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talljasperman's avatar

Is it against the law to put change in someone else's meter?

Asked by talljasperman (21875points) October 9th, 2015

If someone is going to get a parking ticket and you put change in their meter is it OK?

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22 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Hold on a second here – - -The original “Acts of random kindness !”

Not against the law.

Dog's avatar

This falls under “Pay it forward” and it is not against any law that I can think of.

chyna's avatar

I do it a lot. How can feeding a meter be against the law? I can’t see how anyone would know or care whose quarter went in the meter.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It is highly doubtful that it is against the law, no matter what country in which you reside. If a ticket is already issued, it is unlikely that the offender’s hide will be saved.

ibstubro's avatar

@talljasperman, you sick bastard, thinking you can just drop your change in any old meter on the street!~

Love_my_doggie's avatar

It depends on the jurisdiction. Sometimes, these well-intended people get issued a citation or even arrested. Why?

- The meter is intended to limit how long someone can park in that space, so feeding someone else’s meter thwarts public policy.

- Parking tickets are much more costly than a few quarters in a meter, thus boosting municipal revenues.

- There’s a contract of sorts between the jurisdiction and the person who parked; the municipality offers a parking space for a stated fee, and the driver pays the fee to use the space. A third party who feeds the meter is interfering with the contract, unilaterally changing its terms and possibly creating a third-party liability.

jca's avatar

I remember seeing on a news show recently that people were getting into legal trouble for doing exactly this – putting change in other people’s meters. I think @Love_my_doggie has great info.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have actually done this a couple of times. I used to watch the bicycle cops go down the line writing tickets just before lunchtime. I’d spend about a buck or two from my loose change drawer and go down the line about 10 min ahead of time and give them all about 20–30 min. Metered spots are simply traps to get regular folks a ticket.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

I believe you get 10 to life for something as heinous as that..

filmfann's avatar

In California, people do get ticketed for doing that.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It is illegal in the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions where parking meters are in moderate to heavy use. So if you cannot check the local laws for some reason, you would be much safer assuming that putting change in someone else’s meter is illegal than assuming the opposite.

rojo's avatar

Just to clarify, we are being literal here right? This is not some metaphorical pornographic analogy that I am unfamiliar with, right?

JLeslie's avatar

If it is, I’ve broken that law many times.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’ve heard that it is illegal, but I have a difficult time believing such a law could withstand a serious challenge in a court of appeals.

jca's avatar

@rojo: We are actually talking about putting money in the parking meters of other people being illegal in some jurisdictions, as per the link provided by @jerv (just one example).

SavoirFaire's avatar

@stanleybmanly You are probably correct. The most public debate over these laws is happening in Keene, NH, where there is a group dedicated to actively feeding meters about to expire and pestering parking enforcement officers. The latest court ruling on the issue declared there to be nothing wrong with the actions of meter feeders. But as the state technically refused to put that aspect of the law at issue in its lawsuit, that holding may not have any legal force yet.

jca's avatar

@SavoirFaire: @jerv‘s article was about Keene, NH, too.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jca Yes, I know. I saw it yesterday when he posted it. But mine is a more updated version that contains the court’s decision.

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