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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 8, 2012 7:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Flooded Nebraska nuke plant is still down. The next post in this blog is More money tangles in Jefferson Smith web. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Latest from Portland: Private parking tickets on city streets

And private parking meters, too. The City of Portland has completely lost its mind. There is nothing that this City Council won't hand over to their rich buddies -- in this case, the Goodmans. And just another "Gotcha" for anybody who drives into town any more.

Comments (29)

Well, congratulations to Portland. Having a downtown where you literally don't know what you're supposed to do from street to street: that's just special. I want to see what happens the first time one of Sam's beloved "creative class" needs to use a moving truck to haul in his vinyl collection and gets ticketed the moment the truck stops.

The Goodmans! When I first heard this story, before they got to the punch line, the first thing I thought was "oh, the Goodmans".

Can never have too much money!

Texas,
The creative class use bikes to move stuff- see hilarious episode of Portlandia for reference.

Just doing what they can to make the VIBRANT downtown a great retail environment.

You did know a vibrant downtown is essential?

Nice...now the Goodmans have "bought" the city's streets to enrich themselves further. I guess the Goodmans don't have to pave the streets either.
When is the next "street sale"? I want to buy the street in front of my property and put up parking meters.

It wasn't that many years ago CoP announced the streets were the property of the city and people who parked their vehicles on city streets were trespassing. The city back peddled after an uproar from business and neighborhood associations, but like all other insults out of city hall, I don't expect it to stay dead and buried.

I trust that the Goodmans are now paying to maintain the street, right?

As far as that lot across from Union Station goes...I hate to say it, but I was down there just the other day and it was plain as day to me that it was a private lot.

There are a few streets around The Strand Condos and David Evans Engineering Building in RiverPlace that also have private enterprise ticketing. They are just north of the SW Moody and SW River Parkway.

These streets were built with help from SoWhat taxpayer dollars, but the meter revenue doesn't go to the city coffers. Many people who are ticketed here are totally surprised.

I'm with Dave, honestly for the street, too. I used to live and still work in that neighborhood, the signage was clear to me. Given, I'm a biker, so I guess when I locked up my ride I might have been closer to the sign than a driver would be...?

Jack, I don't see how this article indicates what you seem to imply with your lead. People didn't pay attention/got confused by at worst mediocre signage, and suddenly this is the CoP trying to give away our public (actually quite private) property to their rich friends? This was just a puff piece by KATU.

"As far as that lot across from Union Station goes...I hate to say it, but I was down there just the other day and it was plain as day to me that it was a private lot."

I think the point is that some of the parking is on the street. It is not unreasonable to conclude that street parking is city parking not private parking.

Only one real solution to this problem, readers that live in Portland: run for office.

I think the point is that some of the parking is on the street. It is not unreasonable to conclude that street parking is city parking not private parking.

Agreed on the streets, but I'd have to see it before commenting. My experience in life is that people these days are REALLY bad at noticing signs in general. I do think it would be interesting to see what city services were/are expended on these "private" streets--street cleaning, etc. If a private owner gets any revenue from the streets, it stands to reason that they'd have to pay all the ongoing costs associated with it as well.

I rented a couple of monthly spaces in Old Town in a Goodman lot. The lot was also a restaurant parking lot and was told by the restaurant owner I couldn’t park there. I called the Goodman parking office and they told me to park at another one of their lots, which I did. The next day I got ticked by Pacific Audit Solutions for parking in the wrong lot. The monthly permit has the lot number printed on it. I called the Goodmans and first they lied to me and said they have nothing to do with Pacific Audit Solutions and it was between me and them. They gave me new permits for the new lot but didn’t dismiss the tickets. I finally got a hold of Goodman himself and he said he would take care of it. A month later I got another bill from Pacific Audit Solutions with a double fine because I didn’t pay the tickets. I called Goodman again and finally got the fine waived. When you need to park at a lot in Old Town unfortunately you have to deal with Goodman as owns all of them. Between the City of Portland and Goodman you don’t want to do business downtown. I wonder if he also owns one of the predatory towing companies.

Watch the video. One of the Goodman enforcers shows up in Jaguar.

Guy in the jaguar looks like a yakuza.

Private Parking Lot owners may not issue fines, penalties etc over and above the parking fee and may not issue private parking tickets or citations. A fine or penalty is a form of punishment and under the US constitution you may only be fined or punished if you are afforded due process of law. A company can only sue you in CIVIL court under contract law or tort and may not seek more than the parking fee, admin costs etc. Problem is most of these have not been challenged yet at the local levels (and they nned to be). The Califronia Attorney General issued a legal opinion Dec 22, 2011 reinforcing all of the above. Opinion # 07-804 CA Attorney General.

Ask your local sate senator or representative to ask the Oregon State Attorney General for an opinion on private parking lot owners issuing a fine or penalty ( a punishment) via a private parking ticket. You may only be punished if you are afforded "due process" under the US Constitution. The California Attorney General affirms this in the opinion which you can read here:

http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/opinions/pdfs/o516_07-804.pdf

Agreed Pete. And by all means, file formal complaints with the Oregon Attorney General Consumer Protection division (you can do that online) and the Better Business Bureau. Also attend city council meetings to point out the City Ordinance is not legal and is harassment of citizens and "Abuse of Authority".

Certainly point out the "due process" under the US Constitution. This city ordinance is most certainly unconstitutional and will not pass legal muster.

Don't forget to seend the company owner a formal complaint as well. Do not go by the adress and phone number on the ticket or letters. The REAL address and info on the company is available at the State Secretery of State online business registry.

Also, if they attempt to send a collection agency after you, STAND YOUR GROUND, you may dispute any bad marks on your credit report if a collections agency reports you. You ARE responsible for the parking fee and administrative costs such as mailed letters and DMV registration record, but NOT the fine and you may us the due process argument and CA Attorney Generals opinion to reinforce that with BOTH the credit bureau AND the credit agency itself.

Refering to post by Thomas Craig:

CALL KATU and tell them to revisit this issue and this time interview the Attorney General Consumer Protection office, the city attorney, the mayor etc.

Call Willamette Week and other media as well! Definately go over the city's heads and take this to the state level!

The Washington and California attorneys general have already taken action against private parking operators who attempt to issue penalties and fines to people. The Oregon Attorney General needs to get on this. File a complaint with them.

Read the California AG opinion at:

http://ag.ca.gov/cms_attachments/opinions/pdfs/o516_07-804.pdf

Read about the Washington AG suit against an operator here:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Parking-company-to-pay-drivers-for-disputed-1228199.php

Me thinks an attorney would love to file a class action suit on contingency.

Let me get this straight. The parking lot and private street owners pay taxes to the city and county and schmooz with the city council. The city council then has city attorney write them a city code that allows the private parking owners to write violation tickets and enrich themselves.

The city code is not only illegal but this sure sounds like "corruption" to me. Darn tootin' this should be brought to the attention of the state Attorney General!

I found this website that could help people getting these tickets:

http://privateparkingticket.tripod.com/

Here's the deal. I don't mind getting a ticket from a cop or meter maid if I'm wrong. Heck, I wouldn't even mind getting a ticket from one of these "private" outfits. What I DO mind is not being entitled to my constitutional "right" to due process of law which includes pleading my case in front of a judge.

THAT is the point. What has this country come to to allow this type of rights violations, AND have a city attorney write a "code" allowing it?

Agreed; the private parking ticketing situation can be dishonest. These companies hire people with no ethics and often convicted of crimes. Take for example a former parking auditor, supervisor operations field manager of Private Parking Auditors and later of Pacific Audit Solution will call him GL who was a former cop that was convicted of theft and lost his police officer job. This guy does hide in the shadows waiting for people to park, not see the pay station then walk away, or for parking payment stubs to expire then ticket the cars before the owner gets back.

No wonder the Portland Business Alliance wants more short term parking downtown. Who wants to go there anymore? Even if there weren't aggressive panhandling, the uncertainty and hassle of parking just isn't worth the trip. Wish it weren't so - I hate to see the city of my youth going under and being done in by such a pack of wolves and sleaze bags. I'll be at the mall, lots of free parking there, and no panhandlers.

How far do you want to go fighting your private parking ticket? Due process is available if you exercise it. I got one that did not conform to the notice requirements of the city code , and thereby prohibits assessment of any fine under 7.24.020. I called Pacific Audit Solutions, was told they didn't care about technicalities and to appeal to the city if I wanted to. I emailed the city and Anne Holm, Regulatory Program Administrator clearly didn't give a damn about process or the city code, and was willing to help only if I had proof of payment. I responded that before getting to the merit of the alleged violation, the notice must comply with the code and again explained why it didn't. She never replied. You only have 10 days to pay before the fine goes up. So your options then become relying on our city's aloof, lazy, corrupt, or incompetent personnel to resolve it administratively while your penalty doubles, or wait for PAS to sue you to collect, and go to court, where you will waste a day to hopefully save $39. You will not change the system at all because unlike you, PAS expends negligible resources on this process and is no worse off. Oh, and of course while you're in court you can't park on the street because the surrounding spaces are short-term. You should park at the neighboring PMC lot...


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