N.H. city sues awesome group of people who save others from parking tickets

By   /   May 16, 2013  /   No Comments

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

HARRISBURG – We’ve all been there.

You spend a little too much time shopping, or the lines were a little too long.  Or your doctor’s appointment didn’t get done on time.

You return to your car and find a $50 ticket tucked under the windshield – your only crime was occupying a spot on the city’s street for an extra five minutes.

EXPIRED: A group of self-proclaimed "Robin Hodders" in New Hampshire is being sued by the city of Keene over their practice of saving residents from parking tickets.

EXPIRED: A group of self-proclaimed “Robin Hodders” in New Hampshire is being sued by the city of Keene over their practice of saving residents from parking tickets.

But in the town of Keene, N.H., a small band of self-proclaimed “Robin Hooders” have been saving residents from parking tickets by putting extra change in expired parking meters.  They leave behind only a calling card, telling the owner of the vehicle that “your meter expired; however, we saved you from the king’s tariffs.”

The group also asks that beneficiaries “pay it forward” by repaying the favor to someone else.

But now the city of Keene is using its lawyers to go after the merry men.

From the New Hampshire Union Leader:

The city has filed a lawsuit against six citizens, part of a group dubbed Robin Hood of Keene that patrols downtown armed with video cameras and pockets full of change to fill expired parking meters….

….The group says the suit was filed because the city is losing revenue from parking tickets. The city says the activists are harassing its employees.

Members of the city’s parking enforcement team claim to have been harassed by members of the group, which the lawsuit says has made them feel “very stressed and anxious.”

The leader of the group says they do not harass officers, but merely try to track them in order to put coins in expired meters before tickets can be written.

Boehm is a reporter for Watchdog.org and bureau chief for PA Independent. He can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com


Eric is a reporter for Watchdog.org and former bureau chief for Pennsylvania Independent. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enjoys great weather and low taxes while writing about state governments, pensions, labor issues and economic/civil liberty. Previously, he worked for more than three years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, covering Pennsylvania state politics and occasionally sneaking across the border to Delaware to buy six-packs of beer. He has also lived (in order of desirability) in Brussels, Belgium, Pennsburg, Pa., Fairfield, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and elsewhere. He received a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in 2009, but he refuses to hang on his wall until his student loans are fully paid off sometime in the mid-2020s. When he steps away from the computer, he enjoys drinking craft beers in classy bars, cheering for an eclectic mix of favorite sports teams (mostly based in Philadelphia) and traveling to new places.