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Old 06-17-2009, 06:24 PM
14 posts, read 78,108 times
Reputation: 12


I recently received a parking ticket in Edgewater (Bergen County). I feel like the ticket may not have been warranted and would like to fight it, but am not sure what my chances of succeeding are.

Basically, I drove up to one of the strip malls on River Road, only to find that the parking lot was completely full. So I decided to park on one of the side streets just off of River Road and then walk over to the shopping center.

I checked the street parking signs very carefully. There was only one sign on the block, which said "No Parking" and had an arrow pointing forward, which indicated that one cannot park in front of that sign but that parking behind it was ok. There were a bunch of cars already parked behind the sign, so I felt it was safe.

A couple of hours later, I went back to my car and saw that I'd received a ticket. The reason cited on the ticket was "Improper Parking", which was written in by the cop (there was no "Improper Parking" option on the ticket itself). Every car on the block had gotten a parking citation except for the one that had several PBA/police-related stickers and badges prominently displayed on the front dashboard. This car had been parked in that spot the entire time, so either the ticket blew off the windshield or it was not given a citation in the first place.

I could be wrong, but it seems like the Edgewater P.D. took advantage of out-of-towners who were forced to find street parking in the borough. If there are no street signs indicating that we were parked illegally, can we be given this citation? Is it legal for a cop to issue parking tickets even if there are no signs present to guide potential street parkers? If not, can I use this as the basis for contesting this ticket?

Has anyone ever fought a parking ticket with the Edgewater Borough Hall? If so, what are your experiences? Would I have to fight this ticket in person, or can it be done online?

Last thing: I took pictures of the entire block, from corner to corner, as evidence just in case I do fight this ticket. My photos clearly show where my car was parked, where the sign was located, what the sign said, and so forth.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:30 PM
84 posts, read 154,769 times
Reputation: 64
I don't live in your state but you are doing the right thing by taking pictures and getting information to fight your case. I would fight it. Even if you don't win, it might help the city realize there is a need for BETTER SIGNS. I once fought a parking ticket and my reason was similar to yours. I took photos and such. I presented my evidence but still lost. However, because of my complaint to the city traffic division guy who is in charge, I explained to him my dilemna and how I am sure others have had problems with citations, etc. I noticed three months after my complaint and his assurance of looking into the parking problem, there were new signs put up and the "No Parking" situation was changed to "15 Minute Parking Only" which really helped out those, like me, who just needed to park for a little bit since there was no other available parking. Good luck to you.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:36 PM
Location: NJ & NV
5,325 posts, read 12,293,690 times
Reputation: 2042
Years ago there was a scam going on in J City where some cop would write tickets for cars legally parked. I guess they figured enough people will just pay it to make money on it.

Usually these thing sget dismissed and the judge acts like he never heard of this before, even if the room is filled with people with the same tickets.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:24 PM
1,532 posts, read 5,122,220 times
Reputation: 1638
i'd definitely fight this. not sure what the outcome will be, but you have nothing to lose by trying.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:53 PM
14 posts, read 78,108 times
Reputation: 12
Quick update on the situation:

I called the town's borough hall and said I wanted to fight the ticket in person, using the photos I took as evidence for my case. So they set up a court date for me to make my case in person. But before doing so, they explained their reason for issuing the ticket (which I was already aware of) and seemed to be discouraging me from fighting it. I told them I still wanted to come to the municipal building so that I can show my evidence; as the poster above mentioned, it wouldn't hurt to point out that their non-existent signage is what caused this situation in the first place.

I already know what they're going to tell me: "You parked in a No Parking Zone, blah blah blah." But given that I have photographic evidence to support my case, what do you think the chances are that my ticket will be dismissed? I just don't see how they can legally issue a ticket if there is a lack of signage to instruct potential street parkers.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:05 PM
Location: Westwood, NJ
767 posts, read 1,931,979 times
Reputation: 371
You might have a shot. A friend of mine contested a ticket for a 'No Turn on Red' sign in Southern Bergen County. The cop was sitting there and had pulled over 2 different cars for the same offense. Well the sign was obstructed by a large tree branch and impossible to see. My friend took pictures and fought it in court. The judge dismissed the ticket and even reprimanded the officer.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:21 PM
Location: Lakeland, FL
326 posts, read 1,145,073 times
Reputation: 127
I had the same thing happend to me and I did the same thing took pictures and went to court and won.

There was actually a whole bunch of people that I knew that had to do this... We all worked in the area I'm referring to and we were all getting tickets. There are alot of cops out there that will right bogus tickets.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:58 PM
Location: Bergen co.
563 posts, read 1,110,833 times
Reputation: 218
if you have the time, go to court and fight it, the judge will probably at least reduce the fine or completely dismiss it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:36 PM
5,340 posts, read 12,330,520 times
Reputation: 1159
Fighting a ticket in NJ, go with a lawyer or don't go at all..... best case scenario is they will "dismiss" these charges and give you another and you'll pay a hefty fine nonetheless.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:13 AM
Location: Epping,NH
2,097 posts, read 5,481,896 times
Reputation: 1052
Fighting a ticket in NJ, go with a lawyer or don't go at all
So you would spend five hundred for a lawyer to possibly win a $60 parking ticket. Great return on your investment.

While the photos of the area might be a help if will be of limited value if not taken before the vehicle was moved. As far as the actual offense, Improper Parking encompasses several areas. Too close to a hydrant,r crosswalk or corner. on a sidewalk or across a driveway. The letter after the 138 will tell you the exact violation.

Lastly, as far as the need for signs. they are not required for state statutes on the books as by possessing a driver's license the state assumes you know the law. Signs are required for certain violations that don't fall into the state statues such as a change from the standard speed limit of 25 or 50 and time limitation on parking or prohibited areas.

Hope it helps. As I always told people, you have nothing to lose by pleading not guilty. So your choices are two. Plead not guilty and show up for court or lead guilty and pay the fine. There in no middle ground. It won't just go away.

As far as those stickers, anyone who actually thinks they work is crazy. they are a dime a dozen and no one actually pays any attention to them.
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