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stolen registration tab

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Our parked car was ticketed in Berkeley, CA, after the registration sticker tab (with the renewal date) on the license plate was stolen during the night. An officer told us that this was a "correctable violation" and instructed us to go to the DMV, purchase the new sticker, and submit documentation to the City to show that the car was registered and the sticker tab replaced. We did so the same day. The City of Berkeley returned the documentation we sent with some forms that did not indicate what the decision was. We called the parking office and were told that only $15 of the $25 fine would be cancelled but we would still have to pay $10.

1. I've never heard of having to pay for a correctable violation after it has been corrected. Is this typical of the way city parking departments are operating? Do other cities do this?

2. Even if they can charge you for a corrected correctable violation that is your fault, like a broken headlight, it seems extremely unfair that the City can charge you for a theft that someone else committed against you, especially since you already have to pay for the new sticker tab at the DMV. The City does not supply the sticker, nor, apparently, do they protect us against theft of stickers. Other states are responding to these thefts by using stickers inside windows that are harder to steal. A citizen does not have control over the state's decision to use sticker tabs that are vulnerable to theft. Is it really legal for them to charge for this after the citizen replaces the sticker and supplies documentation to prove that the registration was current but the tab was stolen?

3. Every written communication from the parking office about this so-called violation was entirely uncommunicative. We have been repeatedly forced to waste time calling the office. I finally paid the stupid ticket, but they are now saying it is not paid. Is there any recourse against bureaucrats who repeatedly steal citizens' time in this way?

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