Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1

    Cool Car Was Towed, but Was Not Parked Overnight

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: MD

    I'm hoping that someone can help me out with this and let me know if I have any chance of fighting this. Anyway, yesterday I used the light rail to get to Baltimore to get to the baseball game. The light rail parking lot was full and police were already writing tickets for those who parked illegally. Directly across the street, and linked by crosswalk, is a shopping center. There is a bank which I belong to in the shopping center as well. I did not park in their lot, just in the general parking lot near it and a McDonalds. I looked for tow signs (I'm returning to the shopping center today to get a picture of the sign) and the sign only really said "No Overnight Parking, Violators will be towed at expense of $300, the company's name and number, etc."

    I parked my car at 2pm and returned at 11pm. Several people were in the parking lot who had also been towed. I would understand my car being towed after midnight, but sure enough, they towed everyone. I have my ticket/receipt from
    the light rail, also I called the police prior to midnight, to inquire if my car had been towed (which they confirmed). Is there any set definition to overnight parking? The McDonalds in that shopping center is not 24 hours and was still open...

    So here's my question, is there anything I can do, or am I at a complete loss?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Car Was Towed, but Was Not Parked Overnight

    Quote Quoting Extrazero
    View Post
    My question involves towing laws for the State of: MD

    I'm hoping that someone can help me out with this and let me know if I have any chance of fighting this. Anyway, yesterday I used the light rail to get to Baltimore to get to the baseball game. The light rail parking lot was full and police were already writing tickets for those who parked illegally. Directly across the street, and linked by crosswalk, is a shopping center. There is a bank which I belong to in the shopping center as well. I did not park in their lot, just in the general parking lot near it and a McDonalds. I looked for tow signs (I'm returning to the shopping center today to get a picture of the sign) and the sign only really said "No Overnight Parking, Violators will be towed at expense of $300, the company's name and number, etc."

    I parked my car at 2pm and returned at 11pm. Several people were in the parking lot who had also been towed. I would understand my car being towed after midnight, but sure enough, they towed everyone. I have my ticket/receipt from
    the light rail, also I called the police prior to midnight, to inquire if my car had been towed (which they confirmed). Is there any set definition to overnight parking? The McDonalds in that shopping center is not 24 hours and was still open...

    So here's my question, is there anything I can do, or am I at a complete loss?
    It sounds to me like you were towed for parking in a lot that is "intended by the owner of the facility to be used primarily by the owner's customers, clientele, residents, lessees, or guests" and NOT for "overnight parking". So getting a picture of the particular sign that you mentioned and arguing that your vehicle was towed prior to midnight is not likely to get you a dismissal.

    Were you also cited for illegal parking? If so, then you need to review your citation to see what code section it lists as the authority for the tow. Even if you were not cited, the tow may still be justified and they would still have to indicate the reason on the notification they gave to the police.

    You can review MD's towing laws and regulations HERE but also keep in mind that there may also be a local/municipal code violation that you were allegedly violating so you may have to look through local codes as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,780

    Default Re: Car Was Towed, but Was Not Parked Overnight

    Luckily for you, unless the sign fulfilled the requirements of the law, you just struck gold. Unless the sign met these requirements:


    21-10A-02. Signs.



    (a) In general.- The owner or operator of a parking lot or the owner's or operator's agent may not have a vehicle towed or otherwise removed from the parking lot unless the owner, operator, or agent has placed in conspicuous locations, as described in subsection (b) of this section, signs that:

    (1) Are at least 24 inches high and 30 inches wide;

    (2) Are clearly visible to the driver of a motor vehicle entering or being parked in the parking lot;

    (3) State the location to which the vehicle will be towed or removed;

    (4) State the hours during which the vehicle may be reclaimed;

    (5) State the maximum amount that the owner of the vehicle may be charged for the towing or removal of the vehicle; and

    (6) Provide the telephone number of a person who can be contacted to arrange for the reclaiming of the vehicle by its owner or the owner's agent.

    (b) Location.- The signs described in subsection (a) of this section shall be placed to provide at least 1 sign for every 7,500 square feet of parking space in the parking lot.
    you get this:



    21-10A-06. Violation of subtitle.



    Any person who undertakes the towing or removal of a vehicle from a parking lot in violation of any provision of this subtitle:

    (1) Shall be liable for actual damages sustained by any person as a direct result of the violation; and

    (2) Shall be liable to the vehicle owner for triple the amount paid by the owner or the owner's agent to retake possession of the vehicle.
    If the sign did meet the requirements, you simply get to pay for the tow and storage and move on with life.

    The laws above apply only to the City of Baltimore and Baltimore county. If you were not within that area, they do not apply.

    I will say though that is is a dense person that cannot understand that a private lot, which costs many thousands of dollars to build and maintain, is private property intended for the use of the patrons of the associated businesses. In some areas, what you did would get a a criminal charge of trespassing. Feel blessed you live in a very tolerant area.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Towing: Paying Customer, Left Car Overnight, Car Towed in the Morning
    By mslathrop in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-12-2011, 03:18 PM
  2. Towing: Can I Be Towed Even if I Was Legally Parked
    By michelle22 in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-19-2010, 05:07 AM
  3. Towing: Legally Parked Car Towed While I Was Out of Town
    By jrmii in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-28-2009, 12:44 PM
  4. Towing: Legally Parked Car Towed Twice Now
    By Lolo4283 in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-01-2008, 10:18 AM
  5. Towing: Car Towed After Being Left Overnight At Work
    By andrea1.carbonell in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-11-2007, 02:38 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources