If Your Car Gets Towed
The following information is provided for your information only. Please do not contact us regarding illegal towing unless serious personal injuries are involved. We no longer handle illegal towing cases.
Most people react to their car getting towed by getting angry, upset, and then paying to get their car out of lock up. Few people take the time to truly fight their case, usually because the cost of an attorney makes the debacle cost more than it is worth. In Westervelt vs. Beach Cities Towing Services, Inc. (BCTS), the plaintiff takes the case on himself and makes a compelling argument for why BCTS had no right to tow his vehicle, and that he should be paid the towing and storage fees, court costs, and punitive damages as compensation for the ordeal.
The plaintiff states that on 10/21/2010 his car was illegally towed from a space behind his garage in Rancho Santa Margarita. No warning or notice was given that this was being done; plaintiff states that the driver clearly made an independent decision to tow his vehicle without a PPI (Private Party Impound) or a fire lane sign being present at the location.
Defendant's report states that this towing occurred as a result of a general order to tow from MGMT, with no agent of the property owner present at the time of the tow. No name or phone number of such person being present was shown on the report made by Defendant, nor did anyone call to complain about plaintiff's car being parked behind his garage. Plaintiff further states that defendant's report falsely states that his car was parked in a fire lane. Plaintiff states that there is no fire lane sign or a painted curb as required by statue to mark a designated fire lane.
Plaintiff argues that BCTS is relying on an agreement with the former Sonoma Court Management Board of Directors made in and about the year 2004. That agreement pre-dates the predatory towing revisions to CVC 22658. The new statutory towing provisions of the revised CVC22658 makes illegal any attempt to delegate general authority to tow to BCTS, or anyone else.
Plaintiff is asking for actual damages in the sum of $200.00 in towing and storage fees, $60.00 in court costs, and punitive damages in the sum of $800.00 or four times the amount of tow charges for a total relief in the sum of $1,060.00.
Governing Statutory Authority
CVC Article 22658 states that a towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property without first obtaining written authorization from the property owner or lessee, or an employee or agent thereof, who shall be present at the time of removal. General authorization to remove or commence removal of a vehicle at the towing company's discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of a vehicle unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner that interferes with any entrance to, or exit from, the private property.
Whether this man will be successful in his plight is unpredictable, but his willingness to go the distance to obtain fair compensation for his losses is admirable. An inefficient towing system wastes law enforcement resources and frustrates citizens. The increasing number of holes in the system is allowing room for towing and storage companies to take advantage of the system. Even if he loses his case, the defendant may think twice before towing a vehicle under the same circumstances in the future. When we challenge companies to uphold the law, we contribute to decreasing future violations.
Help for Victims of Catastrophic Injury Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a catastrophic injury accident, call Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys at 949-203-3814. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys have helped a number of injured accident victims recover fair compensation for their personal injury claim. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a friendly law firm in a comfortable environment.