My question involves an auto with a disabled placard being towed for not being parked in a visitors slot at an apartment complex in Roseville, CA. Here are the facts: I am a retired disabled veteran. I live in an apartment complex that is a gated community and the residents are issued parking decals to display on their autos. There are open (unmarked) parking slots, some disabled slots and specially marked visitors parking slots throughout the premises. Each resident also has a detached garage.
On the day in question, my regular auto was in the shop for repairs and I was driving a "loaner" auto from the dealership. For obvious reasons, the "loaner" auto did not have an apartment parking decal affixed but I did have a disabled placard visibily displayed in the windshield, hanging from the mirror. The apartment management has a rule that says if you do not have a resident decal, you must park in a designated, specially marked visitors slot. I did not do this because I believed the disabled placard authorized me to park in a non-visitors slot. Moreover the disabled parking slot in front of my apartment where I normally park, was blocked by a contractors truck which, incidentally did not have a disabled placard on display. The contractor truck actually was parked perpendicular across four parking slots, two of which were for disabled individuals, thereby effectively eliminating the availability of two disabled slots. I chose to not park in my garage because of my disability and did not want to have to walk very far because I had groceries and other things to carry.
The loaner vehicle was towed during the night and it cost me taxi fare and the impoundment fee to retrieve it. Total cost was $270.00. It is my belief that if one's auto has a disabled placard displayed, the operator is authorized to park in residential and business areas that ordinarily require a special decal or permit, without having one, because the disabled placard suffices. Can anyone confirm if this assumption is correct and if so, cite for me the ordinance or traffic code (chapter and verse) that supports this?
I have requested reimbursement from the Apartment Management but they have refused, stating that it was a legal tow because it was done on private property. I dont believe them and intend to take them to Small Claims Court. And even if they are correct, I think its abysmal that they would stoop to towing a disabled veterans auto that clearly had a disabled placard on display. Especially since I actually live there and was not a "visitor". But, I want to be sure my interpretation of the law supports my position. Can someone please confirm that I am correct or not?