Class action suit against NYC Muni Meters

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Class action suit against NYC Muni Meters

Postby vesparado » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:33 pm

Like a lot of riders, I received a ticket parking ticket even though a valid receipt was taped to my bikes windshield. I am that anal that I carry tape and only pay by credit card. I have disputed it online and sent in a copy of the receipt (yes the muni receipt was still affixed to my windshield when I returned to the bike). NYC's muni meter system unfairly discriminates against motorcycles and scooters. That is evident from what is even printed on the receipts "Display on Driver's Side of Dashboard."

It appears NYC will not do something unless they are sued. Any suggestions how such a class action lawsuit can be started?
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Re: Class action suit against NYC Muni Meters

Postby Jillian » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:13 pm

I'm not a lawyer.

You'll probably not have any success with a class action lawsuit. First, the city is pretty good at preventing itself from getting sued. Secondly, New York has specific rules about class action lawsuits - they're for consumer products only, and subject to a bunch of regulation.

Secondly, I don't think we're going to get much traction from the "discrimination" argument. Motorcyclists aren't a protected class (like the disabled, racial minorities, etc.) and we don't have a "right" to "access" things like parking spots. The Muni-Meter system is stupid, wasteful, illogical, and ridiculous. It's utterly foolish that they don't accommodate bikes and scoots. But it's not illegal.

You could theoretically sue the city for the time and effort it takes to fight every...single...stupid... Muni-meter ticket, but unless you have a family lawyer on retainer, it's a bit of a waste.

Your ticket is handled by administrative law judges who operate outside the real legal system and their practices are controversial. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/parkin ... peal.shtml My guess is that the best route to deal with this is by appealing a ticket if you don't prevail in your first defense. There is an appeals board to deal with what the ALJs have screwed up. Those hearings are held in a "article 78 proceeding" which is a forum for dealing with these extra-legal situations. I don't know what the success is in getting (1) a reversal of a bad ALJ verdict, and (2) having that info trickle down to the other ALJs or NYC to prevent the future ticketing of bikes. Or fix the Muni-Meter system.

Others can chime in but this is my general understanding of the situation. :ear:
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Re: Class action suit against NYC Muni Meters

Postby Jusjih » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:34 pm

When amending my https://sites.google.com/site/jusjih/motorcycles recently, I have found the pay scale of administrative law judges of at least $103900 per year, equal to at least $49.95 per hour, assuming 52 weeks per year and 40 hours per week. Just a few hours of hearing or appeal review will eat up the parking fine code 38, failure to display in the windshield, of $65 or $35 to cost New York City.

As Pay and Display requires displaying the parking fee receipt in the windshield but the state law does not require a motorcycle to have a windshield, I consider that parking violation code 38, failure to display in the windshield, should be technically invalid for motorcycles. This argument is similar to what the Helmet Law Defense League claims that no list of "approved helmets" should mean no valid helmet laws, simplified as "No List, No Law." Then I am coining a phrase "No Windshield, No Display."

Inspired by http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/resources with two model defense statements against red light cameras, I am preparing a potentially lengthy model defense statement against what I call as unconstitutional Pay and Display requirement on motorcycles. Then always plead not guilty should make the parking fine code 38 unprofitable for the City, thus forcing the change.

Credit card payment under $1 at Muni-meters may also cost the City with credit card terminal fees per transaction and per amount.
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Re: Class action suit against NYC Muni Meters

Postby vesparado » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:34 pm

I pleaded not guilty online and submitted a copy of the summons and the muni meter receipt. The summons was recently dismissed.
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