Get Garcia, Get Results: Fighting an Unjust Parking Ticket

By Ana Garcia
|  Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013  |  Updated 2:57 PM PDT
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When Brian Demonberun returned to his car parked at meter number 707 on La Brea in Mid-Wilshire, he didn t expect to find a ticket on his windshield. DOT told him the ticket was valid, so he called the Get Garcia Team which asked just the right questions. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2012.

When Brian Demonberun returned to his car parked at meter number 707 on La Brea in Mid-Wilshire, he didn t expect to find a ticket on his windshield. DOT told him the ticket was valid, so he called the Get Garcia Team which asked just the right questions. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 1, 2012.

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When Brian Demonberun returned to his car parked at meter number 707 on La Brea in Mid-Wilshire, he didn’t expect to find a ticket on his windshield.

But he was slapped with a $63 citation for parking at an expired meter that he claims wasn’t expired.

“I wasn’t about to pay a fine I didn’t deserve,” he said.

Demonberun was sure he still had 17 minutes left on the meter, and said he put in two quarters for 30 minutes of time.

“I don’t understand why this officer gave me a ticket,” Brian Demonberun.

Demonberum received the ticket on Sept. 11 and contested it immediately. Just as quickly, the following day, the Parking Violations Bureau claimed it had conducted an “administrative review” and the “meter was functioning properly.” The citation was “valid,” according to the letter from the city.

He said it was “my word against the parking enforcement officer. I didn’t think I had much of a chance.”

So he turned to the Get Garcia Team, which requested the bureau look at the meter records again because the newer smart meters record the exact time money is deposited and for how long.

It turns out the ticket was written just 43 seconds after Demonberun put in money. The records confirm he did deposit 30 minutes worth of coins at 12:41 p.m., but the ticket was written at 12:42pm.

The city apologized and agreed to refund Brian’s money.

Bruce Gillman of LADOT said the ticket was “hand written” and the “officer must have made a mistake.”

If you want to contest a ticket with the City of Los Angeles, Gillman said the bureau requires you to pay the ticket first and then ask for a hearing.

Motorists should make sure to ask if the meter was working and ask for the computer records of when the money was deposited.

These records are available only for new smart meters, but smart meters account for 96 percent of all meters in LA.

If you have a tip for the Get Garcia Team, call 818-520-TIPS or email GetGarcia@NBCUNI.COM.

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