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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Complaint procedure for satisfied or wrongfully imposed fine or penalty
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 2-B
§ 241-a. Complaint procedure for satisfied or wrongfully imposed fine
or penalty. 1. (a) Every city with a population of more than one million
inhabitants that has established a parking violations bureau shall
establish, within such bureau, a properly staffed complaint unit of
public service representatives to respond to complaints from any person
who, after having satisfied, by payment, adjudication, or administrative
action, any fine or penalty for a parking violation or after having
proven that a fine or penalty was wrongfully imposed on this person,
receives a demand for payment of the fine or penalty previously
satisfied or wrongfully imposed, or is denied any registration or
renewal application by the department of motor vehicles upon a
certification from such parking violations bureau based upon lack of
payment of any fine or penalty previously satisfied or wrongfully
imposed. The complaint unit established under this section shall accept
complaints either in person or by certified mail, return receipt
requested. Each written demand for payment, other than the first demand
following issuance of the notice of violation, shall advise the
addressee of the existence of the complaint unit and the procedure for
submitting a complaint. Upon receipt of a complaint, if in person, or
within ten work days after receipt of a complaint if by mail, the
complaint unit shall acknowledge receipt in writing and notify the
complainant of the procedure for further review. The complaint unit
shall, within thirty days after receiving a complaint in person or by
certified mail supported by the proof prescribed by this section, notify
the complainant that the payment has been credited to his or her record;
that the wrongful imposition has been removed from the complainant's
record; or that the information sent to the bureau fails to prove that
the fine or penalty was satisfied or that the imposition was wrongful,
in which case the reason or reasons shall be set forth.

(b) If, after this thirty day period, the bureau continues to demand
payment from this person of the fine or penalty previously satisfied or
wrongfully imposed, or if the bureau does not render a determination,
the person within six months from the date of his or her complaint shall
have the right to an expedited review before a panel of three
administrative law judges. Such panel shall be empowered to compel the
bureau to produce records and other evidence relevant and material to
the complaint. The complainant shall be required to submit, together
with his or her request for a review, a copy of all the materials
submitted with the original complaint. The panel of administrative law
judges shall be empowered to direct that the bureau's records be
changed, as appropriate, to insure that no further demand is made for
the fine or penalty previously satisfied or wrongfully imposed, and the
bureau shall comply with such directive. Further, the panel of
administrative law judges, upon petition by the complainant, may at its
sole discretion, direct the parking violations bureau to pay the
complainant who receives a wrongfully imposed fine or has previously
satisfied an outstanding fine such out-of-pocket expenses as the panel
deems reasonable only in such cases where the complainant sufficiently
demonstrates that he or she has notified the bureau of his or her
complaint under this section and the bureau has failed, in the panel's
opinion, to remove the wrongfully imposed fine or the previously
satisfied fine; however, payment of such expenses shall not exceed the
amount of the original fine.

(c) Any other city authorized to establish a parking violations bureau
may create a panel to resolve complaints relating to satisfied penalties
and wrongfully imposed penalties. The composition of such a panel shall
be determined by local option.

2. This section shall not apply to parking violation fines or
penalties relating to commercial, taxi, common or contract carriers or
livery vehicles.

3. In cities required to create a review panel under this section, the
parking violations bureau shall keep a record of all complaints
submitted under this section for a minimum of three years, and shall
issue a public report every year containing the number of complaints
heard each year according to category, the number of dispositions
favorable to complainants, the average compensation awarded in such
favorable dispositions, and any other appropriate information. Such
information shall also be published annually and placed in the municipal
reference library, in such cities where applicable.

4. The proof that must be submitted in connection with a complaint
made under this section is, as appropriate, a copy of the receipt, money
order or front and back of cancelled check; a copy of a police report of
stolen vehicle or stolen or lost plates or proof of an insurance company
payment for a stolen vehicle, or a department of motor vehicles receipt
for surrendered plates. As used in this section, a "wrongfully imposed"
fine or penalty shall mean a fine or penalty which is imposed after the
respective vehicle has been stolen or after the license plates were
stolen, lost or surrendered to the department of motor vehicles.

5. Every such parking violations bureau shall adopt and promulgate
rules and regulations not inconsistent with any applicable provision of
law, to carry out the purposes of this section.