(WSVN) - He gets ticketed for parking in the yard he maintains but only when the Marlins are playing. Is that legal? It’s why he pitched it to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Jose Lopez is a sports fan, a big sports fan.

Jose Lopez, parking problem: “I go to the games. I like baseball, and sometimes, they have events.”

Jose is such a fan, when he was looking for a house, this is what he wanted to see from his front yard: what was then called Marlins Park.

Jose Lopez: “I wanted to live across from the stadium, so I saw the house, and the gentleman rented it to me.”

As a bonus on game day, Jose lets six people park here for $10 each.

He then puts his wife’s car and his car right here in the swale near the no standing or stopping signs.

Jose Lopez: “Park there for all the games at the Orange Bowl. There was no hassle. This hassle has come when the Marlins started playing there.”

Jose says this season, after he rented these spots and put he put his two family cars in the swale, the Miami Parking Authority threw him a curveball.

Jose Lopez: “I got cited on the third on a Saturday. The ticket is $47. Me, my wife’s car and my car, both cars.”

The tickets say no parking anytime, tow away zone, but what’s strange, Jose says, if he parks here when the stadium is empty, no tickets.

Jose Lopez: “They told me I can park there but not during games, not during the day of the game. Any other time but not in game times.”

Jose thinks he knows why…

Jose Lopez: “I think they are giving me tickets because I am making money on baseball games. They think that I am taking money away from them.”

Jose says even more aggravating, the city told him they can ticket him because they own the swale in front of his house, but he has to maintain it.

Jose Lopez: “That’s their property, but I have to clean and cut the grass, and it gets high, they give me a ticket. They want me to keep the front clean, but they don’t want me to park my cars there anytime there’s a game.”

Safe to say it’s left Jose confused.

Jose Lopez: “Yes, it’s strange.”

Well Howard, can a government agency ticket Jose for parking in this driveway and swale but only on days when there is an event at the stadium?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “The answer to all of them is yes. The parking authority can enforce their laws when they want to, and while it sounds strange to cite someone for putting their car on a swale that they have to maintain, the city owns that property, just like they own the driveway entrance on the swale and can ticket you when they want to.”

The spokesperson for the Miami Parking Authority confirmed they only ticket during events at the stadium, adding this is to help with traffic flow and safety in the area around the ballpark.

She added prior to the Marlins, the area was also enforced when it was the Orange Bowl Stadium, but good news for Jose from the parking authority, as a courtesy, they said, this time, they waived his citations.”

Jose Lopez: “Don’t have to pay the tickets.”

That was a hit for Jose, but he is still upset he struck out trying to park here on game day.

Jose Lopez: “That’s not right because I take care of the grass. I take care of the lot, and that’s not right.”

Glad we could help Jose get the tickets wiped out, and if you are wondering if you can fight a ticket because those signs says no standing or stopping but don’t say no parking, don’t bother because no standing or stopping includes no parking.

Taken a lot of hits? Ready to cry foul? Double up and call us. Hopefully, we can knock one out of the park for you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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