An organization pushing reform of Wilmington’s parking fine practices praised the city’s move to abandon its administrative appeals process and send appeals directly to court.
“This is a significant step in the right direction,” said Ken Grant on behalf of the Wilmington Fines and Fees Justice Team.
“After years of hearing about issues with the city’s administrative process for parking ticket appeals, it is good to see that drivers will now have access to their due process rights restored,” he said in a press release. “By taking the appeals process out of the ‘closed box’ system and putting it into an open, constitutional court, we expect to hear fewer complaints from the people of Wilmington.”
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki had announced that parking ticket appeals will go directly to the State Justice of the Peace Court as of Monday, Aug. 14.
Other cities and towns in Delaware already send appeals directly to the J.P. Court to review the legitimacy of a ticket and determine the outcome of an appeal.
“Ticket appeals should be heard and decided in a court of law, not in the offices of City Hall,” Purzycki said in a press release. “Moving appeals to the court is a fair process for constituents and less taxing on city staff who are regularly pulled from their assigned duties to review an appeal request.”
Parking ticket appeals
Purzycki said appeals are often clearly unwarranted, perhaps because ticket holders know fines and additional penalties are frozen while the city offers an administrative appeal process.
“We have taken many steps over the past year to provide a better parking enforcement system,” the mayor said, “and now we’ll continue that effort by having all appeals go directly to the court.
“This is a change for the better for both constituents and City government.”
Ticket recipients who wish to appeal their ticket should complete the on-line appeal form, which can be found here. The city will submit the appeal request to the Justice of the Peace Court. The court will select a hearing date and notify the ticket recipient.
Those who don’t have internet access can request a court appeal by mailing their appeal in writing to the City of Wilmington, P.O. Box 2308, Wilmington, DE 19899.
Ticketed people also can drop off their written appeal at the first floor Department of Finance Customer Service Office at the Redding Government Building at 800 North French Street.
The Wilmington Fines and Fees Justice Team is a collaboration of community members and City Council members pushing for reforms in Wilmington’s fines and fees and collections practices, with a focus on parking/red light tickets and water billing.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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