The city of Chicago is dismissing 23,000 tickets — totaling $4.6 million in fines — that were allegedly written in violation of municipal code, WBBM-TV reported.
A lawsuit prepared by attorney Jacie Zolna accused the city of double-ticketing at least 20,000 residents for “city sticker” violations since 2007.
“The city’s own code prohibits the city from issuing two city stickers in the same day,” Zolna explained.
Hours after Zolna filed the suit and one day after WBBM began asking questions, the city’s Department of Finance announced it was dismissing “all sticker violations issued ... going back to 1992,” the report states.
“No one in the city is foolish enough to believe that the city did this out of the goodness of their hearts,” Zolna told WBBM. “If we can get the city do this, we can help a lot of people. I’m glad we have free press as well as a judicial system that allows us to go to court to air our grievances.”
City records showed that Chicagoan Rodney Shelton, for example, was cited twice on Oct. 2, 2014, for not having a city sticker on his car, the TV station reported.
The fine for one ticket was $200. With penalties included, Shelton wound up owing $488 for each of the two tickets, or a total of $976.
“The initial city ticket was $200, then it doubled to $400, so the total is $488 for each ticket,” Shelton said. “It’s wrong. It is just wrong.”
In addition to the dismissed tickets, 12,000 people who paid a total of $2.5 million in fines will receive a refund, the report states. Residents who paid the fines can expect to receive a notice in the mail that explains the refund process.
What is a Chicago city sticker?
According to the Chicago City Clerk’s website:
All Chicago residents driving, parking, leasing and/or owning a vehicle for which they are responsible in the City of Chicago are subject to the Chicago Wheel Tax and must purchase a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker. This includes Chicago residents that maintain their registration outside of the City of Chicago, but use the vehicle in the City.
We want motorists to avoid costly tickets: You must purchase a Chicago Vehicle Sticker within 30 days of residing in the City or acquiring a new vehicle to avoid late fees and fines.
Money from sticker sales are used to fund the repair and maintenance of “more than 4,000 miles of Chicago streets.”