The day Megan Nolan supposedly removed a Denver Boot from her car on a city street, she says, she had other things on her mind.
"I was nine months pregnant," Nolan said. "No way could I remove a boot…at that point, you can pretty much roll me down the street."
But this summer the City of Chicago accused Nolan of doing just that: slapping her current car with a "GOA" fine and putting a boot on it while she was on vacation and parked at Midway Airport.
"GOA" stands for "Gone on Arrival," the term used when a driver removes a boot and drives off before paying their fines.
"I had my child two days later! There’s no way I can take a boot off a vehicle. It just doesn’t happen," she told Target 5.
That day at Midway, with her daughter in tow, Nolan said she and her husband had no choice but to pay the shocking fees: $1054. She vowed to fight the fine, but says everyone involved in the process said the same thing: "You’re not going to get your money back."
But Nolan had the paperwork to prove the "GOA" fine was wrong.
The fine was connected to a Gray Honda Civic. Nolan said she and her husband never owned a gray Civic. The VIN was different from any car she had ever owned.
Still, Nolan says her trip to City Hall fell on deaf ears. After being sent from one city department to another -- five meetings in all, she says -- Nolan couldn’t find anyone who could help. That’s when she called Target 5.
"I just wanted help. I just wanted someone to hear me and to help me and to not just push me away,” she said.
After our inquiries into her complaint, Nolan got $750 back and the city admitted the "GOA" charge was a mistake, caused by a traffic aide punching in a wrong digit. The city says the remainder of the fees she paid that day were legitimate, because Nolan did have two outstanding parking tickets, for which she could have been ‘eligible’ for the boot.
As for why Nolan couldn’t get answers the day she went to City Hall for help, the spokeswoman said Nolan should not have gone to the Department of Administrative Hearings, but to Finance. Nolan says she did go to Finance, but was told to go back to the first department she had already visited.