How to Request a Citation Dismissal
Administrative Review Procedure
In 1993, new legislation decriminalized parking violations, which are now considered civil penalties. The system for adjudicating parking violations is now totally civil. The following points of law are important if you choose to contest a parking violation:
- The actual parking citations or copy thereof is considered prima facie evidence of the facts contained on the citation. Therefore, the issuing official is not required to appear in the case of a hearing.
- Under criminal law, the burden of proof was beyond a reasonable doubt. That burden no longer exists. The civil burden, a preponderance of the evidence, now applies.
Should you choose to contest a parking citation, the following process applies:
- You must file an Administrative Review with the Marin Parking Authority, within 21 days after the citation was issued or within 15 days of the date of the notice of delinquent parking violation. The Administrative Review can be filed online at www.citationprocessingcenter.com or you may mail a written appeal to:
Marin Parking Authority
Citation Processing Center
PO Box 10479
Newport Beach, CA 92658-0479
(Include Your License Plate and/or Citation Number)
- An administrative review will be conducted and you will be notified by mail of the results of the review. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing, during the process the fine will not increase. If you are found guilty of the violation you will have 21 days to pay the citation.
- If you are dissatisfied with the results of the review, you have 15 days from the date of the letter regarding your administrative review to request a hearing.
- In order to schedule a hearing, you must post the full fine amount and request a hearing.
- You will be notified by mail of the date scheduled for your hearing.
- If you do not agree with that hearing examiner's decision, you may, within 20 days of the mailing of the hearing examiner's decision, request a civil review with the County Municipal Court, Civil Division. The Court requires a $25.00 filing fee deposit for review of the hearing examiner's decision.
General Reasons that Violations Won't Be Dismissed
Below are some commonly listed reasons given for violating parking regulations. While these reasons may seem valid to the violator, they do not address the laws of the State and the College. These reasons generally will not result in the violations being dismissed, or the violator being successful in a hearing.
- Short errands
No errand, no matter how short or how important to the driver short of a bona fide medical emergency, is an acceptable excuse for illegal parking. A short errand is a very common excuse. It is not a valid reason for illegal parking.
- Late for business or personal appointment
Being late does not permit the driver the privilege of parking illegally.
- No place else To park - the lot was full
Other than being an invalid excuse, this, in fact, confirms the driver's liability. It is every driver's responsibility to locate legal parking.
- I didn't see the sign, I didn't understand the sign
Drivers are required to look for signs when parking. This may mean checking an entire lot from corner to corner. Drivers are also required to abide by the directions on the sign. A person indicating that they did not see a sign preventing parking is not an acceptable excuse.
- Only part of my car was illegally parked
A violation is not based on a certain percentage of the vehicle being illegally parked. If part of the vehicle extends into a restricted area, the violation is the same as if the entire vehicle encroached.
- I left someone in the car; I left my parking lights on or blinking; I left a note in the car as to my whereabouts with the motor running
Many drivers seem to think that evidence of a short stay mitigates the offense. It does not. The purpose of parking regulations is to restrict from certain places or permitted at times, motor vehicles which are not in motion. The presence of a passenger, a sign or blinking lights does not satisfy this purpose and, therefore, does not constitute a valid reason to dismiss a violation.
- It was only a few minutes
This explanation is one of the most common claims. Even if true, parking in a prohibited area is illegal.
- Nobody else got a ticket
Sometimes this excuse is raised as discriminatory enforcement. The officer may have had to leave the area before checking all the vehicles, however, a citation stands on its own.
- Someone else had my car
Under the new law, the registered owner (R.O.) has joint responsibility with whoever was driving their car. Unless it can be shown by the R.O. that the car was driven without permission, the R.O., renter or lessee is responsible for a parking citation.
- An official saw me park and didn't say anything, said it was OK for a few minutes
Generally speaking, employees have no authority to give permission to break the law. Whenever possible, an officer will caution about illegal parking, but silence by an official does not waive parking restrictions.
- This violation has not been enforced in the past
This normally is not the case, however, inadequate staffing or other priorities may give rise to violations not being enforced continually; but, nowhere does apparent failure to enforce parking laws constitute a valid excuse for illegal parking.12. I've Done It For Years - Everybody Does It This is never a valid excuse for illegally parking. Nobody should be rewarded for getting away with prior violations.
- The permit machine wasn't working
It is often discovered that the permit machines are working fine. The inability to get a permit from the machine is most often due to operator error. Read the instructions on the machine. In any event, if a machine is not working, there are several others on campus and it is your responsibility to purchase a permit from another machine. Report any machine malfunction immediately to the police dispatcher at 415.485.9696. The college highly recommends purchasing a semester permit. It will save you time and money.
Why Police Can't Take Back a Citation
In 1987, the California Legislature enacted a law (40202c CVC) which made it a misdemeanor for any peace officer, including the issuing officer, to alter, conceal, modify, nullify, or destroy any notice of parking violation once it was issued. The law did provide a means for the issuing officer to recommend dismissal of parking citations under specified circumstances.
What is P.O.C.
P.O.C. Stands for "Proof of Correction." All parking lots of the Marin Community College District are publicly maintained roadways, and all California Vehicle Codes are enforceable. If you receive a citation requiring "Proof of Correction", that portion of the citation is commonly referred to as a "fix it ticket." If you correct the violation, the amount of that violation's fine is reduced to an administrative fee. Presently $10.00. You must correct the violation, and take the citation and vehicle to any Peace Officer in the state. They will confirm it was corrected and sign off the violation. (Registration or license violations are best corrected and signed off at DMV). After you have signed off that violation, you can send in the administrative fee for that violation (presently $10) and any addition fine for any other violation that may be on the citation.