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Oct 29, 2012

The Parking Ticket G'Mach


If you are scratching your head wondering what the picture is of, it was posted on Twitter as being a new "parking meter g'mach" for a certain street in Boro Park. The way it works is, if you should get a parking ticket on that street, you can contact the g'mach and look for a parking receipt (from someone else who donated it), with which you can "prove" that you had paid for parking and thereby challenge the ticket in court.

I should note that civilly this is illegal, and is outright thievery, and halachically as well, as much as I can figure out. I have not yet been able to think of a reason it should be allowed to do this.



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38 comments:

  1. Kupa Shel Vaad Rabbonei Ha'ir Inc.October 29, 2012 12:07 PM

    No problem..just donate half the cost of the ticket to Kupat Ha'ir.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Earn money from homeOctober 29, 2012 12:51 PM

    Ha ha ha. But if they would have just donated to Kupat Ha'ir saying the right incantation, they would have never got the ticket in the first place. The meter maid would have magically passed their triple parked car on 13th Ave. Duh. Doesn't anybody read Kupat Ha'ir's website? Whoops! Was I not supposed to say that? http://www.kupat.org/

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  3. My question is, were they publicizing the gemach, or criticizing it? And does their identity as an internet user make whatever they're in favor of forbidden, and whatever they oppose permitted?

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  4. the tweet I saw was praising it, even using the phrase "mi k'amcha yisrael"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really and truly hope you're kidding. Mi k'amcha yisrael for cheating and acting like thieves? Say it's not so, Joe! No, that doesn't work. Say you're just being daffy, Rafi!

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    2. the people organizing it clearly see themselves as doing a great chessed for fellow yidden. Perhaps they didnt think through the halachic implications, or maybe they dont consider it theft, in some warped way. One thing is for sure, the person who said mi k'amcha yisrael, doesnt consider it cheating and thievery.

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    3. Maybe that's the trouble - instead of thinking through halachic ramifications, a voice should just be going off in their heads screaming "THIS IS CHEATING, THIS IS DISHONEST, WE'RE JEWS, WE DON'T DO THIS KIND OF THING." Or am I being insufficiently frum here in my analysis?

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    4. Baruch I think you're not being "frum" enough. This whole mentality of protecting "us" from the "goyim" is something you don't seem to have an appreciation for.

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    5. The haredim in Boro Park think of non-Jews and the government as being on a lesser scale of relevance. Therefore it doesn't matter what happens to them, and stealing from them isn't any worse than shechting an animal.

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  5. The word "gamach" is often used by hareidim to thinly disguise profitable businesses.

    Does this "gamach" charge clients to supply them with the correct ticket? (If so, presumably at a lower price than the parking fine).

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  6. dont know. wasnt mentioned in the twitter post

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  7. Perhaps the sevora is that this is not a normal tax, but a "gotcha" operation by the city, with them jumping on you after you're one minute late and hitting you with unreasonably-high fines.

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  8. Reminds me of the story with the Berditchever, who looked for, and found evidence, of Jewish smuggling on Pesach, but also looked for and found no evidence of chometz in the possession of Jews. Mi K'amcha Yisrael!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't find it all that horrible, I can't speak for the street in question but over here it is known they love to roam the "Jewish" streets, just for the fun it.

    If there was a way to make it stop I'd encourage it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All that shows is that "Jewish" streets have a higher percentage of illegally parked cars and it's more profitable to look for violators there.
      עבירה גוררת עבירה

      Delete
  10. Pragmatician -

    WHO "loves to roam the "Jewish" streets, just for the fun of it"?

    I assume you mean the meter maids...but I ask you - if you aren't breaking the law in the first place, then you won't get a ticket, right? You can't break the law and then kvetch that you got caught. Even my 6 year old knows that.

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  11. Pragmatician - how would this make that stop? just because some tickets were challenged successfully? I doubt that will stop meter maids from giving tickets.

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  12. Are they using the donated tickets to photoshop? Because I would imagine they have dates written on it...

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly the point. If your parking ticket was written because at 10:03 AM on October 29 you were parked without a valid parking meter receipt, if you can come across one for the same time and date, then you have "proof" that you really did pay for the time. That's what's going on here: making your legitimate receipts available for anyone who needs to prove that they got a ticket underservingly although, of course, these tickets were not undeserved.

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  13. And then, of course, there will be a mega-fundraiser to pay for the legal fees for the morons who are running this once they caught.

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  14. Not knowing anything about the location of this gemach, let me guess that it is inside of a minyan factory shul, where people buy 15, 30 minutes or whatever, while they run in to grab a minyan.

    They wind up coming back 16 or 31 minutes later and find that htey already have a ticket from the agents who roam up and down and up and down waiting to swoop down on whoever is one minute over time.

    This is a money-making grab by the city, with agents specially stationed near these minnyan factories, due to the heavy turnover and the many cars rip fpr the picking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I park at a meter (not generally NYC), I pay for an extra 15 minutes or half hour. The quarter I spend unnecessarily is worth the peace of mind it buys.

      I don't expect the municipality to give me a break because I'm delayed a few minutes past the point of meter expiration.

      Delete
  15. I can understand human nature, of wanting to get out of a bad situation as easily as possible, even if it isn't entirely kosher. People sometimes do that when under stress, or simply when they feel "victimized", even if it is entirely their own fault. While this whole thing bothers me quite a bit, there are two aspects of it that bother me most of all:

    1) The fact that a group of people (a store, a street, a community, etc) have institutionalized fraud so openly, and that such fraud is accepted (and even celebrated to an extent) without any awareness that it is wrong.
    and
    2) That people GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to support this fraud. The people "donating" their parking slips have to perform an affirmative action to perpetrate the fraud. After they return to their car with their purchases, they have to grab the slip and BRING IT BACK to the store to put into the envelope. It appears that they really believe that they are doing good - that it is a real chessed they are doing!

    And that's the saddest part of the whole thing, it's an olam hafuch, where bad becomes good and good becomes bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not that I'm condoning it, but the rip-off is on both sides.

      The city does this as a business -- a big business, $35 for being 5 minutes overtime.

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    2. So put in the extra quarter beforehand to avoid a possible $35 fine. Do the expected value calculation and see if you come out ahead.

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  16. Not that I'm condoning it, but the rip-off is on both sides.

    The city does this as a business -- a big business, $35 for being 5 minutes overtime.

    And it's enforced with a vengeance, with dedicating agents lying in wait.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you add the "but" you are mitigating it and thus to some extent justifying. There is no justification, period. If you exceed the time you pay the fine. ZEHU!

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    2. I'm being melamed zechus.

      Whenever it's happened to me, I paid.

      Let me ask you, though, is there any point at which this becomes, on the part of the City, predatory?

      Another question (and this has happened to me), what do you do when you're getting in to your car and someone asks you for your parking ticket, so that he can avoid paying a fine?

      (I know, mesaye'ah l'oveir aveirah. However, what if EVERYONE does this, all over the city. Should I tell the yid, "Sorry; Dina d'Malchussa for you, my friend.)

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    3. what do you mean by "what if EVERYONE does this, all over the city. "? is it really that common?

      Let me just write what I wrote elsewhere on this topic:

      Nobody is perfect. I know plenty of people, myself included, who make mistakes, do things wrong, and some who even cheat and steal and lie. The difference is they know they are doing something wrong, and do it anyway. They get caught, they accept the consequences.
      These people, in this case of the ticket gmach, have turned it into a mitzva and have glorified their theft.

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    4. Although I don't live in the city, it seems to me that asking others for a receipt, following receipt of a ticket, is pretty common -- especially in ethnic areas (be it Haitian, Spanish, Russian, you name it) where people are not shy about asking a fellow countryman to help them out.

      Again, I have not done this myself, however I can see where the NYC ticket thing is predatory and am asking the oylam here whether there is any point at which it would be considered as such.

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    5. What you're calling "predatory" others call enforcement. If your time doesn't expire, they can enforce all they want to but you won't get a ticket. And no, I wouldn't give that person my ticket.

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  17. Rafi:

    Please post the Twitter link to where this is posted on Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://twitter.com/Hockster69/status/261197877676752896

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  18. All of you hypocrites above, including the blog author, who almost undoubtedly once or more in the past tried lying to a cop or meter maid to weasel out of a parking ticket or moving violation he was about to write you --- or, even more likely, went to court to fight a ticket you were guilty of, and pleaded "Not Guilty" even though you were as guilty as sin -- and lied to the judge claiming innocence (probably with some BS excuse), are guilty of the same aveira as you accuse whoever created this idea discussed above on this page.

    You too are liars. You too broke halacha. You too tried to -- or did -- cheat the government. You too violated dina d'malchusa.

    But don't criticize yourself. Attack the "other" Jew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is well-known that we are all avaryanim. AshamNU, BagadNU, GazalNU, .... all plural.

      I don't know what you mean by "other" Jew? We are criticizing OURSELVES, the Jewish people. We are criticizing turning bad into good and calling it gemillut chassadim.

      The only way to begin to improve is to understand that there's a problem.

      Delete
  19. it might not be the best thing to do, but I cannot see how NOT paying a parking fine, can be classed as genevo

    ReplyDelete
  20. To anonymous above: I am not sure that not paying a fine is halachically considered plain ganeiva, but it is ganeivat da'at as well as sheker to try to pass off someone else's parking receipt as your own.

    And to the person who is very concerned that the government is predatory and making too much money off of parking meters, this still does not give you reshut to lie or cheat. You must put in enough money to cover the time you will be in shul [even if minyan runs overtime] or you run the risk of being fined. Dina d'malchusa dina applies here.

    And just because you know "a lot of people" who do this kind of thing doesn't make it right. Remember, Avraham Avinu was called "HaIvri" because he stood on side of righteousness against everyone else in the world. Our forefathers did what was right, not what they felt like doing for their own personal comfort.

    ReplyDelete
  21. http://www.vosizneias.com/117244/2012/11/14/new-scheme-to-beat-parking-tickets-has-drivers-sharing-muni-meter-receipts

    ReplyDelete

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