Friday, July 15, 2011

People's Republic of Massachusetts Update: Appealing a $15 Parking Ticket Costs $319.90 in Fees

If you get a parking ticket in  Northampton, Massachusetts, you have two options. Pay the ticket or pay $319.90 in fees to appeal the ticket. The Massachusetts Supreme Court doesn't have a problem with that.

Vincent Gillespie said the $319.90 cost of appealing his July 19, 2005, parking ticket in Hampshire Superior Court far exceeded the $15 fine. Gillespie, a former Easthampton resident, received two citations that day for parking in a prohibited zone in Northampton, the second as he was walking to the parking office to contest the first. He subsequently filed a written challenge that was denied, although the second citation was dismissed as duplicative of the first.
Here is part of Massachusetts Supreme Court's justification.
Furthermore, the court wrote, the fee system serves the purpose of discouraging “the filing of nonmeritorious appeals” by conserving scarce judicial resources.
I'll bet it does.

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