained today.

Jesus Pimentel, lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action suit, contends that his $175 parking fine was unfair and potential further penalties deprive residents of their right to due process.

A call to the City Attorney's Office after regular business hours was not immediately returned.

According to the complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court this week, Pimental received the ticket on Eighth Street downtown at 3:10 p.m. last May 29.

He paid the fine in order to register his vehicle at the DMV, the lawsuit says.

The ticket started out at $63 for an expired meter, but doubled because it wasn't paid within two weeks, the complaint states. Pimentel also had to pay a $28 delinquent fee and $21 for collection, he said.

The lawsuit alleges that the DMV's threat to withhold registration of his car and/or boot or seize the vehicle if he didn't pay the $175 -- along with the threat of civil litigation, reporting him to a credit bureau and garnishing of his state tax refund -- violated his constitutional right to face his accusers in court.

"The parking meter expiration penalties are unreasonable and oppressive, and grossly disproportionate to the seriousness of the violation," the suit claims.

The lawsuit seeks class certification, declaratory relief, an injunction, and damages.

--City News Service

Dan March 06, 2014 at 02:19 PM
silly liberals. you voted for this.
William Brady March 06, 2014 at 03:48 PM
John, Why should we have to pay at all? I agree with you on blocking junctions, & etc, it is terrible and no police or traffic wardens ever in sight,WHY NOT.
nonoise March 08, 2014 at 11:06 AM
If the parking enforcement officer is there you can ask them to call their supervisor to come out. And, you can call the traffic division in your area for help.
nonoise March 08, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Noisemakers should also be taken to court when LAPD refuses to enforce noise laws, CA Penal Code 4 15 and LA Municipal Code Chapter 11, Article 5, Section 115. LAPD needs to be taken to court for not enforcing the law.
Mike Mueller March 12, 2014 at 10:38 AM
I received a ticket in Santa Monica while attending a business event at 9pm. The place I parked at ended parking enforcement at 8pm, I parked at 8:45pm. I came back to my car at 10:30pm and I had a ticket. The parking sign was about 5 feet from my vehicle so I took a picture of my car with the sign in the background and then I took a picture of the sign. I contested the ticket and sent the photos along with my complaint. They denied my claim saying the photos were not clear. The photos were as clear as the type you are reading right now. I had to pay the ticket to get my registration. This system is so corrupt!

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