My car was towed in Seattle for an alleged parking violation. I paid $350 to get it back and then went to court and had the violation dismissed. The police officer who wrote the ticket and called for the tow did not show up for the court hearing, there was no evidence of a violation, and I testified that I was careful to park legally (and indeed I was conscious of the "No Parking" sign referring to one spot about 50 feet away from where I parked). So, I believe the officer made some mistake.
Now, I'd rather not sue the government to get my $350 back (you could simply say that I prefer not to have tax-payers, including myself, pay for it), so intend to serve and sue the officer directly. I know where to find him and actually will first give him a demand note to pay me the $350, but I assume that note will get me nothing.
So, what's the most likely result of my approach? Is there precedent for taking an officer to court for a small claims case like this? Am I likely to have the case dismissed and be forced to refile against SPD?
(Please don't let this distract from my question, but my philosophy is that people hide behind groups/governments/companies too often, and I'd like to push society to take more personal responsibility for their own actions. I have no problem with the police, my problem is that one guy made a very careless mistake. I feel like he won't see the consequences for his actions if I make my case against the entire SPD. Whether it's to reduce taxes or to push my philosophy, I know I'm struggling here just for a Pyrrhic victory...so I'm 99% sure I will simply abandon this and sue SPD in the end.)