Busted for an expired meter in the private lot behind Peet's: Now I owe $105
I stopped in for a mocha at Peet's coffee this morning, and pumped enough coins into the meter in the rear private lot to buy me 18 minutes.
But I ran into an old friend, and that conversation, it turns out, took longer than those 18 minutes. About 10 minutes past my meter's expiration, I found this warning sign on my window, and I have since learn I owe a $105 for a total of three tickets.
A year ago, I reported that to some degree you can ignore those parking tickets you receive for an expired meter at one of those private lots around town. Legally, those tickets don't have the "force of law."
This is what I reported more than a year ago. I based this assertion on a legal interpretation offered by KGOAM810 radio lawyer Len Tillem and affirmed by former Walnut Creek Public Information Officer Brad who check with City Attorney Paul Valle-Riestra.
So, you can tear up the ticket, and the DMV can't come after you.
However, the parking company that manages these lots, Regional Parking, can come after you if you start accumulating multiple parking violations--and you don't pay them. Regional Parking, which keeps track of your license plate and violations, can tow your car if it catches you for multiple violations.
I came out of Peet's at about 10:42 a.m. and found this sign pasted on my window: "Computerized records indicate that this vehicle [my Toyota Camry] has multiple outstanding parking invoices. Regional Parking Inc., is seeking the establishment of such debt (s) in a judicial proceeding."
My other violations were for August 2009 for parking in a no-public-parking area at Mechanics Bank and for, on October 29, having an expired meter. This is when I took my son shopping at the Halloween Spirit Store, set up in the former Mark Morris tire, at Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Locust Street. It was evening, and Regional Parking employees were set up to pounce on Spirit Store shoppers whose meters had expired.
With this sign, I take it I have been warned. I better pay up or risk getting towed the next time.