SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a consent decree on Thursday with a King County parking enforcement company to resolve allegations of issuing misleading tickets.

Platinum Parking LLC allegedly took part in business practices that violated the state's Consumer Protection Act. Under the terms of the consent decree, Platinum Parking and Susan Hover, the company's owner, agreed to stop offering a parking ticket appeal process if the process lacks well-defined steps and fairness.

Platinum Parking contracts with apartment complexes and businesses to enforce rules for parking on private lots. The company monitors more than 100 lots, issuing parking ticket-like notices to drivers and vehicles in violation of each lot's parking policies. Platinum Parking collects profits on the notices, which are allegedly misleading to consumers.

Jack Bernstein, the assistant attorney general, alleged that while Platinum Parking claimed its tickets could be appealed, the appeals are inconsistently granted even when good reason exists to believe the ticket was issued in error.

Under the terms of the agreement, Platinum Parking will remove the word appeal and refer to the process as a dispute process. Additionally, the company will provide a clear parking notice dispute policy to consumers who think their tickets were issued in error.

The consent decree also dealt with the company's allegedly misleading presentation of itself as having the authority to issue parking tickets and its intention to act as collection agents. Platinum Parking does not aggressively pursue notices that go unpaid.

Under the terms of the agreement, Platinum Parking and Hover were assessed a $55,000 judgment, $25,000 of which is suspended if the company abides by the terms of the consent decree.

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