In California, may disabled people park an unlimited time on streets without posted time limitations?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law


In California, may disabled people park an unlimited time on streets without posted time limitations?  A recent California Court of Appeals decision says no.

When I was a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, I became an expert on Parking Citation Appeals to the San Bernardino Superior Court pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 40230.  In my time as an attorney, no party was ever more angry than a disabled person, with a valid disabled placard or license plate, cited for parking on the cross-hatches, particularly if the Judge or Commissioner upheld the citation.

This case was heard in the Second Appellate District, Sixth Division in Spicer v. City of Camarillo (May 31, 2011)  2011 WL 2120460.  This is a rare case where the first paragraph  gives you black letter law:

A local ordinance limits parking times on city streets. On those streets where posted signs limit the parking times, the Vehicle Code permits disabled persons displaying a placard to park an unlimited time. On streets where no such signs are posted, may disabled persons park an unlimited time? We conclude they may not because no statute permits such unlimited parking.  Id. at *1

The procedural posture of the case is a somewhat unusual.  Plaintiff sued the City for  “declaratory and injunctive relief and violation of his civil rights pursuant to Civil Code section 52.1”  Id.  The facts were stipulated by both sides, neither party submitted any evidence, and a bench trial was held.

Basically, the plaintiff parked for more than seventy-two hours in a location without a posted time limit, in violation of the Camarillo Municipal Code and the Vehicle Code.  His vehicle was towed and impounded.  The Court of Appeal and the trial court rejected plaintiff’s statutory, constitutional and res judicata arguments.


The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 708-6055

About Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law
Michael Reiter is a Redlands, California-based lawyer, serving San Bernardino County and Riverside County in Southern California's Inland Empire. Michael Reiter is a lawyer practicing in the following fields of law: Municipal Law, Code Enforcement Law, Small Business Law and Real Estate Law. Michael Reiter practices in all the local courts, including San Bernardino Superior Court, Riverside Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Michael Reiter was admitted to the California State Bar in 1998. Michael Reiter was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, and Staff Attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino. Michael Reiter serves all of San Bernardino and Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Michael Reiter can be reached at (909) 296-6708, or by electronic mail at 300 E. State St. #517 Redlands CA 92373-5235

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