CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers are puzzled by letters saying they owe money on years-old tickets in the city of Chicago.
One woman said she just learned of an offense from 20 years ago. She sat down with CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas.
A lot has happened since 1997. That year alone, Tiger Woods became the youngest ever golfer to win the Masters, “The Lion King” debuted on Broadway, and “Titanic” broke the box office.
Marcy Fitzpatrick remembers all that, but not a parking ticket outside her old apartment on Chicago Avenue for $73.23.
“The timing is the problem I have with it,” she said.
A law firm working for the city – Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson – sent Fitzpatrick a letter on Thursday, Aug. 22, telling her to pay up. It said the time for her to contest the ticket has passed.
But Fitzpatrick said at this point, she can’t remember whether she ever even got the chance.
“I definitely got tickets in that area, and I paid some and I fought some where the timing was off and so I shouldn’t have gotten a ticket, but I just don’t have that information anymore,” she said.
So Fitzpatrick did some research and discovered that in Chicago, there is no statute of limitations when it comes to parking tickets. She is now debating whether to try to fight it or just to pay the $73.
Eddie Liao got a letter from the same law firm this month.
“I thought it was a scam,” Liao said.
It wasn’t. The letter said Liao had never paid a speed camera ticket from July 2015, and now he owes $244.
Liao said he might have committed the violation, but the letter is the first he’s hearing of it. He has moved a couple of times since 2015.
“The city of Chicago must be really in need of money,” he said.
A representative of the city’s Department of Finance said she would send CBS 2 some examples of people who disputed old tickets. We are still waiting on that.
CBS 2 is also still waiting on an answer from the city and the law firm about why the letters just went out last month.