SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Casey Elston knew the “No Parking” sign in front of his house wasn’t there when he left for work October 18.
Arriving home in the mid-afternoon — he found a $57.50 parking ticket, issued by Sacramento County. And several freshly dug sign posts in the ground along his street.
“You can see where they dug the ground up,” he said. “It doesn’t seem very fair at all.”
Certain of his innocence, Elston appealed his ticket with the county, writing, “The sign was not there when I parked there. The city had just put up the sign that day.”
He didn’t expect the county to dismiss his appeal without consideration, he said.
“I just feel hustled, I really do,” Elston said. “I feel like they just basically took my $57.”
It was time to Call Kurtis.
CBS13 dug into county records to determine exactly when the new signs were installed along his street.
Sure enough, CBS13 learned Sacramento County installed the new signs some time in the morning on Oct. 18 — when Elston says he was working an early morning shift.
Elston said no one was given notice the new signs would go in — so why did the county reject Elston’s ticket appeal?
“That just seems wrong to me,” said consumer attorney Stuart Talley of Sacramento-based law firm Kershaw, Cutter and Ratinoff.
The ticket issued by the county is unconstitutional, according to Talley, who said the county can’t ticket drivers for something that was legal to do at the time they did it.
“Whoever’s in charge of hearing appeals for parking tickets didn’t have the discretion to do the right thing here,” he said.
A spokeman for Sacramento County later agreed, blaming a mistake on the part of the administration.
“They should have waived that ticket,” said Dan Regan of the county’s transportation division. “They had an administrative oversight.”
Sacramento County Parking Enforcement told CBS, “Our parking enforcement officer did not know the sign(s) were installed that day on the added restricted parking area.”
“The Department of Transportation did not notify my office of the new signs that went up,” said Officer Christopher Solorzano in an email forwarded to CBS13.
The county said when a new sign goes in, they’re supposed to give drivers at least 24 hours before ticketing anyone, which didn’t happen in Elston’s case.
Sacramento County agreed to refund Elston the $57.50 he paid for a ticket he didn’t deserve.
Happy to have his ticket fixed — Elston said the “No Parking” signs have created another headache — no place to park in front of his home.
“We definitely do want to move now,” he said.