City of Port Clinton paying $45,000 over $20 parking ticket - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

City of Port Clinton paying $45,000 over $20 parking ticket

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Who says you can't beat City Hall?

The City of Port Clinton is forking over $45,000 after losing a legal battle over a $20 parking ticket.

Taxpayers are shocked and calling the situation outrageous.

The driver who got the ticket sued the city and won.

"It's a waste of money," says Ada Orosco, a Port Clinton resident.

"I don't know what to say!" says Judy McKinney, a business owner in Port Clinton. "I've paid my parking tickets here."

This all began on the 300 block of Madison Avenue next to the Ottawa County Courthouse.

Toledo attorney Jeffrey Zilba parked his car there in July of 2011 in what he believed to be a designated parking space.

According to court documents, Port Clinton Police say Zilba's car was parked within 20 feet of a pedestrian crosswalk and the yellow curb indicated parking was prohibited.

The problem is that Zilba says he didn't have a chance to challenge the $20 ticket.

The ticket said failure to pay the civil fine within 30 days "shall constitute a minor misdemeanor" which is a criminal charge.

Zilba paid the ticket and filed a lawsuit saying the city violated his right to due process.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge James R. Knepp II agrees.

His opinion reads, "A pre-addressed envelope demanding payment and telling people they willfully commit a crime by not paying does not satisfy due process."

The mayor of Port Clinton released a copy of the $45,000 settlement agreement to 13 ABC but declined to comment on camera.

Zilba's attorney Corey Tomlinson tells 13 ABC, "These are not compensatory damages. The money is for attorney's fees. This has been litigated for a year and a half. We were just asking them to fix the law and pay the fees."

The settlement agreement says the city has to change its parking enforcement policy to comply with state law and the U.S. Constitution.

One woman in downtown Port Clinton says, "People are too politically correct."

McKinney says, "It's too bad that the city has to pay that kind of money. It would be better spent in town."

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