My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: California.
There is an "extra-legal" parking enforcement problem in the alley behind my house. Me and several of the neighbors are working on getting this problem fixed, by various means. I got a marginally related parking ticket in this alley, which I am disputing. The purpose is mainly to gather information about, or draw attention to, our parking problem. I would also like my $65 dollars back, thank you very much.
The legal situation: In the City of San Diego, it is by default a violation to park in an alley unless it is signed for parking. It is a violation to park blocking any driveway or garage, including your own. Parking has been "decriminalized" and is handled by the San Diego Parking Authority. The first appeal is by mail and is free, which I have already lost, with a curt "Driver must follow signs" response. You gotta pay for the second appeal, and I have paid my $65. I am scheduled for an in person May 11th hearing. The third and final appeal, for $25 more, is a "Trial Nova" in Superior Court.
Background: The block in question is located in the Old Mission Beach area of the city. For those not familiar with the area, suffice to say it is truly a world class parking cluster fandango. Urban legend says people have been murdered over parking. Back in the day the alleys and Bayside Lane were routinely an impassible maze of "semi-legally" parked cars. That all ended one day in the mid 1980s when the city painted every inch of the alleys and Bayside Lane red, and changed the signs to read "No Parking in Red Zone". But my hometown, San Diego, in the 1980s had a truly corrupt government and culture so...
The "extra-legal" situation: About a dozen very rich landlords, most of which were financially politically active at the time, were given "special", so called "Letters or Parking Marque". The letters, somehow, allow these landlords to decide where and if the red-line will be painted adjacent to their property, and exempts them from parking enforcement adjacent to their property.
For those who did not grew up in San Diego: This is all standard here, but just so I can say I'm "Taking off my Tin Foil Hat": I can give links for the obvious CA V.C. and SD M.C. laws. I can give Google Map links for about a dozen of these "zones", with a detailed description of how the red-lines are intentionally incorrectly painted or omitted. Every other satellite image site on the internet, including Historical Aerials going back to the 1980s show cars parked in violation in these "zones". We have had some of these landlords waive "their letters" in our faces. We have had city workers verify the existence of the letters. And, since one of the landlords on our block is selling his house, we have his real estate agents own description. The "extra space" referred to is completely in the city owned and improved alley, blocking two different garages...
So, my questions ITT are the following...[name, contact info redacted],
We asked the seller to explain the parking situation in further detail, and basically the new buyer has the power to install 2 red lines on the alley whenever they want. Our sellers have opted not to install the red line since it adds more parking for their property/vacation renters (SUVs). Let us know if you would like to view the property.
From Seller RE: Parking:
Whoever buys [address redacted] is in the driver’s seat… [...] Second because we do have a functional garage we could have a red line put on both sides of the alley.. That would start a war and my feeling is in the long run everyone would lose… [...] Again you always have the red line as leverage… Not that I would ever use it..
Why would you leave it as is??? The current situation actually gives you one more parking space. Two in the garage and one in front of the garage [...] The best part is that the third spot (by agreement) still supports a supersized [sic] car.. It is great for guests you part [sic] the car which carries the most people on the outside and the rest in the garage. The lane on that side is a straight drive through so easy in and out.. The city supports the current situation (and has been out to inspect in the last month) because to quote them it is less cars competing for parking on the street... When [name redacted] explained this all to me last week again he was a bit nervous about it… I told him not to worry as long as I was there I like the extra parking spot.. So tell your perspective buyer he would hold all the cards.. The only thing [name redacted] could do is delay the inevitable… I would suggest the new buyer try out the current parking arrangement he may find he really likes the extra space.. Which provides additional storage in the garage for canoes, bikes, small water craft if he likes. Tell him an extra space in Mission Beach sanctioned by the City (not officially but what they said is they would not enforce the red line rule) it was also inspected by the police and they also said as long as no one complains it is Ok and it actually helps the City with its parking issues.. On July 4th as you know that extra parking space is worth $75…. for one day
[name of real estate agent, contact info redacted]
1. Is it worth the extra $25 bucks to go to Superior Court. Would we get any useful "discover" or subpoena powers for the money? Is it possible to make any headway with a "estoppel" or "selective enforcement" argument in hear (in anyone's opinion). Is any of this possible if we cannot afford a lawyer?
2. Is it truly a "Trail Nova"? Or does what transpires at the second appeal hearing, or the first appeal essay for that matter, get into "the record", or whatever? What should be my goal at this hearing?
3. OK, any general advice to getting this situation in our alley fixed, even if I don't get my $65 back.
My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: California