On Sept. 21, I received a citation from the Village of Oak Park for not having a village vehicle sticker. I carefully looked at my windshield where I have a 2009-2010 village sticker. Therefore, I knew that this was a mistake. I called the village to verify the citation (Ordinance 15-4-1: No Village Vehicle License), and when I finally spoke with someone, he told me to contest it online. On Oct. 1, I contested the ticket online – 10 days after the “within 14 calendar days” rule.

On Oct. 5, I received an e-mail from the Office of Adjudication stating, “No current vehicle sticker found on record.” The e-mail gave me information to appeal it at the Circuit Court of Cook County in Maywood. I tried calling the village for two days and was always put on hold.

I then decided on Oct. 6 to physically go to village hall. I went straight to the Office of Adjudication. Basically, the rudest individual I ever encountered told me that the officer said that I had no sticker, although this is not what their response stated. I even asked him to come and see it on my car, which he refused.

On my way out, I thought I would ask a friendly policeman to help me. I have only lived in this village since 1982, never been arrested, law abiding, etc. I told my plight and was told I could talk to the watch commander. I told him to come and see my sticker, which he did. He then questioned whether I purchased it after the fact.

I said “No.” He then retrieved the paper work stating that I purchased this sticker on June 30, 2009. I certainly thought that I was now vindicated, but the watch commander said that he had to consult his boss, who had left for the day. He said that even though I purchased a sticker in June, I may have not put it on my car.

Around 8 p.m. the same evening, the watch commander called to say that they cannot do anything because I did not file 14 days after the ticket. I told him that I received the ticket on Sept. 21 and filed on Oct. 1, which is 10 days later. His response was that I have to file an appeal.

Every time I questioned this ticket, I received a different answer. They are as follows:

1. There is no record of you having a sticker.

2. You do have a sticker, but you purchased it after you received the ticket.

3. You did purchase the sticker in June, but maybe you did not put it on the car.

4. You did not contest the ticket before 14 days.

All of the above are incorrect, and now I get to go to the Circuit Court of Cook County to file an appeal for a sticker I purchased in June of 2009.

Rebecca Grober, an Oak Park resident since 1982, is a teacher of 20 years, 12 years for Proviso Township High School District.

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