Amsterdam court puts line through license plate parking
Yesterday, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal made an important ruling in eight cases concerning license plate parking: parkers cannot be obliged to enter their license plates when parking. If someone can prove that he paid for his parking space, any parking fine should be annulled. This puts the parking policies of Amsterdam and numerous other Dutch municipalities in jeopardy for good. Privacy First considers this a major victory in the fight for more privacy in public spaces.
Privacy First has for years been calling on citizens to oppose license plate parking through the model notice of objection on our website. That call is now proving successful.
Early this year Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini already won his own lawsuit against the municipality of Amsterdam over license plate parking. Our president had deliberately not entered a license plate number when parking, as this violated the right to privacy in the sense of anonymity in public spaces. The Amsterdam court subsequently ruled that if a parker did not enter a license plate number but could be shown to have paid, no parking fine should be imposed. Parking manager Cition BV (municipality of Amsterdam) deliberately did not appeal this ruling, but did so in a number of other, similar lawsuits by individual citizens without a lawyer. This cowardly tactic by Cition is now costing the municipality of Amsterdam dearly: in eight similar cases, the Court of Appeal has come to the same conclusion as the Amsterdam District Court earlier in the Privacy First case. It is now up to Amsterdam (and other Dutch municipalities) to adjust its parking policy after all: voluntary instead of mandatory introduction of license plates for parking!
Privacy First additionally calls for the reintroduction of cash payment or other anonymous means of payment, such as an anonymous parking card. On this issue, our president has already filed a notice of objection with Cition in May this year, but received no response to that so far. Privacy First is therefore considering further legal action to abolish license plate parking altogether. To be continued!
Update 9 November 2015: Cition has since invited the chairman of Privacy First to a hearing following his objection 6 months ago about cash (anonymous) payment for license plate parking.