The Hoboken Hidden Tax: complicated and inaccurate ticketing!

We’ve talked about parking headaches ad nauseum here on Hoboken411 for the past 5+ years, so this topic is nothing ground-breaking. It does however, show that the city governments like in Hoboken (and likely across the country) continually strive to keep the money they (often improperly) take from law-abiding residents.

In this case, resident Nicholas gripes to city hall about the runaround he is going through regarding a parking summons he got earlier this summer…

Resident invests over 6 hours of time!

“Dear Mayor Zimmer,

My name is Nicholas Walker and I am a lifelong Hoboken resident. I apologize for having to write to you today to bring such a seemingly petty issue to your attention, however at this point I do not know what else to do. Additionally, I feel it is important that you as the Mayor are aware of the injustices that are committed against the citizens of your town and the inability for the town’s representatives to resolve these injustices without Executive intervention.

On June 16th, 2011 I received a parking ticket for parking in a school zone, despite the official municipal signage clearly stating that the spot was not a school zone. Upon commencement of the school day, my car was ticketed and towed, resulting in an $80 car release fee, $30 parking ticket, and 2 hours of lost work wages. The Police Officer involved took nearly a month to submit the ticket which resulted in a postponed court date. When I finally received a court date and appeared, I was asked to return to the court on a later date because the officer needed to be subpoenaed to make a statement. On my second visit to the Municipal Court the police officer made his statement, a trial was held, and I was found not guilty. The cost of the ticket was waived and I was given a form by the Judge and instructed to submit it to the Hoboken Parking Utility for reimbursement of the aforementioned tow release fee.

The form was submitted to the Parking Utility on August 11th, 2011 and after not hearing anything regarding the pending reimbursement, I called the Parking Utility office on September 16th, 2011. They informed me that Mr. Anthony Ricciardi would be able to help me, but was unavailable. I provided my contact information and shortly thereafter received a voicemail from Mr. Ricciardi in which he explained that because the ticket was issued by a police officer, the Parking Utility could not issue a reimbursement. He then proceeded to say that I could contact the Hoboken Police Department directly, but they were “100% not going to do anything”.

At this point I have invested over 6 hours of my time attempting to correct the wrong that occurred when I was ticketed and towed, have been out the $80 release fee for 3 months, and feel as if there is no other option but to contact you directly for your assistance in resolving this ridiculous issue. Although $80 may seem inconsequential to the city, I am a young professional at the start of my career and
$80 is significant to me. I find it puzzling that I am being forced to jump through hoops simply to be reimbursed money a Municipal Judge determined was owed to me. I am a loyal tax-paying resident and I feel that what I have been subjected to is unacceptable to the point that Mayoral intervention has now become necessary.

Perhaps most interestingly, although this entire debacle stems from a sign that incorrectly states that parking in an apparent school zone is legal; the sign remains unchanged to this day. I can only wonder how many other hardworking, tax paying, loyal Hoboken residents have been unjustly towed for parking in this very spot since my trial.”

Nick added that even as far back as 2001 – it took government intervention at a city council meeting to reimburse residents for the improper fines.

Do you think parking regulations are overly complex? Did you know the HPU brings in millions of dollars of hidden tax revenue to the city?