I wanted to share my frustrations regarding this city’s amateurish and broken parking ticket adjudication process, and also seek help from the community in resolving my problem. In particular, I want to highlight the lack of responsiveness by the “Ticket Adjudication Ombudsman,” the office ostensibly tasked with helping people who have already been ignored or frustrated by normal DMV channels.
To make a long story short, I successfully appealed a parking ticket I received in April 2015. I was ticketed and towed for parking in an “Emergency No Parking” zone, but had photographic evidence that the “No Parking” sign had not been put up 72 hours in advance, as required by law (in fact, the photographic evidence I was relying on was the very photo taken by the traffic enforcement officer, but that’s another story.)
I challenged the ticket twice to a hearing examiner, who summarily denied my motions without even acknowledging or addressing my defense. I then paid the ticket ($150) and filed a formal appeal, noting in my “brief” that the hearing examiner had ignored my defenses and photographic evidence. The appellate board sided with me and reversed the ticket; in the opinion, they specifically cited the fact that the hearing examiner had failed to even address my defenses and justify his/her decision, as required by law. The opinion said I should allow “8-10 weeks for a refund” of my ticket
Well, that was in early May, sixteen weeks ago. Two weeks ago, after still not receiving my refund, I wrote to the “Ticket Adjudication Ombudsman,” the outfit tasked with helping customers navigating the adjudication process and resolving customer complaints. Guess what? Even the Ombudsman hasn’t responded to me or even acknowledged my complaint.
How have others in my situation (there have to be others) dealt with this problem? Why is this city incapable of providing basic customer service to its residents?”
Side note: The following press release was issued by the DMV yesterday:
Due to a power outage in its vendor’s New York office, the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DC DMV) ticket payment system is currently not in operation.
At this time, DC DMV is unable to process ticket payments, research tickets, or access tickets. The agency is unable at this time to adjudicate any tickets that have been submitted by mail or online.
However, previously scheduled hearings will be conducted and walk-in hearings, for which the customer has a hard copy of the ticket(s) and evidence, will be conducted, and the hearing decision will be entered into the system upon restoration of service.
Additionally, the deadline for ticket payments and the deadline for customers to contest tickets will be extended to cover only one day following the outage period. DC DMV will also cancel any vehicle storage fees accrued during the outage.
Currently, DC DMV does not have an estimated time when the system will be returned to service. Please visit www.dmv.dc.gov, @dcdmv, or call 311 for ongoing updates about the service outage.
We apologize for the inconvenience as we continue to work with our vendor to restore service.