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INTRODUCTION 

                I've been a corporate lawyer, a judicial clerk for a judge on the Supreme Court of Israel, a freelance writer, a soldier and even (briefly) a day trader.  But no day job I've ever held has generated as much interest among strangers and friends alike as the one where they used to call me "judge."

                 I worked in the City of New York's Parking Bureau for only six months or so, but during that time I adjudicated thousands of parking tickets, argued with (and learned from) many senior judges, and kept a running record of the funniest and strangest cases that I and my fellow judges came across.

                 I also kept bumping into people who wanted to know how the system "really" worked.  The question was always the same: What was the best way for them to fight their ticket(s)?

                 The result is this book.

                 This is the most comprehensive -- and entertaining -- book about parking tickets that you'll ever find.  It contains information that is simply impossible to obtain if you haven't actually worked as a parking ticket judge. Whether you live in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Melbourne or Tokyo, you have fire hydrants, handicapped zones and signs telling you where not to park. And although each city has its own way of settling tickets (and this book will concentrate on New York), what they all have in common is that every city has judges who decide whether to believe your case. And now, finally, you have a guide that will allow you to get into the head of the judge deciding on your ticket.

                 Every day, judges see and hear the same excuses from people looking to get out of their tickets. And every day many of those pleas get pushed aside with about the same level of attention as you would devote to plucking off a stray hair that falls on your jacket. If for no other reason than that, you need to read this book. It’s simply too frustrating to spend hours waiting to see a judge, with all the headaches that come with that, only to give him an excuse that never had any chance of flying.

                 And this is doubly true if you actually had a valid defense that would have worked – if only you knew about it. In fact, you might be surprised at all the defenses that could work for you. There are defenses based on the law which many people – including many traffic cops – simply get wrong. Or aren’t aware of. There are technical defects that are not obvious or well known, but are well worth searching for. And there are tickets that are perfectly valid but are still worth fighting, if only for the possibility of a reduction in the fine. For all of these tickets, knowledge of what has – and hasn’t – worked in the past is real power.

                 In New York City, over ten million parking tickets are issued every single year. Fines have been going up and cops have been getting quicker at their game. The result has been that millions of tickets are getting adjudicated by the Parking Bureau’s judges – often at a lightning rate. Your defense, whether you go to a live hearing or submit it by mail or internet, has approximately one minute to sway the judge (the other few minutes are taken up by the judge writing out the verdict in the format prescribed by the Bureau). Make that minute count. Read this book thoroughly and take note of any defenses that could apply to you. Listen to my advice about how to defend your ticket; there are times when mailing in your defense will suit you best and times when you must go to a live hearing to have a chance of winning. Perk your ears up when I mention an obscure law or rule that could mean the difference between being found guilty or innocent.

                 And, finally, enjoy the read. I’ve tried to include not just information but amusing stories too. Excuses that were simply wild and letters so outrageous that they are not to be believed. This is, after all, New York. And in New York, even fighting a parking ticket can be fun.