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Parking Ticket Appeal Process To Change In SF

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You’ve probably walked out of a restaurant or a store to find that dreaded manila envelope on your windshield. Annually, the City of Sioux Falls issues more than 20,000 parking tickets. Tuesday, city leaders heard proposed ordinance changes on how people can appeal those tickets.

In an effort to make sure all appeals are done the same city wide, the way parking tickets are appealed is about to change.

 "(We see) 100 to 200 appeals per year," Matt Nelson, Manager of Public Parking Facilities of Sioux Falls said.

On Tuesday Nelson presented the Sioux Falls City Council with the proposed ordinance change.

 "You'll still fill out the same paperwork whether it’s at our office, or the city clerk's office, it will just change on the back end with who will hear your appeal," Nelson explained.  

Currently there are appointed hearing officers that have been selected by Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether. The proposed ordinance change will bring in new appeal officers who will receive formal legal training and also be attorneys at law.

“It’s just centralization, that's what it is," Nelson said.

Annually around 30,000 parking tickets are issued in Sioux Falls. Around 20 percent of them are a just warning, which leaves about 24,000 unlucky drivers with a ticket ranging from $5 to $35.
Along with you who will hear your appeal, there are also other changes being proposed. Instead of having seven days to apply for an appeal, it’s proposed that drivers get 15 days. Also in the changes is a $25 processing fee for the appeal.

While council members were seeing the changes for the first time on Tuesday, they already had their concerns, especially with the processing fee.  

Councilman Dean Karsky said, "I don't have a problem with a $5 fee, so I hope that maybe we can discuss this when it comes to us."

"Our goal is to make things easier and more efficient," Nelson said.

A second reading of the ordinance change will be held sometime in November.
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