Monday, June 15, 2015

Dirty sidewalk violations can't be fought

"I have been getting tickets for a dirty sidewalk in Astoria. The tickets are issued by the Dept. of Sanitation and start at $100. If I don't find out about the violation until later (because I don't live at the problematic address) the fine goes into default by the ECB and the fines goes up. If you were to see the sidewalk for this corner property, it looks reasonably clean. I've tried the impossible task of keeping it completely clean but it seems useless. The wind will bring some wrapper or piece of misc. over immediately. I wish someone from the city could witness it. This sidewalk is reasonably clean but it can never be 100% clean. It's also my responsibility 18" into the street. The tricky part isn't getting under parked cars or car tires but dealing with others people's nonsense. I have to dispose of and get the ticket when someone leaves a bottle of warm piss behind. I have to dispose of random bags of garbage dumped from cars. I've had other people's Christmas trees dumped on the corner. And of course, dog dookie.

I feel that I'm not alone. There must be other residential properties targeted for tickets. This is an unfair burden. Tickets may be necessary but they won't make the sidewalk any cleaner. Sanitation officers could probably bring in more revenue if they issued tickets to the offenders that are actually littering. But that job isn't easy. I know about the 8-9am and 6-7pm rule but I am not able to stand guard at those times. I can clean earlier or later than that but I can't make this my full time job. I have attempted to find someone to help using ads with local merchants. I have also tried Craigslist ads. So far, no one affordable is available. I can't pay $50 an hour. As a job it sucks, I know because I'm doing the cleaning. I am requesting some sound advice if Queens Crap can post a blog on this matter. The world wide web of misinformation makes it seems that fewer tickets are written and that the city is only getting cleaner. I haven't been able to locate articles on residential properties with these problems. This is not a Businesses only problem." - Anonymous

_________________________________________________________________________

I tried to assist someone else with just this problem. Unfortunately, I found that it was damn near impossible to mount a defense to these tickets. No proof needs to be offered by the officer issuing the ticket and it's a "your word against theirs" situation that the home or business owner always loses.

An entire report was written about just how unfair this issue is, but our local lawmakers would rather petition the president for terrorist pardons and worry about tampons in schools than pass legislation that would actually help the average taxpayer in this town.

28 comments:

r185 said...

A while ago I got a ticket for cigarette butts, etc. on MY SIDE of our front yard fence.

Anonymous said...

An extremely high percentage of violations or court/governmental institution where it's you and the truth vs the agents of the government and their lies will end up with you losing just off the testimony of the agent/officer.

falcon said...

So this is my sulution to this problem Call 311 and file a complint about dumping keep the number and you will beat the ticket. call it in every 3 months.

Jackson Heights Johnny said...

Maybe a dumb suggestion, but here goes: I don't know what the cost would be but would it make sense to install a video camera attached to a hard drive on your computer. If you go to court (or wherever) to fight the ticket, you would have proof that a) you cleaned the sidewalk and street, b) you had nothing to do with the resultant mess afterwards, c) proof of other people littering, stuff blowing in the wind, dogs pooping, etc.

Would the cost of this surveillance equipment outweigh the cost of continuous tickets?

Any other ideas out there?

Anonymous said...

get a camera that records to a hard drive and post them around your house to catch the areas where trash has been found.

Anonymous said...

This boggles my mind. The city actually gives tickets for dirty sidewalks?!? Have they ever visited Elmhurst? Litter EVERYWHERE- in front of seemingly every dwelling and business. And the city actually ticket for cig butts? Omigosh, I have neighbors whose entire patch of curbside grass contains more cigarette butts than grass. What the heck? City, please, travel out of Astoria once in awhile and visit Elmhurst. PLEASE!!!

Anonymous said...

I have gotten two tickets as well. I tried to fight it. no luck. Not sure what to do either

Anonymous said...

It is a revenue source for the City and can't be fought, suckers.

Joe said...

Electric leaf blower, broom and pale--90 seconds and done and that's for 3 property's.
I maintain mine and my 2 neighbors for $100 a month each and I primary live in Manhasset so I dont hear excuses. Them landlords in Astoria are getting what they deserve for electing (an re-electing) shit for decades. We all know how they voted and asked for
Regardless its the price to pay for being a landlord in NYC deal so with it, your getting enough HUGE rent $$ so quit complaining.
I'm on Seneca between PS68 and IS77 what friggan nightmare 3 PM weekdays.
During June & September weeks 100s of immigrant slob parents & kids from the schools flood down streets like a slob zombie mobs stopping at the bodegas and tossing ice cream, candy wrappers and cigarette butts all over the street.
Even if you can place a trash can in the middle the side walk and these feral pigs will still toss on the ground and under cars. You have to deal with it or move, expect ZERO help from the city.
No better on weekends--Slovic, Polish and Mexican drunks coming from the local "private social clubs" fight or vomit in the street 2AM-6AM

As Angry Jamaica Joe (from this blog) learned most these people can not be 'trained" because pig sty piss, vomit & garbage ridden streets remind them of "the home country" They simply love it that way and refuse to Americanize and assimulate into our culture.

Anonymous said...

"The city actually gives tickets for dirty sidewalks?"

Yes--the city's on it way to bankruptcy and knows landlord have no choice but pay the $100 fines. They have you by the balls, its legal robbery.

Anonymous said...

So no different than the tickets they give you when someone drops an empty soda can or water bottle in your trash can? Not your fault, not affecting anything, and impossible to fight?

Anonymous said...

I have a hydrant in front of my house and the can driver slobs pull over next to it to eat and then throw their food containers in the gutter in front of my house. This usually happens overnight and I know one day I will wake up to a ticket.

Joe said...

Its part of live in the city.
I remember the early 60s in Bushwick and in Ridgewood in the 70s. On "no parking days" 7AM-8AM both the Italians and Germans (many in their 70s and 80's) would wake up make coffee then immediately go outside and not only sweep but hose off everything before the DOT driven sweeper came and sucked up the rest.
That's the way to do it, now people are lazy, hungover, have useless brat kids or are absentee slumlords only appearing when its time to collect the rent, a fire or when a 30 year old unmaintained water heater bursts.

Sorry folks but I feel NO PAIN for people like this !
If you own property on a busy street in Queens or Manhattan you must sweep and clean up every day sometimes 2X especially on Saturdays. Just spend some $$ and buy the right equipment (broom & wisp can or good 19 volt battery vac takes one minute)

Anonymous said...

Set up a camera and get the cab number, send a complaint to the TLC of the guy littering.

Anonymous said...

Sanitation checks these properties when tenants complain. They're probably complaining because their landlord is a bum. No pity from me.

Anonymous said...

Yup, not only tenants but **numerous tenants** have to be complaining because the landlord doesn't do squat and is to cheap to hire maintenance person.
Not 2 cigarette butts and a candy wrapper but numerous calls and a "slam dunk" for enforcement to act and write a ticket. Most have cameras, scanners & SD cards in the ticket books.
Its been going digital and hard to beat, bad new's for el'cheapo slumlords.

Queens Crapper said...

Hey folks, if you bother to actually read the report I linked to, you'd see that having your property cleaned multiple times a day is futile, and so long as the words "matted paper" are included on the summons, you don't have a chance, even if there was no matted paper. So knock off the slumlord crap. There are old ladies who live alone getting these summonses.

Anonymous said...

I see "An entire report was" link after looking real hard.
You can see it on an Iphone but not on a Google NEXUS (Android device). Perhaps the highlight link fonts need to be brighter and bigger.
PS: Most elderly make the worst landlords, they cant see (or refuse to see) when things need cleaning up, trimming or replacing.
I know one who's house peeling paint, shutters were sagging like "V"s who sees nothing wrong with her dirty weed infested property she lives in.
I dont understand if its a mental, vision, a denial problem or what, but many elderly homeowners are like this. They simply refuse to see things and most people are not a psychologist's to understand why people people like that even if they have plenty of $$

Anonymous said...

Wow the government really has brainwashed a lot of people into thinking they deserve to get screwed. Sad sheeple.

Queens Crapper said...

Let's continue to ignore what the report says and pick on innocent homeowners being victimized by the city. They've trained you well.

Anonymous said...

I think in a nutshell the Mayor is creating these 'goon squads" to wear down and push all the WHITE private home owners that have been here for generations out. Especially the elderly who dont like "changes"
The story is sounds like the woman owns a valuable corner property. Those and small single family homes with large front yards are usually #1 on the hit list to "bust a block" Has any type of rezoning in this area happened recently ?

Anonymous said...

There's a jerk who sits on my stoop almost every day and leaves garbage behind. It's never found until someone comes home from work. Yes, I've received tickets. Obviously, nothing can be done about it if no one is home. What the city needs to do, is be smart and realize there needs to be a grace period for cleaning (before and after normal working hours) similar to what they require for snow removal. Then again, doing it that way they wouldn't get any of our hard earned money. The city is never fair. Crooks.

Anonymous said...

About 15 years ago, I lived half a block from a subway station and major bus terminal. One windy day right after Christmas, I got fined for having trash in the front yard. My front yard is usually clean but the wind carried a lot of garbage down the block that day. I'm not sure if other neighbors received tickets but in any case I disputed it by writing a letter. A few months later, ECB wrote back saying I needed to pay the fine or appeal. I appealed again and included photos of my front yard. A few months after, ECB sent another letter to pay the fine or to appeal. I gave up and sent a check.
That summer I received a letter from ECB. To my surprise, the fine was reversed and that a refund would be issued. Fighting violations works sometimes. Not sure if this is the case anymore though.

Anonymous said...

Dirty sidewalk tickets are rigged... appeal it and get your money's worth

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what is happening with NYC GOV'T. My husband just got a $100 ticket for a napkin that fell out of his pocket when he went to get his car keys. He was about to pick it up and the sanitation office said to leave it!!! Is NYC so desperate that they are setting their goonies to prey on the innocent hardworking people who are non-threatening???? I wonder if it was a thug if the outcome would have been the same? This is just pure bullying!

Lexaholik said...

These sanitation tickets are terrible. My parents who own a house in Elmhurst received one of these bogus tickets last spring and asked me for my help. The truth is there are effective ways to fight the ticket through the hearing or appeal but it requires too much effort/energy, and paying the $100 or whatever is probably a better use of your resources.

I was super pissed and decided to help my parents fight the ticket. (By the way: I'm an attorney who specializes in litigation so this was right up my alley.) I spent hours researching online about the law, prepared a legal strategy to fight it, and coached my mom on how to answer questions.

Despite the mountain of legal arguments and evidence we brought to the hearing, the hearing officer affirmed the ticket. I got EVEN MORE pissed because the hearing officer didn't even address our legal arguments and just disregarded them. So I filed an appeal with the ECB as a long shot and guess what? They REVERSED the hearing officer's decision and dismissed our ticket.

Anyways I wrote about the experience here, hopefully others will benefit from my many hours of work: http://www.lexaholik.com/how-my-parents-fought-the-city-and-won/

(to the mod: please use this one instead of the other one attached to my Google Account--thanks!)

Anonymous said...

I complained about the sanitation dept not picking up my bulk garbage for 2 straight weeks.

Three weeks later I recieved a ticket for loose pieces of metal on the curb when there was no metal in my garbage.

Sanitation dept and it's employees are trash.

Anonymous said...

Same problem here. I own a private home in Astoria and do sweep up my area. My front yard is fenced and gated. I could honestly say that the most I have seen in my this area is a napkin or candy wrapper from pedestrians passing by and I or a family member do clean it up pretty quickly. I got a ticket in the mail saying I had an abundance of debris in my front yard. I wish these ticket officers were required to take pictures of the debris as proof. So, I did the online one click hearing and I am waiting for a response. In the meantime, ECB sent me a letter saying I own them $300 for failing to respond to my ticket. I called up ECB and the lady on the phone told me to ignore the letter and that the my on line hearing is still pending. Makes no sense, I hope she was correct. Now i kind of wish I paid it off to begin with instead of taking the time to wait for an answer and perhaps have my fine triple!