Parking disputes in England are resolved under provisions of the Road Traffic Act of 1991. Motorists who want to challenge a ticket first present the challenge to the council for the area where the ticket was issued. If the challenge is rejected, there is another appeal to an official known as theParking and Traffic Adjudicator. After the Adjudicator (a much scarier title than "judge," although it seems a little misplaced in the parking context) rules on the appeal, either side may seek costs, but costs are allowed only if a party's behavior is found to have been "frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable."
In 2007, an Islington Council officer ticketed an Islington Council vehicle, but the department that got the ticket appealed. Because the department is not a different entity, in legal terms the council was appealing a ticket it got from the council, and under the rules above, the council was hearing its own appeal. After the council rejected its appeal, it then appealed again to the Parking Adjudicator. But having appealed, it then presented no evidence, and the Adjudicator voided the ticket. Feeling its appeal had been an outrageous waste of time, the council asked for costs, thus accusing itself of having acted frivolously, vexatiously and/or wholly unreasonably toward itself. The Adjudicator declined to award costs, pointing out that "[t]he legal status of the two parties in this appeal amounted to one and the same."
Several other councils have reportedly sued themselves as well, including one that managed to win its case and so had to pay itself the fine.
Jeebus fucking wept