Man Sues City, Says Parking Tickets Weren’t For Him

CHICAGO (CBS) — A west suburban man has filed suit against the City of Chicago because he was sent parking ticket notices when he hadn’t even been in the city.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Paul Kozlowski received notices of two city parking violations last March.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The suit claims Kozlowski received a ticket in the mail in March 2010 that alleged his car blocked a driveway or fire lane at 6:55 p.m. March 9, 2010, at 1500 N. Kildare Ave., but his car was at his Clarendon Hills home when the citation was issued.

Kozlowski claims he received a second ticket claiming he illegally parked or blocked an alley at 2434 N. Luna Ave. at 5:42 p.m. March 27, 2010, but his car was in Lake Geneva, Wis., when the citation was issued.

The two tickets, worth $300, were eventually dismissed, according to the lawsuit.

Kozlowski says he was “stunned” by the violation notice, and he says Clarendon Hills police eventually reached out to Chicago Police to clear up the matter.

He says while it appears that two different officers wrote the parking tickets, it appears they were written from the same ticket book.

The suit claims the officers who wrote the tickets, Chicago Police Officers Crystal Rucker and Jerry Knickrehm, acted maliciously and with a conscious disregard and deliberate indifference to Kozlowski’s rights.

The police Internal Affairs Department conducted an investigation, but results were never shared with Kozlowski, the suit said.

The five-count suit is seeking judgment against the City of Chicago and the two police officers, plus the cost of the suit.

Kozlowski calls what happened to him, “unbelievable”, and he says he wants, through his lawsuit, to help prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else.

A representative of the city’s Department of Law was not immediately available for comment.

  • Lynn

    The same thing happened to me many years ago. I live in Elmhurst and owned a JEEP at the time. The info on the ticket identified the errant car as a CHEVY illegally parked on the north side of Chicago. Only the license plate was correct.

    A great deal of paperwork was generated to straighten out the confusion.

    I was told by a suburban policeman friend that this happens all the time.

  • Z.Nogal

    I got a ticket even before my car was made! City dismissed case but the cop is propably still working for the city.

  • Anon

    Same things happened to me and I think I know how. The traffic directors during rush hour have ticket books on them. If you so much as look at them wrong, they want to ticket you. But since you’re driving away, they can’t issue the ticket. Instead, they jot down your license, and guess what…you get a nice little surprise in the mail a few weeks later for a parking violation on a street you’ve never even heard of. Typical malfeasance on a City of Chicago employee.

  • francisco

    Kozlowski congratulation that you are defending your rights, I hope more people come out with more complains against those ticket writers , to me are not welcome .

  • mike

    Good Luck Mr Kozlowski! I am SO glad I no longer live in Chicago! I do 99.9% of my shopping ,dining,business in the SUBURBS. Chicago IS a wonderful town though,… by complete nit-wits.

  • South Side

    Sheez Mr. Kozlowski, it was a mistake, probably one digit wrong on the plate or something. They dropped the tickets, let it go instead of tying up the courts and wasting taxpayer dollars.

  • anon

    the law suit will accomplish what?

    • John R.

      Cost you and me money.

      • D.O

        OR… maybe they will be more cafeful in the future. This same thing happened to my wife. It costs us time and money to straighten it out too. Its silly.

    • mike

      Exactly!!!!!! It was a mistake which was cleared up. Move on with your life. Mistakes happen its part if life. Your lawsuit is frivolous and your just looking for a pay day. This country is so sue happy!!! Our grandparents must be thrilled with what’s happening to this country.

  • J. Varno

    Except this is further malfeasence by the city of Chicago. Several years ago, they got in trouble because they had a bunch of old tickets that they hit up the Sec of State’s office for current plate holders. They ended up being barred from suspending licenses for parking violations because of the practice. People downstate who had never been to Chicago were getting tickets in Chicago for cars they never owned.

  • Dan

    Corruption. Higher-ups must tell those peons to write tickets willy-nilly. Their motto must be “at any cost.”

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