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Contesting Parking Violation: Procedure

To contest a citation, the first request must be made within 21 calendar days of receiving the citation OR within 14 calendar days of receiving the delinquent notice (see below for more details).  Please note that the request must be made for an INITIAL REVIEW before a request for an ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING.  The request for the ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING must be made within 21 days of the results from the INITIAL REVIEW.  No money is required to request an INITIAL REVIEW, but all fees due from the Citation must be paid before an ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING date is provided.

To request a review or hearing date by mail, mail your request to the address indicated on the CITATION or the DELINQUENT NOTICE.  If you do not have the address, send the request to the address below.  Please request the review or hearing within the time limits indicated.  Failure to request a citation review or hearing will result in the case not heard and the request will be mailed back to you.

Request for Citation Review/Hearing

Parking Citation Service Center

Post Office Box 11923

Santa Ana, CA 92711

Requirements for correctable violations.

  • 5200 – photo of front/rear license plate properly mounted to vehicle
  • 5204 – copy of vehicle registration and photo of rear license plate properly mounted to vehicle, displaying month and current year sticker
  • 22507.8 – copy of disabled placard id receipt, vehicle registration, and cdl/id from disabled placard owner and registered owner of vehicle

To contest the Citation at the first level, Initial Review

40215.   (a) For a period of 21 calendar days from the issuance of a notice of parking violation or 14 calendar days from the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation, a person may request an initial review of the notice by the issuing agency. The request may be made by telephone, in writing, or in person. There shall be no charge for this review. If, following the initial review, the issuing agency is satisfied that the violation did not occur, that the registered owner was not responsible for the violation, or that extenuating circumstances make dismissal of the citation appropriate in the interest of justice, the issuing agency shall cancel the notice of parking violation or notice of delinquent parking violation. The issuing agency shall advise the processing agency, if any, of the cancellation. The issuing agency or the processing agency shall mail the results of the initial review to the person contesting the notice.

To contest the Citation at the second level, Administrative Hearing  

(b) If the person is dissatisfied with the results of the initial review, the person may request an administrative hearing of the violation no later than 21 calendar days following the mailing of the results of the issuing agency's initial review. The request may be made by telephone, in writing, or in person. You may download a Hearing Request form from this website. The person requesting an administrative hearing shall deposit the amount of the parking penalty with the processing agency. The issuing agency shall provide a written procedure to allow a person to request an administrative hearing without payment of the parking penalty upon satisfactory proof of an inability to pay the amount due. Notice of this procedure shall be provided to all persons requesting an administrative hearing. After January 1, 1996, an administrative hearing shall be held within 90 calendar days following the receipt of a request for an administrative hearing, excluding time tolled pursuant to this article. The person requesting the hearing may request one continuance, not to exceed 21 calendar days.

(c) The administrative hearing process shall include the following:

(1) The person requesting a hearing shall have the choice of a hearing by mail or in person. An in-person hearing shall be conducted within the jurisdiction of the issuing agency. If an issuing agency contracts with an administrative provider, hearings shall be held within the jurisdiction of the issuing agency or no more than 21 miles outside the county.

(2) If the person requesting a hearing is a minor, that person shall be permitted to appear at a hearing or admit responsibility for the parking violation without the necessity of the appointment of a guardian. The processing agency may proceed against the minor in the same manner as against an adult.

(3) The administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with written procedures established by the issuing agency and approved by the governing body or chief executive officer of the issuing agency. The hearing shall provide an independent, objective, fair, and impartial review of contested parking violations.

To contest the Citation at the third and final level, Contest requested by the Court

40230.   (a) Within 30 calendar days after the mailing or personal delivery of the final decision described in subdivision (b) of Section 40215, the contestant may seek review by filing an appeal to be heard by the municipal court, or by the superior court in a county in which there is no municipal court, where the same shall be heard de novo, except that the contents of the processing agency's file in the case shall be received in evidence. A copy of the notice of parking violation or, if the citation was issued electronically, a true and correct abstract containing the information set forth in the notice of parking violation shall be admitted into evidence as prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. A copy of the notice of appeal shall be served in person or by first-class mail upon the processing agency by the contestant. For purposes of computing the 30-calendar-day period, Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall be applicable. A proceeding under this subdivision is a limited civil case.

(b) The fee for filing the notice of appeal is twenty-five dollars ($25). The court shall request that the processing agency's file on the case be forwarded to the court, to be received within 15 calendar days of the request. The court shall notify the contestant of the appearance date by mail or personal delivery. The court shall retain the twenty-five dollar ($25) fee regardless of the outcome of the appeal. If the court finds in favor of the contestant, the amount of the fee shall be reimbursed to the contestant by the processing agency. Any deposit of parking penalty shall be refunded by the processing agency in accordance with the judgment of the court.

(c) The conduct of the appeal under this section is a subordinate judicial duty that may be performed by traffic trial commissioners and other subordinate judicial officials at the direction of the presiding judge of the court.

(d) If no notice of appeal of the processing agency's decision is filed within the period set forth in subdivision (a), the decision shall be deemed final.

(e) If the parking penalty has not been deposited and the decision is against the contestant, the processing agency shall, after the decision becomes final, proceed to collect the penalty pursuant to Section 40220.

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