Parking Tickets Unconstitutional?

This is what I found on Yelp ( unfortunately, the thread there was closed.

So I reopen this for discussion here: It appears when reading through the legalese below, that imposing parking tickets (=punishment) on the OWNER(!) of the car without the proof that the owner even drove the car/made the offense (the car could have been stolen for all we know), and without proper trial (by jury!) is unconstitutional, and therefore the whole ticket should be dismissed.

What does the esteemed readership of annoying parking ticket say?

Please comment!

joseph "J.J." m. says:

Here's something interesting I found: (any Yelping lawyers feel free to comment on this...)

The parking ticket is a Bill of Attainder. Bill of Attainder is defined as: "Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply to persons in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial is nothing more than a Bill of Attainder" (pains and penalties). U.S. vs Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 448-49. U.S. vs Lovett, 328 U.S. 303, 315. "A special act of the legislature which inflicts a punishment less than death upon persons supposed to be guilty...without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings."

2 Wood. Lect 625. "The clause in the constitution prohibiting bills of attainder includes bills of pains and penalties." Story, Const. Sec 1338; Hare Am. Const. L 549; Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 323; Fletcher v. Peck, 6 Cran. 138. See also :Ex Parte Garland, 4 Wall 333 Garner v. Los Angeles Board, 341 U.S. 716 Christie v. Luethh, 61 N.W. 2d 338, 341 United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3; Article 1, Section 10 States " No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed."

The parking ticket as applied to Free and Natural Persons is plainly a Bill of Attainder (Bill of Pains and Penalties) and violates the law of the land. The significance of the clause "law of the land" is said to be statutes that would deprive a citizen of the rights of person or property without a regular trial according to the course and usage of the common law would not be the law of the land. Hoke v. Henderson, 15 N.C. 15, 25 "By law of the land is more clearly intended the general law, a law which hears before it condemns; which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgement only after trial.

The meaning is that every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, property and immunities, under the protection of the general rules which govern our society. Everything which may pass under the form of an enactment is not, therefore, to be considered the law of the land." Dartmouth College Case, 4 Wheat 518.

The city issuing parking tickets is issuing complaints, determining guilt of an unknown individual with no proof the owner of the vehicle was the one who drove the vehicle, and imposing punishment in the form of fines all without due process and a judicial trial.


Alex said...

I believe you are correct there is something unconstitutional about the procedural issuance of parking tickets and am prepared to start a class action against the city.

However, the problem is not the ticket which is not a Bill of Attainder because you are given the right to a trial before conviction. If you noticed, on every violation summons in order to pay you have to plea guilty ans sign on the back and the trial takes place in your absence.

The problem I see is more procedural in nature and can be summarized in this question: Why don't I get an immediate refund of my expenses upon pleading "not guilty" when the police towed my car?

This is like "guilty until proven innocent" treatment. You incur all these expenses because the police decided to to deprive you of your vehicle without due process and than you have to wait until the judgment to get your money back. How is that constitutional?

Disclosure said...

Alex, Thanks for your contribution. There are several issues open for discussion here, as far as constitutionality of the procedure, even if the vehicle was not towed. For instance, isn't a $64 ticket an unfair punishment in and of itself? How much harm was really done by parking in the city park? See this

Anonymous said...

Just arrived from houstn's traffic "court"

For starters your hearing is with an "officer."
No judge in sight.

You enter a private room with this "officer."
Courts are supposed to be public

Anonymous said...

We here in Chicago get what are called "Flying Tickets." A Flying Ticket is a ticket that you receive in the mail for some traffic violation that the City claimed you did. These tickets are not physical ticket place on your car but surprise tickets in the mail. Traffic Directors and/or other City Workers write the license plate numbers down and at the end of the week you have tickets in the mail. On the back of the ticket you can select to pay $50.00 for the ticket or request a hearing in front of a hearing officer. When you get to the hearing, the person who writes the ticket never appears; however, if you fail to make the hearing then the ticket doubles to $100.00. After failure to appear or to contest these Flying tickets, the City contacts the Illinois Secretary of State and your driver's license get suspended until you pay the judgment against you. If you don't have the money to pay, then you are allowed to sign a contract with the City of Chicago to be placed on the 'payment plan.' Your balanced is accessed and monthly payments are posted to your account (interest compounded daily like a credit card). After getting setup with your new account with the City of Chicago, you continue to receive Flying Tickets in the mail.


Anonymous said...


If you have at least 2 parking tickets against your Illinois license plate, your vehicle is eligible for the "Chicago Boot" If these ticket are not paid within 24 hours, your vehicle is eligible for the Chicago Tow. If you do not retrieve your vehicle within a certain number of days, then your vehicle is eligible for the Chicago Auto Sale; mind you, it is not just a simple matter of payment of 2 parking ticket, now the City has additional ammunition to get you to pay for all those Flying Tickets that went unpaid (that accured interest while unpaid). If you still refuse to pay for those Flying Tickets, the City obtains a "Seizure Order" that allows them to seize any property with your name on it - All this without Due Process!

Anonymous said...


To challenge the Constitutionality of parking/flying tickets against a City is going against the grain. The City does not want too much light of exposure place on their illegal activity; after all this is a fat cash cow. So if you work within the City and you owe (any money) to the City - you pay-up or your business license gets suspended, revoked or not renewed. What's the difference between a guy on the street telling you to pay money if you want to operate a business and the City doing it under color of law?


Disclosure said...

Dear Anonymous from Chicago, I;m with you. Your stories make me just about as angry as I was getting the original ticket... here...

Robinson211 said...

There's got to be something in our constitution regarding citizens right to use of public street. I read that in L.A. all of the parking meters and made and operate by Hughes Aircraft and they pay the salaries of the parking ticket writers. They leased the public parking spaces from the county, installed their own meters, collect the money and we are paying for all that. Who gave L.A. the right to lease away property that belongs to you and me?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see some comments about the new trend of "Private" parking tickets issued by private companies on private parking lots. NO DUE PROCESS at all.

Disclosure said...

Robinson211 and Anon, some great points about the disturbing trends in privatization of parking tickets. If anyone has more information on either topic regarding private parking tickets, please share your experiences.

Anonymous said...

ok here is another problem with the laws regarding parking tickets. according to California Vehicle Code 40202 section (a) "The notice of Parking Violation, or copy thereof, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therin (the cities evidence that the infraction occured)"

WTF!!!! so, the burden of proof is on me!!!? only one person has to provide proof that he is innocent, the accuser is not required to provide solid evidence? the officer can just say, "oh im going to chalk this guys tires, and say i did it 2 hours ago, so now i can give him a ticket" and on the ticket he can write "marked tires at 1330 (military time) "and i can do nothing about that, because LITTERALY anything they say on the ticket is "evidence". that has to be unconstitutional, any lawyers want to offere opinions?

Disclosure said...

IANAL but this gives you one more reason to be VERY CAREFUL who you are voting into the political offices, say as soon as June 5.

YOU vote them in, and then THEY pass the laws that rob you of your CASH.

So whos fault is it? Ultimately yours because you voted in the politicians that will produce the laws that violate constitution and thus rob you of your money.

Be more careful next time at your voting place, and check for the laws people YOU voted in have PASSED that are robbing you of your money, unconstitutionally.

geminiseti said...

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Also participate: Via computer WITHOUT talk option...And, For The Call Archives Go To: he is on Tuesday's and Friday's night's at 9:pm eastern /web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=48361&cmd=tc
People get educated listen to Rod Class He has won two North Carolina Traffic cases that say the police departments are private entity;'s not government so are city's and county's they can't write these tickets learn how to sue these public servent's this crap has gone on long enough Rod Class is on the internet to type in his name

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