Good news for those wanting to challenge parking tickets out of Los Angeles, via L.A. Weekly:
James Chalfant of Los Angeles Superior Court, ruled tentatively that the city can no longer outsource its appeals review process….That could make it more difficult for the city to reject your objections:…
The judge wrote in his tentative ruling that … "the statutory scheme requires the City as issuing agency to conduct the initial review, and it may not delegate that task to its processing agency, Xerox."
Xerox itself subcontracts out to a company called PRWT. According to winning plaintiff's lawyer Caleb Marker:
an employee [of PRWT] must review the motorist's challenge, any evidence, the City's rules, and render a decision in approximately three minutes or less. More troubling is Plaintiff's contention that City rules require most initial reviews to be denied absent a few limited circumstances, and that some rules automatically deny the initial challenge, all without regard to evidence that a motorist may submit with the initial review, without ever disclosing to the motorist that his or her evidence was not actually considered. Naturally, most motorists give up and the City, through Xerox, collects millions of dollars.
Marker told [the Weekly] that he believes the ruling will prevent City Hall from contracting out its review process. "Under the court's ruling the city will be required to start conduct initial reviews itself," he said.
….the judge will likely issue a writ by next month that orders the city to stop this practice….
The attorney believes the decision could apply statewide because it's based on California vehicle code. "We think this ruling has effect across California, not just in L.A.," he told us.
Blogging on a different L.A.-based suit challenging the very constitutionality of aspects of how fees are piled onto parking tickets.
I take you back to the misty glorious days when parking meters themselves were illegal.