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Call Kurtis: How A $36 Parking Ticket Cost A Driver More Than $800

A Carmichael man says he paid for a parking ticket twice. But when he racked up late DMV fees, had his tax refund withheld and wages garnished, he called Kurtis.

This all originated from a $36 parking ticket back in 2006!

So how did it snowball into more than $800 in extra fees?

Cameron Aujuard shows us proof he paid his San Jose parking ticket.

"I was parked in a no parking zone," said Cameron.

He got the $36 ticket in December 2006 and admits he was late when he paid it in March 2007 -- $66 in cashiers checks which he says he sent certified.

But a few months later, when he tried to register his car with the DMV, he found out he owed more than $200 in penalties for not paying his ticket.

Cameron says the City of San Jose told him, they never got his payment.

"If you lost that payment, that's really not my fault," said Cameron.

And for the next year, he says he battled the city, writing letters with proof of his payment before eventually paying the ticket a second time.

By then, $286 was taken from his tax refund and another $365 in garnished wages.

"For years, I've been after them to reimburse me for those excessive fees and all those monies they withheld from me," said Cameron.

"It shouldn't have taken this long to resolve," said Larry Pilgrim, Attorney and Owner of Sacramento Traffic Citation Clinic.

Pilgrim says you must file a claim against a government entity within six months of the problem.

If your claim is rejected, you have six additional months to sue.

"He corresponded and argued with them for five or six years but meanwhile, he may have blown his chance to get a legal remedy," said Pilgrim.

We contacted the City of San Jose which acknowledges it received two payments from Cameron and refunded one of them.

But because it's been "well over 5 years... " they told us they have "limited records..."
-- Joe Garcia, Parking Division Manager

And they won't be able to help Cameron get his $800 plus penalties refunded.

"It's something that should've never happened," said Cameron.

Cameron says he still plans to pursue this matter in small claims court.

Full Response from City of San Jose:
Since citation #76011987 is well over 5-years old our parking vendor (Turbo Data) has limited records; however, we were able to ascertain the following:

  • Citation Issued on12/07/06 on vehicle windshield
  • Courtesy Notification mailed 12/26/06 - $36 ($66 if paid after 1/09/07)
  • Final Notification mailed 1/18/07 - $66 ($69 if paid after 02/01/07)
  • $66 payment received on or before 6/25/08 - short $3
  • Notification mailed for $3 payment on 6/25/08
  • Received an additional $69 plus $3 money order on or before 7/25/08
  • Turbo mailed back the $3 money order on 7/25/08
  • Turbo mailed a $66 refund check on 8/28/08

Unfortunately DMV does not have records regarding the $140 parking violations on 7/07/08 of which $69 was from the City of San Jose. In addition, we don't have records of how the $69 payment was received on 7/25/08.

Joe A. Garcia, P.E.
Division Manager - Parking Division
Department of Transportation
City of San Jose

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