My question involves towing laws for the State of: California
Hi, from reading responses in this forum I know there are many knowledgeable folks responding to these posts. I thank you in advance for any help you give. I will try to include include as much info as possible. I hope that I do not make this too long.
This concerns a car that was towed from a guest parking space at my friend's apartment complex. The vehicle was parked over night and towed at 6:30 am. Nobody from the property management agency was around as it was Sunday. The next day, Monday, my friend spoke to the manager of the complex and was told that the car was towed due to paving in that area of the parking lot. It was pointed out that there were no signs prohibiting parking and the manager that it was private property and that she could have a car towed at any time.
I had had to leave on Sunday so I couldnt argue. I paid the towing charge. I have since done some research and it looks to me like there is a requirement to post visible signs. I wonder now how possible you folks think it is to get some satisfaction from the apartment manager. If I have to take her to small claims court and she says that there were signs posted that night, is this simply a case of one person's word against an other? Normally there are no restrictions to parking in this lot so the lack of current signage would not help me in this situation.
When I read the cvc 22658 statute it looks as if there is a requirement for the tow to be authorized in some way:
l) (1) A towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who shall be present at the time of removal. General authorization to remove or commence removal of a vehicle at the towing company's discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of a vehicle unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner which interferes with any entrance to, or exit from, the private property
All that I have from the towing company is a receipt for the cash paid to release the vehicle from their yard. If, in fact the tow company does not have written authorization to tow this specific car at this specific time is it more likely that this is a stronger case to make? I did not know of this requirement before reading up, and it seems to me that in some cases tow trucks seem to tow cars without specific authorization. I refer to private lots owned by stores. These lots always have the the state and local codes governing vehicle removal as well as the rules for using the lots posted, so perhaps that is the difference from my situation.
Lastly, I was wondering which party I should target first. I read cvc 22658 to say that improper towing results in a liability of 2x the fee for the requester of the tow and 4x for the towing company. I dont care about damages or collecting that extra money, I was wondering who would be most likely to reimburse me for the tow.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.