Ra'anana woman sues city for 'unlawful' parking fines

The lawsuit says Ra'anana offers no explanations on how to go about obtaining local parking tickets.

A Ra'anana resident has issued a class-action lawsuit for NIS 2.5 million against the city, alleging that it is issuing parking fines illegally, reports www.local.co.il. The lawsuit, lodged in the Tel Aviv District Court, says that the city issues parking fines for cars without a local parking ticket, despite it having no authority to do so because it has no by-laws on such tickets and offers no explanations on how to go about obtaining them. According to the report, the resident was first alerted to the issue after her car was booked for having parked in an area marked with a sign stating that parking there was restricted to cars with local parking tickets only. The woman's car did have a Ra'anana residents' sticker on its windshield, a sticker that has been widely and publicly promoted by the city and is carried by many car owners in the area. But when she asked for the fine to be cancelled, she was told that the sticker was not adequate and she needed to have a local parking ticket. It was then that she discovered that there was no by-law pertaining to such tickets and no explanation of how to obtain one. The woman refused to pay the fine and in February had her case heard in the Kfar Saba Court for Local Matters, where, at the recommendation of the court, the city prosecutor cancelled the fine. But the city continued to issue parking fines to others for the same "offense," including two to the woman's parents. They complained and had their fines cancelled, but when the woman's brother was then fined, she issued a class-action lawsuit, demanding that the city cancel all fines of this sort and return all the money it had collected from them. She said the city was still continuing to issue fines for this "offense" and drivers who were unaware of the law felt they had no choice but to pay the NIS 100 fine. The lawsuit estimated that the city's earnings from such fines were at least NIS 2.5 million, based on figures in the city's annual report. A municipal spokesman described the lawsuit as "frivolous" and without foundation, saying the city was acting within the law. The spokesman said residents could obtain local parking tickets from the city's parking authority.