Judiciary informs city of parking fine hearings

December 27, 2010

In his Dec. 17 article, "Parking agents are no-shows," Peter Hermann informs his readers about a day in Baltimore City District Court, at the Patapsco Avenue location, when 75 parking tickets were dismissed because the parking agents did not appear in court.

The mandate of the District Court of Maryland, a part of the Maryland Judiciary, is to adjudicate disputes, in a process providing equal and exact justice for all of the litigants; it does not and should not favor one litigant over another, even when one of them is a government entity.

There is, however, in the case of parking citation adjudication, some concession to the city of Baltimore. It is an electronic pilot program by which the District Court of Maryland notifies the city's parking and fines agency of the dates when the court is operational and when the docket for parking citations is scheduled. Once notified, parking and fines has the responsibility for notifying its parking agents. If a parking agent fails to appear in court and there is not enough other evidence to convict, the judge may, and ordinarily should, dismiss that case.

That is consistent with the sworn obligation of the judges of the court to ensure that every case is adjudicated expeditiously, courteously, according to law, and without favoritism for any party.

John R. Hargrove Jr., Baltimore

The writer is Baltimore's district administrative judge.

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