Santa Monica Parking Lawsuit Not Just About One Ticket: Letter To The Editor

Saturday, 8 Sep 2012, 1:56:00 AM

Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

There are several crucial omissions in the story (Parking Ticket Lawsuit Settled, August 31-September 6). The lawsuit was not about one ticket. By the City’s own estimates, 20,500 motorists are affected. Of these, 18,000 will be given a second chance to contest their citations and 2,500 will receive written copies of the Hearing Examiner’s opinion so that they can contest that in court. California law is entirely clear, as is the fact that the City violated it in about 20,500 instances.

The time and taxpayer money spent on this lawsuit could all have been saved. Before going to court, my wife and I spent four months phoning and emailing three departments in an attempt to get the City to change its illegal procedures. Instead of rationally addressing the issue and correcting the practices, they stonewalled us.

In an attempt to confuse the public, on February 28th, the City Attorney unilaterally declared that a settlement had been reached and that the Epsteins would reap a windfall payment. Both were false, as Ms. Moutrie publicly acknowledged at the next Council meeting. Yet six months later your article repeated them as fact.

The settlement, made after major new violations were uncovered, was reached late in August and can be read on my attorney’s website: www.kkbs-law.com.

Stan Epstein

Santa Monica

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