Since I had returned to the United States I had been fighting DOT to get a hearing on the ticket itself. Calling the LADOT the Los Angeles DEAF Office of Transportation was accurate. When I initially contested the ticket, I wrote a statement in bold letters and on a separate piece of paper that said, “I will be out of the country and unable to correspond until September 1st. Parking Violations Bureau has been duly informed.” When I got back to town and saw the decision, I immediately paid the ticket as required and tried to request an in person hearing.
The City of L.A. website was a little shady in that it doesn’t tell you you’re beyond the 21 day limit until after you pay them the money; it just tells you that you have to pay first in order to request the hearing. After you’ve done so, it stonewalls you saying you’re beyond the 21-day limit. I assume they do this because some people wouldn’t pay until they’re assured they’d get a hearing. I paid the money, which was like walking past TSA and exiting the airline terminal, you’re going to have to go through a lot to get back in.
I could imagine your average American, pressed for time and focused on the day-to-day struggles of living in Los Angeles simply giving up, but I wasn’t about to let it go. I sent a picture of my initial paperwork contesting the ticket to LADOT, making sure to underline my message about not being in town. They, being the Deaf Office of Transportation, simply sent me back a letter restating that there’s a 21-day limit on requesting a hearing. Frustrated, I then wrote them back explaining the situation and took care to write in bold that I was specifically asking them to answer me about my not being able to meet their deadline. They sent me yet another letter simply explaining their 21-day limit. I was livid, so I wrote LADOT’s General Manager, Seleta Reynolds, who had, in a letter before, demonstrated a modicum of cognitive ability. I sent her the sequence of letters I wrote along with the her department’s incoherent responses and told her to simply say so if people with travel plans were not entitled to due process and back up this statement with whatever regulation supports that decision. Otherwise, grant me the hearing I’ve requested over and over again.
I also explained how DOT denied me my right to questing the Parking Enforcement Officer in my tow hearing, which invalidates any decision made and obliges them to either grant me another, ONLY if the Parking Enforcement Officer can demonstrate their truancy was excusable or pay me back.
A week or so later I received a response. They finally granted me a ticket hearing but somehow didn’t catch the part about the sham tow hearing. At least it was some progress. The hearing was set for October 15th. It was short notice but I could arrange.
Stay tuned for part 4 where I break down the decision and finally get another hearing for the ticket portion with Hearing Examiner Marcos Hernandez