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  1. #1

    Default Handicap Car Towed from Handicap Parking Spot in Apartment Complex

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Florida

    I was visiting my daughter who lives in an apartment/condo complex in Florida. I was with my mother and aunt who are elderly (both are over 88 years old) and handicapped and have handicap decals. We spent the night and were parked in a handicap spot directly outside my daughter's apartment building with the handicap decal displayed correctly. By the following morning the car had been towed.

    After contacting the towing company, the dispatcher said the tow drivers follow a policy of removing cars from the apartment complex that do not display a residential decal and that there are "visitor" handicap spots that are available. The "visitor" handicap spots she is referring to are not marked any differently than the handicap spot located directly in front of my daughter's (or any of the other apartments) buildings and are located on the complete opposite side of the apartment complex (over 250 feet away).

    Were we rightfully towed? Everyone I spoke to at the towing company seemed shocked that we had been towed, but they could do nothing to help and we had to pay $240 in fines before we received our car back.

    I believe we were inappropriately towed because I think my mother's disability and handicap status should supersede the need for a residential decal when parking in a handicap spot, but I am not clear on handicap parking and towing laws.

    Any information would be appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,065

    Default Re: Handicap Car Towed from Handicap Parking Spot in Apartment Complex

    was the space you were parked in identified as being for handicapped residential permit required or some other means to indicate is was for residents and not visitors?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Handicap Car Towed from Handicap Parking Spot in Apartment Complex

    No it did have any additional information or signs indicating that a residential decal was necessary. All of the handicap spots in the apartment complex are marked with the typical handicap sign (indicating that a handicap decal is required to park there/the $250 citation fee if the handicap decal is not displayed/violators will be towed) in front of the parking spot and a blue handicap insignia is painted on the pavement of the parking spot.

    There are 8 "normal" (not handicap) visitor spots in the entire apartment complex and they are grouped all together in front of the apartment complex office and are indicated by the word "visitor" that is painted on the pavement of each of these parking spots. There are specifically 2 handicap parking spots located next to these regular visitor spots, but these supposed "visitor handicap" spots do not have visitor painted on the floor of the pavement.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,065

    Default Re: Handicap Car Towed from Handicap Parking Spot in Apartment Complex

    One more point:

    was there any signs when entering the complex requiring visitors to park in visitor parking or be subject to being towed? If so, they might try to stretch the fact that there were regular visitor spaces and as such, you should have realized that the HC spaces near those were intended for HC visitors but I personally, would not have necessarily tied the HC spaces near the visitor spaces as being HC visitor spaces. I generally figure the intent of HC spaces is to have them located as close to the entrance of the building you would be entering as possible.


    If there are no differentiating markings between the visitor and non-visitor HC spaces, I would make a demand for a refund from the apartment complex people. If they refuse, my next step would be small claims court.

    If the spaces were marked something such as residential or visitor, I wouldn't argue the point but if no markings, then there was nothing to indicate the residence spaces were for resident use only and as such, you should not have been towed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Handicap Car Towed from Handicap Parking Spot in Apartment Complex

    your assumption that your mother's disability trumps renters/owners parking rights is off-target. You know or could have chkd about parking before you went. Instead, you parked without concern of other people's/tenants' disabled mothers.

    So, if they had tow signs properly posted, you need to pay the fee.

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