Hooniverse Asks- Have You Ever Gotten the Boot?

Scofflaw, and Damn Proud of it.
Scofflaw, and Damn Proud of it.

We all know the drill; you come back to your car an find a narrow strip of paper flapping under one of the wiper arms. It’s a parking ticket, but as it was given to the car, and not to you, there’s an absence of ownership to the fine and you simply shrug it of and stuff the ticket and its pre-addressed envelope into the glovebox, telling the car “tough break” in commiseration.
This goes on with similar results until the ice scraper in the glovebox in inaccessible underneath the stack of unpaid pecuniary obligations which now spill unto the footwell. One day, you return to find not a ticket but a large orange sticker affixed to the windscreen and blocking your view of the road. It says that it is unlawful to move this car, or tamper with the other item that wasn’t there when you left. That item, clamped to your road-side front wheel, is a large metal shackle with  padlock attached. You’ve been Denver Booted.
Now the question isn’t do I just keep ignoring these fines, but is the car even worth what it would cost to get the boot removed? As a walk through any Pick-A-Part will demonstrate, sometimes that answer is no.
This scenario may have never happened to you, but if it has, what did you do? Did you pay the fines? Or did you donate the car to the the local parking authority? By the way, the inventor of the Denver Boot (so called because of its debut in the mile-high city) was violinist Frank Marugg, who played with the Denver Philharmonic. He probably wouldn’t have sympathized with the recipients of his invention, but could, at least, have played the world’s saddest song, on the world’s smallest violin, in their honor.
Invented by musician Frank Marugg, the Denver Boot has been around since 1955
Invented by musician Frank Marugg, the Denver Boot has been around since 1955

Image sources: [3click.tv, theexpiredmeter.com]

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  1. Maymar Avatar

    All but one parking ticket I've gotten was on a car I didn't own – I'm not about to screw over my parents, and rental car companies save themselves from being screwed over.

  2. Tanshanomi Avatar

    See, THIS is one more reason why open-wheel cars rule. It would be really cool to just climb in and take off down the street, with the boot swinging around like a pole vaulter– ka-CHUNK! ka-CHUNK! kaCHUNK!

  3. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Never been booted, just towed.
    When it was said and done, the tow bill was more than my 90-in-a-35 ticket. Something like $350 bill to the towing company and $180 for the "you got towed" impound fine/ticket to the city.
    There's an old Corolla (or Corona?) wagon by me that at first I thought had been booted (and I was afraid was going to be towed), but then I realized the owner just boots it themselves as an anti-theft.

  4. CptSevere Avatar

    Nope, never been booted. But I have barreled. I used to work for a parking company in Salt Lake, managed several lots and garages. When someone pulled a serious bonehead maneuver like driving the wrong way through the exit and breaking the gate arm (instead of going through the entrance and taking a ticket from the spitter), they got a barrel chained to the front suspension by the likes of me. A hundred bucks or the vehicle stays where it is, barreled. Didn't happen very often, and because the barreler had to camp on the vehicle to collect the C-note, we got half. That could really suck, hanging out in a garage while the offender was off doing God knows what, waiting for the dumbass to return. Especially at night in the dead of winter. Fifty bucks wasn't worth it, nor was dealing with an irate idiot.
    Those private parking tickets should be paid. The parking company can get a judgement against you and screw up your credit rating. I wouldn't ignore them. I don't know if the company I worked for ever went that far, but they said they could.

  5. LTDScott Avatar

    I've never seen a car with a boot on it, let alone had it happen to me. I think it may be more of an east coast thing.

  6. engineerd Avatar

    I've seen booted cars and I point and laugh.
    There's a local watering hole I used to frequent with a motley crew of coworkers. Parking around it sucked, especially on Friday nights. Right across the street from it is a bank with a big sign saying that parking is for bank customers only during business hours. How am I supposed to know what business hours are? So, I parked there. Ticket.
    After a few weeks of this, I just figured the cost of the parking ticket was the cost of a really good parking spot. The parking tickets were $35, but if you paid within 2 business days they were half off! It was worth it.

    1. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

      "Right across the street from it is a bank with a big sign saying that parking is for bank customers only during business hours."
      Was it Comerica? ;P

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Yup. This was before the parking lot behind there was paid parking and had a 2-hour limit…and would get filled up by 2pm on a Friday afternoon.

        1. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

          That part of Dearborn has to be the toughest to get parking what with all the restaurants, bars and clubs around. You can easily see all kinds of swanky cars there..especially on weekend nights before Crave.

    2. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Frequently tickets issued on a private lot are not legally binding.
      Worth scrutinizing the paper, as they're made to look very very government issued, but they're actually from "Los Angeles City Parking Security" or something.
      Of course, they do reserve the right to tow you in place to ticketing you.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        These were official City of Dearborn parking tickets. I saw the Parking Enforcement truck in that parking lot more than once. If they were some pseudo-government agency I would have ignored them.

    3. Charles_Barrett Avatar

      Mad_Science is absolutely correct about the towing concerns when parking in a business's lot then trotting down a block or two to your favorite bar. The lot security folks in L.A. don't ticket, they don't boot, they TOW. They have a huge financial incentive.
      Having grown up in SoCal, I have never seen a Denver Boot in the wild; only as a plot device in a TV show or a movie.

  7. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    This makes me itchy to get that overdue parking ticket paid. Lawrence probably has clamps their waiting to use, just because.

  8. joshuman Avatar

    No boot just a kick in the rear. I received a letter in 2009 for an overdue parking ticket in Baltimore issued in 2004 that I didn't know about. The original ticket was $35. I ended up paying around $1100 to clear it. The fine was cheaper than a flight and hotel stay to speak in court. What a corrupt city.

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