If you’ve ever lived in a crowded city, chances are you’re familiar with the experience of running out to your car and seeing that dreaded slip on paper waiting on the windshield. Your meter expired 5 minutes ago, you didn’t move your car for street cleaning, or you were never allowed to park there in the first place. Regardless of the cause, receiving a parking ticket is a frustrating experience. 

On occasion, however, there are ways we can fight these tickets and avoid paying them. Below, you’ll find a story that one man recently shared on the Petty Revenge subreddit detailing how he expertly managed to get out of a parking ticket in the 90s, as well as an interview with the man himself. 

Parking tickets are extremely easy to rack up in certain cities

Image credits: Bradley Gordon (not the actual photo)

But after this man realized that no one could explain why he got a ticket, he decided to fight the citation in court


Image credits: LightFieldStudios (not the actual photo)


Image credits: que_he_hecho

“I had no idea what I had allegedly done, I had little alternative than to show up and fight it”

To learn more about this specific situation, we reached out to the man who managed to get out of his parking ticket, Reddit user Que_he_hecho, and he was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda. “The incident was a very long time ago,” he noted. “I left town while the judgement was pending, as I was relocating to be nearer to a terminally ill relative. I really have no idea if the same defense would work in that city now. I doubt it.”


“At the time, I wasn’t sure if my defense would work,” he added. “Frankly, I had little faith that courts will generally be fair. But since, even after arriving in court, I had no idea what I had allegedly done wrong, I had little alternative than to show up and fight it. Otherwise, I could have gone on to receive multiple tickets for the same violation when parking around the corner from my apartment.” The OP also let us in on a fun detail he left out of his original post. “The city wanted to appeal, but they filed their appeal late,” he shared. “The court sent me a copy, along with the city’s request for permission to proceed despite a late filing. I actually said I didn’t mind if they appealed, even though it was late, but I didn’t want to have to drive 16 hours to show up in court for this again. Nothing came of it, so I suppose the judge denied the appeal.”

“While this was in process, the city suspended my vehicle registration even though I had paid the registration renewal,” he went on to share. “State law does not let a city suspend a registration while the matter is before the court,” he explained, noting that the judge wasn’t too happy about the city doing that either. “I got stopped in a neighboring county for a suspended registration. I told the story to the officer. He said to take it up with the courts in his county. I did, went by the prosecutor’s office there, and told the whole story. They apparently dropped the matter after I submitted proof that the suspension was for non-payment of a ticket in dispute.”


And thankfully, the OP hasn’t found himself in any parking drama ever since then, sharing with Bored Panda that he hasn’t had one ticket since. “No more parking tickets. No moving violations.”

Some cities manage to hand out hundreds of thousands of parking tickets each year

Image credits: Pacific Southwest Forest Service (not the actual photo)

Without reading every single sign in great detail, it’s dangerously easy to leave your car for 10 minutes and return to the news of a hefty fine. According to the Urban Institute, tickets in Austin typically cost about $35, while a ticket in Minneapolis or Portland can be around $80. Many people fall victim to the dreaded parking ticket each year as well, with over 468,000 being handed out in Portland between 2018-2019 and 430,000 in Minneapolis, the Urban Institute reports. Certain areas of Minneapolis charged millions of dollars worth of fines between 2018-2019, so why are so many people getting ticketed? Some of the most common reasons for receiving a parking ticket are parking in a loading zone, staying past the amount of time you paid for in a meter or space, parking somewhere without paying, not having a valid permit for where you’re parked, failing to correctly park within the lines, parking in a disabled spot, parking in a bus stop, and failing to move your vehicle during designated street cleaning hours.        


While most people probably are actually guilty of violating some sort of parking rule when they receive a ticket, not everyone is. And sometimes, it’s worth it to fight a parking ticket to avoid paying that pesky, and sometimes exorbitant, fine. According to FindLaw, there are some tips and tricks that might increase your chances of successfully disputing a ticket. First, examine your ticket carefully. If any of the details are incorrect, that could be a possible loophole. Your license plate number, the date and time of the ticketing, the offense you’ve been cited for, etc. Take photos of your car and where it is as soon as you receive the ticket to ensure that you’ll have these details available in the future.

Fortunately for drivers, it can sometimes be worth it to fight these fines

Image credits: Charleston’s TheDigitel (not the actual photo)

It’s also important to understand your local laws thoroughly. “For example, some parking statutes require that the car be left unoccupied at a red-painted curb or in front of a fire hydrant in order to be ticketed,” FindLaw explains. “If you were in the vehicle, that might be a way to get out of the ticket.” If you go to court, make sure that you have evidence to present. If the signs where you parked are difficult to see or read and you truly did not realize that you had parked illegally, it might help your case to have photos of those signs. Another tactic that FindLaw recommends is choosing an inconvenient court date. If the officer who cited your ticket fails to show up in court, the ticket will automatically be thrown out. 

And finally, it sometimes helps just to put in the effort of disputing the ticket. “Fighting parking tickets is often more a test of endurance than a test of legal knowledge,” FindLaw explains. “If you go through the whole procedural rigmarole — writing and mailing the complaint, showing up in court and so forth — you may find yourself being rewarded for fighting it to the bitter end. At the very least, it’s likely your ticket amount will be reduced.”

If any of you receive a parking ticket any time soon, pandas, I’m not encouraging you to automatically fight back, especially if you did happen to deserve it. But this story is a refreshing reminder that we’re not always doomed to having to pay exorbitant fines just because we don’t understand how to fight them. We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, and if you’ve ever disputed a ticket of your own, feel free to share your personal experiences as well. Then, if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring parking drama, look no further than right here!

Many readers applauded the man for his beautiful act of petty revenge

While others pointed out that they weren’t amused by the comments about his age