The key to winning in Small Claims Court for the statutory violation civil penalty is being prepared. You have to gather all the photographs, video and recorded conversations with the parking facility. (the property owner, property manager, maintenance staff or business owner)
When developing your strategy to obtain these recorded conversations, the key is to get the parking facility representative to admit the tow company installed the tow signs, provided the parking permits, mailed the expired sticker notification letter, the warning stickers or striped the parking lot.
We have determined the best route, is to call these people from a smart phone with a record all calls app.
The Reliant Kickback would be like the recent manager admitting that Reliant Towing installed the tow signs the same day they striped the parking lot.
With this admission from the parking facility they accepted something of value from the tow company, especially with the tow company installing the signs or providing a “spotter”, the following violations should be cited in the Small Claim Court filing:
(a) A parking facility owner may not directly or indirectly accept anything of value from: (1) a towing company in connection with the removal of a vehicle from a parking facility
(a) A towing company that is insured as provided by Subsection (c) may, without the consent of an owner or operator of an unauthorized vehicle, remove and store the vehicle at a vehicle storage facility at the expense of the owner or operator of the vehicle if: (1) the towing company has received written verification from the parking facility owner that: (A) the parking facility owner has installed the signs required by Section 2308.252(a)(1);
In regards to video evidence, the video must show there are no tow signs posted within 25′ of the roadway, the tow sign is not “facing” you when entering the parking facility, the tow signs are not posted on the parking facility, instead of on someone else’ property.
Then comes the photographs, you need to take a photograph of every driveway your can enter the parking facility, standing across the street looking directly at the middle of the driveway, the tow sign, if posted correctly should be shown in the photographs.
The violations for inadequate tow signage is: Sec. 2308.301. (a)(1) facing and conspicuously visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility; (2) located: (A) on the right or left side of each driveway or curb-cut through which a vehicle can enter the facility, including an entry from an alley abutting the facility; or (B) at intervals along the entrance so that no entrance is farther than 25 feet from a sign if: (i) curbs, access barriers, landscaping, or driveways do not establish definite vehicle entrances onto a parking facility from a public roadway other than an alley; and (ii) the width of an entrance exceeds 35 feet; (3) permanently mounted on a pole, post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier; (4) installed on the parking facility; and (5) installed so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than five feet and no higher than eight feet above ground level. There is five possible violations when the tow signs are not posted correctly at the parking facility, each being a separate violation.
Then comes the photographs of the tow signs posted, these photographs need to be taken in way the “text” can be shown to the Judge.
This sign fails to state the text: “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense” making the sign illegal.
A legal tow sign is required to look exactly as shown below, although who may parking and prohibit all others may different based on the type of parking facility.
On a legal tow sign, the red background beneath the tow truck symbol can only state one of three phrases: “Towing Enforced”, “Booting Enforced”, “Towing and Booting Enforced”. Anything else makes the tow sign illegal, thus making the tow unauthorized. The hours and days towing is enforced must be located directly above the phone number underneath the phrase “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed At Owner’s or Operator’s Expense”.
Next comes the reserved or designated parking spaces, the space identifier must be in the “front and rear” of each parking space no higher than 7′ off the ground as shown below.
In addition to the above violations, the most frequent violation being committed, is the vehicle storage facility failing to provide the name of the “person” who authorized the tow. The tow company is required to provide to the vehicle storage facility the name of the “person”, not the name of the parking facility to be included in the release documents and the notifications letters to the registered owner and lien holder.
With all the possible violations at the parking facility, when you present in Court your documented evidence for say 5 violations and it only takes one violation to be found guilty, you leave Court a winner with a Judgment in hand against the parking facility and or property management company.