A parking citation is issued to the parked vehicle observed by a traffic officer or sheriff to be in violation of a particular state or municipal vehicle code section. To contest the citation, the vehicle owner or driver then has 21 days to either just pay the fine; or pay the fine and challenge the citation's issuance. At the first level ofrevue, city officials will issue an "Administrative Decision," which the recipient can then appeal to my level, by either requesting an in-person, or in-writing contest, and providing evidence (including witness testimony) in this regard. If successful and found "Not Liable," respondents are returned the funds that they paid up-front.

As a Hearing Officer, I am the "second tier" in the process to contest a parking citation. At my level, if the citation is upheld – the third level of appeal remains – going in front of a judge in the Superior Court. Here the motorist faces a judge, or pro tem, and appeals the Hearing Officer's finding.

Violation: Meter Expired

A very well dressed woman appeared to contest a citation that was issued for an expired meter violation.

"Your honor, it vos emergency!"

"You don't have to call me 'Your Honor', Allan is fine."

"Thank you Your Honor, you are a very fair man. Zis ticket was issued wrong. It should be dismissed, and the traffic officer fired. My husband was undergo knee surgery. How he can get back to car ven he was being operated on, you tell me, Your Honor?"

"You don't have to call me 'Your Honor'"

"Zank you, Your Honor. You are very kind man. Very honest I can tell. Vot ve can do? My husband vos on operating table. How can he go to put money in meter?"

"Can you get a letter from the surgeon?" "Vott, Your Honor?"

"A letter from the surgeon that he was operating n your husband's knee would really help bolster your case?"

"Vot is dis, Your Honor?"

"A letter from the doctor?"

"Oh no, your Honor, surgeon very busy. He no remember me."

"That is OK, I will continue your case, and hold off making a decision and give you a little more time like two weeks to get the evidence that you need."

"Surgeon he very busy. Always. He no have time to write letter. I am telling ze troos, Your Honor. I vill try. You are very honest man. I vould never appeal your decision."

A two-week continuance was granted.

A few days later when I returned to the office, a letter awaited me. I opened the letter, and prominently displayed in the top right of the letter was a wisdom tooth. The "surgeon" in question referenced the case and wrote:

"I remember the circumstances of this case well. Mr. Xxxxx Xxxxxxx came to see me after a toothpick had broken off between his teeth. I extracted the broken toothpick."

When I wrote the decision letter back to the respondent, it was an admitted temptation to want to write, "You should never have a dentist operate on your knee!"


The respondent was not able to provide sufficient independently verifiable credible evidence to establish that mitigating circumstances existed sufficient to outweigh the facts established on the citation and excuse the violation. Therefore, the finding was liable.

The respondent did appeal the decision to the Superior Court. The motorist had showed up at the office window demanding the case file to take the case file to court. They were informed that the file was automatically forwarded to the Court when an appeal was filed.