Town Upholds $30 Parking Ticket Issued to Man Who Ignored Enforcement Officer Four Times


Town officials this month upheld a $30 ticket issued to a man parked illegally on Elm Street. 

According to the enforcement officer who issued the ticket at 12:52 p.m. on March 4 (a Friday), the man had been asked four times to move his car to a legal parking space.

“I stepped out of my vehicle and asked a fourth time (window was down),” the officer wrote in their report. “He ignored me again so a citation was issued.”

Members of the Parking Commission cited the officer’s report prior to voting 4-0 during their regular meeting April 7 to uphold the ticket. Those voting included Chair Laura Budd and members Nancy Bemis, Drew Magratten and Marley Thackray. Secretary Jennifer Donovan was absent.

In a written appeal filed with the Commission, the driver, Allen Swerdlowe, said: “Having driven since 1966, and having lived in Connecticut for the past 30 years, I am familiar with both ‘no parking’ and ‘no standing’ zones. My quick study of the state and New Canaan statutes do not make it clear what the definition of ‘parking’ is and if one can stand temporarily without parking or leaving the vehicle in a ‘no parking’ zone—in NYC one can stand in a no parking zone if inside the vehicle and not marked ‘no standing.’ I am attaching three of the photographs taken from inside my vehicle. If you think I clearly violated the law, please let me know and I will promptly pay the ticket.”

He did.

During deliberations, Budd noted that “his story doesn’t jibe with the officer’s story.”

Parking Manager Stacy Miltenberg said that the man ignored the officer even though “there was actually one right across the road in the angled parking on Elm Street.”

“And the window was down so it wasn’t like he couldn’t be heard and basically he just ignored her and she wrote the ticket and went to put it on his vehicle, and that’s when he said, ‘Why didn’t you ask me to move and why are you issuing me a ticket?’ So I don’t know what more to say. I don’t know how many times we have to ask somebody to move. Four is in excess, in my opinion.”

The Commission agreed. Magratten said, “He was given an opportunity.”

Budd noted that she sees New Canaan’s two parking enforcement officers “on Elm Street all the time” and “if someone is in the car, in the yellow hashed areas” they will try to move that person along prior to issuing a ticket.

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