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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Notification After Towing from Private Property

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    Got a question for cdwjava (or any California LEO out there).

    From reading 22658 (a) (1), it seems the intent is to provide notification in case someone unknowing parks on private property. Recently a local strip mall posted 22658 (a) (1) signs at entrances, presumably to cover themselves legally if they need to tow a vehicle. Since this is a public mall, with parking spaces provided for public use, doesn't this contradict the "prohibiting public parking" provision of the sign? It seems that the mall presents itself as public parking, yet at the same time claims to be 'private property' to retain the right to tow 'at-will'.

    How does one go about interpreting this? If one gets towed (did not happen to me but I'm trying to ensure it doesn't happen) is there any legal grounds? Frankly I think the somewhat ominous signs do not endear people to shop there but I guess most people don't pay attention.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: HOA Towed My Car from Resident Parking Space While on Vacation

    Quote Quoting LBaker
    View Post
    Long time reader, first time poster.

    Got a question for cdwjava (or any California LEO out there).

    From reading 22658 (a) (1), it seems the intent is to provide notification in case someone unknowing parks on private property. Recently a local strip mall posted 22658 (a) (1) signs at entrances, presumably to cover themselves legally if they need to tow a vehicle. Since this is a public mall, with parking spaces provided for public use, doesn't this contradict the "prohibiting public parking" provision of the sign? It seems that the mall presents itself as public parking, yet at the same time claims to be 'private property' to retain the right to tow 'at-will'.

    How does one go about interpreting this? If one gets towed (did not happen to me but I'm trying to ensure it doesn't happen) is there any legal grounds? Frankly I think the somewhat ominous signs do not endear people to shop there but I guess most people don't pay attention.
    On commercial properties, they are required to have the signage indicated in 22658 if they wish to conduct discretionary tows. The signs indicating that the property is not for "public parking" might be a tad vague, but the point is that you cannot use the shopping center for your private parking lot or the local park-and-ride meeting place for carpools.

    Businesses near popular recreational venues frequently have similar signs indicating "for customers only," or something similar. That way, with 22658 signage, they can often support a tow.

    Bottom line: Do not park in a commercial lot that you are not patronizing, and park only in clearly defined visitor's places in apartment complexes or other private residential developments.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: HOA Towed My Car from Resident Parking Space While on Vacation

    I agree with your points and the intent, but it seems with the signs anyone parking there is in violation of 22658 (a) (1) since it's 'private property'.

    There is a popular bar there - patrons frequently leave their cars there overnight (presumably to avoid DUIs), and I've wondered if that's wise. I guess with the signs the owner or their agents could technically tow those cars if they wish.

    Are there any kind of laws that protect the public from having their cars towed 'at any time' on public parking?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: HOA Towed My Car from Resident Parking Space While on Vacation

    Quote Quoting LBaker
    View Post
    I agree with your points and the intent, but it seems with the signs anyone parking there is in violation of 22658 (a) (1) since it's 'private property'.
    Kinda sorta, but it is publicly accessible private property designated for use as designated by the property owner. Certainly someone can try to go to small claims court if they get towed ... but, if they took the sign too literally, they would not have parked there anyway. So, I doubt you will see a case where someone might argue that they parked in a lot that indicated no public parking.

    There is a popular bar there - patrons frequently leave their cars there overnight (presumably to avoid DUIs), and I've wondered if that's wise. I guess with the signs the owner or their agents could technically tow those cars if they wish.
    Probably so. But, it might be a good practice for a bar to allow this.

    Are there any kind of laws that protect the public from having their cars towed 'at any time' on public parking?
    Yes. CVC 22650 et seq. The sections pretty much spell out what can happen - both criminal and civil penalties - if the car is towed unlawfully.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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