Don’t rub it in

I went to the Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office ready for a fight. Fresh from writing stories about pro se litigation, I thought I could handle my run-in with a parking ticket.

Then the clerk showed me a picture that a parking enforcement employee took of my car parked in a loading zone, and I immediately cowered and begged for forgiveness.

Damn. I wish I had brought some legal opinions for my defense.


This is what happens when you park in a loading zone.

OK, it’s not that dramatic.

I was ticketed in October for parking in a zone marked “loading” between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. I was cited at 7:35 a.m., according to the ticket.

I was incensed. How dare they ticket me? I didn’t even know it was a loading zone.

I was going to fight this one to the end. This was, of course, a travesty of justice.

So I made an appointment, which came this morning.

I went in with confidence. After all, I work for a law publication. How could I NOT prevail?

And after about an hour, while I waited in a room of other equally incensed violators (and a pregnant woman that somehow thought it was OK to expose her belly and continuously rub it), my name was called.

This was the big moment. I was representing myself in a negotiation.

The interaction lasted all of five minutes. And when the clerk pulled up the photo and pointed to the “loading zone” sign, I knew I was had.

The clerk said I could contest it in court or just pay now.

So I paid the $35 and am doing my best to move on.

Maybe next time I’ll wear a suit. Or, you know, just not park in a loading zone.

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