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6/8/2007
Washington: Judge Overturns Holiday Parking Tickets
County judge overturns holiday parking tickets issued in Seattle, Washington.

Judge Harry McCarthy
A superior court judge in Washington state on Wednesday invalidated 4000 parking tickets issued to motorists on legal holidays in Seattle. King County Superior Court Judge Harry J. McCarthy found the city had violated both state law and its own ordinance by issuing $30 and $35 tickets to motorists who parked on the Monday after a Sunday holiday or a Friday before a Saturday holiday.

The case began when Colette Turner parked at a metered spot on International Drive to do some shopping on New Year's Eve in 2004. Since New Year's Day fell on a Saturday, she assumed Friday parking would be free. A meter maid slapped her car with a ticket, but Turner fought back by filing a class action lawsuit.

The judge found the city's application of its own ordinance was inconsistent.

"Based on the record, it is apparent that the city exceeded its authority by citing this class of plaintiffs," McCarthy wrote. "It is further apparent that the city has selectively interpreted and enforced the traffic code's section on paid meter parking in such a way as to defeat the city council's clear directive to exempt paid parking on 'legal holidays.'"

The judge will later decide whether to order refunds to those who paid the illegally issued citations. The full ruling is available in a 600k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Turner v. Seattle (Superior Court State of Washington, King County, 6/6/2007)

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