SAN JOSE (CBS 5) — When Donald Corbin accidently used his expired disabled parking placard instead of his valid one, the City of San Jose issued him a citation for $305.

Corbin then immediately tracked down the officer that issued the ticket. “He said I can’t do anything once the ticket has been written,” Corbin said.

Next, Corbin said he filed an appeal with the City of San Jose and mailed proof of his valid placard. But he then received a letter from the City of San Jose stating they didn’t agree. That’s when he said he scheduled a hearing with an independent examiner. But instead of a refund, Corbin said he got a scolding.

“She goes you should have never had that placard in the car when you got your new placard you should have thrown that placard away,” he said. Corbin’s appeal was denied again.

“I’ve been turned down three times, but at that point I almost gave up,” he said. That’s when he e-mailed CBS 5 ConsumerWatch where we looked into his case. First we contacted Laura Wells, the Deputy Director of San Jose Transportation where she told us there was nothing the city could do.

Apparently the state has set up a parking ticket appeal process with different checks and balances. Once the case goes to an independent examiner, Wells said it’s difficult for the city to change.

“The city couldn’t step in and change the decisions were being made by an independent hearing examiner and our hands were tied,” Wells said. But ConsumerWatch persisted and the city attorney got involved. Corbin was then able to get his money back.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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