Monday, June 3, 2019

Proposal would cut parking tickets in half for Detroiters, but not for suburbanites

Posted By on Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 10:07 AM

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Detroiters may soon get a break on the city’s steep parking ticket fines — but the reduction won’t apply to suburban residents.

Detroit City Council is holding a public hearing on June 24 to gather input on a proposal to reduce the $45 tickets by half for Detroit residents who pay for the violation within five days. Suburbanites would still pay $45 for parking violations.

The idea is to lower the burden on a city with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

"It continues to be a barrier for Detroit residents, especially low-income residents needing to come downtown and transact business and partake in activities," Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield told The Detroit News. "This will provide some relief."

But some experts question whether the city is legally permitted to create different parking ticket fines based on residence.

Gerald Fisher, an emeritus professor with Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School, cautions that “you can’t treat outsiders and insiders differently on public streets.”

Mayor Mike Duggan supports the proposal.

Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said the city’s law department has no qualms with the ordinance.

"Council members will need to evaluate the risk of equal protection — and other potential challenges — when considering the matter," Garcia told The Detroit News in a statement.

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