Ruling Revives Challenge To Chicago's Ticketing Fines, Fees

CHICAGO (AP) — An appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit accusing the city of Chicago of overcharging fees and fines for resident vehicle stickers and parking violations.

The suit now goes back to Cook County Court. A county judge previously dismissed the case, which argued that the city routinely exceeded a $250 limit set by state law.

“The current mayor has admitted that the city is addicted to ticketing revenue, and that they use tickets to bolster their budget,” attorney Jacie Zolna told the Chicago Tribune. “The problem is that it’s at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens.”

A city spokeswoman said its attorneys are reviewing the appellate court's decision.

Kyle Garchar, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was thrilled by the decision. Garchar said after receiving several city sticker tickets in 2017 and 2018, he was unable to keep driving for ride-hailing companies and earn money to pay the city.

“It was honestly a constant, crippling burden that would weigh on me,” Garchar said Friday. “It’s hard to put into the words the feeling of not being able to get out of paying this stupid ticket.”

Zolnar hopes the decision will lead to a class-action lawsuit that could mean refunds for “millions” of people.