Hypothetical question. I was in Madison, Wisconsin last week. I parked in a municipal lot, paid at the automated kiosk, and got a receipt. When I returned, about 20 minutes before the end of the time that I had paid for, I found I had been ticketed for parking at an expired meter. The time stamp on the ticket was five minutes after the time on my receipt, so my assumption is that the data from the meter hadn’t caught up with the people actually doing parking enforcement when they came through.
I followed the appeal process, and included photos of my receipt and the ticket. Within a day, I got an email and PDF letter stating that the ticket had been voided on review. So, happy ending. However, during this process, my brain had been playing a whole series of “what if” scenarios for the appeal being denied. The one I couldn’t come up with an answer for was: Given that I had paid for parking before the ticket was written, would denial of my appeal mean that I could file a claim against the City of Madison and get the money I paid to park refunded? Or, at least, counted as a credit against the expired meter fine?
It’s been 30 years since I lived full-time in Wisconsin, and my knowledge of Wisconsin Statutes is limited, to be generous. From what I was able to look up online, I don’t think that the claim is specifically barred by State statute, and the City of Madison’s website makes it very easy to start the claim process. I did find that for claims against the State, the Claims Board won’t hear a claim for damages of less than ten dollars, but that only applies for claims against the State of Wisconsin itself and not local governments. So, would I have a leg to stand on with this hypothetical claim? Thanks!