Got a parking ticket in Philadelphia? You can now appeal it online.
Fran Cooper of Cherry Hill, N.J., drove into Philadelphia in September. She parked, paid at the nearest kiosk, and went on her way.
"And when I came back, there was a $301 ticket on my car," Cooper said. "And I said, 'Why do I have this ticket?' And somebody says, 'Look up there in the trees, there's a sign.'"
She was parked in a handicapped zone.
Friday morning, Cooper was back in town for her scheduled appeal hearing. But as of Thursday, could have done the whole thing online.
"While it's easier to appeal, it's not necessarily easier to win. Let's put it that way," said Jerry Connors, director of the Bureau of Administrative Adjudication. That's the city agency that handles parking ticket appeals, not the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Connors says the bureau's new online system — which you can access here — allows people to upload written testimony and other evidence. The appeal will then be reviewed by an examiner and a decision will be issued via mail within 60 days.
"The burden of proof is the same, the standard of evidence is the same," Connors said.
As for Fran Cooper, she had to wait in line for two hours to plead her case in person. But in the end it turned out well.
"I fought the law and won, and I'm very happy right now," Cooper said. "But, yes, I suppose online is the way to go."
The new system comes six months after the city mandated changes to the parking ticket appeal process.
The Bureau of Administrative Adjudication gets about 16,000 appeal requests every month, according to Connors.