Jennifer Abel writes in Consumer Affairs about an interesting approach to fighting parking tickets: a class-action federal suit complaining that the end result constitutes an unconstitutionally "excessive" fine.
Lead plaintiff Jesus Pimentel ran up a $63 expired parking meter fine, which is bad enough, but the city gave him only two weeks to pay before doubling the fine. Then there was a $28 "delinquent" fee and a $21 "collection" fee. Add it all up and Pimentel was out $175, which he thinks is so excessive it's downright unconstitutional, Courthouse News Service reported.
Besides the money, Pimentel was miffed when the DMV threatened to withhold his car's registration if he didn't pay up, the city threatened to boot and impound his car while also holding out the possibility of civil litigation, damage to his credit rating and garnishing of his state tax refund. This, says Pimentel, violated the Due Process clause…..
Pimentel's fines come to 336 percent of the daily median income for a Latino Angeleno.
I wrote last month on how the pettiest end of state enforcement of laws regarding things like vehicular and body movement can quickly escalate to life-ruining problems.
[Hat tip: Jeff Patterson]