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Thread: Legal reasoning why a car with expired registration should be towed.

  1. #1
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Legal reasoning why a car with expired registration should be towed.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NJ

    My car was towed today because the registration was expired and it's long weekend so I can't get it renewed. Lots of moola Ill have to pay to get it out and I could see tow truck guy salivating. I know I'm not the only one (Ive heard other stories like this) since they started not supplying plate reminder stickers and the police using the drive by electronic scanners. No I did not get the renewal (lost maybe?) and yes I forgot to check my registration every month.

    But ok, I know its the law in NJ so no argument here nor looking for sympathy, but I don't understand the reasoning why the legislators would pass such a harsh law over an expired registration? The state does not get anything out of the towing fee. Why not give a fine with a 7 day warning or something for expired registration. The car has a valid inspection so no danger there.

    So my real question finally is. Can this be construed as cruel and unusual punishment given that they seize a $20K car over a $55 fine+$100 registration? Can a constitutional legal case be made to change this law so it's not such heavy on punishment given the fact that the car is not dangerous, has valid inspection sticker and was otherwise parked legally?

    Thanks
  2. #2
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NJ

    My car was towed today because the registration was expired and it's long weekend so I can't get it renewed. Lots of moola Ill have to pay to get it out and I could see tow truck guy salivating. I know I'm not the only one (Ive heard other stories like this) since they started not supplying plate reminder stickers and the police using the drive by electronic scanners. No I did not get the renewal (lost maybe?) and yes I forgot to check my registration every month.

    But ok, I know its the law in NJ so no argument here nor looking for sympathy, but I don't understand the reasoning why the legislators would pass such a harsh law over an expired registration? The state does not get anything out of the towing fee. Why not give a fine with a 7 day warning or something for expired registration. The car has a valid inspection so no danger there.

    So my real question finally is. Can this be construed as cruel and unusual punishment given that they seize a $20K car over a $55 fine+$100 registration? Can a constitutional legal case be made to change this law so it's not such heavy on punishment given the fact that the car is not dangerous, has valid inspection sticker and was otherwise parked legally?

    Thanks
    How expired is it?
  3. #3
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    No, this is not cruel and unusual punishment.

    If you want the law to change, write your congressperson.
  4. #4
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    was the car on public property?




    Can a constitutional legal case be made to change this law so it's not such heavy on punishment given the fact that the car is not dangerous, has valid inspection sticker and was otherwise parked legally?
    but it could not lawfully be on public property so think of it this way:

    the tow driver was merely bringing you into compliance with the law. Had he not done that, you would still be breaking the law. Now, wasn't that nice of him?
  5. #5
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    I am not complaining about the ticket. I deserved it per law ok? Guilty.... This is about everyone who gets these crazy tows. A guy speeding 90mph gets a ticket not his car towed.

    My question is whether this law is cruel and unusual punishment and is there a legal case to be made. Can these laws be overturned... And yes I will write to my congressman.

    I just need to know if this is worth fighting at higher levels like suing the state for cruel and unusual punishment. Any judges here?
  6. #6
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    This is not even close to cruel and unusual punishment. You would be laughed out of court if you tried that.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  7. #7
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    No, this is not cruel and unusual punishment.

    If you want the law to change, write your congressperson.
    Is this the only choice? What about law suit. Is there a legal precedent or even class action lawsuit that can work?
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    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post

    My question is whether this law is cruel and unusual punishment and is there a legal case to be made.
    Actually, the towing charges wouldn't even be classified as punishment. The fine is the punishment. The towing and storage fees are necessary to keep these dangerous unregistered cars off the streets.

    I don't think there's much chance you'll convince a judge that this law is considered cruel or unusual. In fact, the death penalty for minors is the only thing that comes to mind as having been declared cruel and unusual.
  9. #9
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyclaus View Post
    How expired is it?
    6 months. But it is irrelevant to my question. The punishment does not fit the infraction. Why tow? Why not fine $150? Let the state make the money. Stupid reasoning or just a great towing lobby.
  10. #10
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    You see, I disagree. I think it's a very reasonable and appropriate response. You could not legally drive the car as long as the inspection was expired, so a warning would be inappropriate.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  11. #11
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevef View Post
    Actually, the towing charges wouldn't even be classified as punishment. The fine is the punishment. The towing and storage fees are necessary to keep these dangerous unregistered cars off the streets.

    I don't think there's much chance you'll convince a judge that this law is considered cruel or unusual. In fact, the death penalty for minors is the only thing that comes to mind as having been declared cruel and unusual.
    ya mean drawing and quartering is back on the table


    In Graham v. Florida (2010), the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, ruled that the Eighth Amendment does not permit sentences of life without possibility of parole for minors who commit nonhomicide crimes.

    In Hudson v McMillian (1992) the Court considered whether the beating by prison guards of a handcuffed inmate at Louisiana's Angola prison violated the inmate's Eighth Amendment rights. Voting 7 to 2, the Court found a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause even though the inmate suffered no permanent injuries or injuries that required hospitalization. In so holding, the Court rejected the lower court's argument that only beatings that caused "significant injuries" (read as injuries that were permanent or required hospitalization) rose to the level of Eighth Amendment violations.
    bailiff, whack his pee pee


    or would that be cruel and unusual punishment?
  12. #12
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevef View Post
    Actually, the towing charges wouldn't even be classified as punishment. The fine is the punishment. The towing and storage fees are necessary to keep these dangerous unregistered cars off the streets.

    I don't think there's much chance you'll convince a judge that this law is considered cruel or unusual. In fact, the death penalty for minors is the only thing that comes to mind as having been declared cruel and unusual.
    I won't split hairs but I will. It's not unregistered. It has expired registration. Anyway these dangerous expired registration cars should be taken off the road immediately. I mean tow truckers have to eat too.

    Thanks for your inputs.
  13. #13
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post
    6 months.
    Wow. You have some nerve questioning a tow.

    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post
    The punishment does not fit the infraction. Why tow?
    Sure it fits. The tow is in place to remove an unregistered vehicle from the road. You have no business having a vehicle on a public highway with no registration.

    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post
    Stupid reasoning or just a great towing lobby.
    Neither. You just can't seem to accept the fact that a tow for an expired registration (especially 6 months!) is reasonable.
  14. #14
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyattbiker View Post
    I won't split hairs but I will. It's not unregistered. It has expired registration.
    Which means it is unregistered
  15. #15
    wyattbiker is offline Junior Member
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    Oh and about cruel and unusual punishments is not just death penalty. Google many examples:

    In United States v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321 (1998), the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to take $357,144 from a person who failed to report his taking of more than $10,000 in US currency out of the United States.[35]
    In Waters-Pierce Oil Co. v. Texas, 212 U.S. 86 (1909), the Supreme Court held that excessive fines are those which are "so grossly excessive as to amount to a deprivation of property without due process of law."

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