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  1. #1

    Default Towed for First Violation of HOA Parking Rules

    My question involves a vehicle tow in the state of: California

    I am a homeowner in an HOA and my car was towed from the community. What I'm trying to figure out if who is responsible and if there is any potential criminal behavior, and do I have any recourse.

    To start I was in violation of HOA guidelines on parking. However, this was my first offense. The HOA guidelines specifically state that I am to receive a warning for a first offense, and a fine of $100 for each subsequent offense. There is nowhere in the rules which state a homeowner will be towed. Our vehicles are registered with the HOA, so the vehicle was towed knowing full well that I was a resident in the community and that I lived less than 50 feet away. As an added measure, my vehicle was displaying a visitors parking placard in case it was not known that this was my vehicle.

    The person who signs the tow authorization form is on the Board of Directors. He causes on average 2-3 cars to be towed in a given week over the past 2-3 years. The tow company has no documentation that he is authorized agent for the HOA. They take his word for it and take vehicles. They want to hide behind the authorization form, as a release of their liability.

    I have read and re-read and read once more CA Veh Code 22658 and the tow seems to be a violation of 22658(a)(1). There are two entrances to the community and only one entrance bears a sign indicating that unauthorized vehicles will be towed. This sign bears the name and number for Tow Company A, yet Tow Company Z is removing vehicles.

    I have sent a letter to the HOA in accorance of 22658(e)(1) demanding double my money back. Do I instead send this to the tow company? If I am right who do I take to small claims?

    I'm wondering if I have any other recourse since the tow violated both CA Veh Code 22658 and the HOA guidelines on parking and parking enforcement.

    Does this seem predatory or like something that can be prosecuted criminally?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Towed for First Violation of HOA Parking Rules

    Quote Quoting NYI310
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    Does this seem predatory or like something that can be prosecuted criminally?
    This does seem predatory and you should have a good civil case. According to (e)(1), you would take the HOA to small claims court. However, there is nothing that can be criminally charged unless the person is in violation of (e)(2) or you have evidence that he/she is getting kickbacks from the tow company or something similar. As a member of the board of directors, he/she is likely able to authorize the tow. I don't see any requirement that the tow company have documentation of his authority.
    Behind the badge is a person. Behind the person is an ego. This is as it should be, person at the center and ego to the back.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Towed for First Violation of HOA Parking Rules

    Quote Quoting PTPD22
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    As a member of the board of directors, he/she is likely able to authorize the tow. I don't see any requirement that the tow company have documentation of his authority.
    I guess this part confuses me. The Board is required to act together, which would mean at least 2 of the other 4 members would have had to allow for towing at his discression.

    I have an email from the HOA rep stating the Board did not assign anyone authority to act as an agent or tow vehicles.

    I feel the lines are a bit blurred. It's my opion that he was not acting as an agent, because then the entire Board would be liable and I'd hav a civil case against the board. But the board not having given him that authority, does that mean he used poor judgment and exposed himself and not the board?

    Personally I'd prefer that it was the entire board because then I could make a claim against their D&O insurance which would pay, rather than a useless settlement against a homeonwer with no assets. We are all under water here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Towed for First Violation of HOA Parking Rules

    First off, before we get into the 22658 analysis, WHERE was your vehicle parked when it was towed? Would it have been in a fire lane? If not, then we can look at 22658.

    About how many homes are in your development? (Yes, there is a reason for the question) Is there a gate or other method of restricting access to the property?
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Towed for First Violation of HOA Parking Rules

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    First off, before we get into the 22658 analysis, WHERE was your vehicle parked when it was towed? Would it have been in a fire lane? If not, then we can look at 22658.

    About how many homes are in your development? (Yes, there is a reason for the question) Is there a gate or other method of restricting access to the property?
    I was parked in a parking stall between the white lines. There are about 200 homes in the community.

    I have also learned that the only information this individual forwards to the management company is a daily email of the number of vehicles he has towed. He does not give them any informaiton on the vehicle so they had no way of offically knowing that he has been violating HOA Parking Rules and towing everyon on the first offense.

    Of course they've known full well that they were in violation of 22658.

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