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City Of L.A. Can't Let A Private Company Handle Parking Ticket Disputes, Court Rules

Breakin' the law. (Photo by Lord Jim via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Getting a parking ticket sucks. Disputing a parking ticket that was wrongfully issued sucks even more. Now, after a ruling by a state court, the city of Los Angeles has to change the way the appeals are handled.On Monday, the California Court of Appeal ruled in a decision that L.A. cannot continue letting Xerox and a subcontractor known as PRWT Services handle the review of disputed tickets. "Based on the language of [the Vehicle Code] and relevant legislative history, we hold, as did the trial court, that the City is required to conduct the initial review, and cannot contract with Xerox to perform that duty," said the court in their decision (link opens as a .doc file).

Xerox (yes, the copy machine guys), if you didn't know, is hired by the city to process parking tickets. Attorney Caleb Marker, who represented Cody Weiss in the initial lawsuit, told NBC 4, "We don’t believe it's fair the way it's administered right now through PRWT and Xerox; they only allow their employees three minutes to review a single parking ticket challenge."

The court ruled that the system had an "inherent conflict of interest" since Xerox and PRWT were also earning a profit on the tickets that were issued. Some retired parking enforcement officers have gone so far as to claim they were given quotas on the number of tickets they issued per day.

While the hope is that the ruling would mean a more transparent system for the appeal process could be put into place, it seems like the city of Los Angeles won't go down without a fight. "We are currently reviewing our appellate options," the city told NBC 4.

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