CBS 5 Advocate

Expect little sympathy if you fail to display parking permit

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A woman who lives in Scottsdale says she has a permit to park in her neighborhood but it's not doing her much good. She doesn't know why she got a permit parking violation or why the city court wouldn't help.

Permit parking is typically in areas crowded with bars and restaurants. The idea is to stop outsiders from parking in neighborhoods and causing late-night problems for residents. But if Scottsdale residents forget their placards, and get a citation, they shouldn't expect any special consideration later.

Parking is restricted on Frances Pringle's street. It helps prevent Scottsdale night life visitors from disrupting her and her neighbors. There is plenty of signage stating permits are required during restricted hours. Pringle says, since she got it, her placard has never left her vehicle.

"I came home, I parked like I usually do, right here in front of my residence and I woke up the next morning to find that there was a ticket on my vehicle," Pringle said.

Pringle took the citation, placard, and proof of residency to Scottsdale City Court. A judge refused to dismiss her case and seemed to side with the ticketing officer who claimed the placard was not visible. Pringle's sure her placard was visible, but she feels it shouldn't come down to that.

"He totally ignored the fact that I had presented him with the documents showing that I was a resident," Pringle said.

Pringle says the parking ordinance is designed to penalize disrespectful outsiders - not residents. She says she proved she was entitled to be on that street at that time, yet Scottsdale refused to dismiss the citation.

"As a resident, I'm very upset because I went to the court, provided them everything that they needed," Pringle said.

Pringle delayed in paying the citation and the court garnished her state tax refund for $291. Restricted parking is supposed to benefit residents; Pringle says not in her case.

"After you have given someone documentation showing that you live here and it's ignored, I don't know what's going on," Pringle said.

Scottsdale police say the placard wasn't in her car on the night in question; Pringle says it was. But there's no way she can prove it.

Pringle met with the judge prior to her hearing date. She may have gotten a remedy at her hearing but when the judge wouldn't accept her evidence and dismiss the citation, she thought that was the end of the road for her case.

Scottsdale Court officials told CBS 5 News that it is very important for individuals to attend these hearings to ensure all facts are presented in a case and that justice is served. The court also says meeting with a judge prior to a scheduled hearing, as Pringle did, is not the proper procedure to have a citation dismissed. However, CBS 5 News has also been contacted by other Scottsdale residents who have attended their officially scheduled hearings, provided proof of residency, and the court still refused to dismiss their citations.

Bottom line: Never fail to display your placard. If you don't and get cited, you may not get much sympathy after the fact.

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