Your chance of beating a city of Atlanta parking ticket? Less than 4%
Atlanta News First Investigation reveals more than 9K appeals over two years
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Gerard Cartwright said the $75 parking ticket he recently got from the city of Atlanta amounts to extortion.
About an hour after he got the ticket, he filed an online appeal took a screenshot of his written argument and submitted the online form to ATL Plus, the company the city of Atlanta uses to issue citations.
Cartwright was planning to contest the ticket, arguing, “the area I parked in is a legal space
But Cartwright’s appeal never made it on the court docket. The online appeal disappeared, as did the case number. Now, instead of a $75 fine, Cartwright owes ATL Plus $150.
“I filled out the appeal, waited for a court date, never got it, looked up the appeal and it wasn’t there,” Cartwright said.
When Atlanta Municipal Court was asked about Cartwright’s case, the court responded, “It appears that the citation number you provided in your request … is incorrect. We were unable to locate any information under that citation number.”
Atlanta Municipal Court’s records department confirmed ATL Plus forwards all appeals that are not administratively dismissed.
When asked for clarification, a court representative replied, “That would be a question for ATL Plus.” But an ATL Plus spokesperson previously told Atlanta News First the company does not speak to the media.
Atlanta News First obtained records for the appeals ATL Plus forwarded to Atlanta Municipal Court for a hearing. An investigation reveals more than 9,000 appeals over a two-year period and thousands of default judgements for people who missed their appeal hearings or didn’t know about the hearings in the first place.
Between 2021 and mid-December 2022, ATL Plus forwarded 9,177 appeals to the court. A total of 5,264 people were found to be liable for their citations.
Over the same period, 3,670 cases received a default judgment resulting from a non-appearance. Only 355 cases - less than 4% - were dismissed.
Cartwright feels defeated. “At this point, I’m paying the ticket,” he said. “I’m over this. It makes no sense.”
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