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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    4

    Default Parking "Fines" Imposed by a Private Parking Lot

    My question involves a private parking lot “fine” from the state of: Texas

    My daughter parked in a private lot. Due to rather deceptively placed signs (only at an entrance coming from a dead end street; NOT at entrance from main street), she did not realize she had to pay. She went into a coffee shop for 5 minutes and returned to a “parking notice” with a “fine” of $75.

    I know that the states of CO and CA have ruled such fines unlawful, determining owners of private lots may only charge the posted parking rate. Is there any such statute or municipal code in Texas?

    I can list a Denver municipal code of Section 55-268 as an example (if I am reading and interpreting it correctly). In California, the AG specifically ruled against such fees or fines in 2011.

    The parking company is threatening to turn it over to debt collection if we do not pay the “fine.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    221

    Default Re: Private Lot “fines”

    What exactly was on the citation? What code section was quoted exactly?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Private Lot “fines”

    Does the citation refer to any state or local law? If so, what is it? Does the "no parking" sign refer to any law?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    4

    Default Re: Private Lot “fines”

    Quote Quoting zeljo
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    What exactly was on the citation? What code section was quoted exactly?
    Definitely NOT an actual citation. It was a called a “Parking Notice.” It is an arbitrary “fine” imposed by the owners of the private parking lot as “punishment” for not paying to park there.

    It was printed out by a lot attendant. The company is Parking Systems of America. The “fine” is being handled by Parking Revenue Recovery out of Aurora Colorado.

    No, it is not an actual citation. It is just a “Parking Notice” imposed by the lot owners.

    It is because my daughter had no lot receipt ticket on her dash while parked there because they have no signs at the main entrance to the lot. (We later discovered a sign, after really searching, at an entrance that comes in from a dead end street.)

    This is given out by the private lot owner. The notice itself even says, “The Parking Operator and Parking Revenue Recovery, Inc. are NOT governmental or affiliated agencies.”

    It’s a sham, really. Signs are not posted at the main entrance. My daughter was there about 3 minutes. The attendant basically watches for “violators” to hand out these bogus “fines.”

    My concern is that the I know they use questionable signage to trick people, and they want their fine. The notice says: “After 14 days, the payment will be considered in default and this account assigned to a debt collector.”

    You have 14 days to “dispute” the notice, which I did. We simply received a form letter email saying our dispute was denied.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Does the citation refer to any state or local law? If so, what is it? Does the "no parking" sign refer to any law?
    No, not at all. See the reply to zeljo. This is just a private lot owner.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    Does the citation refer to any state or local law? If so, what is it? Does the "no parking" sign refer to any law?
    I apologize if the thread category was misleading. I just didn’t really know where else to post this topic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    221

    Default Re: Private Lot “fines”

    How will they turn you over to a collection agency when all they have is your license plate, and they are not affiliated with local or state government. Will Texas DMV just fork over your name to them? I doubt it. But am not sure, obviously. It's your call. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Private Lot “fines”

    To cover yourself if they proceed with the pursuit of this fine, I'd suggest returning to the lot and take multiple photos of the entrance with no sign visible. They may put up a sign just to bolster their side if they keep coming after you for the fine. Having photographic proof that there was no sign there in the past should help your side of the argument.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Parking "Fines" Imposed by a Private Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting zeljo
    View Post
    How will they turn you over to a collection agency when all they have is your license plate, and they are not affiliated with local or state government. Will Texas DMV just fork over your name to them? I doubt it. But am not sure, obviously. It's your call. Good luck!
    I found a very similar thread, but the one you linked involves the EXACT company issuing our “fine.” So, thanks! I’m feeling more vindicated since everyone seems to view it as a scam.

    I believe some of these larger companies must pay for some sort of service allowing access to license records because in the thread I saw, the person’s fine did get turned over to collections. (Although the “fine” in that thread was not issued by the same company as ours.) That was my biggest concern. However, I doubt they pay for access to records in every state. The company is in CO; the lot is in TX. My car is registered in NM, so I’m feeling pretty confident they won’t pursue.

    If they do, all they would have is my name from the registration, but it wasn’t me parked there. It was my daughter. I was 45 miles away out to dinner with my husband because that date was our 24th anniversary. Pretty easy to dispute if it goes to collections, I believe.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and for the helpful link.

    Quote Quoting yyz0
    View Post
    To cover yourself if they proceed with the pursuit of this fine, I'd suggest returning to the lot and take multiple photos of the entrance with no sign visible. They may put up a sign just to bolster their side if they keep coming after you for the fine. Having photographic proof that there was no sign there in the past should help your side of the argument.
    Yes! That is exactly what we did. We have multiple photos. And you are totally correct in your prediction. They sent me an email with a cheap plastic sign stand in the photo near the main entrance - we never saw any sign of that sort. So, they’re definitely playing dirty. I have about 6 photos, but I’m thinking I’ll go take more. These people are con artists, for sure!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and for the reassuring advice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Parking "Fines" Imposed by a Private Parking Lot

    For less than $20 a month, anyone can get a membership to a public data site where you can put in a TX license plate and get the information directly. You don't even have to be a business.... I worked for a property management company in Texas and often ran plates for my location managers for multiple business purposes. So it is very possible that yes, a private company can easily find who cars are registered to in TX.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Parking "Fines" Imposed by a Private Parking Lot

    Quote Quoting hr for me
    View Post
    For less than $20 a month, anyone can get a membership to a public data site where you can put in a TX license plate and get the information directly. You don't even have to be a business.... I worked for a property management company in Texas and often ran plates for my location managers for multiple business purposes. So it is very possible that yes, a private company can easily find who cars are registered to in TX.
    That’s a sad fact. I definitely don’t agree with people’s private info being that easy to access outside of government entities. Upon thinking it over, I am actually not too worried. I am definitely not going to pay their arbitrary “fine,” especially given the deceptive nature of their sign placement.

    When they run the plates, they’ll get my name, but it wasn’t me there, it was my daughter. I will simply dispute the debt, and it will fall upon them to prove we had a “contract” and that the debt is owed. I’ve got plenty of pictures of their strategic sign placement. I also have proof I was celebrating my anniversary 45 miles away at that date and time.

    I would feel differently had we purposely ignored signs, but they placed them at a dead end entrance. It is infuriating, and I’m not gonna stand for what is practically fraud.

    Thanks for the info, though, and for taking the time to reply. I guess there’s a good chance I’ll be hearing from these crooks again.

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