Parking In Xenia

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MEDIA RELEASE


City of Xenia De-Criminalizes Parking Tickets While Extending Parking Hours and Modifying Regulations

The City of Xenia will de-criminalize parking tickets and adjust parking fee violations throughout the City while introducing extended parking hours in the downtown area beginning in 2019. The new changes are part of City Ordinance 2018-31, which also created a Parking Violations Bureau in the Police Division for the enforcement and administrative oversight of parking regulations throughout the City. The Parking Violations Bureau will be housed in the Justice Center, 101 N. Detroit Street, which is home to the Xenia Police Division, Xenia Municipal Court, and the Xenia Law Department.

Under Ohio law, all parking violations must either be criminal or non-criminal. If criminal, the parking ticket is processed through Municipal Court, court costs are owed, a court appearance may be required, and such information would appear in any criminal record search. Instead, the City of Xenia chose to make parking tickets non-criminal, as permitted under Chapter 4521 of the Ohio Revised Code, which the City believes will be an easier process for both the public and the City's new Parking Violations Bureau.

While creating a new civil process for parking tickets will make it easier for the public to pay or contest a parking ticket, the new rules and regulations will simultaneously allow more free parking time downtown at City parking lots and available on-street parking spaces. Specifically, parking limit times will adjust from a maximum of two hours to a new time limit of three hours. This is expected to help small businesses who have presented concerns to the City that the present City parking times are insufficient. 

According to City Manager Brent Merriman, "we found that citizens visiting our downtown enjoyed parking at many of our five municipal lots and three shared lots, as well as utilizing the available on-street parking, but actually thought that more time for free parking would be optimal. In order to take that under consideration, it was prudent for us to also look at our parking regulations comprehensively, therefore we reviewed and amended many rules, regulations, and fees associated with violations to afford more accountability overall."

Considering the change to a civil process for parking violations may be new to many, the City of Xenia is attempting to properly inform citizens of the new rules and regulations via traditional and non-traditional mediums. An aggressive "Frequently Asked Questions" campaign to inform citizens prior to the effective date of the new parking changes will kick-off in advance of the changes. Information will be posted on the City's website, eXploreXenia.com as well as via signage throughout the City and via the City's social media platforms.

The website and handout material will highlight the comprehensive changes to the City's parking regulations. Most concerns will center on what citizens can do if they receive a parking ticket. The most common questions anticipated is what to do in case of a ticket. Under the new City ordinance, a person has thirty (30) days to answer the charged parking violation in one of three ways:

  1. Admit the parking violation by paying the $20.00 fine. Payments can be made in person, by mail, phone, or online to the City's Utility Billing Department, 107 E. Main Street. If a person pays by check or credit card, the ticket number should be noted on the payment or a copy of the ticket should be sent with payment.
  2. Admit the parking violation, but ask for a waiver or a reduction of the fine. Any request for a waiver or reduction must be in writing and should include an explanation of the circumstances behind the request. The request should be sent to the Police Division's Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street. A request or waiver of the fine may be submitted if:
    • The vehicle was temporarily disabled;
    • A metered parking space meter was defective;
    • A vehicle was parked due to a medical emergency;
    • A person is a government employee in an official government vehicle and was on official business at the time of the violation; or 
    • A person was cited for illegally parking in a handicap parking space, but has proof that at the time of the violation, there was a valid windshield placard or valid special handicapped license plates or valid parking card but neglected to display the placard, plates or card as required (In such cases the fine may be reduced but not waived).
  3. Deny the parking violation and request a hearing. The denial and hearing request must be in writing and should be sent to the Police Division's Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street. The Bureau will schedule a hearing in front of the Hearing Examiner, and will mail notice of the date, time and location of the hearing. 

If a person fails to answer the parking ticket in one of the three (3) ways allowed under law within 30 days, an additional $20 will be charged. The Parking Violations Bureau will send a written Notice of Violation to the vehicle owner. If a person fails to answer the Notice of Violation within 30 days, an additional $25 penalty will be charged, and a default civil judgement for the parking ticket fine and the additional $45 in penalties will be entered. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What's Changed?

Under Ohio law, all parking violations must be either criminal or noncriminal. If a city chooses to make its parking violations criminal, all tickets are processed through court. This means a simple parking violation may require a court appearance and will appear in any criminal record search. Ohio law provides a system, whereby a city can make its parking violations noncriminal in nature. The City of Xenia has chosen to make any parking violations that occur within the City noncriminal, thereby making parking violations civil in nature. 

What do I do if I get a Parking Ticket?

Under the new City ordinance, if you receive a parking ticket, you have thirty days in which to answer the violation. You can answer in on of three ways:

  1. Admit the parking violation by paying the fine. Payments can be made in person, by mail, by phone, or online to the City's Utility Billing Department, 107 E. Main Street. If you pay by check or credit card, please note your ticket number on the payment or send a copy of your ticket with your payment.
  2. Admit the parking violation, but ask for a waiver or a reduction in the fine. Any request for a waiver or reduction must be in writing and should include an explanation of the circumstances behind your request. Your request should be sent to the Police Division's Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street. You can request a waiver or reduction in the parking fine because:
    • Your vehicle was temporarily disabled;
    • You parked in a metered parking space and the meter was defective;
    • You parked due to a medical emergency;
    • You are a government employee in an official government vehicle and were on official government business at the time of the violation; or
    • You were cited for illegally parking in a handicap parking space, but you have proof that at the time of the violation, you had a valid windshield placard or valid special handicapped license plates or a valid parking card but you neglected to displace the placard, plates, or card as required (In such cases your fine may be reduced, but cannot be waived).
  3. Deny the parking violation and request a hearing. Your denial and hearing request must be in writing and should be sent to the Police Division's Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street. The Bureau will schedule a hearing in front of the Hearing Examiner, and will mail you notice of the date, time and location of the hearing.

What happens if I don't answer the Parking Ticket within 30 days?

If you fail to answer the parking ticket in one of the three ways allowed under law within 30 days, you will be charged an additional $20 penalty. The Parking Violations Bureau will send you a written Notice of Violation, which you must answer within 30 days.

What happens if I don't answer the Notice of Violation within 30 days?

If you also fail to answer the Notice of Violation within 30 days, then an additional $25 penalty will be charged to you, and a default civil judgement for the parking ticket fine and the additional $45 in penalties will be entered against you. This civil judgement will be filed with the Court and could appear on a credit check or background check.

If I denied the Parking Ticket violation and requested a hearing, do I have to be at the hearing?

If you requested a hearing, you do not have to attend if you submit documentary evidence to the Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street, at least one business day prior to the scheduled hearing. The Hearing Examiner will render a decision based on the written documentation you submit. If you do not submit such written evidence at least one business day prior to your scheduled hearing, you must appear at the hearing. Failure to appear when required may result in an additional penalty of up to $100. In addition, the Hearing Examiner may enter a default civil judgement against you. This civil judgement will be filed with the Court and could appear on a credit check or background check.

What are the possible outcomes of a hearing?

If the Hearing Examiner finds you not guilty of having committed the parking violation, the fine is extinguished and you do not need to take any further action. You will receive a written copy of the Hearing Examiner's Judgement Entry. If the Hearing Examiner finds you guilty of having committed the parking violation,he or she may assess up to $100 penalty in addition to parking ticket fine. You will receive a written copy of the Hearing Examiner's Judgement Entry, and have 10 days from the date of the Judgement Entry to pay the fine and penalty. 

If I am found guilty of having committed the parking violation at the hearing and receive a Judgement Entry, what happens if I don't pay the amount indicated within 10 days?

If you fail to pay the fine and penalties due within 10 days of the date the Judgement Entry, an additional penalty of $25 will be applied. The Judgement Entry acts as a civil judgement and it will be filed with the Court and could appear on a credit check or background check. If the Judgement Entry is for a handicap parking violation, the Entry will be filed with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and a Registration Renewal Block will be placed on your vehicle until the judgement is paid. 

If I request a waiver or reduction in the Parking Ticket fine and my request is denied, can I then deny the Parking Ticket?

No. Under law, a request for a waiver or reduction in the fine is an admission that you committed the parking violation. You may not then try and deny it. 

How will I know if my request for a waiver or reduction has been granted?

You will receive a written decision within 30 days of filing your request. If your find has been waived, you do not need to take any further action. If your fine has been reduced or your request denied, you will have ten days from the date you receive the decision to pay the fine or the reduced fine, as directed by the decision. Once you make your payment, no further action is required on your part. 

What happens if my request for waiver or reduction is denied, or if my fine is reduced, but I don't make the required payment within 10 days?

If your request for a waiver or reduction in the fine is denied, or if your request for a reduction is granted, you will have 10 days from receiving the written Decision to pay the amount indicated in the decision. If you fail to make the required payment within the 10 days, an additional $20 penalty will be charged against you and a Judgement will be entered against you.

If I receive a Judgement Entry or a Default Judgement Entry, what happens if I don't pay it?

If you receive a Judgement Entry as a result of not paying your fine after your request for a waiver or reduction was denied, or as a result of being found guilty of committing the parking violation at a hearing, you have 10 days from the date of the Entry to pay the amount due in fines and penalties. Likewise, if you receive a Default Judgement Entry as a result of not answering the Parking Ticket or as a result of failing to appear at a hearing you requested, you have 10 days from the date of Entry to pay the amount due in fines and penalties. In either case, if you do not make the required payment within 10 days, an additional $25 penalty will be entered against you and the judgement will be filed with the Court as a civil judgement and could appear on a credit check or background check.

What if I own the car that got the Parking Ticket, but wasn't the one operating it at the time of the parking violation?

Under Ohio law, both the owner and the operator of ta vehicle are jointly liable for a parking violation except where the owner can prove that at the time of the parking violation, 1) the vehicle was being operated without the owner's permission or 2) that the owner is in the business of renting or leasing vehicles and submits evidence showing that the vehicle was being leased or rented to the operator pursuant to a written agreement.

What is a Registration Renewal Block?

If you receive a Judgement Entry for an unpaid handicap parking violation or if you have 3 or more unpaid judgements, the Parking Violations Bureau may submit those judgements to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a Registration Renewal Block. A Registration Renewal Block prevents you from renewing the registration on your vehicle or transferring the registration on your vehicle until the outstanding judgements are paid. Upon payment of the outstanding judgements, you must get a Release from the Parking Violations Bureau, 101 N. Detroit Street, and pay a $5 State Processing Fee.