Denton’s New Towing Ordinance Conflicts With State Law & Unenforceable

DentonEarlier this week, the Denton City Council voted to update their towing ordinance to address the continuing predatory tow practices. Although the new ordinance is better than what they had, parts of grants companies the right via city ordinance to violate State Law, but if the tow companies, tow tuck operator and vehicle storage facilities think they can behind a city ordinance riddled with problems, they are sadly mistaken.

For starters, this ordinance Sec. 23-157. Removal to a designated facility allows a tow company to remove a vehicle and reload the vehicle onto another tow truck off the parking facility,

This is conduct is barred by State Law in 2009 and any licensees caught doing it face TDLR administrative fines, in additional to civil remedies taken by the vehicle owner or operator.

The ordinance in various places refers to Chapter 684 of the Transportation Code which has been re-codified to Occupations Code 2308 to regulate tow companies and vehicle storage facilities, this part must be update immediately.

Sec 23-152 Towing Restricted states, However, if a vehicle is not removed within 10 minutes and is in the process of being prepared for transport but not fully prepared for transport, a drop fee will apply.:

This section violates State Law as no fee may be charged when the vehicle owner catches the tow truck driver in the process of loading the vehicle regardless of a 10 minute rule. A tow truck driver from Mansfield, Texas learned the hard way from TDLR about this subject and was fined $900.

GAITHER, MICHAEL J
City: MANSFIELD
County: TARRANT
Zip Code: 76063 License #: 24561Complaint # TOW20160000122
Date: 11/3/2015

Respondent is assessed an administrative penalty in the amount of $900.

Respondent failed to cease and abandon tow operations when the vehicle owner was present.

In Sec. 23-154. Towing fee schedule; payment. (g) For payment of any fee under this article, a towing company or vehicle storage facility shall accept payment by cash, electronic check, debit card, or credit card for any charge associated with delivery or storage of a vehicle. However, payment by credit or debit card may be refused if the named cardholder is not present.

State Law states a vehicle storage facility will accept payment by cash, electronic check, debit card and major credit cards, not as the ordinance reads debit cards “or” credit cards.

This ordinance passed by the Denton City Council leaves room for loopholes that companies like Texas Impound Services and On The Road Again are sure to exploit.

For anyone towed in Denton regardless of the reason, there is an excellent chance for you to recover no less than a $1000 if you contact our highly recommended attorney Karen McRae at (214) 828-7147 as she charges no upfront legal fees.

The most common violation to collect the $1000 plus three times and the cost of repairs done during the towing/storage process, is:

  • Failure to provide the name of “person” who authorized the tow;
  • Tow Sign posted farther than 25′ from public street;
  • Tow Sign not facing the driver when entering the parking lot
  • Unauthorized Drop/boot fee;
  • Property Manager received something of value from tow company;

No City Ordinance can trump STATE LAW under no circumstance nor may it conflict with STATE Law period.

The New Denton Towing Ordinance:

Download (PDF, 755KB)

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