7/30/2006Illinois: City Ignores Valid Parking Ticket Appeal
Hearing officer ignores evidence from Illinois secretary of state to find Naperville resident guilty of illegal parking while outside the country.
A Naperville, Illinois resident charged with two counts of illegal parking in a city he never visited had his appeal turned down despite indisputable proof that his car was not responsible. The city of Waukegan, Illinois claimed that Bill Wilson had twice parked illegally on June 18 and demanded $50. Wilson was in the Netherlands on that date and his 1991 Nissan 300ZX was at home.
From the ticket, it was obvious that an employee of the Illinois secretary of state mistook a "0" for an "8" on the offending license plate and accidentally issued the ticket to Wilson. After a trip to the secretary of state's office, Wilson received a letter of correction and had the state send an appeal letter to the city of Waukegan.
Waukegan ignored the evidence. A hearing officer found Wilson guilty of illegal parking because the "plate was registered in your name at the time of the ticket," and demanded $100 if full payment was not made by August 2. Unable to solve the problem on his own, Wilson contacted the Chicago Tribune newspaper which was able to resolve the matter quickly. A secretary of state spokesman called this kind of error "uncommon."