Bogus Parking Ticket From San Francisco MTA (SFMTA)




FIG 1. The original citation by SFMTA (left, click on an image to enlarge)

I showed my friend this blog and she immediately thought of a bogus parking violation ticket she got from the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency. She was cited for illegally parking in San Francisco when her car was actually in Los Angeles! The language of the citation is very peculiar. Is it possible the SFMTA sends out several such citations "in error", threatening higher penalties, and collects from the people who don't do thorough research and "just pay the ticket"?


I'm enclosing the citation, FIG 1, and the MTA response after my friend wrote them back about their "mistake", FIG 2.

If anyone has experienced a bogus ticket from the SFMTA, please let me know by commenting!




FIG 2. The SFMTA response admitting their "mistake". (click on image to enlarge and see both FIG 1 and FIG 2)


P.S.: How it all started:
http://annoyingparkingticket.blogspot.com/2008/08/annoying-parking-ticket-at-zuma-beach.html

P.P.S.: How you can make money to pay for your ticket: http://annoyingparkingticket.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-have-your-parking-ticket-pay-for.html

43 comments:

Mentor Matt said...

Here's my original entry:

annoyingparkingticket.blogspot.com

Mentor Matt said...

Sorry, THIS is how it all started, an amazing story:

Pay Parking Ticket At Zuma Beach, Los Angeles County, California

Mentor Matt said...

NYTimes.com today reports about abuses of Disabled Parking Placards in San Francisco. A quote from the CEO of SFMTA clearly shows where the SFMTA priorities lie:

In San Francisco, for example, where roughly 55,000 people hold the placards, the authorities seized more than 2,000 in the last fiscal year, for counterfeiting, use by the wrong person and other reasons. And the city is on an even more torrid pace of confiscations this year.

The problem has gotten so bad that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law last week a measure that increased fines for violators — to up to $1,000 for repeated offenses. It also loosened the hands of parking control officers (a k a meter monitors) to hand out tickets.

The move was hailed by transit officials, who say the result of placard abuse is two-fold.

“Disabled placard abuse does more than just take needed revenue from our transit system,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., the executive director and chief executive of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “It actually makes it harder for people with disabilities to find a spot when they need one.”

Curious said...

I just got the same ticket, car is in LA, ticket was in SF, car was in LA the whole time

Mentor Matt said...

Curious, That is curious, isn't it? For each ticket like that reported here there must be a thousand unreported. Does that seem like an "innocent mistake". I wonder how many SFMTA parking tickets get issues to people who do not have a good alibi and they just pay the ticket!

Chris and Lauren said...

I just got one of these. I now know that this is totally fraudulent.

Disclosure said...

Chris and Lauren,

Thanks for contributing. We need more proof. Then we'll do something about it.

MM

Anonymous said...

I had parked in a loading zone before the actual time started. i.e., the loading zone hours were from 8am and i was there before and took my car from there at 7:40 and the parking guy had already called a tow truck to hook my car. He saw me running and let me go and 2 weeks later i get a ticket in the mail. it shows 7:33am and the parking meter says the times are from 8am-noon...

Annoying Parking Ticket said...

Anonymous, thanks for your report. We have got a new feature coming that will help people like you BEFORE they get fined. So bookmark, subscribe, and keep coming back.

Anonymous said...

I received the same ticket and the car was in Los Angeles the whole time. I never been to San Francisco. I called the office and according to Sarah code CK26, this is common mistake. I just wonder if they do reverse research to find the model and color of the car to make it like real.

Anonymous said...

I also received a "notice of Delinquent Parking Violation" from SFMTA. On the day the citation was issued, I was in Boston, Mass. and never loaned my vehicle to anyone. In fact it was parked at my residence 250 miles away from the cited address. In addition the license plate on the citation did not match my vehicle's plate number. Yet when I called the number provided on the "notice" I was told that the license plate WAS registared to me, and that that person was "looking at the DMV" registration. Later in the same conversation, she changed her mind, and said the "officer made a mistake" in fact the vehicle was a different description than that in the "notice." Totally weird.

Disclosure said...

Thanks, Anonymous. The evidence keeps piling up...

Anonymous said...

Just received one in the mail today. I'm in Kentucky. I did purchase a vehicle in CA a few years back but no longer own it. On the date of said ticket, I was in KY. SFMTA website indicates that there are scams going on.

Anonymous said...

I just got the the same invoice from the SFMTA. It was for a parking violation on 9/23/10 in downtown San Francisco but my car has never even been to San Francisco. I live in San Diego and was in class at that time. This sounds like fraud.

Disclosure said...

Hmmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

I just received one from the City of San Dimas, CA. I was in San Diego the whole day and the ticket gives my license plate but the description of the car was a different color and different brand...and I just recently traded it in before I received my ticket.

counterbeing said...

I too received a bogus parking parking ticket. It was for a meter that had been paid. And I also got really upset about it. And much like you I decided to do something constructive about it. I created a site called DPT Watch. This is a place where people can put their officer's badge number, and information about their citation, and it all gets tallied. You can then sort the list by badge number and see how many other bogus tickets your office has handed out. If you have a bogus parking ticket from San Francisco, please report it here:

http://www.dptwatch.com

Disclosure said...

Wow, what a splendid idea! I'm going to check your site out. This annoying parking ticket blog gets a lot of traffic from all around California, would you mind getting reports from SoCal etc as well?

Everyone is encouraged to visit http://dptwatch.com as per previous comment!

counterbeing said...

Well, I'd be interested, but it would likely involve changing some of the site around. I specifically designed the site for the SFMT and DPT. I'd like to see some tickets from those areas, and I'd maybe redeploy similar sites, or add them onto the current site.

Disclosure said...

Great, If you do so I am sure you will get much traffic from this blog!

For instance, check out this one location in LA. It gets 10-15 tickets DAILY. Just wrote about it here: *HOT* Daily Parking Tickets Alert In Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Anonymous said...

I too got a bogus notice of delinquent parking violation from SFMTA,the funny thing is the color of my vehicle they noted is totally different and I'm not even in SF that month. when I called the agent told me I have to send my registration in, really do not understand who they generate these wrongful citations.

Disclosure said...

It may help to use counterbeing's site in the comment above.

1. Track down bogus tickets by officer name, etc.

2. See the patterns.

3. Then someone, probably a lawyer experienced in traffic violations and dealing with the govt could crack this down.

Anonymous said...

Recently I received the exact same bogus deliquent parking violation from SFMTA. I live many hours away from SF and havn't been there in a least 4 years. However they did get the vehicle make and color correctly which tells me that they have access to DMV records and the notice does look very official. Tommorow I'm going to call those numbers and see if they will send me a copy of the ticket and the name of the officer and badge number.

Anonymous said...

I called up and after I asked for a copy of the original ticket she became defensive and put me on hold and then claimed it was a data entry mistake. She said this was rare and unusual because the records claimed that I also owned another car also had a ticket that I apparently paid for. The description of my vehicle didn't match other records and they said they would clear it up. Something seemed weird but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Disclosure said...

Well, if you look at the other 22 comments, these folks have gotten quite a bit of practice over the years of screwing gullible or disinterested folks out of their $$$. Time to kick them out?

Another example of good intentions with terrible unintended corruption consequences.

Anonymous said...

I JUST RECEIVED THE SAME DOCUMENT AS IN FIG1-CLAIMING THAT MY VEHICLE WAS IN SAN FRANCISCO ON A SPECIFIC DATE WHEN I WAS IN SAN DIEGO AT THE TIME IN QUESTION. IM ANGRY THAT THIS AGENCY CAN CONDUCT ITSELF IN THIS MANNER AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HARD WORKING AMERICANS WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE. WITH ALL THE COMMENTS, IT IS QUITE EVIDENT SOME KIND OF FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY IS IN MOTION. WE NEED TO BAN TOGETHER TO STOP THIS RECKLESS ACCESS OF OUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. PEOPLE WAKE UP--WE NEED TO DEMAND OUR RIGHTS BE PROTECTED!!

counterbeing said...

Log it at http://www.dptwatch.com
that's totally effed.

Mad About San Francisco said...

http://madaboutsanfran.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

AT 3PM IN THE MAIL ON 12/6/2011 I RECEIVED A BOGAS PARKING TICKET FROM SFMTA FOR REGISTRATION TAGS V5204A $114. THE NOTICE GAVE ME UNTIL 5PM ON 12/6/2011 TO PROTEST THE TICKET OTHERWISE YOU COULD NOT PROTEST THE TICKET. I HAD TO DROP EVERYTHING IN ORDER TO GO TO SAN FRANCISCO SFMTA TO FILE A PROTEST LETTER MY THE TIME REQUIRED. MY REGISTRATION TAGS ON THE CAR WERE UP TODATE AND DID NOT EXPIRE UNTIL DECEMBER 12, 2011 AND THE 2012 TAGS WERE ALREADY PAID FOR. THIS IS UNFAIR AND UNJUST TREATMENT BY THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, SINCE THEY SPEND MORE THAN THEY MAKE AND GIVE OUT BOGAS TICKETS TO PAY FOR THEIR SHORT FALL IN MONEY. APPARENTLY ITS EVIDENT THEY MUST NOT BE MAKING THEIR QUOTAS, SO THEY ARE ISSUING BOGAS TICKETS.

Erin Dunn said...

I am disabled and have a parking placard. It was hanging on my rear view mirror when the guy gave me a ticket. He was racing up and down Polk St. about 30 mph in those little things they drive and ripping off tickets. I sent in a protest letter saying my placard was hanging from my mirror at the time in question and I just got this funky looking letter back that looks like it went through the copy machine sideways. It looks totally unprofessional. It told me they reviewed the case and they confirm the citation was issued properly. Wha...? So now I have to pay $55 because some lazy ass parking attendant didn't want to look into my car window to check for a placard? I have tinted windows but you can still see it when you look in. It was my freakin' birthday, too. WTH!

Disclosure said...

I would send them a photo of the placard in your car, to show evidence of how the placard is hung.

Then let them show their evidence.

Was it allowed to park there if you had the placard? You never mentioned that.

Seemingly small things like that are important. An attorney (find links on the first page http://annoyingparkingticket.blogspot.com) can help putting together an appeal.

Can't you appeal in court?

Anonymous said...

My son received a letter also saying he was deliquent. He has never been to San Francisco and neither has his car. What are we supposed to do about this?

Disclosure said...

do like i did (see the initial post on top of this page), and you and your son should be fine. If you have specific questions, go ahead, and post them here.

Anonymous said...

I just received a delinquent notice for a ticket that was issued in January of 2012. I also live in LA county and my car was no where near San Francisco. The ticket got my tag and vehicle make correct but the color was wrong. DMV records will show all of that info except for the color. My guess is that someone at SFMTA queries DMV records randomly and pulls vehicle plates to issue the bogus tickets. They don't know the vehicle color so they guess. Sometimes they are right and luckily for some like me, they get it wrong.

Anonymous said...

It's frustrated having to deal with SFMTA this is the thirth parking ticket from SFMTA I get from them. there is a mistake their thiket record shows that my truck is brown but its actually black. Second, I live in tulare CA and have never been in san francisco for any reason. They ask me to send proof. They did not accepted because they said that in my 30 minutes lunch I could be there and san francisco it's about 6 hrs from tulare. Thirth the DMV does not have any record from my vehicle.
lastly, knowing that there is no way that any of those parking were issue correctly and that there're several cases like mine I should getlegal help. I think this business named "SFMTA" should not be in business

mutosheep said...

A city bastard was double parked behind my vehicle in a pickup truck. He never issued me a ticket, but I got a delinquency notice in the mail. He claimed I was parked over a block away and on the other side of the street to hit me with a street cleaning ticket. There were a bunch of cars parked there, but instead of reporting them, he chose me because I was parked in "his" spot. Typical gangster government bull mess.

Disclosure said...

Time to start collecting the evidence?!? I mean hard evidence?!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I received a parking citation over the weekend.It said I was in violation of section : VC5201F - PLATE COVER...

This is interesting, since I have never had any plate cover whatsoever on this vehicle! What gives??!!!

Anonymous said...

I got similar bogus ticket frpm the SFMTA. I wrote a letter and sending certified. They better dismiss the ticket as I was never even in SF! I'm pissed off.

Anonymous said...

I just received a parking violation for my vehicle that has never been within several hundred miles of San Francisco. I'm in the process of fighting it but won't reveal my strategy until it's resolved.

Anonymous said...

I was cited for illegally parking in San Francisco.
I was parked closed to my residence in a space with a parking meter and handicap placard showing which exempts me from the associated fees and fines. This particular fines original price for “parking meter was $55, which has blown to $155.

Over two (2) years ago after returning from a 4th of July holiday weekend (departing Thursday, June 30th [through] returning Tuesday July 5th ) and exhausted from a long drive, I parked my vehicle on the city street in front of my residence for less than a day and was ticketed separately for:
…three (3) citations; for one (1) violation; by three (3) different officers; in one (1) location… within a fifteen (15) hour period.
I returned to my vehicle the next morning to find not one; … not two; …but three (3) parking violations placed on the windshield.

The citations were issued; “In Violation of Section: TC202 – Parking Meter”
With comments; stating, “DP Placard 686540H Exp. 06/30/2011”, on each.

Tickets placed on windshield: Dates & Times @ 07/05/ 2011 03:07 PM
07/06/2011 09:18 AM
07/06/2011 10:35 AM

My casualty that half-day was to forgot replacing an expired disabled placard (with an end date of June 30, 2o11) with the recently issued (new) replacement. I was only five days tardy in doing so for the first and ONLY TIME EVER … and less than one day in violation. I know I was at fault. I am not blaming anyone else for my indiscretion, but doesn’t that seem like an "innocent mistake", that should be justifiably pardoned.

I wonder how many SFMTA parking tickets get issued to people who do not have a good alibi and they just pay the ticket!

Anonymous said...

My comment from two weeks ago about receiving a similar parking violation notice in the mail hasn't been posted yet. I mailed (certified with proof of delivery) my appeal to the address on the form and the violation was dismissed. My appeal letter was very straightforward explaining how the vehicle has never been near SF and that the notice I received didn't include the the last four digits of the VIN, the registration expiration date nor the color of the vehicle as spelled out in CVC 40241. Instead of moving on, I will be sending the details of this situation to parties who may have some interest in pursuing it. The odds against success are high -- but maybe I'll happen to contact someone who is looking for something like this.

Anonymous said...

I just receive a bill for parking ticket in San Francisco while my car is in orange county all the time. I'm going to protest about this.

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