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City Sued over “Excessive” Parking Ticket Fines

Posted on Monday, June 9th, 2014 at 10:59 am    

When your parking ticket fine is three times more than what you earn in a day, it is a matter of concern. But is it in violation of the Constitution? shutterstock_55735285

A resident of Los Angeles, Jesus Pimentel, started the class action ball rolling when he received a parking ticket when the meter where his car was parked expired. He is claiming that the $175 fine was excessive, and in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as Article 1 Section 17 of the California Constitution. He also alleged that when he failed to pay the fine, he was not allowed to renew the registration on his car and was threatened with impoundment of his car as well as civil litigation. This, Pimentel’s lawyer says, is a violation of due process, another hit at the Constitution (Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments).

Pimentel is the lead plaintiff in a class action suit against the city, but his lawsuit is not the only one. Jeff Galfer, another Los Angeles resident who received similar treatment is also petitioning for joiners for a class action suit. In addition to the city’s Department of Transportation, Galfer also named Xerox State and Local Solutions, which handles the parking ticketing system for the city. If the court rules for the plaintiffs, it could have significant repercussions in transportation departments all over the U.S.

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Changes to Class Action Lawsuits

Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 3:16 pm    

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court began considering making possible changes to the regulations governing class action lawsuits in the country. Specifically, the matter being discussed concerns personal injury attorneys and other parties possibly making intentionally low claims for damages, or taking advantage of existing loopholes, so that their claims can be tried in state courts — which are typically more favorable to plaintiffs’ interests.

Supreme CourtCurrent regulations stipulate that if a class action claim is pursuing damages in excess of $5 million, the case must be moved to a federal court, and these courts are generally seen as favoring defendants’ interests. The case that brought forward this discussion is Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, and support for making changes was surprisingly found among a number of judges who are supportive of class action lawsuits.