+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    rbtstr Guest

    Illegal towing from private property - civil remedy?

    What is the name of your state? California

    I parked my car in an Officemax parking lot while shopping there. I purchased an item, but my friend and I decided to go to dinner and leave the car in the parking lot. We returned at 1:00am, but the car had been towed. We saw some police officers from Westminster nearby who told us that the tower informed them that Huntington Beach (a diffierent city) Police called in the tow. However, a call into Huntington Beach revealed that they had NOT called in the tow, and that the towing company towed the car of their own volition. The manager told us that they "scavenge" and tow cars off private property because they have a "contract."

    The towing company has to report the tow to the Police department prior to towing. On the report, it stated that they towed the car because it was "customer parking only." Well, I was a customer and I purchased things at the store.

    The towing company argued that when Officemax closed, I was no longer a customer, and therefore subject to towing even though no one filed a complaint, including the property owner.

    I visited the parking lot, where some signs were posted saying "no overnight parking," however, these were poorly lit and not noticeable from where I parked. I did come back to pick up the car at 1:00am, and did not leave it there overnight nor did i have any intention of leaving it overnight.

    The police said my only remedy is to file a civil suit. Can anyone help. Is there any other remedy? I'm out $165 cash, and a lot of wasted time. This is a lot of money for me, I am unemployed with no income.
  2. #2
    stevek3 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    The Buckeye State
    Posts
    695
    Quote Originally Posted by rbtstr
    What is the name of your state? California

    I parked my car in an Officemax parking lot while shopping there. I purchased an item, but my friend and I decided to go to dinner and leave the car in the parking lot. We returned at 1:00am, but the car had been towed. We saw some police officers from Westminster nearby who told us that the tower informed them that Huntington Beach (a diffierent city) Police called in the tow. However, a call into Huntington Beach revealed that they had NOT called in the tow, and that the towing company towed the car of their own volition. The manager told us that they "scavenge" and tow cars off private property because they have a "contract."

    The towing company has to report the tow to the Police department prior to towing. On the report, it stated that they towed the car because it was "customer parking only." Well, I was a customer and I purchased things at the store.

    The towing company argued that when Officemax closed, I was no longer a customer, and therefore subject to towing even though no one filed a complaint, including the property owner.

    I visited the parking lot, where some signs were posted saying "no overnight parking," however, these were poorly lit and not noticeable from where I parked. I did come back to pick up the car at 1:00am, and did not leave it there overnight nor did i have any intention of leaving it overnight.

    The police said my only remedy is to file a civil suit. Can anyone help. Is there any other remedy? I'm out $165 cash, and a lot of wasted time. This is a lot of money for me, I am unemployed with no income.
    You'll continue to be unemployed with no income if you continue to blame others for your own stupid actions. Bottom line: They're right, you're wrong. The next time you feel the need to eat for six hours, eat six hours worth of the bags of hard candy they sell inside Office Max.
  3. #3
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    14,121
    Once you left the store, you ceased being a customer. You were a victim of predatory impounding and it is legal in California. My state banned the practice earlier this year.
    If you feel my answer is rude, mean, snarky or in anyway not to your liking, I did my job. You don't need to tell me.

    No private messages, I do not reply to them.
  4. #4
    stevek3 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    The Buckeye State
    Posts
    695
    Quote Originally Posted by racer72
    Once you left the store, you ceased being a customer. You were a victim of predatory impounding and it is legal in California. My state banned the practice earlier this year.
    He wasn't a "victim" of anything. Read his post. The dufus was away eating tacos stuffed with caviar until 1:00 A.M. They could have just as easily towed his 1973 AMC Gremlin from the empty parking lot at 12:50 A.M.
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    27,446
    Quote Originally Posted by racer72
    Once you left the store, you ceased being a customer. You were a victim of predatory impounding and it is legal in California. My state banned the practice earlier this year.
    These laws exist to prevent retail shopping centers from becoming free parking lots for other venues, and sources of overnight and overflow parking for apartments and hotels.

    Where I worked in So. Cal., it was common for attendees of downtown events to park in shopping centers (with proper signage) to avoid paying for parking in the pay lots or meters. Well, the property owners of a couple of the shopping centers contracted with a couple tow companies to sweep the lots after a certain time (usually three hours after the center closed). This practice removed a potential liability for the property owner, and allowed them to have ample parking in the morning for paying customers ... and at this time of year, parking can be at a premium in some places.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

Similar Threads

  1. Towing Laws on non-registered vehicles on private property
    By Ardabus in forum Auto Accidents and Vehicle Claims
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-04-2010, 11:24 PM
  2. Towing from Private Property
    By rheinwein in forum Parking Tickets and Non-Moving Violations
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-11-2009, 09:44 AM
  3. Towing from private property**************.
    By Jay76 in forum Other Real Estate Law Questions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-14-2004, 08:52 AM
  4. Private Property Towing
    By Goner in forum Parking Tickets and Non-Moving Violations
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-27-2004, 11:42 AM
  5. Illegal sale of private property
    By papiliofair in forum Family Law Archive
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-25-2000, 10:19 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.