Chicago Still Collecting On Decades-Old Parking Tickets

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You’ll never stop getting hounded if Chicago believes you owe parking fines, reports the Chicago Tribune. Since 2012, the city increased its collection of debts five years or older, and better technology has made it easier to find someone’s new address. If you get a notice about old tickets, it is tough to fight, said attorneys familiar with ticket disputes. “The time frame to challenge is pretty short,” said attorney Charles Beach. He noted that years after an alleged violation, “even if you have a defense, it’s very, very hard to prove.”

California actress and writer Gwendolyn Druyor got two notices last fall from a collections law firm saying she owed $195.20 in fines and late fees on three parking tickets from January 1997 — 20 years ago. Druyor, 44, said she paid or successfully contested other tickets but did not know about those January 1997 tickets. Department of Finance spokeswoman Molly Poppe said Druyor was sent a total of 10 notifications, starting in 1997. There is no Illinois statute of limitations for murder, arson, or parking tickets. “Debts owed to a municipality are debts forever and ever,” said Patrick Keating, a lawyer who specializes in traffic and parking violations.


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