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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default What Are the State Laws for Towing in Tennessee

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Tennessee

    I can't seem to find anything about towing laws in Tennessee. Can anyone paste the regulations here? I saw some regulations on some other threads, but I'm not sure if those are state-specific.

    Anyway, a friend of mine was at our apartment last night and her car was parked in a non-parking-space. She knows it wasn't a parking space and I know it wasn't a parking space, but there were no signs about towing and there were no warnings and the car was not in disrepair. However, someone called a tow truck and they came out there and she had to pay $75 to prevent them from towing.

    I have two questions about this...
    1. At what point during the process does she still have the right to remove her car without paying anything? Is it just until the tow truck officially hooks her up or is it only until they get on the property? For instance, if she got down there before the tow truck hooked her up, and she started her car and attempted to drive away, is that acceptable? Is there any way they could charge her any money?

    2. Is there any way to retrieve those fees she paid since there was no posted sign and no warning? She doesn't live there, she was parked there for maybe an hour (with plans to leave in maybe the next hour or two) for a get together we were having.

    More info:
    Where she was parked might (I stress "might") impede someone from getting out of their parking space, but not that much. It would have been fairly easy to back around her, in my opinion (if that matters). This is how she was parked: (the Ds represent her car and those are the parking spaces on the left)
    ___________
    ___'''''''''''''D|
    ___'''''''''''''D|
    ___'''''''''''''D|
    ___''''''''''''''''|
    ___''''''''''''''''|

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What Are the State Laws for Towing in Tennessee

    Why don't you tell us what happened? If you want to work through various hypotheticals, the Tennessee Code is here and you can look through case law on sites like LexisOne and Google Scholar. You'll also need to check local ordinances. When these issues are addressed in statute or ordinance, the tow truck driver's ability to charge a fee to release the car normally attaches after the hookup process begins.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "there was no posted sign" - it is not necessary, for example, that every place somebody might potentially illegally park a car have its own independent sign. It's generally adequate to post conspicuous notices, and they're often posted at the entrance point to an apartment parking lot.
    Quote Quoting Tennessee Code, Sec. 66-28-518. Towing of unauthorized vehicles.
    (a) A landlord may have an unauthorized vehicle towed or otherwise removed from real property leased or rented by such landlord for residential purposes, upon giving ten (10) days written notice by posting the same upon the subject vehicle.

    (b) A landlord may have a tenant's, occupant's, tenant's guest's, or trespasser's vehicle immediately towed or otherwise removed from such real property, without notice, if and when such person fails to comply with the landlord's permit parking policy as defined in the landlord's posted signage.

    (c) A landlord may have a tenant's, occupant's, tenant's guest's, or trespasser's vehicle immediately towed or otherwise removed from such real property, without notice, for such person's failure to comply with the landlord's posted signage relative to traffic and parking restrictions, including, but not limited to, traffic lanes, fire lanes, fire hydrants, handicapped areas, and/or the blocking of trash receptacles.

    (d) The owner or lessee of a vehicle that has been removed pursuant to this section may make application to take possession of such vehicle and remove such vehicle from the place to which it has been removed or stored by paying the costs of removing such vehicle, plus the accrued towing and storage charges.
    Also, who ordered the tow? So far you haven't told us that it was the landlord. Might the tow have been ordered by municipal authorities responding to a call, for example, about your girlfriend's having parked somebody into a space or having parking in a fire lane?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    3

    Default Re: What Are the State Laws for Towing in Tennessee

    A few things:
    1. She's not my girlfriend. She's my wife's friend (not that that really matters).
    2. The only sign on the way into our apartment complex that might be applicable is one that says, "Private property. No tresspassing". There's nothing about parking and there is no assigned/permit parking. It's all open parking, but it IS a gated apartment complex.
    3. I'm not sure who ordered the tow. I don't think it was any municipal authority. She wasn't in a fire lane or blocking a space (not really, anyway). There was a man out there with the tow truck driver (I assume he ordered it), but I didn't ask who he was. I don't recognize him from the front office of our apartment complex, but he could've been an on call guy.

    I'm assuming this next part isn't illegal, just mean:
    When we heard the tow truck, we figured out what it was and ran out on my balcony and yelled down (3 floors) to tell him to wait (he had just gotten there), and then the tow truck guy SPRINTED to the back of the truck and was racing to hook up the car before we could get down there. He succeeded...

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: What Are the State Laws for Towing in Tennessee

    It's not illegal for a tow truck driver to hustle to avoid a confrontation. It's good for his safety.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    3

    Default Re: What Are the State Laws for Towing in Tennessee

    Yeah, I assumed it wasn't illegal for him to rush after we told him we were on the way, but you're definitely giving him the benefit of the doubt on his motives. To avoid a confrontation? You mean, to avoid NOT towing the car? From what I understand, if she had made it down there before he hooked it up, he couldn't do anything, Right? So, he was hustling to make sure that didn't happen. Any confrontation would have been on HIS part if we had gotten there before he hooked it up.

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