LOS ANGELES - http://www.lacity-parking.org/laopm/parkingmeters.htmNow it all makes sense. My meter got reset while in the restaurant. Yet, despite the Mayor's office knowing about this "reset" risk, my letter contesting the ticket, stating the situation in which two city employees told me I could park there. still failed. Does this become an issue of "vicarious liability" (that means if one supervisor for the City of L.A. knows, the City as an entity knows)?
After speaking with the Mayor's office, per the Department of Transportation in Los Angeles, you CANNOT be ticketed at a meter if it reads FAILED; or if it is malfunctioning. (The representative told me that often times notes blow away, thus tickets. Well, the meterbroken tape will not.) If you do receive a ticket, call 877 215 3958; give them the citation number and it will be voided. The Traffic Violation Bureau and any meter maid you might ask will tell you that it is ILLEGAL to park at a broken meter and that this law is stated in the LA Municipal Code Book. However, after reading everything there is to know about meters in the code book, there is simply no law stating this. In Los Angeles, you will get the most conflicting information depending on who you ask. Thus, I called the Mayor’s office. They proceeded to tell me that you may still run the risk of a ticket as often times the meters will "reset" all by themselves. (What?) But, it is not illegal to park at a broken meter in Los Angeles. There is even a broken meter hotline; if you call 311 within the state, you will be connected and they will repeat this information. No one would let me quote them however.
Please note, however, these items ARE in the code book: it is ILLEGAL to re-feed the meter, use someone else’s time and interestingly, ATTACH anything to the meter such as a bike or say, a dog. So here is your warning: if you find a parking ticket stuck to your pooch that you tied to the meter while you were enjoying your mocha, that is why!
By the way, this whole situation about my parking ticket is frustrating and sort of sad, yet really funny in another way. I truly believe Los Angeles can have a very solid parking enforcement policy that treats citizens fairly, yet does not let citizens abuse public parking privileges.