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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    2

    Default How Can a Hotel Guest Recover a Vehicle That Was Improperly Towed

    My car was illegally towed while I was a hotel guest. What can I do to get my car out of tow lot ASAP? Recoup any losses?

    While a guest at a hotel in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, I had to have the windshield replaced on my car. I notified the hotel upon checkin, & parked my car in an area of the back lot, on the end of an isle, ensuring enough room for repairs. The repairman who'd begun to install my windshield in afternoon wasn't able to finish before dark- tells me he'd have to finish it in the morning- so unprofessional! I was outraged, as he actually removed my damaged windshield, left it next to the car, without any temp.cover in meantime! I had to say OK & wait overnight with my car sans windshield. The next day, this repairman wasn't able to fit me in as an appointment! My fiancÚ and I decided to drive the vehicle to another parking space near our rental to keep eye on it, and the battery died after moving it a few yards. We would have to have it towed, if repairs weren't done next day, since we were checking out of hotel. Repairman didn't return calls. After work, we go to check on car and wait for AAA-it's gone! Turns out hotel had it towed just a few hours prior! They were apologetic when they realized what they'd done- but offered no help. And the reason the tow co. had been enlisted to remove my car from the lot was they had thought it was an Abandoned Vehicle.! But per California Vehicle Code definitions, and the fact it's a 2008 Corolla in otherwise great condition, the car was obviously not abandoned and undergoing small-but-important repairs. It had been 1 full day where the car was without a windshield- parked with permission in the hotel lot being I was a hotel guest. Now, the bigger problem is that the tow lot wants to charge crazy, exorbitant fees to me, to the tune of $52/day for storage- when my car shouldn't have EVER been towed by their corrupt company under false pretenses! What do I do to recoup fees and avoid the tow lot selling my car?! I've paid more to keep a rental car thru this & lost work wages dealing with these scandalous characters- from the repairman, to hotel management, to the shady tow company!! Help- I need to get my car back!! Thanks for your time, in advance..

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

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    If the hotel had it towed, then your claim will be against them. They apparently thought it was abandoned in their lot and had it towed pursuant to VC 21658.

    The only way to prevent the lien sale after 30 days is top get the car out NOW and then pursue a claim with the hotel for authorizing the tow later. The tow company is not at fault for towing your car, the hotel appears to be for calling the tow company. And $52 per day is actually less than most standard rates, so that's not "exorbitant."
    **********
    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
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,874

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    You need to get your car out of impound as the fees will continue accruing. Worry about who to try and go after for it later. I'm not familiar enough with CA's tow laws to say one way or the other. But I do know you cannot force the tow company to release your car and the fees keep stacking up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    If the hotel had it towed, then your claim will be against them. They apparently thought it was abandoned in their lot and had it towed pursuant to VC 21658.
    I'm wondering if this is a case of the hotel management not communicating. In other words, Manager A said okay but forgot to tell everyone. Manager B comes in, sees the car and calls for a tow. Either way, OP needs to get his car out PDQ.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,924

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    Go pay the towing fee NOW and get your car back. Otherwise you'll just be racking up storage fees that you might never get back.

    Unfortunately, that the car had the windshield out might have given somebody reason to believe that the car was abandoned or inoperable. There's no way to be sure of that because you allude to a statute without citing the statute number for verification. Leads me to conclude that you have no idea what's in the statute either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,594

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    The statute he likely read was one of a couple that involve the government authorizing a tow or abatement of an abandoned vehicle from PUBLIC property (or, in the case of the abatement, also possible from some private property).
    **********
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,924

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    If the hotel had it towed, then your claim will be against them. They apparently thought it was abandoned in their lot and had it towed pursuant to VC 21658.

    VC 21658 is not the towing statute:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...le=21650-21664

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    It's 22658.

    Another possibility is that the hotel thought that the problem had been taken care of a couple of days before, and thus was unaware that the vehicle they found in their parking lot with no windshield was the vehicle they had previously discussed with a guest who had a cracked windshield that they were told was going to be fixed the next day. Another possibility is that the hotel clearly communicated, "The car with a bad windshield parked in location X should not be towed," but once the vehicle was moved it was no longer identified as the one that was pending repair. It's possible that the car, once moved a few yards, died outside of or across the painted lines of a designated parking space, rather than being properly parked within a single parking space. There are other possibilities, as well, all of which could affect the analysis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Car Was Illegally Towed While I Was a Hotel Guest. What Can I Do to Get My Car

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    VC 21658 is not the towing statute:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...le=21650-21664
    Oops ... meant 22658 ... typing fast - the bell rang and my class was coming in.
    **********
    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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