Brett Mainey does not have a law degree, but he does have a High Court victory over Wellington City Council.
Without any help from a lawyer the Wellington builder has persuaded the High Court to overturn a $221.56 fine for parking in a temporary disabled park, which he says was marked after he parked there.
The council is now reviewing the ruling to see whether it will force changes to how it deals with temporary signs around the city.
Mainey was fined on October 9.
He parked his car in a pay- and-display in Cambridge Terrace about 11.30am and returned about 30 minutes later to find a parking warden had ticketed it and called a tow truck.
The warden said the parks had been transformed into disabled spaces while the Rugby World Cup was on. He pointed to signs attached to road cones on the footpath next to Mainey's car that explained as much.
Mainey argued that the signs were not there when he parked. Despite never having set foot inside a courtroom, he represented himself at a defended hearing against the council in April and lost.
But Mainey appealed, and went back to court to defend himself, this time in front of Justice Alan Mackenzie.
In a decision released late last week, Justice Mackenzie quashed the district court finding and set aside the ticket, agreeing with Mainey's argument that the council had not proven the signs were there first.
Mainey said he knew the signs were not there to begin with because one was sitting beside the passenger door of his car, and his girlfriend would not have been able to get out without knocking it over.
"It just goes to show that you don't have to take these things lying down if you feel like you're being had-on," he said.
The whole exercise ended up costing Mainey nothing, aside from a few lost days at work.
Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the final bill from its lawyers Phillips Fox was still being worked out but it would be paid by the council's parking contractor, Tenix Solutions NZ, and not ratepayers.
"Of course, it would be the same whether we win or lose a case," he said.
The council would look at the ruling to see if it needed to rethink its processes, but Mainey's case appeared to be unique.