BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Larry Miller of Buffalo might have learned a very important lesson about parking tickets in Buffalo—you have to pay the fine, even if you challenge it in court. If you win the challenge, they return your money.
Miller delivers newspapers for the Buffalo News, has been driving a rental car for his job for almost a week because his SUV–a Jeep Cherokee–has been locked up at tow lot, in Depew, since last Friday.
The rental is depleting Miller’s resources, “I need my vehicle, I don’t know how much longer I will be able to keep the rental.”
Larry’s ordeal started when he got a parking ticket on Oak Street, back in June. City officials said, as time passed and Miller’s ticket didn’t get paid, the notices they sent him started to pile up by the time Miller filed an appeal and went before a city judge, in November.
The judge upheld the ticket, but waived all the late fees. Miller paid the original $35 by the new deadline, in December, but last Friday, a Depew police officer pulled Larry over on Transit Road, ran Larry’s license plates, and discovered his registration was suspended for not paying the ticket on time.
The towing charge was $200, plus the tow company charges a daily storage fee. As of Wednesday, Miller said the charges had amounted to $435.
Miller’s Jeep was towed to a lot in Depew, and he caught a cab and went straight to City Hall to find out why his registration was suspended, even though he paid his ticket on time. Parking Enforcement admitted the city’s payment mechanism somehow delayed the payment showing up in the city’s treasury, and put it in writing.))
Larry was issued a “registration clearance notice”, with the notation, “Summons was paid timely. Not applied until name turned over to DMV. Should not have been suspended.”
City officials told News 4, Miller’s case was so unusual, they have never seen one like it, and will take appropriate measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Miller said, he contacted Call 4 Action out of desperation for his family, “My mother has dialysis, I have kids, doctors’ appointments, things like that. I also have a job, so I had to initially get a rental because I had to be able to get to point A to point B.”
Just as Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors, city officials showed it is a city with a heart. The Depew towing company got its money, and city officials sent over a city tow truck, picked up Miller’s Jeep, and delivered it to his driveway.