Point Beach Nixes Court Appearances for 'After Hours' Tickets
Fine now set at $48 bucks, officials say
District 4 parking plan tickets no longer require a court appearance and now cost $48, according to two Point Beach council members.
The tickets can now be paid by mail or online, only requiring a mandatory court appearance for those pleading not guilty, wrote Point Beach Councilmember Michael Corbally in Patch Comments on Monday.
"Letters will go out this week for folks who have received tickets prior to today," Corbally wrote. "Sorry for the confusion."
Corbally could not be reached to elaborate.
However, Councilmember Kristine Tooker, when reached by telephone on Monday evening, said she, other council members and police officials had received an email on Monday afternoon that the mandatory court appearance had been eliminated.
Municipal Court Administrator Michelle A. Sargent had written an email to Borough Administrator Christine Riehl notifying her that there is no longer a mandatory court appearance.
Tooker said, "This is what we wanted, we had never intended for there to be a mandatory court appearance."
Sargent's email also said the District 4 parking plan ticket is now on the municipal violation fee schedule. That means the District 4 fine, like other parking fines, is now set at $48. Riehl had forwarded the email to the mayor, council and police officials on Monday afternoon.
Until now, there had been no set fee. The amount of the fine was to be determined at court appearances.
Sargent's email also requested that the news be posted on the municipal website, Tooker said.
The parking plan went into effect on June 22, after warnings were issued from June 15 to June 22. The plan calls for no parking from midnight to 6 a.m. on municipal roads in District 4 until Sept. 15, except for local residents, business owners and employees who have parking permit tags hanging from their rear view mirrors.
Parking is free in the Silver Lake parking lot at Arnold and Ocean avenues from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Municipal Attorney Sean Gertner had said at the last council meeting that he anticipated that he and court officials could find a way to eliminate the mandatory court appearance for the District 4 tickets. The ticket was a "court-mandated summons" apparently because it had never been included on the municipal violation fee schedule.
According to Gertner, Municipal Court Judge James Liguori has said the court is not accepting any payment of fines until there is a resolution of lawsuits fighting the parking plan. One such suit was filed by Jenkinson's and Martell's and the other by a group including a local marina, commercial charter fishing boat captains and residents.