$600 Car Now Worth Over $100,000 in Parking Violations

An abandoned car in Chicago worth an estimated $600 has been issued more than $100,000 in parking tickets over the past three years.

31-year-old Jennifer Fitzgerald is currently stuck with the bill but says the 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo actually belongs to an ex-boyfriend who registered the car in her name without her knowledge or consent.

The Expired Meter reports that from May 23, 2009 through April 30, 2012 the Chicago Department of Finance (DOF) issued 678 tickets against the car totaling $105,761.80, setting a Chicago record both for the total number and amount of parking fines issued.

In fact, it blew past the previous record holder, which was $65,000 from approximately 400 violations.

But Fitzgerald says she doesn’t owe the city a dime and has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago, United Airlines and an ex-boyfriend in Cook County Circuit Court.

Fitzgerald has two main arguments in her case. First, she says her ex-boyfriend, Brandon Preveau, is the actual owner of the car, having purchased it from her uncle for $600 in 2008, according to Courthouse News. In fact, Preveau paid for the car’s title, registration and insurance, but it was nonetheless registered in Fitzgerald’s name.

Secondly, Fitzgerald’s attorney is arguing that the city should have simply towed the vehicle after 30 days from O’Hare Airport, where it was parked and where Preveau worked at the time.

As the Expired Meter reports, Chicago law does specify that an abandoned vehicle is to be towed 30 days after being illegally parked: “Any vehicle parked in violation of this section shall be subjected to an immediate tow and removal to city vehicle pound or authorized garage,” the law reads.

In the meantime, Fitzgerald, who is unemployed and a single mother, has also had to deal with her driver’s license being suspended while she pursues her case.