DOWNTOWN —Residents Harriet and Stanley Epstein’s parking ticket lawsuit against City Hall will reach a Los Angeles County Superior Court on Feb. 15, unless it is settled before then.
Harriet Epstein was issued a parking ticket on Feb. 2, 2011, for allegedly parking in Reed Park and then leaving to run an errand. Parking is for park patrons only, and Harriet was fined $64.
When they fought the ticket, the Epsteins claim they were not properly notified as to why their challenge had been denied, instead receiving a form letter from City Hall informing them the ticket was valid.
The Epsteins claim that not only did the form letter fail to explain why the ticket was issued, but it broke the California Vehicle Code.
As of January 2009, under the California Vehicle Code, city officials and hearing examiners hired to deal with those fighting a ticket are required to provide a written explanation for the validity of the citation.
Stanley Epstein, an active class action lawyer, has said that his wife’s guilt is not the issue.
“We weren’t looking for litigation, we were looking for them to do the right thing, and they totally ignored us,” he said.
City officials will not comment on pending litigation, however, in a statement issued earlier this year they said they are in full compliance with the law but have started including more information in form letters to better communicate with the public.
The Epsteins filed their lawsuit against City Hall on June 8. Also named in the lawsuit are ACS State and Local Solution Inc., a New York-based company that processes parking tickets for City Hall, and Sheri Ross, the hearing examiner hired by City Hall.
According to Stanley Epstein, City Hall has claimed that it was following California Vehicle Code, and moved to dismiss the case.
On Aug. 25, the hearing went before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant, who threw the demurrer out.
The Epsteins’ lawsuit includes anyone else who challenged a ticket and did not receive an explanation since January 2009, a figure which, according to Stanley Epstein, is over 16,000.
The Epsteins feel that the case will go ahead in their favor.