Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Judges Bring Hope For Intergrity in the Tow Hearing Courts

With the recent primary election across the state, new Judges have been elected, some of which, we hope they weren't bought off by special interest. We can only assume, these new and current Judges will familiarize themselves with the most recent changes to the Texas Towing Law, Occupation Code 2308.251 thru 2308.458. The State of Texas has announced the latest revisions of the last legislature will be updated on the state's servers by March 15th.

Still, based on documentation from the vehicle storage facility provided me from consumers, the majority of TDLR licensees are not complying with the regulations requiring a copy of the tow truck receipt be provided and failing to provide all the required information to file a request for a tow hearing.

Victims have told me, when they arrived at the court to file the request, court staff is misinformed regarding the changes, specifically, the jurisdiction for the hearing, being where the vehicle was towed from. Some courts have never heard of a tow hearing, as the ones that do, make rulings so far fetched, it's mind boggling.

I can only hope that when March 15th arrives, some of the misinformation will stop and the Courts will rule based on evidence, rather than campaign donations or social circles.

The next most important step will be getting those law enforcement agencies, who currently provide a safe haven for criminal minded towing companies who's drivers target minority drivers. Until law enforcement statewide takes the same approach as the Austin Police Department does with criminal illegal towing, these issues we are observing will continue. One has to wonder why any law enforcement agency, let along a certified peace officer, would allow someone to commit a Class B Misdemeanor and do nothing.

In the next session of Texas Legislature, I intend to lobby for a State Jail felony charge for violating Occupation Code 2308.401 and 402, the law the prohibits a towing company from having a financial interest in the parking facility. Until the commercial bribery is stopped, corruption within the private property impound industry will flourish as it does today.