My question involves towing laws for the State of: Wisconsin
Recently, I moved out of my apartment upon the end of the lease and noticed my moped parked in the moped parking area was gone. The following day I called the apartment management company and asked them if they had moved my moped, stored it, or perhaps towed it for some reason (There are no parking regulations in regard to mopeds and parking them around their building. No stickers or permits are needed). They informed me that there have been a few calls recently made stating stolen mopeds around the property of the apartment complex. I thanked them for the information, and then proceeded to call the police to file a report.
After, I decided to call the towing companies around Madison to see if they had perhaps found/picked up my moped somewhere around the city. The first company I called was the towing company that is on the sign of the apartment complex I lived in to call if a towing issue needed to be addressed. The towing company told me that they had my moped since July 24th, and that it had been picked up at the apartment complex that I lived in.
I'm a student at the University in Madison, so I go home to Chicago during the summer. I visit Madison about once or twice a month to see friends and check up on my apartment there. The last time I saw my moped was in the beginning of July, but had not been able to go to Madison until I needed to move out because I never had a free opportunity until then. Thus, I never noticed when my moped was missing until I got there in mid August. The fee for holding my moped since late July is ridiculously high, and my question is: is there a case against the towing company or the apartment management to pay for these towing fees?
Apartment management denied that they called in my moped to be towed, but the towing company said they received a call from the apartment complex to tow it. I was never never notified that it was towed, therefore was never given the opportunity to pick up the moped before these storage fees got so high.
My moped was bought locally from an individual selling it a year ago. He had handed over the title to the moped along with its registration, but he had never explained to me that I needed to get the moped registered under my name. I wasn't aware that mopeds needed to be registered under any name despite having ownership of the title because registration of a moped varies in different states.
I researched Wisconsin towing laws, and found that unless the towing companies make an effort to notify the owner that they have their vehicle, they will not have to pay the fees associated with storage and towing. I am the official owner of the moped despite never having it registered because I hold the title of it and it is signed to me. I was never informed that my moped was towed, but the towing company did call the previous owners but they simply stated that they did not own the moped anymore. The previous owners took down all my information when I bought the moped from them, so would it be considered an effort when the towing company did not ask them for a name of the person who bought the moped, or had called the police for information regarding the owner (I had paid a parking ticket on it before so the police knew the moped was linked to me)?
Since the moped was held in storage for almost a month, the storage fees are as much as the moped cost. The moped wasn't in the best of shape, so I'm also wondering if it would be better just to abandon it at the towing location if I need to pay these fees because they are slowly exceeding what the moped is even worth. Had I been informed that my moped was towed by management or the towing company, these fee's would of never occurred, however, with there being no regulations on mopeds, I don't see why the apartment management company even called it in to get towed in the first place.