July 7, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Settlement Negotiations Ended In Parking Ticket Lawsuit:

An attorney representing plaintiffs against Santa Monica was reportedly informed by City Hall that negotiations to settle a case involving thousands of parking tickets have been ceased, according to a statement.

Attorney Eric Benink, who represents Stanley and Harriet Epstein, among others, stated he was advised by Deputy City Attorney Jeanette Schachtner on June 22 that the city council was to be advised at its next meeting that “the City and ACS/Xerox are ending settlement negotiations of the case concerning violations of California statutes governing parking enforcement.”

The settlement negotiations stemmed from a class action lawsuit brought against City Hall by the Epsteins as part of a disputed parking ticket. Harriet Epstein challenged the validity of a parking ticket last year and followed standard procedure in her contest. However, she alleged that the City’s Parking Violations Bureau (PVB) upheld the violation but failed to state why.

Under the California Vehicle Code, she contends, the PVB was required to explain its reasons when denying a challenge. The Epsteins allege they were not given any explanations as to why the challenged parking ticket was deemed valid – an inaction the plaintiffs claim is contrary to state law.

The Epsteins apparently are not alone in the PVB’s alleged failure to site any reasons to challengers why their respective parking tickets are deemed valid.

“There are 20,000 motorists … who are also denied their statutory rights by the city’s handling of their parking tickets. And the number grows daily because the city continues to send out illegal form letters,” Harriet Epstein told council members on June 26. “We have no qualms in going to trial since the state law is so clear. We are confident we will win and the court will award no less than what is in the negotiated settlement.”

She also added that by City Hall pulling out of settlement negotiations, Santa Monica has exposed itself to a court appearance and, the Epsteins believe, a very large economic cost.

“The judge could order Santa Monica to refund the affected motorists full fines. Then the city will be looking at a $1.2 million-plus bill and perhaps be required to pay a monitor to oversee its actions,” Harriet Epstein said on Tuesday night in council chambers.

Interestingly enough, City Hall had previously announced a resolution in this case. According to a statement released by the plaintiffs, “City Attorney Marsha Moutrie and City Manager Rod Gould told Council, residents and the media that a full settlement had been reached and the Epsteins would reap a windfall of $75,000 less a legal fee.”

That was on Feb. 28, the statement said, further adding that the statements by Moutrie and Gould “were deliberate lies” that were “later retracted.”

Both the Epsteins and Benink stated that council members would be advised during closed session at its June 26 meeting that settlement negotiations have ended.

“The City’s withdrawal from settlement talks now mean the case will go towards a court hearing and decision in November,” a statement from the plaintiffs said. “Instead of admitting that it has made mistakes in handling parking tickets, and making appropriate amends to affected motorists as provided in the proposed settlement agreement, the City has wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money.”

The Epsteins and Benink added that about four weeks ago, “the City submitted a redraft of the agreement to give legal protection to more than 20,000 motorists, doubling the original number of those affected by its actions.

“The reason for the change was that a citizen recently came forward to advise that although the City had claimed it had changed its notices as of May 2011 ‘as a public service’ in the wake of the Epsteins’ lawsuit,” the statement continued.

in News
Related Posts

Newsom Signs Sen. Ben Allen’s Pollution Bill That Places Recycling Costs on Producers Rather Than Municipalities

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Senate Bill 54 calls on the producers of specific materials to form a Producer Responsibility Organization  By Sam Catanzaro California...

LA City Council Approves Emblem Program to Identify Legal Cannabis Business

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Placards will serve as notice to the public and enforcement agencies that the business is licensed Last week, Los Angeles...

VP Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica Fire Station

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Vice President and husband Doug Emhoff stop by Santa Monica Fire Station #2 on Monday By Sam Catanzaro Vice President...

City Council Approves Permanent Parklet Program For Local Businesses: Santa Monica Beat – July 4th, 2022

July 5, 2022

July 5, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Sony Calls For ‘respect’ After Gaming Developers Receive Online Bullying * City Council...

Landscaping 50 Percent Complete for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon

July 3, 2022

July 3, 2022

Officials provide update for park under construction By Dolores Quintana A recent update from the City of Los Angeles’ Department...

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth Sell Malibu Home for $29 Million

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

Malibu Colony home sold to unknown buyer in private sale By Dolores Quintana John McEnroe, a retired former tennis star,...

SMa.r.t. Column: A Tale of Two Cities

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, while the jurisdictions...

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ballot Measure That Would Increase Hotel Bed Tax

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Santa Monica’s bed tax has been raised since 2004 By Dolores Quintana In a vote on June 28, the Santa...

PETA Attempts to Stop the Beach Club From Holding Annual Fireworks Display

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Prepares for SMASH/Muir Campus Mold Removal

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Exact costs for repairs still unknown By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro  It is unknown exactly how much the total...

Watering Restrictions for Santa Monica Residents Take Effect Soon

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

New restrictions will go into effect on July 5, limiting watering to twice a week By Sam Catanzaro New restrictions...

Daily Harvest Recalls Meal Kits Handed out at Venice Event Following 470 Cases of Mysterious Illness

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Direct-to-consumer meal kit company under fire for handling of outbreak tied to lentil and leek meal kit By Sam Catanzaro...

Central Coast Brewery Makes Westside Acquisitions

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Figueroa Mountain Brewing acquires Broxton Brewery, The Stalking Horse and more. Staff, current beer taps to remain on board at...

Mexican Restaurant Possibly Expanding Into Former Swingers Space

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Bar Hermanito applies for an alcohol exemption sales permit for space at 802 Broadway in Santa Monica By Dolores Quintana...

Six Family-Fun Westside Fourth of July Events

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Fireworks, parades, runs and more taking place across the Westside  By Ashley Sloan  Pacific Palisades  The Pacific Palisades will be...