$600 Car Racks Up $100,000 in Tickets
CHICAGO (CN) - A woman's ex-boyfriend abandoned a car titled in her name at O'Hare Airport, which racked up $100,000 in parking tickets over 3 years, putting her name at the top of Chicago's "Top 100 Scofflaw List," the woman claims in court.
Jennifer Fitzgerald sued Chicago, United Air Lines and Brandon Preveau in Cook County Court.
Fitzgerald and Preveau dated for 3 years before they broke up in 2009 and Preveau married someone else, according to the complaint.
During their relationship, "Brandon purchased a purple 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo automobile from Jennifer's uncle Patrick Fitzgerald," the complaint states.
"Brandon used his 2007 income tax refund to pay Patrick $600 for the automobile. ...
"For reasons unrecalled by Patrick, however, Patrick signed the title to the automobile over to Jennifer."
Fitzgerald says her ex was the primary driver of the vehicle, paid for the insurance and city sticker, and drove it to work every day at O'Hare, where he worked for United Airlines.
"United is a lessee of licensee of the City at O'Hare Airport of all or part of a secure employee parking lot for its employees to park their vehicles," Fitzgerald says.
"On or before November 17, 2009, Brandon drove the automobile into the parking lot and never drove it out again.
"Brandon abandoned the automobile in the parking lot of or before November 17, 2009.
"Jennifer did not know on or before November 17, 2009, that Brandon abandoned the automobile in the parking lot.
"Beginning on November 17, 2009, and continuing to the present, the City's Airport Police issued parking tickets to the automobile."
Fitzgerald says police ticketed the car as an abandoned vehicle, a hazardous dilapidated vehicle, for improperly tinted windows, no city sticker, expired plates, cracked windows and broken headlights.
"Nevertheless, even though the City and United knew the automobile was abandoned, hazardous, dilapidated, and in the parking lot for over 30 days, the City and United did not tow the automobile out of the parking lot and junk it.
"Instead, the City, acting through its airport police, ticketed the automobile for being abandoned, hazardous, dilapidated and in the parking lot for over 30 days on 11/26/09, 11/29/09, 12/17/09, 12/25/09, 1/12/10, 1/30/10, 2/3/10, 2/7/10, 2/9/10, 2/15/10, 2/21/10, 3/7/10 ... et cetera, ad nauseam, to the present," according to the complaint.
Fitzgerald adds that "on occasions too numerous to list, and exact dates unrecalled, Jennifer and members of Jennifer's family have asked Brandon to move the automobile out of the parking lot.
"Despite all of these requests, Brandon has not moved the automobile, and, upon information and belief, the automobile remains in the parking lot to this day.
"Jennifer herself could not and cannot move the automobile because: (1) it is in a secure parking lot to which she is denied access, and (2) she does not have keys to the car."
She claims that "despite the fact that the automobile is worth less than $600, the city has issued over $100,000 in parking tickets on the vehicle since November of 2009.
"On October 13, 2011, Jennifer was informed by the collection attorneys for the city that her name was placed on the city's Department of Revenue's 'Top 100 Scofflaw List,' and that she was in danger of having her driver's license revoked."
Fitzgerald's response to the collection attorneys' Citation to Discovery Assets "revealed that Jennifer had no income or assets with which she could satisfy the interim judgments," according to the complaint.
Fitzgerald seeks an injunction removing her name from the Top 100 Scofflaw List and a judgment finding her not responsible for the parking tickets.
She is represented by Robin Omahana.