If you get a parking ticket you can beat it in most cases, but it does take time and work. The exact procedure is spelled out in Vehicle Code 40215(a) and (b) and 40230 (a).
For those who prefer the executive summary:
- Notify the issuing agency that you are requesting an initial review of the ticket. You must do this within 21 calendar days from the issuance of a notice of parking violation or 14 calendar days from the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation.
- If you are dissatisfied with the results of the initial review, you may request an administrative hearing of the violation no later than 21 calendar days following the mailing of the results of the issuing agency's initial review.
- Within 30 calendar days after the mailing or personal delivery of the final decision from the administrative review, you may file an appeal to be heard by the superior court. This will require a court fee (currently $25).
If you end up in court, move for a default judgement in your favor since there is no attorney present for the issuing agency.
The judge may say that the issuing agency does not need an attorney present. Ask if that ruling is based on People v Carlucci?
Point out that Carlucci only applies to prosecuting attorneys in infractions, not defense attorneys in civil cases. A hearing on a parking ticket is a limited civil case per Vehicle Code 40230(a). Your motion to dismiss the ticket is an uncontested motion in a civil case.
When you win the issuing agency has to refund your fine plus the court fee. The court fee actually comes out of their budget.