Parking Ticket Paid 35 1/2 Years Late


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Stanley Baker, 89, (left), sent the city of Orlando $1 to pay a 35-year-old parking fine. At right is his son Fritz Baker, formerly of Seminole County. This picture was taken at Bass Lake in western Michigan. (Courtesy of Baker family).

An 89-year-old Michigan man has paid a parking ticket fine, 35 1/2 years after it was issued.

The parking ticket issued 35 1/2 years ago, on November 7, 1975. It was paid on June 20, 2011.

Stanley Baker mailed in the fine, received today, along with an apology, Orlando police said.

“So sorry for the delay!” he wrote. “36 years late! Better late than never!”

The $1 ticket was issued Nov. 7, 1975, for parking at an expired meter on Central Boulevard, near the Orlando Public Library. The same violation today would set Baker back $22.

Baker, however, may be a man with a sense of humor rather than a guilty conscience.

The ticket was not issued to Baker, his son Fritz Baker said. It was found in a book bought at a garage sale in Orlando in 1995 when Fritz Baker and his wife, Suzi, ran a business here called Cookies By Design.

Stanley Baker, 89, a practical joker, sent the payment in as a lark, said Fritz Baker. The elder Baker requested a receipt.

“He is … funny like that,” Fritz Baker said.

Date Paid - June 20, 2011, So Sorry for the delay! Please send proof of $1.00 payment. Thank you, S. Baker, 36 years late! Better late than never!

The book, “An Introduction to Western Civilization,” was printed in 1939. When the ticket fell out, he felt it was his duty to pay it, Fritz Baker said.

However, Stanley Baker’s wife, Miriam, also 89, was concerned that he would be dunned for past-due fees and interest.


A city spokeswoman said current regulations call for a $15 late fee after two weeks.

There’s no easy way to determine whether the ticket, placed on a Chevrolet with a Maryland license plate, was meant for Baker. Records from 1975 have been destroyed, said Sgt. Vince Ogburn, a police spokesman.

The police got involved only because Baker mailed the ticket and a $1 bill — in the original envelope — to the department, where a room now used as an auditorium was then a night and traffic court.

“We all thought it was hilarious,” Ogburn said.

Baker, a retired high-school German teacher who lives in Pentwater, a village on Lake Michigan, was out of town and unavailable for comment.

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