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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Predatory Towing in California

    My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: California

    I live in a townhouse where the garages are reached via an alley that goes behind the homes. The entire alley is apparently a tow-away zone. The side of the alley with the garages has signs saying that the alley is a fire lane while the opposite side has the red stripe.
    My aunt parked her car in front of my garage at 5:45pm (exact) to drop off a few things, and we had the garage door open with the light on. We also had two other cars in the garage, so it was obvious we were home.
    At around 6:20, we realized that the car was missing, and we found out that it had been towed after calling the sheriff. Can they tow the car away without even notifying us of the violation? If the tow was for the sake of public safety, the towing company's action is underinclusive, as we could've been asked to move the car. Moreover, they didn't even leave a note or anything.
    Later, we found out that the car was towed away from the property at 6:10pm (exact), and the tow company guy tells me the truck driver waited 20 minutes (I'm gonna call the tow company tomorrow morning to get the exact time). That means the driver arrived just 5 minutes after my aunt parked her car. Predatory towing or a huge, huge coincidence? What can I do?
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,391

    Default Re: Predatory Towing (California)

    It is NOT "predatory towing" if the Sheriff's Office had the vehicle towed. And, I assume that the alley is maintained by the city o county government? My guess is that it was towed for obstructing the alleyway. If the car was parked for 35 minutes, it was clearly unattended and not engaged in active loading or unloading.

    What you need to do is contact the impounding agency and find out the authority for the tow (it will be on the form they used - usually referred to as a CHP-180.) I suspect it will be for CVC 22651(b) ... it authorizes an impound when ...


    (b) When a vehicle is parked or left standing upon a highway in a
    position so as to obstruct the normal movement of traffic or in a
    condition so as to create a hazard to other traffic upon the highway.



    Fnd out who authorized the tow and under what authority. That will tell you whether or not it was lawful or questionable.
    **********
    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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