2/20/2013 NOTE I posted this in January- only to discover now that it was bumped into the drafts section. So I’m re-posting it again to see what happens.
****UPDATE MARCH 2013****
– I demanded the Park at LAX to repay me the cost of the towing- or get sued- and it worked. I received a check for the full amount for the towing and impound- $460.00! I was entitled to collect 2x the total according to the law but they chose to just pay the actual amount. Better than nothing right?
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! KNOW THE LAW! FIGHT BACK WHEN SOMEONE DOES YOU WRONG- because you CAN win!
Letter I sent to FOX news
I discovered and would like to report/expose a major racketeering scheme that I was a victim of last week.
The group running it happens to be the Police based out of the Pacific Police Station.
This is a major story because they’ve convinced themselves what they do is allowed when its totally not. They openly admitted that its done intentionally.
1) Cars can only be towed by police request from public parking lots and private parking lots THAT CHARGE NO FEE to park there.2) towing a car from a private parking lot (fee charged) is only permitted if they get a written request be made by the owner/manager of the lot. It has to state the reason the request was made and the reason has to be valid. And the owner/manager is required to be on the property when its being towed.
4) Towing service has to keep the written request on file for 3 years.
7) Police can only enter private parking lots to look for bad tags at the lot managers request- and no blanket permission is allowed.
They have to have a specific car/ reason for the request- (blocked access- car that doesn’t belong there).8) Requesting or granting permission to enter lot to seek out and ticket or tow a paid customers car is not permitted,
My Experience: I booked on line with Cheapairportparking.org. The booking was for
The Park at LAX – Outdoor Valet
11220 Hindry ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90045
The reservation was for the 23rd of Dec 2012 thru 11pm on Jan 1st.
My daughter (15) and I left the car aith them and flew to Maui to have christmas with my family.
Our return flight time was 2:35pm on the 1st.
At 11:30 am, right before going to the airport to catch our flight on the 1st I get called by the The Park- telling me that my car had been towed and was now in police impound because my registration sticker was expired. He went into great detail about how the police are allowed to search all the car lots for offenders- ticketing and towing as they please. How they have access to the indoor lots as well.
They said they could take me to a car rental place when I landed if that would help. When I complained that I was getting on the plane for the next 5 hours- unable to reserve a rental car- they offered to try reserve a car for me. He (keith) called back a little later saying how holiday rental pricing was like $100 a day/ no cars available. I said I cant afford it- he offered to wave the parking fee for keeping my car there ($89). and said he has a friend at a rental lot and would check with him. Called back to say he arranged it-and would be $35 a day. Took my credit card info and said they closed at 11pm.
Next day I got my car registered as required for release from impound and drove to the Pacific Police Station. Arrived at 2:20- sign on door to traffic detective office says open from 7:30 to 3. It was closed. Officer at desk said they will be back in a few minutes. Waited until 3:05 and asked to be seen because I’d driven 60 miles to get there to pick up my car- A few minutes later an officer opened the door and was introduced as the traffic divisions supervisor. While talking to him another woman arrived to get her car out of impound. He told both of us how the police are allowed to enter the airport parking service lots to look for violations- Towing cars that qualify to get towed. He went on to say “its what we do to generate revenue! laughing about it. He again explained that they are allowed to look anywhere they want- included inside gated car lots. No car is off limits. He indicated they search the regular airport lots as well.
He handed the details sheet to me. It showed that the car was towed from 99th Hindry ave. That’s a side street in a residential small apartment complexes neighborhood located about 2 miles away from the Park at LAX location. It had been towed on the 28th. Which means the Park at LAX waited 4 days to tell me it had been towed. Bruffy’s informed me over the phone that I owed $453 (give or take a dollar) to get my car back. Didn’t matter that I only was told late the afternoon the day before.
I was to pick up the car here:
Contact: Kevin Brough
4140 Glencoe Avenue Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
My car was up in the air on a rack. I paid the money and asked for a copy of the fees. While in the office waiting the 5 minutes it took to process the car papers- he received 4 calls by the police ordering tow service. 3 cars were towed in. The impound lot had maybe 50 + cars in it. (full) Business is booming!
LAPD AIRPORT PARKING RACKETEERING SCHEME
The LAPD traffic detective division supervisor openly admits to targeting airport carpark cars to generate revenue.
The scheme: Target the cars of people who are unable to respond/react because they are unable to react to tickets and in particular to: Impounding
Goal: Ticket and or Impound vehicles they find in and around LAX in airport parking lots and at the dozens of park lot services surrounding LAX.
Reason: They aren’t there aren’t able to do anything about it until they return- leading to higher revenue.
THEY ASSISTED BY PARK LOT BUSINESSES
racketeering legal definition
- Someone who makes money from a dishonest or illegal activity
- Aid in running a shady or illegal business
- Instigates or has involvement with a racket.
- Carries out illegal business activities or criminal schemes
- A person who’s engaged in illegal enterprises for profit
- Obstructs justice in furtherance of illegal business activities.
A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. Examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places. Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class.
the right to due process,
equal and fair treatment by law enforcement
California Vehicle Code
Division 11 Chapter 11
Division 11 – Rules of the Road
Chapter 11. Parking Lots
Table of Contents for Chapter 11
of Division 11 of the California Vehicle Code
Section Number Section Title
22950 Offstreet Parking Facilities: Regulation by City of Los Angeles
22951 Street and Alley Parking
22952 Towing or Removal: Violations
22953 Removal Prohibited
Any city having a population of over 2,000,000 inhabitants shall regulate offstreet parking facilities within its jurisdiction in a manner not inconsistent with any provisions of this chapter.
Section 22951. Street and Alley Parking
No operator of any offstreet parking facility shall park the vehicle of a patron of the facility in any street or alley. (my car was towed from where it was found- parked on a street -2 miles away from the lot it was supposed to be parked in)
Section 22952. Towing or Removal Violations
Every person engaged in the operation of off-street parking facilities is guilty of a violation, who:
(a) Tows or removes or authorizes the towing and removal of any vehicle within 24 hours of the expiration of the period for which a particular fee is charged. This subdivision shall not affect or limit any parking lot operator from charging parking fees in accordance with his posted schedule for the additional time such vehicle is parked.
(doesnt apply to my case- but may apply to many others)
V C Section 22651 Circumstances Permitting Removal
(o) (1) When a vehicle is found or operated upon a highway, public land, or an offstreet parking facility*** under the following circumstances:
(A) With a registration expiration date in excess of six months before the date it is found or operated on the highway, public lands, or the offstreet parking facility.
(this was my cars violation)
(5) As used in this subdivision, “offstreet parking facility” means an offstreet facility held open for use by the public for parking vehicles and includes a publicly owned facility for offstreet parking, and a privately owned facility for offstreet parking if a fee is not charged for the privilege to park and it is held open for the common public use of retail customers.
(MEANING- IT DOES NOT INCLUDE CARS FOUND IN LOTS THAT YOU PAY TO PARK IN
V C Section 22658 Removal From Private Property
(a) The owner or person in lawful possession of private property, including an association of a common interest development as defined in ( ) Sections 4080 and 4100 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property to a storage facility that meets the requirements of subdivision (n) under any of the following circumstances:
(1) There is displayed, in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign not less than 17 inches by 22 inches in size, with lettering not less than one inch in height, prohibiting public parking and indicating that vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense, and containing the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency and the name and telephone number of each towing company that is a party to a written general towing authorization agreement with the owner or person in lawful possession of the property. The sign may also indicate that a citation may also be issued for the violation.
(2) The vehicle has been issued a notice of parking violation, and 96 hours have elapsed since the issuance of that notice. (meaning if no one responds to the ticket within 4 days- they are allowed to impound it. Of course they wont be responded to- the owners are out of town. Its a total set up. Note that it says parking violations- not other violations like police tell you is allowed)
(3) The vehicle is on private property and lacks an engine, transmission, wheels, tires, doors, windshield, or any other major part or equipment necessary to operate safely on the highways, the owner or person in lawful possession of the private property has notified the local traffic law enforcement agency, and 24 hours have elapsed since that notification.
(b) The tow truck operator removing the vehicle, if the operator knows or is able to ascertain from the property owner, person in lawful possession of the property, or the registration records of the Department of Motor Vehicles the name and address of the registered and legal owner of the vehicle, shall immediately give, or cause to be given, notice in writing to the registered and legal owner of the fact of the removal, the grounds for the removal, and indicate the place to which the vehicle has been removed. If the vehicle is stored in a storage facility, a copy of the notice shall be given to the proprietor of the storage facility. The notice provided for in this section shall include the amount of mileage on the vehicle at the time of removal and the time of the removal from the property. If the tow truck operator does not know and is not able to ascertain the name of the owner or for any other reason is unable to give the notice to the owner as provided in this section, the tow truck operator shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 22853 relating to notice in the same manner as applicable to an officer removing a vehicle from private property.
(l) (1) (A) A towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property without first obtaining the written authorization from the property owner or lessee, including an association of a common interest development, or an employee or agent thereof, who shall be present at the time of removal and verify the alleged violation,
(B) The written authorization under subparagraph (A) shall include all of the following:
(i) The make, model, vehicle identification number, and license plate number of the removed vehicle.
(ii) The name, signature, job title, residential or business address and working telephone number of he person, described in subparagraph (A), authorizing the removal of the vehicle.
(iii) The grounds for the removal of the vehicle.
(iv) The time when the vehicle was first observed parked at the private property.
(v) The time that authorization to tow the vehicle was given.
(C) (i) When the vehicle owner or his or her agent claims the vehicle, the towing company prior to payment of a towing or storage charge shall provide a photocopy of the written authorization to the vehicle owner or the agent.
(iii) The towing company shall also provide to the vehicle owner or the agent a separate notice that provides the telephone number of the appropriate local law enforcement or prosecuting agency by stating “If you believe that you have been wrongfully towed, please contact the local law enforcement or prosecuting agency at [insert appropriate telephone number].” The notice shall be in English and in the most populous language, other than English, that is spoken in the jurisdiction. (I never received this)
(D) A towing company shall not remove or commence the removal of a vehicle from private property described in subdivision (a) of Section 22953 unless the towing company has made a good faith inquiry to determine that the owner or the property owner’s agent complied with Section 22953.
(E) (i) General authorization to remove or commence removal of a vehicle at the towing company’s discretion shall not be delegated to a towing company or its affiliates except in the case of a vehicle unlawfully parked within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, or in a manner which interferes with an entrance to, or exit from, the private property.
(3) A towing company shall maintain the original written authorization, or the general authorization described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1)(fire hydrant) and the photograph of the violation, required pursuant to this section, and any written requests from a tenant to the property owner or owner’s agent required by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), for a period of three years and shall make them available for inspection and copying within 24 hours of a request without a warrant to law enforcement, the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney.
(4) A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(5) A person who violates this subdivision is civilly liable to the owner of the vehicle or his or her agent for four times the amount of the towing and storage charges.
(m) (1) A towing company that removes a vehicle from private property under this section shall notify the local law enforcement agency of that tow after the vehicle is removed from the private property and is in transit
V C Section 22651.07 Towing Fees and Access Notice: Vehicle Owner Right
(c) Prior to paying any towing, recovery, or storage related fees, a vehicle owner or his or her agent shall have the right to all of the following:
(1) Receive his or her personal property, at no charge, during normal business hours. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inclusive, except state holidays.
(I was told by the towing /impound lat that I was not allowed to remove anything from the car until I paid for everything and the car was released by the police- that the police owned the car til they sign its release- total lies! I asked if I could get my GPS out of it cuz I didn’t know how to get everywhere to deal with all this)
(2) Retrieve his or her vehicle during the first 72 hours of storage and not pay a lien fee.
Replies to my complaints to the booking service that sent me to The Park parking service.
Attached are photos of their website claiming cars are kept inside secure lots with 14 hour security. They provide photos of the lots. Again- my car was towed from a neighborhood street 2 miles away- and was notified 4 full days after it was already towed.
From: Airport Parking <email@example.com>
Sent: Wed, Jan 9, 2013 10:02 am
Subject: Re: Message from CheapAirportParking.org
On our website we present information that was provided to us by parking lots that have chosen to use our platform for their business. If any particular lot did not keep its promise of security, we can not take responsibility for their inadequate representations. Please, contact the parking lot management directly.
On Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 6:45 AM, I wrote:
I know that- however- you are responsible for screening the companies you book the rentals to. You clearly state that your lots are secure/enclosed and feature 24 hour lot supervision. My car was left on the side of the road- no where near their lot. You are responsible because you sent me to a place that didn’t provide the service you claimed I’d receive. Your responsible for false advertising. For using lies to gain customers under false pretenses- That’s totally illegal.
You cannot tell people their car will be inside a secure lot unless it really will be. Can’t say there will be 24 hour security unless its the truth. The only reason I chose to book thru you was because I wanted my car safe in a lot with security.
You failed to provide the services I agreed to. My car was left on the side of the road.
Had there been any supervision at all- I would have been notified by them as soon as it was towed-
not 5 days later! Impound fees are charged daily. Because you lied- I was charged for 5 days of impound. You are absolutely responsible for those fees. I’m a Certified Paralegal. I know the law.
Bottom line- you are responsible for providing the services you state on your website- It’s your job to only book with lots that provide the services you claim on your site. You screwed up. They never did offer those services- they dont have a gated lot or security. Never did. Your using them anyway. Their company car has your name on it.
From: Airport Parking <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Fri, Jan 4, 2013 9:18 pm
Subject: Re: Message from CheapAirportParking.org
We are just an online booking platform and do not run any onsite operations. Please, contact the parking lot management directly.
I went to The Park and confronted them. First the guy claimed he just started working there 5 days before- then he mentioned how they helped me get a rental car- proving he was there when it all happened. I provided them a printout of all the rules and laws along with a settlement agreement for 2x the impound charge- less what they paid for the rental car and less for the days my car was at their lot. They left a message on my phone a few days later saying they agreed to pay it and that a check would be ready by the next day- monday- or to let them know what I wanted to do- I asked to have the check mailed to me since I live over 50 mines away. That was 2 weeks ago- no check has arrived. They are not responding to my messages. Their agreement to settle proves they know they were responsible. If I have to file a civil law suit- they will likely be charged a $2000 violation fee for parking my car on the street to the courts along with paying me the full 2x the impound cost.
The excuse they told me for why my car was ever parked on the street:
First they tried to claim the location was outside a storage warehouse- even tho I kept telling him I was just there- and there are no buildings at all. All that was there was another victim’s car- with a busted tail light and tickets in the wind shield. Same exact parking spot! (5 days of tickets with no response and or car is still there=they get to impound the car)
They said they transfer cars between 2 locations- their lot and a storage building nearby on Century. That they have to cycle the cars around-as cars get delivered and or need to be picked up- and that during this exchange process- they park cars along the street while rearranging whats inside. Sounds reasonable -till you factor back in that where it was parked was 2 miles away- no where near any storage buildings- and that it was towed on saturday just after lunch and they didn’t call me about it until Tuesday afternoon. If they left it on the street while they switched around the cars in a warehouse- they would have noticed right away that it had been towed. It wasn’t left on the street temporarily. It was left where no one checked on it until Tuesday.