Sunday, November 17, 2013

File Statutory Violation Lawsuit Instead of Tow Hearing to Recover Damages from Illegal Towing

Be sure to read this!

You should as a vehicle owner or operator file a statutory violation lawsuit in Justice Court against the parking facility owner, property management company or owner managed.  The filing fee is the same, even if you request a trial by jury.  In a majority of JP Courts, the fee is less than $50, which you will get back.

This route for recovery is based on any violation, such as the towing sign failing to bear the exact words: "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner or Operator Expense", or the wrong layout of the sign. 



Many towing companies will add words to this required phrase, making the sign illegal and a violation of Law.  A vehicle towed for any reason from a parking facility with a illegally worded towing sign is entitled to a $1000 plus the filing fee at the bare minimum.  If you are towed for a permit violation while visiting a tenant, or even a resident, and the parking permit has the name of the towing company on it, your in luck.  As the parking facility commits a violation by accepting something of value from the towing company.  This goes for those orange warning stickers as well, always record the conversation when questioning who placed the sticker on your vehicle.  If the property manager says the towing company did it, they will be paying you more than you will pay to get your vehicle released from the storage facility.  It's like short term investing with a high return.

Dallas Apt Ass President's company, Westdale Asset taking bribes

Another common violation in apartment complexes are restricted or designated parking spaces, every restricted parking space must be marked in the front and back on the pavement or posted no higher than seven feet off the ground.  The majority of carports are over 8' from the ground, where the number is painted. Visitor or Guest spaces must be marked on the pavement in the front and back of the parking space. This would be a violation as well. $1000 award plus three times what you paid at the storage lot, in addition to the costs of repairs for damaged done to your vehicle or content during the removal and storage process.

Towing sign placement is another blatant violation committed by parking facilities statewide, as the sign can be no farther than 25' from the street and the requirement of two signs should the driveway exceed 35' in width as shown below.

no signs posted as required by State Law

sign posted within 25' of street on both sides of driveway

Judge Ruled Against Towing Company, awards $1800
Even if someone is charged a drop fee on private property, the parking facility is on the hook for a $1000 per any violation of the towing law, as the wrecker driver was given authorization by the parking facility to enter the facility.

Illegally worded Fire Lanes enforced by parking facilities can be proved easily, as the Texas Towing Law requires they say in 3" letters, "FIRE LANE  TOW AWAY ZONE", not as shown below.

Illegally worded when not designated by fire department

In these types of statutory violation lawsuit in Justice Court, a judge doesn't have the legal authority to award less than a $1000 plus the filing fee, as vehicle's owner or operator is not required to prove negligence of a parking facility owner or the towing company or vehicle storage facility to collect for committing the violation(s).  If the number of violations exceed 7, it's recommended to file the statutory violation hearing in County Court instead of JP Court to be awarded in excess of $10,000, as several parking facilities have already been cited for 12 violations or more, that would place the total dollar expected to recover at $22.558.80 if $293.30 is paid at the storage lot.

Property managers tend to lie less during a statutory lawsuit before a jury with a court reporter while under oath, when asked two key questions.  (a) did you provide written notice to the towing company that you or your maintenance staff installed legal towing sign? (b) okay, who did install the signs, including all the signs under the carports, attached to the fence for visitors parking with the towing company's name and phone number on it. These questions have always opened a can of worms the towing company representative will be squirming in their chairs, as the truth will unfold the towing company gave the parking facility alot of things of value.  Although, a couple of Judges have raised doubt about something being of value, but each time, the Judge is asked, through their attorney or themselves, if he believes campaign donations from towing companies and their law firms are something of value, he claims on his Campaign Finance Report.

So remember, after your vehicle is towed without your consent, instead of wasting your time with a tow hearing, just file for a statutory hearing (no 14 day filing deadline) against the parking facility, leave the towing company out of the filing petition.  You have to begin gathering the evidence, take lots of photos, video of all of the parking lot features and record the property manager, assistant manager, maintenance personal stating a service is provided by the towing company.  Be absolutely sure to record every conversation while at the vehicle storage facility when trying to retrieve it.  The verbal abuse, threats of harm and refusal to provide all the information on the reciept are Integrity violations that the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations will hold accountable any of their licensees that violation this regulation.  That's why it is so important to record audio and video while at the vehicle storage facility when attempting to retrieve it, after the paying the charges.

Consult any of the attorneys listed on if ever towed from private property or simply file the case yourself.  If you have any questions, call or text with photos of the towing signs, the 24 hour tow victims hotline at 512-680-3190.  This is not legal advice, I am not an attorney, but I did write the original draft of the towing law in 1991 and the rights to a stored vehicle owner in 1994, so I know exactly what the towing and vehicle owner rights law means, how it should be enforced, how victims of illegal towing can get their money back and direct them to resources to file complaints and criminal charges.

Recent Judgment for Illegal Towing in Dallas, victim read the law, proved the violation and won.

Just keep in my mind, should you lose in Court, you don't have to worry about paying the attorney fees for the parking facility or towing company.

Texas Towing Compliance Legal Teams are situated across the state and will represent you in a statutory violation lawsuit with a valid case with no upfront legal or filing fees.  This is deal you will find nowhere else except with attorneys who work directly with tow victims who seek assistance through Texas Towing Compliance.  Call us, so we can get you in touch with them. 

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