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  1. #1

    Default Towing from Private Property With Unclear Signs

    My question involves towing laws for the State of: Tennessee

    Just the other night I went to see some friends perform at restaurant club in East Nashville. I assumed the parking lot adjacent to it belonged to the club or just that everyone used it since it seemed like it was vacant at night and on weekends. There was no sign at the entrance of the lot of towing warnings. This was the first time I had been here so I really didn't know.

    Later I come and find my car has been towed. Supposedly it was called in by the owner of the lot. 3 cars in total were towed. We found later that there is a sign nailed to a tree on the other side of parking lot but it was clearly not visible even when I pulled in while there was still sunlight. From what I understand people that go to the club often used that parking lot and there's never been a problem with towing before.

    I believe the parking lot belongs or belonged to a bank which has since closed. This lot is up the hill from the bank and its regular parking lot so it's not apparent that it belongs to the bank or whoever may have bought the property from them. There are no signs of ownership - even the towing sign didn't say who owned the lot.

    Is there a case here for improper towing? I always thought you had to have a parking lot clearly marked. A sign nailed to a tree across from the entrance in the shade doesn't seem to be clearly marked.

    Can you nail business signs to trees?

    BTW this towing service is barely legalized piracy. The reason? They close at 10pm on a Saturday night and then they charge an overnight fee. We were barely lucky to get there with 3 minutes to spare. Most people on a Saturday night at a club/bar probably won't check on their car till after 10 and find they are stranded for the night with an extra storage fee come morning It just irks me when you have outright amoral behavior

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Towing from Private Property With Unclear Signs

    Either the owner of the lot called for the tows to occur or he did not. Did you ask the towing company to show you written authorization for the tow? Did they show it to you? Consider checking the title history to determine ownership and asking the owner.

    The first general statute doesn't apply because you had no right, as such, to park in the lot - and it highlights the need to investigate local ordinaces.
    Quote Quoting Tennessee Code, Sec. 55-5-122. Moving any motor vehicle located on private property unlawful — Exceptions.
    (a) It is unlawful for any person, or the person's agent, to move or cause to be moved, any motor vehicle located on private property, from the property, if the owner of the motor vehicle has acquired any interest in the private property by virtue of a lease or any contract, without the express consent of the owner of the motor vehicle; or upon request by the owner or tenant of the property on which the vehicle is located; or unless the person so moving the motor vehicle has acquired an interest in the vehicle by operation of law, a security interest agreement, or is acting pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, including a municipal court.

    (b) Subsection (a) shall not be construed in any manner to impair or restrict the authority or ability of a municipal or metropolitan government, acting by ordinance, to regulate the parking or towing of any motor vehicle located within the boundaries of the municipality.
    Quote Quoting Tennessee Code, Sec. 55-16-112. Written authorization required for towing or storage of motor vehicle.
    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part or of title 66, chapter 19, part 1, in order for a garagekeeper or a towing firm to tow or to store a vehicle the garagekeeper or towing firm shall obtain an express written authorization for towing and storage of each vehicle from a law enforcement officer with appropriate jurisdiction, or from the owner of the vehicle, or from the owner, or the authorized agent of the owner, of the private property from which the vehicle is to be towed. The authorization shall include all of the information required by 66-19-103(d). In addition to any other penalty provided by this part or by title 66, chapter 19, part 1, a violation of the provisions of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

    (b) This section and 66-19-103(a) do not apply to new or used motor vehicle dealers licensed under chapter 17 of this title.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Towing from Private Property With Unclear Signs

    Thanks! I asked at the towing company and they said the owner called it in. I have a name but no idea who they are or how to contact them. I just find it suspicious that a lot which apparently is or was owned by a bank that its individual owner just happened to call them in on a saturday night, that there wasn't some previous arrangement and the tow truck operator saw a chance opportunity and took it or the owner of the lot is getting a kickback.

    The lot in question has been used many times by the patrons of the restaurant without any problems but this being memorial day weekend "some" people were looking to get some extra green.

    The other thing that irks me is the sign posted on a tree across from the entrance which is barely noticeable. The whole thing just smacks of a typical tow racket

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