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Speed bump in city's parking ticket dispute process

Last Updated Sep 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm EST

It’s a new process billed to help motorists fight parking tickets fast and help them steer clear of the courtroom, but less than one month into the city’s new parking ticket dispute system, one woman said there’s already some speed bumps in the process.

Solmaz, who doesn’t want to use her last name, said she was parked near Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on Aug. 30 when she received a ticket at 1:47 p.m. despite having a valid parking stub that didn’t expire until 2:12 p.m.

When the Toronto woman submitted an online application to the city’s parking violation dispute website to fight the fine, she says she indicated she had proof as to why her ticket should be cancelled, but wasn’t given a chance.

“The response said that my dispute has been rejected and I have to pay the full amount, since nothing is attached or emailed as requested,” Solmaz explained. “I had not received any requests from the officer and I clearly stated in my online application that there were no options to attach the supporting documents.”

The city has since cancelled the $30 ticket, Solmaz said.

Individuals are not required to submit evidence as part of their dispute, but if they indicate they want to provide documents, like Solmaz claims she did, the screening officer is supposed to provide that opportunity.

“The screening officer will contact that person and make arrangements for those documentations to be reviewed,” said Susan Garossino, acting director for Court Services with the City of Toronto. “We do say on the online tool that if you want to attach documentation, you should do an in-person review.”

The city said the system, which was introduced at the end of August, has been successful so far. Since the Aug. 28 rollout, fewer than 2,000 disputes have been filed, and 1,300 of those were filed online.

The new system currently doesn’t accept documents to be submitted online, but the city said it is currently working on adding this feature to the site soon.

“I understand that this is a new process and it might be a good thing down the road, but it still needs to work, it needs to be improved,” Solmaz said. “Otherwise it’s just another cash grab.”