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Towing a car of a public street if no summons is issued


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#1 NJ_JimA

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:43 AM

My son was visiting his girl friend in a neighboring New Jersey town and his car was towed during a snow emergency declaration. He was unaware of the declaration and parked on a very low traffic street. He was not issued a summons for illegal parking. Can he be towed legally if no summon is issued?

I have a lot of problems with the procedures used by the township, yet I understand the need to clear streets of snow, so I debate myself whether it is worth his fighting the ticket.

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

Jim A.

#2 adjusterjack

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

Contradiction alert.

First you say he wasn't issued a summons.

Then you refer to "fighting his ticket."

Please explain.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#3 NJ_JimA

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

I'm sorry about that, I has summons on my mind. I really meant to ask is whether I can fight a towing fee, if no summons was issued.

#4 adjusterjack

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

I'm sorry about that, I has summons on my mind. I really meant to ask is whether I can fight a towing fee, if no summons was issued.


Depends.

Were you rightfully towed or wrongfully towed according to the law?

If you think wrongfully, explain why you think that, and cite a statute or code that backs you up.

That's what you would have to do if you went ot court on it.

Being inconvenienced or not knowing about the emergency or parking restriction isn't what I am asking.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#5 Tax_Counsel

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

A summons or citation is not always necessary before the government may tow a car. In an emergency situation, the government needs to have the ability to act promptly to clear streets so that essential services, like fire and ambulance services, utility repair crews, etc., can get through. Typically the government needs to provide some kind of notice to allow the vehicle owners to move the cars. That can be done several different ways. In my area the city has designated emergency snow route streets marked with signs that state no parking is allowed during snow emergencies and that violators will be towed. So let’s start there. Was there some kind of sign on the street indicating it was a snow emergency route?

#6 BOR_BOR

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:28 AM

Towing a car is a SEIZURE under the 4th AM. In such as what Tax Counsel suggests, the seizure is probably not unreasonable.

#7 NJ_JimA

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

To Adjusterjack:

Was the car legally towed? Personally, I don't think so, but I'm not a lawyer, and I know fighting city hall in court is not always easy. In the township's favor, they did post a 'snow emergency' on the internet and there was an impending storm when my son parked. On the negative side, there are no signs posted on the street in concern and as far as I can see, no signs in the entire township regarding snow emergencies.

As a citizen of N.J., how am I to know which towns in N.J. will tow and which will not. I don't think posting a message on the township website is sufficient notice. What if someone has no internet access, which at the time, my son did not.

To Tax_counsel:

You have answered my primary question, which is "can the car be towed without a summons being issued. From a practical point, I will pay the towing, and get on with more important issues.

Thank you for you help.

And to Bor_Bor:

Thanks for you input too. I do consider this a seizure and it is only with wide latitude that I'm agreeing that this was an "emergency". The township claims ANY snow on the streets is an emergency! The roads are generally wide and as an emergency responed, I would have NO problem bypassing parked cars. If they just plowed around the parked cars, there would be no inaccessible roads. Emergency? Good grief!

#8 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

Will your son be contesting such a citation?
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