Parking-ticket disputes go back to the courts

Parking-ticket disputes go back to the courts
The Alexandria Courthouse. (File Photo)

By Derrick Perkins (File photo)

Contesting a parking ticket? Get a court date.

City Hall closed the parking adjudication office this week, meaning motorists cited for overstaying their welcome in Alexandria will have to go before a judge to have a ticket dropped. The move, approved last year, is expected to save taxpayers about $135,000 in the fiscal 2014 budget.

Officials also are giving alleged offenders extra time to fight tickets. Motorists have up to three years to make a court appearance. But there is a $25 fee if the fine isn’t paid or contested within 30 days of it being issued.

Motorists contesting the ticket must schedule a hearing with the court and fill out an affidavit.

The decision to eliminate the office was about more than cost savings, said Laura Triggs, the city’s director of finance. Officials believe the move will make contesting tickets fairer for motorists.

“When [we] looked at the rules, the question became: Who is the judge and jury?” Triggs said. “And many of those [disputes] belong in a court.”