$3600 fine for my lawn signs. Any body have experience with that?
I just get 4 fine in same time for my 4 yard sign, each sign $90 for a day, and city say 10 days $900, and four sign.
So now they say I have to pay $3600 ticket for those.
Any idea what can I do? They give to many companies, they was have like another 30-40 tickets. Was every where yard sign in the city and now nothings.
Please give me idea what can I do, how can I get out from this situation. Specially when we entering to winter, business already get slow down. I have two kids and many bills.
Thank you Joshua!
no no, just on regular roads, on the H wire, H stands. I look for local regulations, I couldn’t find anythings (I guess didn’t look well)and many people was doing that. Then city guy come with the police and give me those tickets.
i would just go down the the city building and plead your case with whoever is in charge of this stuff. they’ll probably waive, or at least greatly reduce your fines, as long as you make a big show of promising not to do it again. mention that you tried to find out what the regulations were, but they weren’t easily available.
if that doesn’t work, go to the local news and the paper, explain what the city is trying to do. it’s extortion- $3600 for yard signs is ridiculous. maybe the news will air a story or write an article and put the city official in the “Hall of Shame” or whatever they call it in your town when someone get’s caught being a douchebag. “local father of two gets persecuted by big city officials!”- something like that. maybe they’ll back off then.
This I think you will find most councils have strict regulations on signage, Public signage here you need to apply and pay you fees, you can’t even have a sign out from of your own house without a permit. This information is normally easily obtainable, maybe do a small business management course this will inform you of many of the general cost of running a small business.
I’d be surprised if they accept ignorance as a defense, councils are all about revenue where eve they can get it.
There’s a new law here too with big fines per sign. Can you plead not guilty and the be at the court date and tell the judge you didn’t understand the regulations?
Being a hard working man will go a long way with the judge, he probably has a window cleaner in his house!
Try to plead your case (in a calm business like manner). If they are just unsympathetic to you then as mentioned before go to the TV station. Most all have some sort of consumer help deal. Here where I live Channel 8 has what is called “8 On Your Side.”
Yeah I had the same situation as Chris. We got a call and were warned. We actually met and he showed me where to place them legally. No fines incurred.
Are you new in business? Or is this the first time you’ve used road signs? Those things can help. Let them know you did try to find the regulations, but be honest that you didn’t look as hard as you should and you just copied what you saw the other business doing.
Ask for mercy, and let them know you are a very small business and this fine represents a significant amount of revenue to your company, and that you need it to feed your family through the slow months. Ask if there is anyway to have it waved or reduced? Also note that you will not place road signs any longer. Wording is very important in situations like these. If you don’t feel comfortable you should probably hire an Attorney to help you.
So sorry to hear that that’s a lot if Money gut wrenching . I hope they wave the fine or reduce it . Usually if you go an fight it like Caleb says they will reduce it down significantly . If you do have to pay something ask for time to pay because you are a seasonal worker they should give you that option .
If your going to hire a lawyer make sure you know exactly what he is charging you those guys are crooks also
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^^This is the clincher for me. These ordinances are supposed be in place for the good of the public- to prevent eyesores or visibility hazards. But it’s obvious by their actions that they have no real interest in keeping the roadways clear of distractions- it’s simply a revenue stream for them.
Step 1. go down to the city code enforcement and see if you can get the fine reduced or dropped if you promise not to do it again.
Step 2. if that doesn’t work, go down to the Mayor’s office and request a meeting and tell him your story. You didn’t realize that you were in violation blah, blah, and you want to be a good member of the community and run your business right and can he help you out? Mayors like doing favors and helping out businesses if they can garner favor that way. Hint: you can also mention that you might be willing to do some free work for the city in exchange. Your Mayor is David Martin and he was elected last year and has a business degree so he’s probably understands business and since it’s his first term he might be eager to help. His number is: 203-977-4150
Step 3. if all that fails, get a lawyer. They will probably be able to reach a settlement with the city for a greatly reduced fee or represent you in court. This is my opinion only but: DO NOT GO TO COURT AGAINST THE CITY WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY. Things could get worse and frankly an attorney might only cost you $250 if you shop around. Also you might be able to do a trade out with an attorney for some window cleaning.
Most of all don’t panic, it will probably not be that big of a deal when all is said and done.
I’m glad I read the entire thread before posting, because this is EXACTLY what I was thinking.
If pleading your case doesn’t work, I’d say wait until November and take pics of all the "re-elect Judge So&So."
Then head to the next city council meeting. They open up for comments at the end. (and it’s televised)
That’s when you get all “Nino Brown” on them…
[I]“If [B]I’M[/B] going down, I’m taking a whole lot of you @&#% [B]with me[/B][/I]!”
I’m actually running for a local office this November (Stevens for Calloway County Clerk) and the sign ordinance for political signs is different but still generally prohibits signs in the city right of ways. Next time you see a political sign look to see if it is actually on personal property (in other words more than 5 or 6 feet back from the road) If it is then it’s perfectly legal even where a business sign would not be. Furthermore many cities go around picking up political signs that are in the right-of-way and they throw them away. Believe me at $5 a sign it hurts! Under the law political speech and commerce are treated differently as they should be, so consider that before you group the two together.