I was 2 months late to renewing my license plate this year. I was given a fine (which was more than fair given my mistake), paid it without contesting, and then renewed my plates (with a late fee). The payments for my plate sticker went through and I was able to confirm that my plates were listed in the Secretary of State database as "In Good Standing".
A week later I was still waiting for my sticker to come in the mail but parked my car on a city street. A Chicago officer issued another expired plates violation for my vehicle while I was away and didn't have an opportunity to explain that my plates were now in good standing for atleast the past week and I was merely waiting for the sticker in the mail. I immediately contested this ticket online, providing evidence of my receipt from the Secretary of State's office that I had renewed well before this ticket was issued (and worded it as formally and politely as I could have).
I thought when my situation was reviewed it would be rather open and shut, and the fine would be dropped; however today I received a letter in the mail that a local judge had reviewed my case and determined the violation was still in affect. It then stated I would need to pay additional money in order to open a civil lawsuit to sue the city of Chicago if I wanted to appeal further; otherwise, I would need to pay my fine.
It is my understanding they are probably within their right to press forward on charging me (I believe state law is that even if your plates are in good standing you can be fined for not displaying your sticker within 30 days of the original expiration date); however, I felt my situation would have been more understandable and that I had done my best to renew my plates prior to when this new violation was issued.
In short, I have a 60 dollar fine (not for having expired plates but for not receiving my sticker quickly enough to display). Please let me know if a circuit court in Chicago would be even be willing to see things from my perspective or if I should just hand over more money.
Lastly, If I were to file a civil lawsuit how much would I expect to pay to even try appealing this? Would I effectively be losing more money than if I just paid this fine? I tried to get this answered by calling the circuit court's financial department yesterday but they just transferred me to different branches for over an hour.