The owners of a small milk delivery firm said they are receiving thousands of dollars worth of milk in parking tickets by the de Blasio administration because they cannot contest elections because hearings have been postponed since the coronavirus pandemic in March last year.
Resuming in-person hearings on parking tickets or even holding them virtually during the past 19 months has helped the city’s finance department reopen courts and slow-moving criminal cases. Struggled with criticism of the state judiciary itself.
“We’re not Amazon. We’re not UPS or Fed-Ex or a billionaire-dollar company. We’re a small business trying to survive,” said Matt Maron, co-owner of Manhattan Milk.
Co-owner and partner Frank Acosta, who was introduced by The Post last year as the hunky milk delivery man that women swooped on, said, “This policy doesn’t make sense. It’s almost forcing us to wind down the company and start somewhere else, like Florida. “
Manhattan Milk is an old-school milk distribution company that sells home-made milk in glass bottles as well as traditional milk in larger containers to charter schools, hospitals, and day care centers throughout the city.
Both said Manhattan Milk employees were “essential workers” during the peak of the pandemic last year, delivering milk and other food during the pandemic, including taking on subcontracting work from others who stopped making their deliveries. Was.
“That’s how we get rewarded,” Maron said of the parking summons.
They also claim that they were surrounded by tickets when drivers double parked outside the al fresco dining spot, which closed 8,550 parking spots.
Sour Milkers say they can’t challenge some of the more than $30,000 parking tickets that can be rejected during a live hearing — like a $115 ticket for double parking while making delivery.
“We want the opportunity to challenge and dismiss these tickets,” Acosta said.
After more than a week of questioning, the Finance Department spokesperson confirmed that live hearings are not being held for commercial distribution firms who want to contest on their tickets. Live hearings are held for non-business drivers only.
“Administrative law judges are required to function in the Finance Department (DoF) offices from October, 2020. In addition to conducting in-person hearings for passenger vehicle violations, judges are conducting commercial hearings based on evidence presented via mail or email. ,” said the spokesperson of the Finance Department.
“DoF will soon allow individual hearings for companies that wish to protest their violations,” the spokesperson said.
Trucking delivery firms scoff at contesting tickets through the mail, claiming it is a laborious process and their tickets are less likely to be cancelled.
“There is no one to talk to. There is no judge,” said an industry representative.
Some firms participate in the city’s “contract” program, where the firms request no competition and agree to pay a reduced fine. An industry source said that ten big companies benefit from 70 per cent of the reduced fines under the programme.
Industry sources say the dismissal rate for commercial tickets has declined from fiscal year 2019 – when the hearing was held – and 2021, when they did not.
“What is the point of penalizing delivery companies who are not in the prescribed fines? [program] And instead actually follow the law and provide documentary evidence and affidavits that prove they were delivering fast? For a city that is trying to deal with overcrowding, this is quite a bizarre way of doing it,” said a source in the delivery industry.