Can I write a citizen's parking ticket?

I hate those things - they ain’t people - who steal handicapped parking spaces, and I want something done about them. I could key their cars, or do what my mother did and hunt one down in a dry cleaners to explain reality to the jerk in question, but I want legal action.

I know about citizen’s arrests. I don’t think unlawful use of a handicapped space consitutes an arrestable offense, especially for a citizen’s arrest. Is it possible to make, in effect, a citizen’s parking ticket? Do I write one out myself, or just take the information and relay it to the nearest traffic officer? What information do I need to collect, and what proof of the crime must I offer?


You can write a Citizen’s Parking Ticket and the person you give it to can ignore it (which, for my money, I’m betting they would).

Citizen’s Arrests are meaningless. AFAIK there really is no such thing. If I do something illegal and you grab me and yell “Citizens Arrest!” I can run away from you and expect absolutely zero ramifications for doing so. If I get caught eventually I will not face avoiding arrest charges or any such thing for running away (as I would if I ran from a legitimate police officer).

Basically you need to do what you suggested in your post and find a police officer to do the ticketing for you.

You could always do what I plan to do someday: print up a bunch of stickers (with nasty, gummy glue on the back), about a foot square, with the slogan of your choice. I think I’ll be going with “WAY TO PARK, ACE”. When someone’s parked like a jackass, slap one in the center of the windshield on the driver’s side.

Call the city attorneys office and ask if they will accept affadavits. You will still need to go downtown to file them.

Several Christmases ago, my city did hand out ticket books specifically for citizens to ticket people who illegally parked in handicapped spaces. I don’t know what has happened since then.

Novelty stores sell some really good “Citizen’s Tickets” Check on the wall near the fake gum, hand buzzers and dog-doo. If you can’t find any, e-mail me and I’ll send you some.

You could do what we do in my town. We have a group of volunteers who go around with Polaroid cameras and take pictures of cars parked illegally in handicapped-only spaces. They turn these pictures into the police, who issue tickets. This has the advantage of double checking that the individual is, indeed, parked illegally (you wouldn’t want to key someone’s car whose handicapped access placard had fallen off their dashboard) and assuring that they will receive a real ticket. We have very little problem with people who don’t need them using the handicapped-only spaces.

I used to do something similar at the apartment complex where I used to live. On regular notebook paper, I would write a note, indicating sternly, yet professionally that I was displeased with their parking, then coat the back of the note with 3M 90 High Strength Spray Adhesive and slap it on their window. Even on glass, this stuff is VERY hard to remove, leaving them long-lasting that they should be more considerate in their parking practices. Quite satisfying. Additionally, since the note usually stated that their transgression had been reported to management and they risked having their precious vehicle towed, there was never a repeat offender.

Even on glass, this stuff is VERY hard to remove, leaving them a long-lasting reminder that they should be more considerate in their parking practices.

That, my good friends, is a violation of a person’s rights under the constitution. Let’s say my buddy borrows my car, gets one of those tickets, which is later sent to me, though I know nothing about it. They would have to prove that it was me, which it seems would be impossible. Frankly, this should apply to all parking tickets, even those written by cops. Boy this is a whole 'nother thread. Man I hate the cops.

But I never park in handicapped spots.

Which part of the Constitution are you referring to?

I think that would be covered by due process, so perhaps both the 4th and 14th, right?

But isn’t it akin to littering, etc.? If you lend your property to someone and they act irresponsible with it, that is still your fault, I guess. But, I’m sure if you go to court you can get out of it.

So, wait, why does anyone pay parking tickets??

The ticket is not against the driver of the car, but the owner. No one has to prove that it was you. That was immaterial.

And what constitutional provisions does it violate? There’s nothing unconstitutional about some one taking a picture of a car in a public place. Perhaps if some one took a picture of your car in you garage, but that’s another matter. A parking lot is a public place, even if it is privately owned. It is not unreasonable search or seizure. It doesn’t invade your right of privacy. Please, inform me what section of the Const. it violates.

How is this any different than your friend borrowing your car, parking in a handicapped spot, and a cop leaving a ticket on the windshield? In either case, you’re not there. You should be able to defend either ticket in court, where you’d have to convince a judge (and/or jury) you were telling the truth (it would help to have your friend testify, since he is the guilty one).


In California, parking tickets aren’t even handled by the court system anymore. Whoever gives out the ticket has to set up its own internal appeal system. If you get one in L.A., you argue with the Department of Transportation of the Ciyt of L.A. The court system stays out of it.

If you lose your appeal, you have to go to Small Claims Court to press your appeal.

I don’t know what sort of constitutional protections you get in these parking ticket appeals, but they are structured more like administrative hearings than trials.

I’d like to ticket handicapped people who park in non-handicapped spaces.

Get the non-emergency dispatch number of your local police department. Call them whenever you see a car parked in a handicapped space. They will be happy to come out and write one for you.
BTW, a citizen has the authority to detain a suspect if the suspect committed a felony in the presence of the citizen. It’s true that the suspect can fight back and run away without facing resisting charges. But if you are bigger than him and you hold him down until the police come, he can be booked based on your arrest.

You seem to be missing the point of the citizens arrest. Bear glossed over this, but I feel like adding a little detail.

If I see you walking down the street, and I throw you to the ground and stand on your neck until the police show up, I’ll probably be arrested. However, if I did that same thing after I saw you rob a bank you would be arrested.

You cannot make a citizen’s arrest for traffic violations or for misdeamanors, only felonies. Call the cops.