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  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Default Towed Due to Partially Obstructed Display of a Parking Permit in an Apartment Complex

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: CT

    Hi everyone.

    Recently, the complex where I rent an apt. has required all residents who have cars to obtain, and display, a parking permit in their vehicles, for when the vehiles are parked in the parking lots (not on the streets). I actually like the idea. They made it clear to everyone that failure to obtain and disply a parking permit would result in the vehile being towed. Info on where to get the vehicle was given. The tow co. is not affiliated with the apt. mgmt co.; they are a seperate entity.

    My vehicle was towed the other night. The permit had slipped in between the dashboard and windshield, and was only partially visible. When I got to the tow place, I pointed the half-visible permit to the driver, who the says, "well, I didnt know what it was." Which is BS. He then says, "and it's not hanging from the rearview, as it's supposed to be".

    So, I'd like to know if I have a small claims case against the tow co.

    First, I am sure that the mgmt co has the legal right to require permits. So, this is a non-issue. Second, I am sure they have the right to engage a tow co to remove any vehicles with no permits from the property.

    So, my question concerns a partially visible permit. Does the tow co have the right to tow here? And do i have a shot at winning the case in S.C. court? I am a resident (I can prove that), I have a permit (I can show that), and I was not otherwise parked illegally (taking up two spots, or whatever). I feel that the driver claiming he didnt know what it was is not a good argument; he should have known, even tho he couldn't see the words "Parking Permit". The permit is medium green cardboard, and it's not like I had several other things on the dash, as I did not. Is it not incumbent on the driver to, when he sees one piece of green cardboard on the dash, assume that that's a permit?

    Reason I do not hang the permit from the rearview, is that the rearview sits low, and the permit is large, and blocks a good deal of my view of the road. Safety first!

    Thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Towed Due to Partially Obstructed Display of a Parking Permit in an Apartment Com

    It's a hang tag? Then you're supposed to take it off of the rear view mirror when you drive.

    What do the complex rules state about how the hang tag is to be displayed in your vehicle?

    Frankly, it is not possible to state whether or not "it was partially visible" is a reasonable response to "I didnt know what it was" without knowing exactly what the tag looked like, where it was, and what portion was visible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Towed Due to Partially Obstructed Display of a Parking Permit in an Apartment Com

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
    View Post
    I feel that the driver claiming he didnt know what it was is not a good argument; he should have known, even tho he couldn't see the words "Parking Permit". The permit is medium green cardboard, and it's not like I had several other things on the dash, as I did not. Is it not incumbent on the driver to, when he sees one piece of green cardboard on the dash, assume that that's a permit?
    You admit that the words "Parking Permit" were not visible.

    No, it's not incumbent on the tow driver to assume that a piece of green cardboard is a "Parking Permit." It could have been anything.

    You're the one without a good argument.

    You lose.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    16

    Default Re: Towed Due to Partially Obstructed Display of a Parking Permit in an Apartment Com

    Thank you for the replies, Mr. K, and Ejay.

    Yes, this is a hanging tag. I get that "you take it off while driving" - but what if I forget to put it back when I park? It's on the seat, and not visible. So I figured the dash was the way to go.

    The property management has effectively said, "you have authorization to park here, if and only if you hang this permit from your mirror."

    I hear that. But my question still stands. Since this is not a govt agency, but a private entity, I dont think any laws (statutes) apply here - am I correct? So. if the apt complex requires that I hang the permit from my mirror, but it is instead on the dash - lets say 100% visible now - does the two co. still have a right to tow? I would argue no. But I understand the other side too - that if it's not clearly visible, the tow company may think it has a right to tow. I disagree with that, but maybe that's just me.

    Is there any case law that anyone knows of, that would either support my argument, or oppose my side?

    Thanks again.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    You admit that the words "Parking Permit" were not visible.
    No, it's not incumbent on the tow driver to assume that a piece of green cardboard is a "Parking Permit." It could have been anything.
    You're the one without a good argument.
    You lose.
    Gee, aren't you pleasant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Towed Due to Partially Obstructed Display of a Parking Permit in an Apartment Com

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
    View Post
    I get that "you take it off while driving" - but what if I forget to put it back when I park? It's on the seat, and not visible.
    The same thing that happens if you place it incorrectly, it is not seen, and you get towed.
    Quote Quoting CharWorks
    Since this is not a govt agency, but a private entity, I dont think any laws (statutes) apply here - am I correct?
    Most, probably all, states have laws restricting the towing of vehicles from private property. If there is no law that makes an act of towing unlawful, then absent highly unusual facts it is going to be lawful.
    Quote Quoting CharWorks
    Is there any case law that anyone knows of, that would either support my argument, or oppose my side?
    You are unlikely to find case law addressing improperly displayed hang tags, as very few people are going to spend many thousands of dollars litigating and then appealing this type of issue.

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