Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indianapolis Parking Meter Court Violates Law By Issuing Default Judgments Without Required Notice

I have heard from several people who have received $150 default judgments in the mail on tickets they received or don't recall having received when parked in Indianapolis at the newly privatized meters.   These judgments are being issued in violation of Indiana law.  Let me explain. 

The administrative proceeding in Indianapolis parking ticket court is governed by the Administrative Procedures Act contained in IC 4-21.5 et seq.  Pursuant to IC 4-21.5-3-24, if a defendant fails to attend an administrative hearing, the Administrative Law Judge is to issue a proposed default order to the parties.  This gives the Defendant to within seven days “file a written motion requesting that the proposed default order not be imposed and stating the grounds relied upon.”  

The parking ticket ALJ needs to be sending proposed default judgments and giving defendants the right to respond.  Further, the parking ticket ALJ continues to issue judgments against defendants based solely on affidavit of an individual from Citation Collection Services, the keeper of records as to tickets that are issued in Indianapolis.    That information is hearsay.  While hearsay is admissible in an administrative proceeding such as this, Indiana law is clear that an administrative judgment  cannot be based merely on hearsay evidence.  Rather it has to be supported by some other competent, non-hearsay evidence 

I have a client who recently received a default judgment.  I am trying to file a motion to modify which is allowed under the rules in parking ticket court.  No one in the City-County Building seems to know where one can file a motion in parking ticket court.   Phone inquiries aimed at getting a place to file a document in parking ticket court proved unsuccessful.  The only suggestion I have right now is to file at the Auto Desk in the City-County Building.  The Auto Desk does not even have a stamp.  Without a filed-stamped copy (showing the date of filing), I have no way of proving later on that I timely filed the document in question.

At the very least, residents need to have clear cut information on how to proceeding with a parking ticket challenge and where documents can be filed.

2 comments:

Farham Erikson said...

Had this happened to me, I'm gonna go call my attorney oxford ms friend without batting an eyelash. Sometimes, you have to be well-informed about the law. They said, ignorance of the law excuses no one.

Liberty Silvagni said...

There are a lot of lawyer seo that are like classified ads if they were in a spreadsheet. Calling one is as easy as making coffee. The court should know better but unfortunately, they don't. Indeed, ignorance of the law excuses no one.