I have read the question and answer here: Are parking tickets enforcable

But I would like to know that if a person got a parking ticket in Pennsylvania for a street sweeper violation and didn't know until they got a registered letter from the city.

In that letter, they state that a person can plead not guilty (and send in a bond amount) or guilty. Which leads me to think that it's a criminal offense and not a civil one.

If it's a criminal offense, wouldn't the burden of proof be on the city to prove that a particular person (and not just the owner) did the parking? Or is it really sufficient to serve the person who they think is the owner?

Can they really issue a warrant for arrest if the owner might not have ever set foot in that state before?

If personal service isn't made (as outlined in the above question) then is a parking ticket in PA really enforceable?

What if the owner of the car doesn't live in Pennsylvania and instead lives in Texas? Can they be extradited to PA from TX or placed under arrest somehow?

  • Are you worried only about arrest outside of PA, or (for example) being prohibited from registering a vehicle in the home state?
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 4:53

1 Answer 1


The procedure depends on the local rules. For example, Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, parking offences are civil, not criminal - other governments may be different.

Irrespective of if it is civil or criminal, the burden is on the city. All that is different is the burden: for civil it is the preponderance of the evidence (or balance of probabilities), for criminal it is beyond reasonable doubt.

Under Philadelphia law, anyone driving with the owner's permission is an agent of the owner so serving them is serving the owner. There is an exemption that car rental companies can avail themselves of.

The can take whatever enforcement action the law allows - this may include issuing an arrest warrant.

Serving by post or affixing to the vehicle is legally service.

If there is a valid warrant, they can be extradited from anywhere subject to relevant extradition law - most extradition laws require the crime to be "serious" - parking violations probably aren't.

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