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Issue Date: November 2005 Issue

I Fought the Law

And Guess Who Won?

Colleen Mytnick

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.


Until now.


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.

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