Submitted by vincejoy t3_11rsz7c in CambridgeMA

Hey everyone. Got issued a parking ticket at 1:40pm, when my Passport Parking receipt clearly shows I paid my parking from 1:10pm to 1:40pm. Anyone ever had the same thing happen to them? I am disputing the ticket, but from what I read on here, the city seems to be hard to convince on disputes. Maybe they'll claim it was a matter of seconds, hence the exact same time when removing seconds. I am not from MA so having to dispute it in front of a judge would be bothersome for me. Anyone know what my odds are?



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BuckyWunderlick007 t1_jca19xv wrote

I doubt they will dismiss the ticket, nor should they really. If you were at the meter when it expired, the ticket would not have been issued.


vincejoy OP t1_jca32km wrote

In practice I get it, but on what legal grounds is the ticket valid if it was issued at 1:40pm when my receipt says I can park until 1:40pm? My point is, you can't give someone a ticket in the time frame for which the meter is paid, just because you know they are not at the meter and that it's about to expire. At 1:41pm I wouldn't dispute it, but now...


SheeEttin t1_jca7d3w wrote

Until 1:40, not through 1:40.


pattyorland t1_jcbc5pj wrote

Where does it say that? If the city wants that to be the rule, they need to be clear about it.


SheeEttin t1_jcbd3hk wrote

On their receipt, according to them. "Until" is perfectly clear to everyone else, as far as I know.


pattyorland t1_jcbgmsw wrote

The original poster said "until" in one of their comments, but they didn't say it was printed on the receipt.


SheeEttin t1_jcblpgg wrote

In the comment I replied to:

> my receipt says I can park until 1:40pm


BuckyWunderlick007 t1_jca3hlg wrote

The first appeal is via mail, in person is only if that is denied. Send it in and see what they say. You can always pay with no late fee if it is denied. I’ve also found they are less likely to dismiss tickets for out of state visitors as they would be for a car registered in Cambridge. It only costs you a stamp though.


vincejoy OP t1_jca3nhh wrote

Thanks for the info!


zepporamone t1_jca835f wrote

I ran into a similar situation about two years ago. Returned to my car the minute it was supposed to run out only to find a ticket that had already been issued sometime within the preceding sixty seconds. The city dismissed it on the first appeal. Granted, I'm a resident (no idea if any of that played into the decision) but it's worth a shot.

If memory serves, you can make that first appeal online. They'll ask you to submit documentation, so if you've got a paper receipt, scan it.

After that, just be prepared to wait. It ended up taking somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 months for them to process my appeal and send a dismissal notice. I actually ended up paying the ticket at one point (its existence was preventing me from getting my resident permit) so the response letter stated that they had found in my favor and would be dismissing my outstanding fine of $0.00. About 3-4 months after that, out of the blue, I received a check from the city for the fine that I had originally paid.


dyqik t1_jcagscn wrote

Depends if the parking expires at 1:40:00.000 or 1:40:59.999.


commentsOnPizza t1_jcc6le9 wrote

Not to get technical, but "until 1:40pm" doesn't mean "through 1:40pm". "You can park here before the time is 1:40pm. Once the clock shows 1:40pm, you are over your time. You can park here until a clock shows 1:40pm."

To make it really clear, the first minute is 1:10:00-1:10:59.99999. The first minute doesn't extend until the end of 1:11. Then that would be two minutes. The first minute extends from 1:10 until 1:11, not through 1:11.

I agree that the city shouldn't ticket until 1:41 in your case because people have trouble understanding situations like this.

Imagine you're a doctor scheduling 1 hour appointments. If someone is scheduled from 9am until 10am and another person is scheduled from 10am to 11am, the first person doesn't continue to be seen at 10am. They are seen until 10am. Otherwise, the second person's appointment would start at 10:01am. Likewise, your parking goes from 1:10pm until 1:40pm. As soon as 1:40pm started, your time had expired.


vincejoy OP t1_jcf8ey7 wrote

Totally get it. And you're right. But if we're getting technical... what if I paid my parking at 1:10:59? Don't I get to park for 30 minutes exactly until 1:40:59? It goes both ways imo. Their system probably knows the exact time, my meter was most likely expired by a few seconds and that's why they issued the ticket.


albertogonzalex t1_jca4cu2 wrote

Meters can be extended virtually through mobile apps.


crystallyn t1_jcaizcx wrote

The majority of meters in Boston and Cambridge can't be reupped in apps. Best to start with $ then add with the app when that runs out if you know you'll be there longer.


Moomoomoo1 t1_jcaqa8m wrote

What are you talking about, I have yet to use one that didn't let you renew through the app.


crystallyn t1_jcartew wrote

They look like they will let you but they don't. If you've been able to, you must be parking in places that are not in the more populous areas.


commentsOnPizza t1_jcc76m4 wrote

If they're scanning plates, they might still notice that you've been there more than the maximum time. For example, you feed the meter for 30 minutes at 1pm. They scan your plate at 1:05pm. You re-fill via app at 1:30pm. They scan your plate at 1:40pm and note that you were already there at 1:05pm and therefore have been parking for 35 minutes, above the 30 minute maximum.

If they were really smart, the apps could literally tell them you were there over time. They scan your plate at 1:05pm, the app notes that your plate paid for additional parking at 1:30pm, the app lets parking enforcement know that they can go and ticket your car in 5 minutes.


TheHeartfeltToddler t1_jcal6la wrote

Hey I have disputed a ticket successfully by submitting a dispute online and then following up by calling the Cambridge Traffic department although it was technically my mistake.

I had paid via Passport Parking until 2:30pm but I got issued a ticket at 1:50pm. I realized later on that my I had misspelled my plate number in the Passport app (for eg ABC123 —> ACB123). They understood that I had typed it in wrong and acknowledged that I had paid till later as well so they agreed to dispute it.

So I feel like since they agreed to dismiss my ticket when it was clearly my fault, I’m confident that in your case they should agree to dismiss it too since you did pay till 1:40 and the ticket was issued at 1:40 (not later).

Submit the dispute online & then call in a few days to follow up. Expect the resolution to take a few weeks to a couple of months. Good luck!


Various-Science5516 t1_jcbjtcy wrote

I did this except it was an I instead of a 1. They refused to dismiss any of the tickets.


commentsOnPizza t1_jcc5dci wrote

I hate to bring math into it, but the ticket is probably valid. Let's say that you pay for 30 minutes of parking at 1:10:00pm. You then get a ticket at 1:40:01pm. You've stayed in the parking space for 30 minutes and 1 second. Your parking technically expires at 1:39:59.99999999999...., but just before 1:40:00.

Most likely, their automated system reads the actual time and not just minutes. It's possible that you were only 30 seconds over the time, but got the ticket and that truly sucks.

If the city doesn't overturn the ticket, you have basically zero chance before a judge. In order to appeal it to a judge, there is a non-refundable $275 filing fee. If you win the case, Cambridge has to forgive (or refund if you paid) the fine. You don't get the $275 back from the city or the court. So if you got a $50 ticket from the city, it'll cost you $225 if you win in court and $325 if you lose. It's a lot better to pay the $50 ticket. Yes, it is somewhat problematic that you can't actually appeal the tickets, but that is how things are at the moment.


pattyorland t1_jcgdn5n wrote

What if you paid at 1:10:42? The receipt doesn't include seconds, so I suspect it would still say 1:40.


sowtime444 t1_jccvnck wrote

Back in the day when you had to pay in actual quarters, I caught someone writing me a ticket on Mass Ave in front of MIT 5 minutes before the meter expired. I said "I have 5 more minutes" and they stopped writing the ticket and sort of slunk away.


ghostly-smoke t1_jcab9bn wrote

I got a ticket for an expired meter, but I specifically put 2 hours on my meter and had over an hour left according to my app. I just paid the ticket, but I can’t help but feel like I got scammed.


Captainbostonfish420 t1_jcd8snl wrote

Your meter is up at 1:40. The ticket was issued at 1:40: and some seconds. The fine is legit.


whmeh0 t1_jcdos1y wrote

If you apologize and say you'll be more careful next time, that can't hurt your case


Upper-Objective8001 t1_jciuuf9 wrote

Send two screen shots to Cambridge parking ticket dispute on the cambridge website, and they may very well get in refunded. I got one refunded like that.


pattyorland t1_jcl6sxq wrote

If you pay for 30 minutes of parking at 1:10:45, you should not get a ticket 29 minutes and 15 seconds later at 1:40. It doesn't matter what the wording is on the receipt. It's like buying a dozen eggs and only finding 11 when you get home, except worse since there's a $30 fine involved.

It's not the user's fault that the city's system doesn't include seconds in the timestamp. If they can't implement that, they should give everyone the full last minute.

The city is violating its implied contract. This is starting to feel like class action territory. I'm sure there are enough nationwide users of the app to make it worthwhile.


Bentomat t1_jcctkxk wrote

Contest it online. Even for valid tickets, contest it online. If we all work together we can bring down the Cambridge ticketing system for good and nobody will have to pay any tickets anymore


PM_ME_YOUR_TOS t1_jca2dmn wrote

No chance they’ll dismiss. I had the same ish issue, mine was off by 3 minutes and the city didn’t budge. Just pay it and move on.

I’m sorry but these downvotes… I have to laugh. If y’all really think 3 minutes isn’t justifiable I encourage you to seek help. God forbid I took 2 mins to walk back to my car and the maid was already foaming at the mouth at the prospect of giving a ticket in that timespan. Pay the fucking ticket and stop bitching. What I was getting at is the city won’t give two flying fucks.


vincejoy OP t1_jca3bmx wrote

Off by 3 minutes it's obvious and I wouldn't dispute it