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Lawyer bots take on municipalities in parking ticket wars

April 5, 2018.

Parking ticket.

Parking ticket. © iStock.

The cat and mouse game between municipalities and recipients of parking tickets has heated up. Meet the lawyer bots who will challenge parking tickets on your behalf, and who could end up costing cities big bucks. DoNotPay, for example is a free online bot service that streamlines the way you contest parking tickets. It’s led to more people contesting unfair tickets, but has also opened the door to potential abuse of the system, leading to possible revenue loss for municipalities. It guides users through a series of questions, to determine for example if the ticket has incorrect details, and generates a legal letter to be submitted to the city. Some lawyer bots, like WinIt, collect a fee, but only if the appeals are successful. In the U.K. and the U.S., DoNotPay has led to the dismissal of over 450,000 parking tickets – or $13 million in fines.

Recode, “Lawyer bots take the hassle out of fighting parking tickets and property taxes — and could cost local governments real revenue.”