LA Faces Class Action over Parking Tickets

Subcontracting out collections deprives drivers the right to contest, suit claims


 LOS ANGELES (CN)—Los Angeles deprived millions of harried drivers of the right to contest parking tickets by illegally contracting the collections process to a Xerox subsidiary, a class action claims in Federal Court.

Lead plaintiff Jeff Galfer sued the City of Los Angeles, Xerox State and Local Solutions, and three L.A. Department of Transportation executives, alleging state and federal constitutional violations, conversion, trespass to chattels, civil rights violations, unfair business practices and other charges.

Los Angeles collects more than $150 million in parking fines every year, from the nearly 3 million citations it issues, according to the 47-page complaint.

Budget problems have led Los Angeles to run its parking system "as a profit center for the city, rather than a mechanism for enforcing parking restrictions." The system has "the greatest impact on low-to-moderate income residents who live in densely populated areas with inadequate street parking," according to the complaint.