I commented in March’s Point of View on the class action lawsuit that is being raised against the City of Las Vegas and the city’s parking guru Brandy Stanley’s fight against it. Someone felt ‘wronged’ that parking meters were still ‘on’ when the signs said parking was free and a lawyer saw a way to hit the industry for big bucks. Brandy says that the streets are well signed and if people have a driving license they are required to read. She also noted that when she turned them off, she would receive complaints from people who said that the machine rejected their money. I would not like to be a lawyer facing Brandy in court.
Its happening again in Los Angeles. The legal beagles are jumping up and down because the parking fines are too high — cruel and unusual punishment. Read about it here. (H/T to Mark for bringing this to my attention.)
The gist is this: Jesus Pimentel parked in downtown LA and received a ticket for $65. He didn’t pay it on time and it was bumped to $175. He didn’t pay that until he found that he couldn’t register his car until he did, so he paid it, under protest, and called a lawyer.
There are a number of arguments the mouthpiece used including the fact that the ticket itself was more than the minimum wage daily rate in California and with penalty, it was more than the average daily income of a California worker, AND the fines and penalties are more than nearby Pasadena and Glendale charge. So naturally it in violation of the 8th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution and California’s Constitution’s Due Process Clause. Sigh…
So we are saying that fines and penalties should be based on a person’s income, and not on the crime? How is it that Pimentel could afford a car, could afford to put expensive gas in it, could afford insurance and maintenance, but somehow couldn’t afford the parking fine…and refused to pay it until he found he couldn’t register his car until he did?
It seems to me that each municipality has the right to set its fines and penalties any way it likes. If a person doesn’t want to subject themselves to such they can
1. Not park there or
2. and here’s a unique thought, pay their parking fee and not overstay the time limit.
3. if they do, and get caught, pay the ticket on time.
This, much as the class action in Las Vegas, is a waste — a waste of time and money. It’s also a direct challenge to something we have far to little of these days, common sense.