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  1. #1
    cdurand is offline Junior Member
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    Parking on sidewalk - cvc 22500(f) in shopping center

    Hi there,

    I received a ticket this afternoon in East Palo Alto, California. This is part of San Mateo County if that matters.

    I was specifically sites for cvc 22500(f), parking on the sidewalk.

    I had parked my motorcycle in front of the Best Buy. I was on the sidewalk, no argument there.

    Does cvc 22500(f) cover private property? I can see if I was parked on a sidewalk along a public street but this was inside a shopping center on privately owned property.

    The ticket is $20 and I plan to pay it. I've just always wondered how the cops are able to give tickets on private property. I supposed it all comes down to the cvc definition of a sidewalk which I was unable to locate after a few minutes looking.

    Can they give speeding tickets at a private race track if they were in the mood?

    Thanks for the advice!

    CD
  2. #2
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    The shopping center may have an agreement with the city to allow officers to cite on the premises. It is not at all uncommon.
  3. #3
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    22500(f) is probably not going to be applicable even WITH a contract to enforce provisions of the CVC. I do not know of any such contracts in CA nor am I aware of any CVC provision permitting them, but they might exist. There can be local municipal codes that may be enforced on the mall property, but the CVC section requires that the sidewalk be part of a publicly maintained highway. Unless the mall is on city property or otherwise publicly maintained, the cite would appear to be invalid on its face.

    I have searched for an authority that would allow this section to be enforced on private property, but have yet to locate one. Where I have worked we would cite the local muni code and no tthe CVC for this. It could be that the officer made a boo-boo or was misinformed.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  4. #4
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    I bow to Carl's wisdom.

    So there you have it, plead not-guilty to the charge of being parked on a public sidewalk.
  5. #5
    efflandt is offline Senior Member
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    Where does cvc 22500(f) say it only applies to "public" sidewalks [url]http://www.aroundthecapitol.com/code/code.html?sec=veh&codesection=22500-22526[/url] (and why do links still not work)?

    It was a sidewalk, unrestricted to public access. But since it was private property, I would expect the owner to have the right to have improper parking enforced (like handicap parking or fire lane). Just be glad your bike was not carried off on a hook.

    The analogy to a private race track is unfounded, since public access to that would be restricted without proper authorization (and usually a liability waiver).
  6. #6
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Look up the other definitions in the CVC to include "sidewalk" and "highway". You will find the answer there.

    And since CVC 22500(f) can only be enforced on a sidewalk which is part of a publicly maintained highway, it was likely misapplied in the OP's situation.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by efflandt
    I would expect the owner to have the right to have improper parking enforced (like handicap parking or fire lane). Just be glad your bike was not carried off on a hook.
    Handicapped parking and fire lane enforcement in private property are specifically addressed in the CVC - sidewalks on private property are not. A local ordinance COULD address the issue, but CVC 22500(f) cannot.


    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    kamanski is offline Junior Member
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    The cop may have written the ticket just to placate the store manager. It's Very common practice for cops to "shotgun" citations. ( I know I was one). it makes for good numbers on the duty log, most folks pay without contesting, and there's no consequence for writing a bad ticket. If you have the time to go to court there's no downside to pleading not guilty and making them have to find you guilty by trial. The fine doesnt go up. The officer may not show(automatic dissmissal) and the improper application of of the cvc code may fly as a defense. Just dress nice, be polite and non argumentitive. The national motorists association has a free site and if yo ujoin you can rent a legal defense kit thats really helpfull. Ive used it to beat a couple of tickets and once tied a court up for 9 mos and 4 appearances to win a speeding ticket case. They also have a free "guerellia ticket fighter" tape thats a worthwhile listen. Good Luck. K-
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamanski
    The cop may have written the ticket just to placate the store manager. It's Very common practice for cops to "shotgun" citations.
    Not if the officer wants to stay employed, he won't. By intentionally writing a citation that was unenforceable he is asking the citizen to pay a citation under force of law that he is not otherwise required to pay. It woul dbe the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with an officer's career!

    A written warning, sure ... but a citation? Not a good idea at all!

    My guess is that the officer was unclear on the limitations of the sections. Most officers write very few parking tickets. He probably looked it up on a cheat sheet or it was a checkbox on the parking cite, so he saw "sidewalk" and thought it applied. This happens with some frequency.

    and there's no consequence for writing a bad ticket.
    Oh, there can be - at least out here. We have 1/3 of the nation's lawyers out here. If one of my officers knowingly did it, he'd be in deep kimshee.

    If you have the time to go to court there's no downside to pleading not guilty and making them have to find you guilty by trial.
    In CA parking cites are handled by the local government bureaucracy and NOT in the courts. To contest the citation he would have to go before whatever panel of bureaucrats they assemble to hear contested parking cites (usually after posting the fine as bail ahead of time). if he wants to appeal the panel's decision THEN he can take it to court ... but this is rare and usually costs more than the citation will cost.

    I would think that just by going into the hearing with a photo and a map of the property, a copy of the relevant codes and definitions, that the panel would have no choice but to dismiss the violation.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    kamanski is offline Junior Member
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    NorCal I'll defer to you since it's your home turf. In Mn it would be handled by a court. I cringe at the idea of presenting a legal matter to a panel of beaurocrats. Even if it is just a parking ticket. How much authority do they have to levy fines? What about due process? Scary scary scary!
    I never got called on the carpet over a citation, dont know aanyone who has either so I guess we really live in differnt worlds, lol. K-
  11. #11
    cdurand is offline Junior Member
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    Just a followup message..

    I read your replies here and decided to call the East Palo Alto Police Department. I was able to speak with the watch commander and told him my story.

    He said that I was absolutely right and that ticket was invalid. He did say I would need to come in with the ticket to clear it up. Not a big deal since I'm in the area frequently.

    Thanks for the help!
  12. #12
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamanski
    NorCal I'll defer to you since it's your home turf. In Mn it would be handled by a court. I cringe at the idea of presenting a legal matter to a panel of beaurocrats. Even if it is just a parking ticket. How much authority do they have to levy fines? What about due process? Scary scary scary!
    "Due process" does not refer to court - it refers to ... due process. In the case of parking cites if the defendant wishes to pursue it beyond the bureaucracy, he or she has the option of taking it to court ... but then you add on the court fees if you lose. Not usually worth it for a parking citation.

    The only fines these panels can levy are those allowed by statute (local ordinance) for the specific violation cited.

    I never got called on the carpet over a citation, dont know aanyone who has either so I guess we really live in differnt worlds, lol. K-
    Maybe so. But, we tend to take a dim view of knowingly misapplying criminal statutes in CA. Since writing a citation for an offense that one KNOWS to be false could also be construed as a criminal act in CA, it makes it doubly bad. Generally, this is a good faith error.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  13. #13
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdurand
    Just a followup message..

    I read your replies here and decided to call the East Palo Alto Police Department. I was able to speak with the watch commander and told him my story.

    He said that I was absolutely right and that ticket was invalid. He did say I would need to come in with the ticket to clear it up. Not a big deal since I'm in the area frequently.

    Thanks for the help!
    Glad I could be of help!

    I am sure it was unintentional. I know some people with that agency and they work hard and risk their tales in a very high activity jurisdiction for among the lowest wages in the Bay Area. They are generally good guys and gals.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  14. #14
    croesset is offline Junior Member
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    Highway part

    I read the CVC 22500f and did not find any reference to the "highway". Just currious, as I got a ticket yesterday in my own driveway because my truck hung over the "side walk" that I though was my driveway. Currious as to where to find the relevant definition and it's applicability here (if any).
    Thanks in advance.


    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    Look up the other definitions in the CVC to include "sidewalk" and "highway". You will find the answer there.

    And since CVC 22500(f) can only be enforced on a sidewalk which is part of a publicly maintained highway, it was likely misapplied in the OP's situation.

    - Carl
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by croesset View Post
    I read the CVC 22500f and did not find any reference to the "highway". Just currious, as I got a ticket yesterday in my own driveway because my truck hung over the "side walk" that I though was my driveway. Currious as to where to find the relevant definition and it's applicability here (if any).
    Thanks in advance.
    I'll ignore the hijacking (you should have started your own thread). Here is 22500f:

    22500. No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle
    whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid
    conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a
    peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the
    following places:
    ...
    (f) On any portion of a sidewalk, or with the body of the vehicle
    extending over any portion of a sidewalk, except electric carts when
    authorized by local ordinance, as specified in Section 21114.5.



    Looks pretty darn clear-cut to me

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