LETTER: Some Towing Unacceptable
My wife and I live on the 400 block of 9th Ave, and both work from home. We’ve had a few break-ins to our garage and don’t feel particularly safe leaving a car there, so both of us park on the street (as does everyone else on our block). Because of our schedules, we tend to be home quite a bit, and often go two or three days before we need to run out for something. We usually take my car when we need to go out, and rarely have a need to drive my wife’s car anywhere, though we keep it current.
This afternoon, we came outside and discovered that my wife’s car was gone. After a 911 call, we were informed that it had been towed by the city for what we were told were “unpaid parking tickets”. The thing is, we haven’t had any parking tickets. After tracking down the towing company and showing up just before they closed, we were handed a few tickets left on the dash. All but one cited expired registration (which was not expired, we had an officer in the sheriff’s office pull it up, and we have an image of the check used to pay in December). The other was marked “Over 48 hours”. As it has been described to me, this is most likely for being parked illegally in some way (such as blocking a driveway) for over 48 hrs. We were parked legally in front of our house, just like every other car on our block.
The towing offices won’t release the car without a receipt confirming the tickets are paid, as well as payment for the tow and storage. Of course, because everything happened so late, the earliest we could possibly try to resolve anything is Monday. That would leave us stuck with a tow & stow bill for at least 3-4 days. And for what? Parking in front of our house like we and every other car on our street do every single day?
Frankly, I’m disgusted by the actions of HPD, and the fact that no action was taken to try to contact us directly when they were in our front yard. A simple knock on the door and we could have answered any questions and would have gladly moved the car if there was a legitimate issue. We were both home at that time. Instead, we’re left with no explanation of what we did wrong, and what will most likely end up being a several hundred dollar tow & fee bill.
This is unacceptable, and we need your help fighting this. Please help us get this rectified as soon as possible. Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated!.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The letter writer did reach council woman Rebecca Thacker. She will sponsor the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit this type of towing from in front of an individual’s home. According to a magistrate, state law mandates 30 days.