News If You’ve Ever Been Mad About a Parking Ticket, Read This
posted by June 7 at 14:33 PMon
KC Superior Court ruled today that the city of Seattle issued thousands of parking tickets (on holidays) when they weren’t supposed to. Part of the problem—as with the main plaintiff in the case—was that holidays that fall on a Saturday (like New Year’s Day 2005) are supposed to be honored by meter maids on the previous Friday.
I just talked to one of the attorneys on the case, DeWelle Ellsworth, and he says the case will now go to the damages phase, and he estimates that the city is looking at refunds of up to $500,000 for the 4,000 people who were ticketed.
Ellsworth and his co-counsel, David Stobaugh, got hold of SPD records to determine how many people were inappropriately ticketed on the city’s 11 official holidays.
Here’s their press release:
June 7, 2007 — Seattle, Washington C Colette Turner, a Bellevue resident who had come to Seattle to shop, parked at a meter on Friday, December 31, 2004. When Turner returned to her car, she found that she had been issued a $35 parking ticket for failing to pay the meter even though it was a legal holiday. Having seen signs stating that parking was free on Sundays and holidays, she was shocked to be ticketed.
Collette Turner filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the City of Seattle unlawfully enforced metered parking on holidays defined by the City Code as being free parking days. Turner contended that the City unlawfully issued parking tickets and collected parking meter revenue on legal holidays. The Court certified the class on March 30, 2007. The class consists of over 4,000 individuals who received parking tickets on legal holidays and those who paid parking fees on legal holidays.
Today Collette Turner and her counsel received Judge Harry McCarthy’s June 6, 2007 written decision agreeing with Turner that the City of Seattle violated state law and city ordinances by issuing thousands of parking tickets on legal holidays.
SMC 11.14.277 Legal parking holidays. The following are legal holidays: Sunday; the first day of January, New Year’s Day; the third Monday of January, the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.; the third Monday of February, Presidents’ Day; the last Monday of May, Memorial Day; the fourth day of July, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; the first Monday in September, Labor Day; the eleventh day of November, Veterans Day; the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day; the day immediately following Thanksgiving Day, and the twenty-fifth day of December, Christmas Day. Whenever any legal holiday, other than Sunday, falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a parking holiday. Whenever any legal holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be the legal holiday.