Residents, visitors, activists upset with Detroit's parking ticket system


DETROIT – Detroit is on the comeback trail. Having exited bankruptcy, it's looking to do things more efficiently. But one area the city continues to hear gripes about are parking tickets.

The probably has always been on the back end, bad record keeping and collecting the ticket money. The city has been trying to fix that, too -- but it's led to a larger problem that have some taking to the streets in protest over.

Henry Gatheright got a parking ticket in the city last August and has yet to pay it.

"I was going to get food for my mother at a food center and I parked too close to the corner and I got a ticket," he told Local 4 News.

The original $45 ticket has now plumped to $95. He's also facing the possibility of having a hold placed on his license by the state.

"It's also heightened my car insurance. My wife just gave me a notice yesterday saying I had a parking ticket that's escalated to this," Gatheright said.

Detroit sends about 1,000 tickets a week to the Secretary of State's Office for unpaid ticket fines and holds. But last week, it sent ten times that number, many dating back to 2006. Some of the tickets were already paid.

It has caused so much confusion that the National Action Network staged a protest outside the city's parking officer demanding action.

"But we also have people getting tickets for broken meters and people getting holds for tickets they already paid and it's unfair and it's not right and the parking department needs to do something about it," said Rev. Charles Williams, president of NAN's Detroit Chapter.


Williams said he has asked the mayor's office to something about the confusion, but the mayor's office told him it is faults in the court system and won't order a moratorium.

A call to the 36th District Court was not answered on Monday.

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