FENNVILLE, Mich. – No one likes getting a parking ticket, but for Linda Bailey, the one she was issued on November 18 was especially frustrating. The ticket was issued by Michigan State University for a parking violation on their campus.
But right away, Linda noted a few problems. For one, she hasn’t been to MSU or East Lansing for nearly 25 years.
The ordeal began in June of this year. Linda replaced a damaged license plate and got a new one.
“I said okay, I’ll replace it; threw it in the garage didn’t think nothing of it,” said Linda.
It was a good thing she did. Despite displaying her new plate, the ticket she received nearly five months later had her old plate listed.
No one stole it. Linda showed it to us, tucked away in her garage at her Fennville home. And no one was reissued the same number. General issue plate numbers are never reissued unless it is a vanity plate, which Linda’s was not.
What made the situation stranger, the ticket lists Linda’s car as black, but it's actually a color called champagne frost, an off-white color that couldn’t possibly be mistaken for black.
The ticket was issued at 11:11 a.m., but Linda produced confirmed documentation that she was in a doctor’s appointment at that time in Holland, two hours away from MSU.
Perhaps the most overwhelming evidence in Linda’s favor is insurance documentation that shows her car had been taken off the road for issues back in October, more than a month before the ticket was issued.
For Linda, the answer to the problem is simple. “I’m not going to pay you,” she said of Michigan State University, “because I don’t owe you.”
MSU seems to have different thoughts. An appeal was denied Monday, and they don’t seem to be backing down despite overwhelming evidence.
Though the ticket was for only $30, Linda says "It the principle of the the thing now." She hopes to alert the university to the issue to keep it from happening to others.
“I’m not going to pay the ticket, because it’s not my ticket,” she said.
“You’re giving tickets to people, you want them to pay you money which is not your responsibility. It’s whoever parked there’s responsibility. Not my responsibility.”
FOX 17 reached out to the university’s traffic department in an attempt to reach a supervisor Linda had been in contact with about her appeal. We have not received a call back.