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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Car Towed from My Apartment Complex

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: California

    My car was recently towed from an unmarked open parking spot in the apartment complex where I live. A resident complained that my car blocked the driveway (although I have pictures to prove it didn't) and got my car towed. In fact, that resident left a note on my car saying it was his parking spot and next time he will get my car towed if i parked there. Before I could see the note (in less than 16 hrs) my car was towed. I saw the note when I went to recover the car.
    There are no signs for "no parking" at that spot, infact cars are regularly parked there. All covered parking stalls have numbers assigned, but this is the only spot that is open, not blocking the driveway and doesn't have any number.
    Regarding signage, there is one sign near the dumpsters close to entrance stating No Parking and gives only the police station phone no. and doesn't specify the towing agency name/number.
    The towing authorization doesn't have "first reported time the vehicle was seen".
    Finally, the towing company made no attempt to contact me even though the apartment management had my car registration details and my contact info.
    Is there any chance to recover ~$400 I lost due to towing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,008

    Default Re: Car Towed from My Apartment Complex

    Seems to me that this is the relevant statute.

    We can't tell you if you have "any chance" of recovering your money. For $400, I would certainly make the effort and contest the fees.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Car Towed from My Apartment Complex

    Quote Quoting cipher_2k5
    View Post
    My question involves towing laws for the State of: California

    My car was recently towed from an unmarked open parking spot in the apartment complex where I live.
    You might want to clarify that this is actually a parking SPOT, or whether it just happens to be a paved area where a car will FIT - which aren't the same thing. In a huge majority of similar cases, people park in spots where they've seen other people park, and it's the luck of the draw who happens to be parked in that non-spot when the tow truck wanders through looking for violations.

    A resident complained that my car blocked the driveway (although I have pictures to prove it didn't) and got my car towed. In fact, that resident left a note on my car saying it was his parking spot and next time he will get my car towed if i parked there. Before I could see the note (in less than 16 hrs) my car was towed. I saw the note when I went to recover the car. There are no signs for "no parking" at that spot, infact cars are regularly parked there.
    Again, noting that just because the huge majority of people parking there get away with it, if it's not an actual parking spot, and recognized by the complex as such, towing becomes a possibility. It's possible that the neighbor too doesn't realize this might not be a legit parking area and that by alerting the tow company to ANYONE parking there, he puts himself at greater risk. Will be interesting to see if some rough justice follows.

    All covered parking stalls have numbers assigned, but this is the only spot that is open, not blocking the driveway and doesn't have any number.
    Making it suspect to being an actual spot.

    Regarding signage, there is one sign near the dumpsters close to entrance stating No Parking and gives only the police station phone no. and doesn't specify the towing agency name/number.
    Probably because more than one company has permission to patrol for violations. All such tows are required to be reported to police (so they aren't running around taking stolen vehicle reports for towed vehicles), and the police will be able to direct callers to whichever company did the tow. Very common practice.

    The towing authorization doesn't have "first reported time the vehicle was seen".
    Commonly seen when the vehicle is towed when first seen.

    Finally, the towing company made no attempt to contact me even though the apartment management had my car registration details and my contact info.
    The apartment having your info in no way implies that the towing company has your info. Apartment complexes contract with tow companies exactly so they DON'T have to bother with problematic vehicle issues. Tow companies typically don't have access to DMV databases either. For immediate contact, they rely on you calling police and police putting you in touch with the towing company. Most will also follow up with a letter sent to the address listed on the registration (required in many states), but that obviously takes several days.

    Is there any chance to recover ~$400 I lost due to towing?
    Certainly. As Missy pointed out above, $400 is nothing to sneeze at. BUT - you'll want to be able to show that you were parked legally and properly using something OTHER than "well other people park there".
    Catherine NeSmith
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