The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $650,000 payout for a man who successfully fought how the city of Los Angeles processes challenges to parking tickets.
Cody Weiss, who sued the city in 2014 after he received a parking ticket, argued that the city unlawfully allows a private for-profit company to process challenges to tickets. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in his favor last year, and the decision was upheld by the Second District Court of Appeal.
City Attorney Mike Feuer petitioned the California Supreme Court to review the appellate decision, but the state's high court denied the petition in November and upheld the lower court's decision ordering Los Angeles to change its practice of allowing the Xerox company to handle reviews of challenges to parking tickets.
Caleb Marker, an attorney for Weiss, and the Los Angeles City Attorney's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Weiss argued that his ticket, which he received for parking longer than the posted time limit, was wrongfully issued. The court found a problem with the fact that the initial review was handled by a company called PRWT, a subcontractor for Xerox. An investigation by NBC4 found that PRWT automatically denied most ticket appeals, even when strong evidence was presented that someone was wrongly ticketed.
In 2014, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant wrote in a tentative ruling, which was eventually upheld, that only the city "as issuing agency" can conduct initial reviews, "and it may not delegate that task to its processing agency, Xerox." Chalfant cited a 1995 change in state law that said only the agency that issues a citation can conduct reviews.
"The judge correctly applied the law," Marker said in 2014 about Chalfant's ruling. "The city and Xerox have been in violation of the law since 1995, when the law changed."