The right to appeal a parking ticket is outlined in California Vehicle Code section 40215. The appeal process is designed to address citations that were issued in error or when the dismissal of a citation is in the interest of justice. A citation appeal form must be filled out in all cases. We cannot “take tickets back” or void them in the field, even if the citation was issued in error.
Please review the ten reasons that citations will not be dismissed. If you are appealing for one of these reasons, carefully review the parking regulations to avoid future citations.
Parking fines must be paid or an appeal must be filed within 21 days of the issuance of a citation or 14 days of the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation. Failure to pay or appeal a citation within 21 days will lead to an increase in the fine by $20 and your vehicle registration will be held by the DMV.
First Level Appeal
The first level appeal form is entitled Parking Citation Appeal. Appeals may be filed online using the Online Parking Services portal. If you prefer to file a written appeal, forms may be downloaded from the department forms web site or may be picked up in person at Police & Parking Services in Verdot Village. This form must be submitted within 21 calendar days from the date of the ticket or 10 days after the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking violation to receive consideration.
The hearing officer will consider only the information contained on your written appeal. Be thorough and detailed regarding the circumstances of your violation and why you feel the citation should be dismissed. Feel free to attach additional sheets with information as necessary. If you have a parking decal or other permit, or if your citation involves the use of a California Disabled Placard, please include the number or a copy of these items. Failure to supply necessary documentation or the exclusion of relevant facts may lead to the denial of your appeal.
Police & Parking Services will only consider appeals filed by the driver of the vehicle or the registered owner. Appeals are considered in the order they are received. You will notified by e-mail or mail of the result. It will typically take four to six weeks, however, during peak times (the beginning of a semester, for example), appeals may take longer. Do not pay your fine until you have received the result of your hearing.
Second Level Appeal (Administrative Hearing)
If you are not satisfied with the results of the first level appeal, you may pursue the matter with an Administrative Hearing. This hearing is conducted by an SSU staff member who is not directly affiliated with Police & Parking Services. The request form may be picked up at Police & Parking Services or online by following the links at the end of this page.
You must file a Request for Administrative Hearing form within 21 days of the mailing of the results of your first level appeal. YOU MUST INCLUDE A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER FOR PAYMENT OF THE CITATION WITH YOUR REQUEST. Requests received without payment will not be considered unless the appellant provides satisfactory proof of inability to pay.
You will receive notice by mail of your in-person hearing date, if requested. If you requested a hearing in writing, you will be notified by mail of the result. If the appeal is denied, your check will be cashed.
Third Level Appeal (Judicial Hearing)
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Administrative Hearing, you may further appeal your case to the Sonoma County Superior Court Civil Division. You must file within 30 days of your Administrative Hearing (per 40230 CVC). The court will charge a fee to file the case. You are responsible for all court fees until the case is heard. If you are successful in your appeal, SSU must refund your court filing fees and the cost of the parking citation.
If you do not file your claim with the court within the required 30 day period, the outcome of your Administrative Hearing is final. Additionally, any decision by the court is final.