Help me contest this parking ticket

[rant of useless pre-information] I’m so angry! I moved into a neighborhood I really can’t afford (for the schools, of course, which turned out to be pretty bad anyway) and about 6 months later, construction started outside my bedroom window. And it’s going on three years now. The noise, the dust, the parking nightmares! [/rant]

So there’s a particular strip of parking area which is being particularly affected by this construction. At the moment, they’re tearing up the closest intersection to put in a new water main or something. For months, there have been temporary “No Parking” signs going up and coming down faster than a virgin at a strip club. There was a row of them last week along my favorite parking spot (attached to wooden traffic horses) which said “No Parking” and handwritten in “starting [sic] 8/30”

So, I get home the night of 8/30 (around midnight leading into 8/31) and there’s no signs. Wooden horses are there, but no signs. (The signs have come and gone several time over the last week.) Moreover, there are a dozen or more cars parked along the block. And no signs. Did I mention that part? So I decide that perhaps they’re behind schedule once again, or perhaps the “starting 8/30” meant simply “8/30” and they’re done now, or perhaps a dozen other things that went through my head, all ending with: “But there’s no signs now. And the next closest parking is three blocks away.” So I parked.

The next morning at 8:55, I get a call from the city’s office. It’s a pretty nice gentleman, who informed me that my car was parked in a no parking zone and could I move it, please? “Sure, no problem,” I said, glad that they called, rather than tow me once they decided that they needed that area after all. I immediately put my shoes on and walk out.

To find the entire row of cars still there, with shiny yellow citation envelopes on them.

And the “No Parking: Starting 8/30” signs were back taped on the wooden horses.


So, is there any way I can contest this successfully? Of course, the city wants proof, like digital photos, which I don’t have. (“Sorry, yerhoner, it didn’t occur to me to photograph signs that weren’t there!”) I can find no information on how long a No Parking sign has to be placed before it goes into effect, nor can I think of a way to prove that there were no signs there at midnight, but they were put up sometime that morning. It just seems like less than 9 hours notice is unjust, but perhaps it’s not illegal.

I know it’s only $30, but it’s $30 we really don’t have to spare, plus I feel just a smidgen indignant here. Any advice would be very appreciated. (I live in Evanston, IL, just in case my Mayor is reading this and wants to make a phone call for me!) :wink:

I would write a letter of appeal to the city parking enforcment (whoever issued the citations) and explain, nicely, what has been going on. Explain that the the"no parking" signs are on paper and are taped to the sawhorse barricades and that they come and go with absolutly no schedule (i.e., show up in the middle of the night). I would think that if you, and others, who parked there and there was no sign taped up ( which you have apparently been watching out for) should not have received parking citations.
Write a letter, you might get out if it, you might not and still have to pay the ticket. I hate parking tickets- they suck.

Throw yourself on the mercy of the court. Plead no contest and explain to the judge exactly what you explained to us (minus the “I’m so angry” part) and it’s likely that the fine will be reduced or even tossed.