Most people donít try to get out of parking tickets. In fact, of the nearly 230,000 people who were ticketed in 2004 in the city of Cleveland, only 5 percent contested the fine.
I guess most folks figure they were guilty. Or maybe it's easier to pay the $25 than write a letter of appeal. Of those 5 percent who make the effort, however, almost two-thirds have their tickets revoked. Usually, it's for a claim that can be proven: The meter was broken; their car was stolen at the time it was ticketed; or there was some mix-up with the meter number.
I had no such defense.
What I did have was the motivating anger of someone who detests parking tickets. After all, if you're the kind of person who's willing to drive around meter-searching for 15 minutes to avoid paying $5 to $10 at a parking garage, that $25 fine hits hard.
Finding a meter makes me feel like I beat the system. Getting a ticket makes me feel as if Iíve been beaten literally.
So ever since I started getting tickets (college) Iíve been trying to get out of them. In my mind, I can usually reason that they weren't my fault. Like the time I parked at a meter downtown on a holiday, figuring that, because most people didnít go to work that day, weekend parking rules would prevail.
I didnít get out of that ticket. I never got out of any tickets.
So you can imagine my euphoria when, after my latest incident and subsequent appeal, I received a letter from the city of Cleveland saying, "The ticket is reversed." You can imagine how I pranced around the house, waving that letter. You can imagine how I saved it and showed it to all my friends.
Here's how I did it without a shred of legitimate proof.