“How Overdue Parking Tickets Took Over an Innocent Person’s Life”

Tickets — with penalties, reaching an absurd $105,761.80 — all part of a man’s apparent ploy “to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend via the Chicago government.” And it didn’t exactly fail at that aim, either; she wound up paying quite a bit to put the matter behind her. [Dan Lewis, Now I Know]

13 Comments

  • Some enterprising federal prosecutor should figure out a way to prosecute the lawyer involved with the settlement agreement. Let’s see how that person likes it. The lawyer who was a part of the settlement on the part of the city should have his or her license revoked forever. Never ever practice law again.

    Chicago is appalling.

  • “Chicago is appalling.”

    You give them far too much credit.

  • You’re assuming the evidence was so overwhelming they would have been required to accept her version of events. He says it’s her car and she left it there, and she says otherwise. To avoid determining the facts via a trial, they settled. It happens every day.

    • I have personal experience with Chicago–the government is a thug government, and it gets ZERO benefit of the doubt. The idea that “they don’t have to believe her version of events” is interesting—why don’t they have the requirement to get to the bottom of it?

      • Getting to the bottom of it may not be so easy, if the evidence is one person’s word against another’s. I was responding to the comment that the attorney involved in the settlement on behalf of the city should not be permitted to practice law. The evidence here appears to be the registered owner of the vehicle saying “my ex did it” and the ex saying otherwise. (This is not absolutely clear in the story). On those facts, the opinion that the city’s attorneys were acting unethically seems unwarranted.

        • I, The ex boyfriend worked for United Airlines at O’Hare airport., so he certainly would have better access to the lot than his ex girlfriend.

          2. From the linked article, it’s not clear if the Chicago PD ever even tried to talk to the ex boyfriend before the woman filed suit against him and the city. I wouldn’t bet against they never talked to him at all.

    • But the woman had no access to that parking garage while her boyfriend did, so right there was strong evidence that she didn’t park it there.

  • The fact that parking in and around most, or might I say All Cities is getting to the point where it’s unbelievable when you get a parking ticket! The unbelievable part is when you read how much that ticket is! I know because I parked my pickup with one tire connecting one corner without going over the line of a cross-hatched section of a handicap zone,and did not interfere with the parking of a handicapped driver entering the parking space. I received a ticket for that all the while, the officer blocked the entire parking spot with his cruiser. The price? 525.00 dollars! A lot of money just to return a video that took no more than 2 minutes! Funny thing is, while the cruiser was blocking that very space, a handicapped driver came in and had to park down the hill instead of that designated parking space! The amounts on these tickets are ridiculous,and if you park in a parking lot, it too is pricing in the area of ridiculous. It cost me 35.00 dollars for one hour! Actually I felt a bit lucky when I received a receipt from a previously parked car that was 102.00 dollars for 8 hours! 510.00 dollars a week to park your car for work! That is beyond ridiculous! It’s Insane!!! The City officials say the over the limit parking fines are going towards the repaving of the City streets! I think that is a bold faced lie! I’ve never seen so many streets in disrepair as I’ve seen in San Francisco!!!!

  • “For some reason, when Preveau bought the car, he registered it under the name of his then-girlfriend, a woman named Jennifer Fitzgerald, and did so without telling her. ”

    Strange that one should be able to register a car under the name of someone who is not the titled owner. As for why he might register under someone else’s name, the fact that he was able to get away scott free from all those parking fines speaks for itself.

    City was lazy in that it should have towed the car after abandonment, typically 30 days after finding it has not been moved or accessed. Then subsequently sold for back fees.
    But they would have botched that too by not notifying the titled owner, instead mistakenly notifying the person named for the license plates.

  • I didn’t see anything saying she had no access to the garage. According to other accounts it is a secure city-owned lot available for public parking but also used by airport employees.

  • RE: the parking lot and access to it:

    Preveau would park the vehicle in O’Hare parking lot E, a secured outdoor lot surrounded by high chain link fencing, that’s open to the flying public but also utilized by drivers employed at the airport. The parking lot is owned by the City of Chicago and operated by Standard Parking Corporation. But according to the complaint, United Airlines leases spaces in the lot for use by airline employees.

    http://theexpiredmeter.com/2012/11/automobile-sets-all-time-record-for-chicago-parking-tickets/

    RE: Notice to the woman:

    Fitzgerald said she began receiving notices from the Department of Revenue in December 2009 about the fees owed and tried to get Preveau to move the car but was unsuccessful. She was unable to move the car herself because she didn’t have the keys, according to the complaint.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/chicago-woman-owes-105k-parking-fees-article-1.1208650

    So the woman knew about the car, where it was parked, and was receiving the notices on the car and couldn’t find the time to get a duplicate of the title / registration and get a locksmith to open the door and make a set of keys?

    When she was informed that the her driver’s license was suspended, shouldn’t she had started taking more aggressive action on this? Instead it seems she did nothing (or very very little.)

    For 3 1/2 years she did nothing about this other than speak to the police (who rightfully said they couldn’t help her.)

    In my opinion, the fines piling up were excessive as the City should have moved the vehicle, but at the same time, her lack of attention and effort over the years adds to her accountability as well.

    Also, does anyone else but me think that 9 years to resolve this case is a disaster in and of itself?

    • “Also, does anyone else but me think that 9 years to resolve this case is a disaster in and of itself?”

      Yep. IMO, if any case is still active after… maybe three years?… it should ideally be dismissed on grounds of the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

      This would hopefully prompt the whole system to be reformed.

  • Knew about the car and where it was parked–as if she has a duty, enforced by a fine to deal with it.

    Statism alive and well.