Federal judge orders car returned to homeless man struggling to pay parking tickets

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/12/federal-judge-orders-car-retur.html


Hope he finds a permanent home.


There have been some interesting cases where long-haul truck drivers were granted the same rights as a home owner based on the fact that they live in the rig while they’re on the road. IANAL but I wonder if homeless folks sleeping in their vehicles could leverage that.


So what’s the solution here if fiscal incentives aren’t appropriate to compel compliance? Incarceration? Change the laws to make parking violations legal?

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I’ve been 100% in this kind of situation. The stress of losing my car and being unable to work was enough to end a relationship and some friendships. Granted i made plenty of bad choices at the time but losing the car and having to handle the tickets was a huge burden. I don’t wish that kind of shit on anyone.


Me too, but that’s a tough case in San Francisco right now.

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How about a European style system where the fines are adjusted to the person’s ability to pay, and in this case perhaps swap the fines for work/service hours that come with a wage and a meal? Taking all that someone owns in the world is hardly a fair punishment.


Yes, please. Raise the ticket prices on the luxury car owners who cause a significant amount of parking mayhem. It may even curtail that behavior.


Holding the grave diggers shovel until he pays you money he can’t earn without the shovel is counter productive and will start to stink.


My car was stolen from in front of my house, and taken for a joyride. When the thief was done with it, they left it on private property. By the time I tracked it down, the impound lot had incurred more money in storage than I had paid for the car in the first place.

I heeded the poster on the wall and took it to court, at which time the judge told me, “sure, it seems unfair, if they had left it on public property, you’d have gotten your car back without a fine. But the 7/11’s rights, and the tow company’s rights hold sway here, not yours. Don’t get your car stolen”. I’m paraphrasing everything but that last sentence, she actually said that aloud.

It left me with far fewer illusions about the legal system in this country, that’s for sure. And at that, it was a cheap lesson.


Actually, that’s a very interesting point.

Related: without those Euro-style day-fine systems, “punishable by a fine” equals “legal for rich people”.


I feel like I’d have trouble avoiding suggesting that it doesn’t just seem unfair, which probably wouldn’t be an adaptive strategy before a judge.

It dawned on me that fairness is just a sales pitch, it’s not what they’re actually trying to deliver.


Ha ha! No.

It will be factored into the the price of having a car like that and will be considered part of the cost of owning that status symbol (much more impressive now eh?)

Kind of like fines to banks for shit and illegal behavior are nothing more than a slap on the wrist, and considered “part of doing business”.

Now if they actually scaled properly… (which they wouldn’t here in the USA)

Big fines for those with big incomes and visa versa. One presumes the disincentive is proportional to your ability to pay, anyways, at least with those with the ability to pay at all- and at the low end of the spectrum, giving very poor people the ability to pay very small fines prevents you from having these non-linear snafus where the penalties for ‘living while poor’ accumulate so much that one is essentially at the mercy of fickle enforcement decisions and are too deep in the red to begin to live otherwise.

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