Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE BASICS OF SFMTA'S PARKING CITATION APPEALS PROCESS

You get a parking citation.

Step 1: You have 21 days from the date of the citation to protest and send an Administrative Review appeal by mail. (TIP #1: Save your money temporarily. Wait as long as you can so SFMTA does not get your money immediately! However, be sure you comply with the 21 days rule!)

Step 2: Wait for the decision. In all likelihood, with SFMTA being so backlogged, sometimes you may not hear anything for at least 1-2 months! (TIP #2: About once a week, check the online parking citation to make sure that your ticket has not gone up while your appeal is being reviewed. You just never know how mess up SFMTA is! Unless you're checking on regular basis, you may not even know they raised your ticket when they should NOT have!)

Step 3: You get the decision. Based on my personal experience, almost all Administrative Review Appeals are automatically denied. I would be very surprised if someone gets an appeal on his favor the first time around.

Step 4: Just like the Administrative Review above, you have another 21 days from the date of the denial letter. This time you have the option to go in-person as well as another mail-in ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING appeal. At this point, you need to pay up the ticket along with your appeal. If you are a good talker, I would suggest going in person so you can explain your side of the story; however, the downside is that you need to take time off to wait in line. (Tip #3: Again....between buying groceries and paying SFMTA immediately? Buy your food first....wait until the last week when you can mail the hearing appeal. But be sure you comply with the 21 days rule!)

Step 5: Wait again. This one is a much shorter wait than the first one. Why? I believe it is because not a lot of people actually go through the process of asking for an ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING. Most people just don't want to deal with the hassle of going in person or writing a letter. (Tip #4: Do you have a good case? Go through this process! Why not? You're paying anyway...you might as well try).

Step 6: Decision time. Your last recourse for filing is with the Traffic Bureau at the SF Superior Court. Just like the ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW and the ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING, you can schedule an in-person or a mail-hearing. This is really dependent on how much you value your time at court. (Tip #5: You have 30 days from the denial letter. Do not forget.)

DISCLAIMER

This blog is meant to educate you about San Francisco, SFMTA, DPT, parking rules, parking citations, etc.

By reading and using this blog, you FULLY agree and understand that this blogger does not take any responsibility for information you choose to use...particularly, if you plan on contesting your parking ticket(s).

Many of the postings in this blog are based on the blogger's own experience dealing with SFMTA, DPT, DPW, etc. and personal research. While there have been instances that the blogger had been able to get his tickets reversed, he does not, in any way, guarantee that the same arguments will work with anyone else's situation.

Your use of information in this blog is totally voluntary and at your own risk.