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Lawsuit alleges Salt Lake City charged for parking violations without legal basis

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 20, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- A lawsuit has been filed against Salt Lake City regarding its electronic parking kiosks.

Two lawyers are representing possibly tens of thousands of plaintiffs--anyone who has received a parking ticket from an electronic parking pay station since they were set up back in 2012.

“All of the tickets that have been issued regarding pay stations are invalid,” Attorney Mark Schwarz said. “They are without a basis in the city code.”

Mark Schwarz and Shane Johnson are the two attorneys who filed a class action lawsuit against Salt Lake City, claiming that since April of 2012, the city has collected millions in unjust parking citations.

“We had a person come to us who said, 'I inputed the wrong number on a meter and went down to challenge it, and the city said, ‘that’s no excuse.’' And so we said, ‘Well, let’s look at the law.’ What we found was the law says absolutely nothing about pay stations.”

The lawyers said the city has been warned of this issue before. There was a proposal dated April 18 2012 from the city’s deputy director of community and economic development. In the proposal, she recommended that the city amend its laws pertaining to parking and associated enforcement actions.

“They knew and they did nothing anyway, whether that was an omission or by design we have no idea," Johnson said.

There are three plaintiffs named on the lawsuit, but it also includes John and Jane Does -possibly you- a class of people who have been cited since the pay stations were installed.

“They have all the information for every person they’ve fined for parking in the city, they have their addresses, they have the number of tickets they’ve given them," Johnson said.

The city was officially served with the lawsuit Friday morning and declined to comment pending litigation.