The City of St. Louis has recently installed new parking meter systems downtown. The new system has central payment kiosk and the parking spaces are individually numbered. At the kiosk, you enter your space number, insert your payment and then you are given an option to print a receipt, I highly recommend you print your receipt each and every time and keep it.
I have a case involving the City of St. Louis in a pending case currently before the Missouri Court of Appeals. Part of the appeal process involves securing the "legal file", which is the collection of court orders, motions and other pleading involved in a case. On June 30, 2015, I visited the St. Louis City Circuit Court to obtain my legal file. This was my very first time obtaining and organizing a legal file, so I assumed it would take a while and put the maximum amount of time on my parking meters, two hours.
I finished and had a few minutes to spare, but when I returned to my vehicle, I was shocked to see a parking ticket for an expired meter. I checked the ticket and saw that the ticket had my license plate number and the correct number of my parking meter 2150 and then I noticed the time on the ticket was 12:15 pm and my meter didn't expire until 12:44 pm. I still had almost a full half hour on my parking meter when the ticket was issued.
Fortunately, I knew the Parking Violation Bureau was at 229 North 7th Street, about six or seven blocks from where I was parked, so I immediately went there and was forced to park at another meter. I went inside handed the clerk the ticket and my meter receipt and inquired why I would have received a ticket when I clearly had plenty of time on my meter. She could offer no explanation, but made a photocopy of the ticket and receipt and told me I would receive a response most likely cancelling the ticket. The City of St. Louis has allegedly targeted and harassed me in the past for publishing information they do not like and I hope this was just a glitch in a new system and not more harassment from the city. However, the timing is suspect.
Had I not had my receipt, I'm certain the City would have argued that I must have made some type of mistake; maybe I put time on the wrong meter, or was mistaken about the time my meter expired, or maybe I was lying and just trying to get out of paying. However, since I had proof, I'm sure the City will claim some sort of system glitch or that the officer made a mistake using the new equipment.
Below is a copy of my ticket and meter receipt. I covered my license plate number from the ticket, but everything else is just as it appeared on the originals. Click the photo to see an enlarged version. Effective July 1, 2015, the fine for expired meters went up from $10 to $15 dollars. Don't forget to print your receipt whenever you park at the new St. Louis City parking meters!
City of St. Louis Parking Meter Ordinance:
Chapter 17.62 – PARKING METERS
Chapter 17.63 – PARKING VIOLATIONS—INCAPACITATION OF VEHICLE BY CITY
Other parking and traffic related ordinances: Title 17 – VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
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