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Livingston County couple in long-distance battle over parking ticket

WHECTV
Created: November 15, 2019 07:48 AM

DANSVILLE, N.Y. (WHEC) — A local deputy and his wife are in a long-distance battle with the City of Buffalo that has cost them their car.

It's all over a parking ticket that Jim and Jody Bennett say they aren't paying for.

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The whole saga has been going on for half a year now. At the start of the summer, a couple from Livingston County got a letter from the City of Buffalo.

It was a notification of an unpaid parking ticket that had been issued in May, which they thought was odd because they weren't even in New York state at the time. 

On top of that, the couple says their car had been locked in a garage to which no one had access.

The ticket was for an expired registration even though the Bennetts had leased their vehicle — brand new — just two months before the ticket was issued.

They thought it was a simple mistake and called the City of Buffalo Parking Violation's Bureau. The Bennetts asked for details of what was on the original paper ticket, including make, model, and color. Jim says they didn't have that info on hand.

The Bennetts then skipped a chance to fight this in court at a hearing in June because Jim says he had work.

"Why should I drive two hours to Buffalo when I wasn’t guilty in the first place?” 

The Bennetts also got an attorney, and the ticket does identify the VIN and make of the car.

The NBC affiliate in Buffalo went to the same street around the same time the ticket was issued. They found a sedan, tags nearly identical to the Bennett's vehicle except for the first letter — it was a "G" instead of a "J."

The Bennetts eventually got another letter saying the $40 fine had been upped to $85, plus a $10 surcharge. The city also notified the DMV to have their registration suspended, which happened on Oct. 30.

The couple says they want the ticket tossed, fines waived, and an apology.

City officials say the ticket stands because the couple did not go to their hearing to appeal.


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