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‘They’re not a judge,’ cries driver given $70 parking ticket – he refused to pay after realizing it was ‘unenforceable’

A DRIVER has slammed a private company after it left him a parking violation that was not created by the city.

In 2021, Eric Johnston parked at PMC Charleston Parking and was shocked to receive a parking ticket issued by the company.

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Eric Johnston slammed PMC parking after the company gave him a ticket[/caption]

WCSC

PMC has issued parking tickets ranging from $20-$70 for parking violations.[/caption]

“I’m pretty sure that whoever is on the other side of that email address is not a judge,” he told local CBS affiliate WCSC-TV.

On the ticket, the company noted that drivers would initially owe $20 for parking in the lot if they did not pay the initial fine.

However, if they didn’t pay the fee quickly, the fine could shoot up to $70 if payment was submitted after 30 days.

“The problem is that they’re mimicking what the state and the municipalities are doing in writing their parking violation tickets,” Michelle Hubrich, a lawyer based in Summerville, said.

She added that citations created by a business are similar to invoices, which makes them “kind of unenforceable.”

Due to the 2017 National Consumer Assistance Plan, debts accrued through contracts will not appear on any credit report.

“If you don’t pay that invoice, they really have no avenue to pursue you paying that parking ticket because it’s not going to be reported on your credit report now,” she said.

“If they don’t go to a debt collection agency and they really want your $20 parking fee, they can sue you … in small claims court, and then that’s when they get an enforceable court order,” Hubrich added.

“They’re not going to do it because they’ve got to pay to go to small claims court and really that $20 parking fee is not worth it to them.”

PMC’s parking violations got the attention of municipal attorney Julia Copeland, who quickly sent the company a cease and desist letter.

The company was not supposed to be operating the lot as a parking space to begin with.

“It has come to our attention that your company is using this space beyond its original intent relayed to the City in April of 2021 as ‘hotel valet operations,’” Copeland’s letter stated in part.

Since PMC’s lease agreement for the property expired a few weeks after the letter was sent, “they decided to just simply cease the commercial activity instead of trying to get the permits in the short time frame.”

Johnston revealed that he doesn’t plan to pay the fine – or park in that lot again.

“It’s just completely not worth it to park in downtown Charleston anymore,” Johnston said.

FINES ERASED

Johnston is not the only one who won’t be paying a parking ticket anytime soon.

The city council in Elon, North Carolina canceled $10,200 worth of parking tickets, according to Alamance News.

Officials revealed that more than 120 drivers have not paid their parking tickets between August 2021 through June 2022.

Initially, the fines amounted to $3,525, however, $6,675 was added to late fees.

Richard Roedner, the town’s manager, said a new law has remedied the procurement issue.

But the law only works if drivers haven’t moved.

“If they don’t pay it, we can now tow [cars],” Roedner warned.

“But if they’ve left town, there’s not a whole lot we can do.”

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