By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Motorists who get that sinking feeling when fighting parking tickets were encouraged to hear in July that a Philadelphia judge ruled they should be able to cross-examine a ticket writer. But, the ruling is not gaining any traction. The city is fighting it.
Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ruled that in contested cases, and with advance notice, Philadelphia Parking Authority ticket writers should testify before a hearing examiner. That way, a driver could cross-examine those who issued the disputed citation.
The judge also ruled the hearing examiner could dismiss the parking ticket if the officers don’t specify the exact location of a vehicle in violation, not just the city block, or if the ticket writers don’t sign the violation. And, if a hearing examiner upholds the ticket, they must provide detail, in writing.
None of that is happening, because the city is appealing.
City Solicitor Shelley Smith maintains the city is not defying the court order. Smith says the ‘notice of appeal’ creates an automatic ‘stay.’
“We think there are issues with the order,” Smith says. “And we’re pursuing them through the appeal rights that we have under Pennsylvania law.’
Smith also says it would be impractical to follow the order, since the city believes it will prevail on appeal.