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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1

    Thumbs down Towed at Mall for Expired Registration

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California

    My car was towed from the mall parking lot where I work. It was legally parked, but the plates had expired. I had gone to the DMV several months ago and paid $160 to register my car from WA to CA. I feel like mall security tipped off a cop to call in my car. My car had a pending registration, and I DID pay the registration costs, complete smog etc. I just needed the title! The impound charges $38 a day for "renting" the space. The total cost they wanted to charge me was $365. I had a friend call the towing company to ask how much it would cost to have a car towed from the mall to their location, it was $60. How is it possible that from Tuesday 2pm-Wednesday 2pm to rack up such a bill? Wouldn't the mall owners have to give permission and supervise the tow? One of my coworkers also got his car towed recently for the same thing in the same lot. There must be someone driving around the mall lot with the intention of towing...Advice? I want to fight this! Mel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Towed at Mall for Expired Registration

    If you're looking to get the fees reduced, you'll want to contact an attorney in your area.

    With respect to the charge of driving with expired registration...there's nothing to fight. Your registration was expired. Every DMV will tell you that "pending registration" is not the same as a valid registration.

    Wouldn't the mall owners have to give permission and supervise the tow?
    One would assume that the mall owners have a contract with the towing company. That contract is sufficient permission, and no, they do not need to personally supervise each tow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Towed at Mall for Expired Registration

    Quote Quoting Mellymel485
    View Post
    My car was towed from the mall parking lot where I work. It was legally parked, but the plates had expired. I had gone to the DMV several months ago and paid $160 to register my car from WA to CA. I feel like mall security tipped off a cop to call in my car. My car had a pending registration, and I DID pay the registration costs, complete smog etc. I just needed the title! The impound charges $38 a day for "renting" the space. The total cost they wanted to charge me was $365. I had a friend call the towing company to ask how much it would cost to have a car towed from the mall to their location, it was $60. How is it possible that from Tuesday 2pm-Wednesday 2pm to rack up such a bill? Wouldn't the mall owners have to give permission and supervise the tow? One of my coworkers also got his car towed recently for the same thing in the same lot. There must be someone driving around the mall lot with the intention of towing...Advice? I want to fight this! Mel
    If you registration was expired by more than 6 months, the tow was legal (if performed by law enforcement) pursuant to CVC 22651(o) - and it applies to off street parking facilities such as shopping mall parking lots.

    The payment of fees is simply that - a payment of fees. The paperwork you receive from the DMV at that time even indicates that it is a report of a deposit of fees and is NOT an operating permit (it's wrritten all over the paperwork).

    The amount you have been asked to pay might be high, but it might also include a city or agency vehicle release fee. Around here, a one day (overnight) tow will cost about $280. What you pay for is the hook fee and the cost and daily expense of the storage. So long as the amount does not exceed the fee levels as set forth by the state and the local agency contract, they are valid.

    CVC 22658(i) has some further info:

    (i) (1) (A) A charge for towing or storage, or both, of a vehicle
    under this section is excessive if the charge exceeds the greater of
    the following:
    (i) That which would have been charged for that towing or storage,
    or both, made at the request of a law enforcement agency under an
    agreement between a towing company and the law enforcement agency
    that exercises primary jurisdiction in the city in which is located
    the private property from which the vehicle was, or was attempted to
    be, removed, or if the private property is not located within a city,
    then the law enforcement agency that exercises primary jurisdiction
    in the county in which the private property is located.
    (ii) That which would have been charged for that towing or
    storage, or both, under the rate approved for that towing operator by
    the California Highway Patrol for the jurisdiction in which the
    private property is located and from which the vehicle was, or was
    attempted to be, removed.
    (B) A towing operator shall make available for inspection and
    copying his or her rate approved by the California Highway Patrol, if
    any, with in 24 hours of a request without a warrant to law
    enforcement, the Attorney General, district attorney, or city
    attorney.
    (2) If a vehicle is released within 24 hours from the time the
    vehicle is brought into the storage facility, regardless of the
    calendar date, the storage charge shall be for only one day. Not more
    than one day's storage charge may be required for a vehicle released
    the same day that it is stored.
    (3) If a request to release a vehicle is made and the appropriate
    fees are tendered and documentation establishing that the person
    requesting release is entitled to possession of the vehicle, or is
    the owner's insurance representative, is presented within the initial
    24 hours of storage, and the storage facility fails to comply with
    the request to release the vehicle or is not open for business during
    normal business hours, then only one day's storage charge may be
    required to be paid until after the first business day. A business
    day is any day in which the lienholder is open for business to the
    public for at least eight hours. If a request is made more than 24
    hours after the vehicle is placed in storage, charges may be imposed
    on a full calendar day basis for each day, or part thereof, that the
    vehicle is in storage.


    - Carl
    **********
    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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