It’s not easy for Jackie Shiolington to get around.
“She has breast cancer that has metastasized to her brain so that’s limiting her mobility,” Jackie’s husband Jeff Ant said.
Jeff said he had a temporary parking pass so the family could use handicapped parking spaces. The pass expired on December 31st and on January 1st, the family went to Ikea in Mission Valley.
“I figured it will be fine, it will only be expired for a couple of days,” Jackie said.
Jackie said she had an appointment at the DMV scheduled for January 4th to get a permanent handicapped placard but that wasn't soon enough.
“There was a ticket on the windshield,” Jackie said.
The ticket correctly pointed out Jackie’s handicapped placard was expired. Jackie and Jeff challenged the ticket but said it had been denied due to the couple missing some paperwork that needed to be sent in. So they took it to the next level, they paid the fine and asked for an administrative appeal hearing.
“I set aside work time so I could make sure to take her with me and bring the new hang tag,” Jeff said.
The hearing was set for April 11th but the family said before they had their day in court, a letter arrived in the mail saying something the family never expected.
“You didn’t appear at the hearing and we found that the ticket is valid and we’re going to uphold it,” Jeff said the letter read.
The court date had been moved up 21 days but Jeff said he had not been notified of the change.
“It kind of felt unfair, kind of felt like a bait and switch,” Jeff said.
The couple contacted NBC 7 Responds and according to the city of San Diego, administrative changes in the parking appeals process had been made, leading to hearing dates being changed but without some notifications sent to motorists.
“He did tell me that it showed in the system that there was no notification sent out,” Jeff said.
Jeff and Jackie said they were told by officials their case had not been handled properly and the city would dismiss the ticket and refund the fine they already paid.
In an email, Parking Program Manager for the city of San Diego Jonathan Carey told NBC 7 Responds, “The independent contractor at the time of this hearing attempted to reschedule the hearing date and time for Mr. Ant, however, the system failed to generate a new notice in error. The independent office was unaware that the notice was not generated and so his hearing was conducted in written, or declaration format. The Parking Administration Program has worked directly with Mr. Ant and has resolved this issue to his satisfaction."