When A Handicap Parking Ticket Hits The City In The Pocket

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I called the parking violations department at BPD and was told that ‘Lifetime’ handicap permits were no longer valid and to come to Congress St and file a protest.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.



  1. I think many are beginning to believe the BPD leadership is ineffective which trickles down to its officers.

    The article in the CT POST on AJ PZerez is very telling.

    Sorry this happened to you and your wife.

    1. Thanks Maria………………

      BPD leadership is to blame, officers must follow directives. It makes the officer look like Barney Fife (the bumbling deputy on the Andy Griffith show) when he pronounces valid permits as invalid because the bosses say so.

      All arms of Government in CT leave much to be desired. I also asked DMV about my ‘Lifetime’ permit. I was told that they mailed a notice that I needed to apply for a new permit to my address in Hamden. I moved from there 12 years ago. I notified DMV of change of address for license and registration. DMV employee stated that they have no system in place to check for changes of address, only to mail notices to the original address used when a ‘Lifetime’ Handicap permit was issued.

      Senator Marilyn Moore are you reading this? Unfortunately my State Representative doesn’t have Bridgeport in his district and won’t see this,

    2. Every time district students decide to have fights in schools or a BOE employee screws up, we should blame the Superintendent of Schools right Maria. I suspect that the ticket was issued by Parking Authority Personnel, not a Bridgeport Police Officer. The ticket was placed on the windshield and the Marshalls didn’t get the opportunity to discuss the situation with the person giving the ticket. He or she could only go by what information was available to them at that time. The officer wasn’t 100% wrong as there were some kind of changes made by DMV: ” 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.”

      What really annoys me about this article is this part: “… but because it began with the number ‘4’ I was ticketed.”

      The person who said this to you must be one of those OIB bloggers who have a problem with “4”, as in having four (4) fingers. I have no explanation for this part but, you bet your I’m gonna have a discussion with someone about this.

      Mr. & Mrs. Marshall, I’m sorry for the inconvenience and I’m sure that the misunderstanding will be cleared. If you must pay the ticket, do so by paying 4 cents a day.

        1. @Joel
          You are confusing parking meter enforcement with Handicapped Parking spaces that do not even have meters.
          The misuse of these spaces should be ticketed (and/or towed) 24/7.

          1. Marshall Marcus, I’m pretty sure that Parking Authority personel are not limitted to policing only parking meter violations. The tickets have a list of violations that are checked when ticket are issued.

      1. @Joel………
        It was the officer at Police HQ who told me Mrs. M should have received a notice and application from DMV and that all placards beginning with the numeral 4 were being ticketed as expired. I verified with DMV that this is not the case. They will be sending such a letter in the future, the placard is still valid. The numeral 4 refers to the year of issue>>>2004

        I highly doubt that the nice police officer behind the glass window at HQ is an OIB blogger, he was merely following directives from above and relating department policy.

        I really don’t care what department the ticket writer works for, the policy was set by the PD and it is not legally correct.

        You can be sure that the ticket will not have to be paid. I resent the waste of my time, a trip to Congress Street and now have to avoid parking in Bridgeport and enjoying what the coty has to offer.

        1. Lets hope the DMV doesn’t send you the letter to the wrong address again. Immigration did just that to me one time and it cost me $3,000.

          There are two windows at the BPD. One is the ticket window and it closes around 4pm. and manned by Parking Authority personnel. The other is the Front Desk manned by Police Officers. If you spoke to a Police Officer, he or she was correct. “officer at Police HQ who told me Mrs. M should have received a notice and application from DMV and that all placards beginning with the numeral 4 were being ticketed as expired.”

          You didn’t receive a letter from DMV and you were ticketed as a holder of number four (4).

          It’s not the fault of the Police Officer or ticket writer for what DMV failed to do. Dmv or State Departments in general do these types of changes for some reason. DMV would say that it has to do with fraud and abuse with handicapped documents. I believe it has more to do with revenue raising methods. I wonder if you have to pay a fee for the application processing and if that fee will cost more as the state budget calls for $800 in new fees and taxes.

          1. @Joel
            DMV has not sent letters to all holders of ‘Lifetime’ Handicapped placards as of this date, nor have they invalidated them. That’s the point. Bridgeport has made a unilateral decision that these placards are expired, despite the issuer, DMV, telling us in writing to continue using the placard until notified an application must be made for a new one.
            The changeover is on a rolling basis, not all at once.

            There is no fee associated with the application, unless one’s medical professional charges for signing the document.

            I NEVER blamed the officer who issued the ticket, I blame Bridgeport for issuing a directive that is faulty. These are NOT expired permits.

  2. Stop shopping downtown Bridgeport until the City of Bridgeport, the police department and those downtown businesses resolve this issue of make shopping downtown a pleasure where we all want to spend our money with them instead of paying for a parking ticket.

    1. Ron, that’s it in a nut shell. I shake at the thought of finding myself in a situation that will require me to go downtown. I have a dear friend, Mary Bruce, who lives in the heart of the area we dread, when I go to her home to drop off or pick up whatever it may be, I stay in my car, keep it running, and hope a camera isn’t imaging me, while my friend brings me what we’re exchanging. It’s the closest to a police state that I can imagine. I avoid downtown at all costs. I’ve avoided many events because of those “monster meters,” and sloppy ticketing.

      1. @Liza
        Unfortunately, as long as the state maintains courthouses in Bridgeport, I’ll have reasons to go downtown. Many things can be filed electronically, but some things must be done in person. In fact, I have Jury duty coming up next month and I’ll be there.

        I met you a the above mentioned restaurant, enjoyed the food and ambiance and was looking forward to taking Mrs. M there last night.
        It will just have to be put off until this issue is resolved. I have no expectation that the BPD will get its act together, instead, we are not waiting until DMV decides we must replace the placard, we’re applying for a new one soon.

      2. Lisa Parziale, have you tried the game I call ‘Meter Triggering?’ It works like this: When I drive in the areas where the meter are installed, I pull up to the parking spot and watch the meter light go on. I wait for a few seconds and then move on to the next meter. It gives me something to do instead of just driving straight to the red light ahead. If we all do this, we could put enough wear and tear on those meter to the point they stop working.

    2. This stupid move by the BPD kept us from dining at Trattoria Avchella, an OIB advertiser last night. I have been wanting to take Mrs. M there since I went to the OIB 10th anniversary party. We weren’t taking a chance on a second false ticket on Fairfield Ave in less than 12 hours.

  3. and it doesn’t happen Only In Bridgeport

    someone I know had her handicapped accessible van parked in a handicapped space at Walmart in Stratford with the handicapped hand tag clearly in view. the Stratford Parking authority ticketed her van, CONFISCATED her hang tag and issued a costly ticket because the handicapped tag was “expired”

    1. The New Haven Parking Authority is just as clueless. About ten years ago I recieved a letter from NHPA informing an unpaid parking violation had doubled. Stated the vehicle ticketed was a loght brown 2004 Honda Civic. Only problem, the last car I owned was a ’91 Chevrolet Cavelier sold in 2001. I wrote a letter noting the discrepency.

  4. May I suggest that Chief Perez stop chasing the newspaper reporters and TV cameras around and do his job which is to monitor his staff and the entire department. We dont need him on TV after every incident. Is he auditioning for a movie . I have been in BPT for 75 years and he is the most inept chief we have had. The parking authority is clueless as are most of the city departments.


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