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Sidewalk parking citation on private property?

Discussion in 'Parking Tickets, Towing, Impound' started by BBQ514, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. BBQ514

    BBQ514 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I received a ticket for parking my motorcycle on a sidewalk.

    I was in a shopping center, 40-50 ft from the "sidewalk" located next to the street. There were no fire zones, handicapped zones, signs, etc.
    Can I receive a ticket for this on private property? In Texas, "a sidewalk is defined as that potion of a street that is between a curb or lateral line of a roadway and the adjacent property line and is intended for pedestrian use." That is from the state statute.

    The motorcycle riders like myself that frequent this place of business have been parking up on this sidewalk for several years. There has never been a complaint from the owner of the business or the businesses next door (by the way closed when I received the ticket).
    Was the cop just causing a problem and hoping I would pay? Does he have the right to give me that citation?
    If you can give me any case law or other advice I would appreciate it.

    BBQ514
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In Texas, it is illegal to park a motor vehicle on the sidewalk.
    The sidewalk isn't private property.
    It is owned jointly between the property owner and the municipality.

    The ticket was indeed correct.
    I suspect you weren't ticketed under state staute, mor ethan like some city ordinance.

    You can contest the citation in court.
    No, the cop wasn't causing trouble.
    The officer was enforcing the law.
    It is his/her job.
    The officer didn't need a complaint.
    A police officer has the power to cite or arrest for all infractions observed by him/her.
     
  3. BBQ514

    BBQ514 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The sidewalk next to a street is public property.......not the one 50 feet away from it next to a store..based on the definition of a sidewalk by the State of Texas.... Unless your interpretation of a sidewalk is different than what the law states in which case I would love for you to explain to me, seriously...otherwise there would be two sidewalks on one side of the street and then cars in the shopping centers would be parking on public property.
    Maybe I did not explain correctly.....there is the major two lane street, curb, grass ,sidewalk, grass, hedge, forty feet of concrete (parking lot), curb, walkway, building. There is no way where I parked that is public property.

    Can you imagine all the revenue cities would lose in Texas if they did not get the tax revenue from parking lots and malls, had to maintain them, pay the electricity on all of the lights, etc.?
    That's why I think you are correct about a ticket on a sidewalk but only as defined by Texas law. Sidewalks are public property (next to the street) and cannot be owned.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Look, convincing me isn't going to help you.
    Quibbling with me isn't going to help you.

    I gave you a legal opinion.
    Yes, there could be exceptions.

    So, if you disagree, fight the citation in court.
    The court that is run by the confiscatory, money-grubbing government that wants to take every dime with stupid, oppressive laws.
    I didn't say I agreed with this crap.
    I just told you how it will be resolved.

    Fight it. Good luck.
     
  5. BBQ514

    BBQ514 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry, did not mean to be argumentative. I do appreciate your viewpoint- I just thought that maybe I did not explain myself correctly. I just don't know how they can do it so I will fight it.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You have a good argument to make in traffic court. Your vehicle was on private property, not on the public sidewalk (at least as you describe it).
    The appropriate action, if anything, would be for the property owner to have your vehicle towed away.
    Prepare yourself well with the language of the statute you were cited for, and with the definition you gave above, and you should beat this citation.
     
    BBQ514 likes this.
  7. BBQ514

    BBQ514 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks......another cop has told me that they could give me a ticket for trespassing if a tenant complained but that has not happened.
    I do not know what this cop's problem was at the time. Maybe he thinks I will just send the money in and be a statistic.
    Thanks for your support.
     
  8. BBQ514

    BBQ514 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Update 10-nov

    Well, I went to court, plead not guilty, showed photos that I was on a sidewalk in a shopping center, and they set a court date for 11-November. Yesterday they called me and said case dismissed. I went to the courthouse to get a copy of the case dismissal. The ticket is dismissed because there is no ordinance against parking on the sidewalk on private property.
    I had researched and was ready to go to court. I had the State Transportation Code and the city ordinances, neither of which permits citations to be issued for parking on sidewalks on private property. Other citations can be issued on private property (disabled parking zones, public nuisance, and several others). This should be the same in every state in the US as they must all comply with the Federal Codes.

    I just wanted to update .
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Thank you! It pays to do your homework.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Thanks for the follow-up. This was a slam dunk for you. Good for you for making the effort to fight it. Lots of people would just give in to frustration and pay up.
    Police do make mistakes, and this was a very obvious mistake by this particular officer. The officer doesn't get the final word, he is just a piece of the puzzle.
     

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