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Sometimes It Pays To Fight City Hall

November 26th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Law Enforcement, News and Events

Last week Marshall Marcus reported about a penal Downtown parking ticket issued for a valid handicapped permit. Undeterred, he fought back. The other day a letter arrived addressed to his wife referencing the ticket in question:

“Dear Sir or Madam:
Your appeal of the ticket referenced here was approved, and ticket was dismissed.

Sincerely,
G……..B……………….
Parking Violations Bureau

In a large box at the bottom of the letter the following appeared in caps, according to Marcus:

“YOUR PERMIT IS CERTAINLY VALID. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE”

“I wonder how many accepted the false statement by the BPD that ‘Lifetime’ handicapped permits starting with the number 4 were expired and paid $150 per ticket?” Marcus questioned in an update to OIB. Marcus vowed to boycott Downtown establishments until the issued was resolved. “Mrs. M and I shall be dining in Bridgeport tomorrow. We shall be using her valid handicapped placard. I’ll not further penalize businesses for the BPD’s stupidity.”

Original OIB story:
Marshall Marcus, who works in Bridgeport with a wife who owns property in the city, shares this commentary about a Police Department that “has taken it upon itself to rule that valid Handicapped permits are not valid.”

On Friday, Mrs. Marcus and I parked on Fairfield Ave. in the handicapped spaces adjoining the Superior Court. Her Handicapped placard was displayed in the window.

We returned to the car after transacting our business and saw a parking ticket tucked under the windshield wipers. I pulled it out and saw that the $150.00 ticket was for an “EXPIRED” handicap permit. I laughed to myself and said how does a permit that reads: “EXPIRES LIFETIME” expire while the driver is alive?

I called the parking violations department at BPD and was told that ‘Lifetime’ handicap permits were no longer valid and to come to Congress St and file a protest. Upon arrival at Congress St. I was told that Conn. was no longer issuing ‘Lifetime’ handicap permits and that I should have received notice from the State to apply for a new permit. The officer told me that only his boss could run the current permit to check its status, but because it began with the number ’4′ I was ticketed.

I filled out the protest, and drove home and emailed the CT DMV. The DMV ran the permit and informed me that it was still VALID. Mrs. M was instructed to continue to use it until she received a written notice to apply for a new permit that would run concurrently with her driver’s license term.

SO, Bridgeport PD has taken it upon itself to rule that valid Handicapped permits are not valid, even though the DMV says continue to use them until you are instructed by DMV to replace them. Just, chance having to pay us $150 anytime you legally exercise that right.

Last night, instead of dining in Bridgeport and spending dollars there supporting local business, we chose to go to Stratford.  With the threat of having to fight wrongly issued tickets on a regular basis, we’ll be avoiding spending money in Bridgeport in the near future.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Marshall Marcus

    Lennie,
    Thanks for running the update.
    We in fact did come to Bridgeport to dine early Saturday evening and were parked in the same handicapped zone adjoining the courthouse.
    I left the letter from BPD in the windshield in case the correct information has not reached the employees on the street.
    After a delightful meal we returned to the car and found no ticket.
    It pays to be viligant…too often police departments or officers decide incorrectly what is legal or valid or which laws should be enforced…and they are WRONG.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Good for you Marshall, it’s too bad you had to go through so much to do what you had a legal right to do.

  • Maria Pereira

    Thanks for taking this on, keeping us informed, and WINNING!

  • Donald Day

    I think it’s likely that the BPD read what Marshall said, realized that they were wrong and at its daily roll call informed its officers what the correct interpretation of the law is and to follow state laws?

  • Marshall Marcus

    As a public service announcement for any OIB readers who have a lifetime Handicapped Parking Permit and have moved from the address where it was originally issued:
    email dmv.hpapp@ct.gov and inquire about the status of your permit.
    My permit was issued in 2003 when I was living in Hamden. When I moved to Trumbull in 2005 I changed my address for drivers license and registration. DMV informed me that they have no process to change handicap permit addresses and mail expiration notices to the old address. I found out that I have to apply for a new permit

  • Bob Halstead

    If there is any headline today about “Fighting City Hall” lets give credit where its due and support those who are!

    FLASH: Mario Testa is being subpoenaed and called to the stand for AB irregularities and possible criminal activity. Something where he could go to jail. The most important mover in our machine politics being hedged by a parking ticket story?

    FLASH 2: P & Z having public hearing tonight about lessening the legal distance between liquor stores from 1500 ‘ to 750′ .

    The real fighters who are making real progress are not being covered.

    People, please show up and speak against the liquor store plan that serves Testo’s hand picked Councilman and bartender who through political corruption will get his non conforming use on Brooklawn Avenue and ruin that corner of MY neighborhood

    You can’t make this stuff up and sometimes it seems it goes deeper than meets the eye, much deeper.

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