The Department of Finance is considering loosening restrictions preventing motorists from introducing new evidence when appealing parking tickets, which is currently forbidden after a defendant’s initial challenge fails.
Proponents of the amendment say that it’s about time the city’s treasurer’s, who are responsible for collecting revenue for the city — and overseeing the judicial body charged with ruling on the merit of parking tickets — craft policies that help New Yorkers keep their money out of the city coffers.
“I’m actually surprised,” said Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park) who has been critical of the Department of Finance’s role in appointing judges to the Parking Violations Bureau, and submitted legislation in 2014 to transfer control over the adjudicatory body to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. “Basically over the last decade or so, its always about raising money, justice doesn’t always seem to be the top of their agenda. But we have a new mayor and a new administration, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Current rules allow recipients of parking tickets to request a hearing, either online or in person, during which they’re allowed to present photographic evidence to prove their case.
If judges with the Parking Violations Bureau rule against a defendant during the initial hearing, they’re given the opportunity to appeal the ruling, but appeals judges only consider errors of law that may have occurred during the initial ruling, and will not consider new evidence.
Adding insult to injury, the treasury instructs defendants to pay their fines before pursuing appeal — if they don’t, and the appeal fails, they’re liable for any late fees associated with the fine.
The Mar. 18 announcement of the proposed change kicked off a public comment period ending April 22, when the Department of Finance will host a public hearing in Brooklyn where New Yorkers are invited to discuss the change.
Until then, anyone with an opinion is encouraged to write, e-mail or fax their point of view to the city’s revenue harvesters.
Raise your voice about parking rules at the Department of Finance hearing room [345 Adams St. between Boerum Place and John Street Downtown] April 22 at 11 am. If you can’t make that, comments can be e-mailed to rubin