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Woman Turns Tables On $100k Parking Fine

Official Letter

 Already a little anxious due to the large red stamp that said “URGENT,” she peeled back the lip of the envelope.  

She perused through the contents of the letter, and when she spotted it was a $100,000 fine, her heart dropped to her stomach. She swiftly grabbed her phone and dialed the designated number. The reality behind the bizarre “driveway parking violation” rocked her world to its core.


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The quality of life in Florida may have been better than in other places on Earth, but it was certainly no longer the place where one could live the American dream, not anymore at least.

Sandy Martinez lived like a sardine in her apartment – cramped and cramped, with little room to move around. She experienced two major problems.  

Her Problems

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Firstly, jobs barely paid enough money to survive. Every single paycheck Sandy received would instantly be spent seconds after she received it. Then she would spend the rest of the month with crippling anxiety due to a mountain of unpaid bills hanging over her.

Another problem was that it was basically impossible to purchase a home in her state. So she had no choice but to rent a small place for her, her mother, and her three daughters. There was also the matter of their driveway.

Packed Driveway

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Two of her daughters both had jobs, and one of them purchased a second-hand car to help get them to and from work. She spent months saving every penny so that she could afford to buy herself a car.

This meant that there were four cars parked in their driveway. It was not a very convenient or comfortable situation, but they would soon learn that the government had its issues with the situation.

No Space

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There were occasionally two cars parked on the lawn with their tires approximately a foot over the pavement line.

She could feel her blood boiling as she stared at the paper in astonishment. Apparently, she was fined $250! Really, they were that harsh? It wasn’t the end of her troubles.   


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Next, an inspector was called to double-check that they had parked in the driveway properly. Sandy reluctantly complied but she could feel the steam coming out of her ears.

She sat and waited for the inspector on her porch to come to inspect her driveway situation. However, he never turned up. She left numerous messages to the offices but received no response. She assumed that the problem was solved and moved on with her life. However, she would soon regret doing that.

What The Law Says


In the town of Lantana, the law provides that “All off-street parking spaces, including driveways but not including parking spaces located in swale areas as permitted by section 17-34, shall be asphalt, concrete or block and shall be hard-surfaced and in good repair in compliance with town codes.”

Sandy’s driveway, however, was limited in its length.

More Fines

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Sandy continued on with her life, ignorant of what the city was concocting. However, she soon got pulled back to reality when there were more fines issued against her.

Both related to a damaged section of her fence and a crack in her driveway. It was the first time she had ever seen anything so absurd. Nevertheless, she played along with a sour face.   



She didn’t want any more problems with the law, so she immediately complied. She intended on fixing the damaged areas as soon as possible, but it was quite appalling that she was fined for it.

She let out a big sigh as she sent the money and organized a professional to repair the issues. She didn’t get the feared, urgent notice until a year later. This, however, was only the beginning of the end. 

Mountains Of Debt

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After a few weeks went by, another letter showed up on her doorstep. She anxiously opened it, and its contents caused tears to fill her eyes.

She was utterly taken aback. For the driveway incident, she was charged $250 per day in fines without her knowledge – in fact, the city hadn’t even sent the promised inspector!

Abrupt Decision 


For 17 years she had been living in that house, parking however the family could, and all of a sudden, the government wanted to dump this catastrophic fine on them. She picked up the phone with shaking hands and called the only number she could think of.

There was no way she was going to let them get away with this. Who did they think they were?

Calling For Help

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The Institute for Justice had been in the news more than once for helping people who were put in unfair, catastrophic situations by big government.  As she explained the situation, she could hear that even the lawyer on the other end of  the phone was flabbergasted. 

It was time to take Lantana’s government to court.

Ready To Fight

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Sandy sat at the table with her lawyer, already wanting to scream at the top of her lungs.

The opposition skirted around the fact she had left messages for an inspector, but they never sent one. And now, their next demand left her feeling like her rising blood pressure was heading towards a heart attack.

Another Big Fine

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They were going to charge her an extra $65,000 in fines for the cracked driveway and broken fence!

But she had already paid the first fine and fixed them immediately after – with receipt and photo proof. This wasn’t just unfair; it was an abuse of power and imposing financial death. She felt hot tears trickle down her cheeks.

Stressful Talks

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Thankfully, the lawyer wasn’t going to give up. 

After days of testimony, Nicole Dritz, the town’s development services director, sat across the table and slid over a folded piece of paper. It was an offer to settle. But when Sandy looked at it, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

The Audacity!

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They still wanted her to pay! 

The reduction from a crippling $165,000 to $25,000 was like a punch in the face. To them it was “more than fair.” Sandy didn’t have to look at her lawyer for advice. She stared right into the eyes of the insufferable woman across from her … and ripped up the piece of paper.

Telling Everyone

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“Section 6-30 of the Code of Ordinances” could stuff it where the sun didn’t shine.

Sandy was ready to take it to the next phase. Her and her lawyer called in every news outlet they could think of. They also posted on every social media channel and asked people to share her story. When the news vans appeared, she was ready.

No Resolution, But Not Giving Up

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She stood in front of her house, explaining the entire situation from the first fine to the insulting “settlement.”

There was no way she was going to give up fighting. They wouldn’t get a single penny out of her no matter what. And she would make sure they admitted they were wrong no matter how long it took.



For Sandy, this was a matter of principle. If people can’t be free to manage their property and practice their affairs free from government control – especially when they’re not harming anyone, then what does that say about our society?

Sandy buckled up, fully prepared to teach her city a valuable lesson. 



Sandy’s lawyer advised her to sue the state for a pretty penny. She could have easily sued them for triple that fine they handed her but Sandy had a different idea for revenge in mind. 

First, she needed to make it public. “I’ve been living here for 17 years now and I’m being fined over $160,000 for parking on my own property,” she said at the press conference in front of her house.

Endless Voicemails


Sandy also stated that she sent “voicemail after voicemail” to the town asking them to send an inspector but she got tired of “playing phone tag”.

However, the city refused to acknowledge this as evidence. So Sandy devised a brilliant plan. All she needed was the help of her trusted lawyer.

Gathering Evidence


After Sandy reached news stations all around America, it was time to take her case to the court. With the help of her lawyer, she managed to fish a record of her phone calls and supply it as evidence. 

She was seeking a declaratory judgment from the court that supported her lawsuit, claiming that the fines imposed on her are unconstitutional. But what did that mean? 

Making It Illegal


Sandy wanted the city to not only admit they were wrong but she also wanted their behavior to ultimately become illegal so as they couldn’t threaten anyone else with such severe and unjust fines and treatment. 

She wanted to silence them completely but going public wasn’t as easy as she thought. 

Support And Encouragement


As soon as Sandy spoke out and her face was plastered across the nation, she received plenty of support and encouragement. 

Many people congratulated her for taking a stand against such an unreasonable code of law. However, not everyone agreed with her point of view.

Online Debate


Some people sided with the city. Their reason was that if the law didn’t exist, the city would surely begin to look less favorable. 

People stated that having four cars in a smaller driveway can be an eyesore at the best of times and it’s better to keep an area looking tidy and looked after so that its economy will grow. 

A Boss!


Sandy is still going through the lawsuit and is waiting to hear what the court decides. So far, however, things have been looking good and it looks like Sandy may get her revenge after all. 

They say the best revenge is served cold. That’s exactly what Sandy did as she went directly to a superior power to overrule her own city’s decision. What a boss!