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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Illinois Supreme Court Dismisses Class Action Challenging Parking Ticket Policy

The Illinois Supreme Court recently dismissed a class action lawsuit challenging the City of Chicago's parking ticket citation practice in the downtown central business district (CBD). Pinkston v. City of Chicago

The City of Chicago imposed two different fines for expired parking meters depending on whether a car was parked within or outside its CBD, and fines were larger within the CBD. A driver was given an expired meter ticket with a CBD fine despite being parked further south than the CBD’s southernmost boundary. The driver paid the fine, without contesting the ticket, but then later filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of all who had been ticketed, claimed that the City had a routine practice of issuing tickets (over 30,000 of them) imposing CBD parking fines to cars parked outside the CBD boundaries. The circuit court dismissed the lawsuit and the driver appealed. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court, sending the case back for further proceedings.

The case eventually made its way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which dismissed the case for failure to exhaust administrative remedies because the citations were not challenged through an administrative appeal process before the class action lawsuit was filed. The Court also determined that since the driver did not challenge his own ticket, there was no determination that the driver’s ticket was improperly written, so the driver could not establish his right to represent the class. The Supreme Court rejected the driver's argument that the nature of the lawsuit as a class action exempted it from the "exhaustion of remedies" doctrine. 

Post Authored by Daniel Lev, Ancel Glink


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