Sunday, May 8, 2011
Filed April 1 in the State Court of Cobb County against Bret Alan Tillman and Atlantic Coast Contracting, LLC, Steakley is requesting a judgment of $125, attorney fees and punitive damages of $12,500 from Tillman's booting service for holding his car ransom to unlawfully extort money, the suit claims.
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Lawyer files lawsuit over vehicle booting
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The move is expected to save the public £55million a year in fees from a racket that the AA branded ‘legalised mugging’.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355005/Wheel-clamping-private-land-criminal-offence.html#ixzz1K2mWxrIG "
A key provision would cut the fee for removing the steel, locking clamp to $22.
The issue drew City Hall’s attention after the Orlando Sentinel reported several cases in which people had their cars booted improperly. Those include a Coca-Cola truck booted while making a delivery, a van booted with a family sitting inside, and several people booted while visiting their bank or lawyer’s office. "
Tuesday 19th April, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque City councilman Isaac Benton will introduce new city ordinances to regulate private companies from booting cars in their parking lots.
The new proposals include: ...
•Placing at least two visible signs that cars will be booted, what the cost is for removing boots and a 24/7 telephone number for the booting service
•Companies must remove a boot within an hour
•They can charge no more than $75
•Private lots that boot must provide patrons with parking stubs so they can prove when and how much they paid
Benton said he's proposing the changes because city hall has received numerous complaints that cars are being unfairly booted.
If companies violate the laws, they could face fines up to $100.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Parking boot gets the boot in one Georgia county
Posted on February 3, 2011 at 8:52 AM
Notice how the owner of the car booting business defends the practice by making the absurd claim that it "prevents" people from parking there. Let's examine this closer, so you see why I say it is absurd:
If you paid the wrong meter box, or didn't pay on your way to the sandwich shop, you are not suddenly "guilty" of "parking illegally." Perhaps you were entering the shop to get change for the meter. Preemptive car booting denies the motorist any semblance of due process.
They immobilize your car in their parking lot, which is an unlawful seizure of your property, then they charge you a fine, or a "release fee". They arrogantly "punish" you to deter you from violating their rules in the future. To teach you not to park there "illegally", they keep your car trapped in the very spot they supposedly don't want you to be parked in. This means that they are knowingly preventing their own lot from earning money from other motorists who might have utilized that spot.
A NOTE ABOUT THE PHRASE "ILLEGALLY PARKED"
They throw around the word "illegal" in order to make you feel like you committed a crime. It's part of the overall high pressure strategy intended to lessen your resistance to the coercion. If you paid the wrong slot or didn't see the sign, you didn't commit a crime. Remember, we're supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty."
Car Booting on private parking lots is a ridiculous scam. They have no right to punish you, nor do they have the right to fine you. Your right to due process and your right to an appeal are both completely circumvented by these illegal booting operations. The idea that they have the right to do so because you're on their property is also nonsense.
Those who hire car-booters to manage their lots are solely in it for the money.
(CAR BOOTING A MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR EXTORTION RACKET)
These are multi-million dollar a year operations in larger cities. The lot owners display a very medieval understanding of property rights. These "private" parking lots are in public places, and masquerade as businesses. However, they are used as a means to entrap people, to seize their vehicles unlawfully, all with the express purpose of extorting their CASH.
If it was about parking lot control, their objective would be to earn money by selling spaces by the hour. If that really was the case here, they would not keep their own spaces blocked by booting cars. They would write tickets instead. And why don't they? Because they don't have a legal right to demand these fees.
The trick is simple. They pretend to be a business and solicit their parking spaces for your use. Then, if you don't pay, or pay the wrong box, they impound your car. They convict you of theft even though you may have been getting change to pay the meter. You are presumed guilty with no recourse, no appeal.
Car booting on private lots is a total scam. It's a coercive and unethical practice. Don't fall for it.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Las Vegas, NV -- Dozens of parade-goers were steaming mad Monday afternoon when they returned to a downtown parking lot to find their cars had been 'booted'.
"A lot of people were yelling, a lot of people were swearing, a lot of people were cussing," says booted driver Breauna Trotter. "A lot of angry people."
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
-- Steve Collins
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"They say that appears to constitute theft, also a crime."
"I think it's ridiculous," says Stephanie Filipelli."
"Unethical," adds Robert Soelberg, a retired police officer.
According to Nevada's own laws, however, this practice is ILLEGAL:
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The POA also provides for a trial to prove your were guilty of the alleged offence. You weren’t given a trial or the option of having a trial, you were just found guilty and forced to pay on the spot by a private company who is breaking the law.
Section 51 of the by-law articulates who can issue summons and tickets and NO WHERE does this by-law allow a private company to do ANYTHING to ANYONE regarding ANY alleged offence.
In short, you got screwed.
The city needs to require this company to reimburse ALL people who have been a victim of this scam since it began.
Or you can sue them and you can seek additional damages for violating your charter rights. You can seek you legal costs in fighting this, too.
And you will win, too!"
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
"I'm fed up with this issue and I cannot accept any arguments from staff that there's nothing we can do because this action occurs on private property," said Boudreau.
He added the municipal building inspectors regulate the number of parking spaces rental houses must have on their property, so there must be a way to regulate private parking as well.
He asked city manager Jacques Dubé to prepare a bylaw for the next council meeting June 21.
Until then, he said, he'll be boycotting any businesses that boot.
"This is a straightforward matter. Let's ban those idiotic items!" he said. "This booting stuff is insane."
Thursday, April 1, 2010
...a class action lawsuit filed on Tuesday that claims Whitestone's booting fines are "illegal" and "nothing more than a profit enhancer."
Last year, Collier County received so many booting complaints, most of them about Whitestone; it capped booting fines to $25.
Ernest Aviles, a former Whitestone employee, claims his boss told him 'I want you to kill Lee County. I mean, I want you to hit them hard' (with booting fees). "
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Mr.Aviles, a former car booter says a lower fee is "...only fair, especially in the economy right now. I've seen people wake up in the morning, they couldn't take their kids to school, they couldn't go to work, they didn't have 160 dollars cash in their pocket to get that boot taken off."
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Francisco Guzman, who was parked just a few spots down, said he also paid the parking fee.
"There's a ticket here, and there's a couple of boots on my wheels," he said.
"We paid our $5," one angry customer told the parking lot attendant. "Where did it go?"
"There should be a camera showing that he put the money in there, because I witnessed him putting the money in there," said another irate customer. "We're not crazy. It has to be some kind of scam or something."
The drivers had to pay $100 to get the boots removed from their cars.
"This is theft, because I did pay the $5," Guzman said.
The car owners said they plan to appeal the fines they had to pay to get the boots removed from their vehicles."
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Another out of control booting company:
"The residents said they believed the park's management was getting a kickback from all the towing..."
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
A growing number of folks have parked in unattended lots, left their money in a steel box as instructed and returned to their cars to find a boot on the tire. The men in bulletproof vests who arrive to remove the boot will only set vehicles free for a large fee. Assertions that they paid to park get car owners nowhere, leaving them stranded with an immobile vehicle.
Finally, though, the city of Dallas is cracking down on booters gone bad.
Former reserve cop pleads guilty to forgery in scheme that made thousands from booting cars.
Brian Hanhart pleaded no contest on September 11 to forgery after being accused of running an extortion scheme while serving as a reserve sheriff's deputy in Marina del Rey, California. Hanhart runs Municipal Parking Services, a company that placed boots on vehicles parked in private lots in Lawndale and El Camino Village in 2004. Hanhart sought payment of $80-100 for the release of each car.
An August 2004 opinion by the state attorney general made it clear that police officers may only boot cars located on public streets. Hanhart must now perform ninety days worth of community service and pay $18,000 to charity -- an amount designed to deprive him of the profits gained from his illegal booting scheme."
Posted by Mike O."Source: http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2010/jan/02/how-combat-parking-lot-fraud/
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Barry Annino, President of the Deep Ellum Foundation says "...the new ordinance was more than a year in the making. “It’s taken thousands of emails, complaints and hours at City Hall.”
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Total Parking Solutions, a Seattle-area company, has been operating without a city business permit, according to officials with the Treasurer's Office in San Diego. Lot attendants have been demanding that vehicle owners pay $280 to remove boots from cars parked in business parking lots."SOURCE: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/220385_clamping16.html
Friday, January 1, 2010
"...car clamping is now just an end in itself, an easy way to rake in cash from motorists who have to pay whatever outrageous sum is demanded of them."
"The AA says the industry is 'totally immoral' and has clamped one in every 17 drivers.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell admits clampers are 'indulging in unacceptable behaviour including unclear signage and excessive fees', and is planning legislation in this year's Queen's Speech."
"WHAT THE NEW LAWS SHOULD SAY
FULL RIGHT OF APPEAL
Motorists who receive penalties on public roads have a legal right to an independent appeal. Motorists clamped on private land are at the mercy of a completely unregulated regime.
At best, firms offer a right of appeal only to themselves, and are obliged only to send a letter explaining why the penalty is being upheld.
AN INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO HEAR APPEALS BY MOTORISTS WHO ARE CLAMPED ON PRIVATE LAND.
STRICT LIMITS ON PENALTIES
For parking offences on public land, maximum penalties are fixed by the Department for Transport. Outside of London, the upper limit is £70. Inside the capital, it increases to £120.
The charge for recovering a vehicle which has been towed away is £105, with a storage charge of £12 per day. The maximum charge for removing a clamp is £40.
On private land, clampers can charge whatever they want. Drivers regularly receive demands for £500.
THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR INFRINGEMENTS ON PRIVATE LAND SHOULD BE IDENTICAL TO THOSE ON PUBLIC ROADS.
RESTRICTIONS ON TOWING
Councils are advised to remove a vehicle only if it is causing a danger, blocking access or if it appears to have been abandoned.
Private clampers routinely tow vehicles away within minutes of a parking offence taking place. This allows them to maximise profits by charging for both the removal of the vehicle and the original penalty.
NO VEHICLE SHOULD BE TOWED AWAY UNLESS IT IS POSING A DANGER, BLOCKING ACCESS OR HAS BEEN ABANDONED.
INCENTIVES FOR CLAMPING
Councils are instructed not to offer incentives to traffic wardens to penalise as many motorists as possible. Because private car parks are unregulated, no such arrangements exist.
Deals can be struck between clampers and landowners to pay a commission for each motorist who is forced to pay a penalty.
THE USE OF INCENTIVES SHOULD BE BANNED. CLAMPING FIRMS SHOULD RECEIVE A FIXED SUM FOR POLICING PRIVATE LAND, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY MOTORISTS ARE ISSUED WITH PENALTIES."
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
He admitted that he helped craft the city's boot ordinance while serving on the city of Houston Parking Commission."It kind of dawned on me that there may be a business opportunity here..."
"His company has employees aggressively patrolling a number of lots all over downtown. Local 2 Investigates found them booting cars where payment machines were broken and, in one case, where the valid payment receipt was simply flipped upside down on the dashboard.
Martin said, "We're not trying to find a way to trick them. If we can see that that's a valid receipt, we're not going to boot them, but if we can't see that it's a valid receipt, it could be a receipt they picked up off the ground, it could be a receipt from yesterday, there's just no way of knowing until you see the other side of that receipt."
Monday, December 28, 2009
BOOTING VICTIMS CONSIDERING CLASS ACTION SUIT:
"Car clampers are on the rise as the number of people holding licences for the unpopular practice has soared this year."
"... Land owners who allow unlicensed clampers to operate from their property also face jail. Any driver who feels they have been wronged will be able to appeal to an independent tribunal, funded by a levy on parking and clamping companies.
At present, motorists appeal to the clampers themselves – scandalously allowing them to act as judge and jury.
"Employees of the company are paid solely on commission, meaning if they want money, they have to boot."
"...the lack of a decent appeals process."
"...what about the case of empty lots? Do complexes really need to enforce when there are no cars in the lot? There needs to be a stipulation in the system allowing for this. Again, if booters weren't paid solely on commission, I think we would see less ridiculous enforcement."
...Council member Angela Hunt, who represents parts of Deep Ellum and who pushed for the receipt requirement, said she wants drivers to know that they are entitled to proof they paid:
"Do I think this will end all booting problems in Deep Ellum? No, because I still think there will be unscrupulous and unethical booting companies. But the city now has some method of penalizing these people in a forceful way," she said.
"Do I think this will end all booting problems in Deep Ellum? No, because I still think there will be unscrupulous and unethical booting companies. But the city now has some method of penalizing these people in a forceful way," she said.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
“We want to make sure that best practice is being observed and we want to make sure that motorists are not being bullied or intimidated.”
"By refusing to clamp down on the clampers, the police are neglecting their duty to protect the public..."
"Extortion is a particularly ugly crime. It is committed regularly, apparently endorsed by the Government. Firms claiming to "protect" privately-owned land from trespassers clamp any car that makes the mistake of parking in an area patrolled by such a firm. The firm's agents then refuse to unclamp the car unless paid hundreds of pounds by the owner or driver, who has to pay up or lose his car. The clampers will increase the fine unless it is paid immediately."
"This is the biggest scam I've ever seen. I was visiting in Charlotte, had a couple of minutes for a cup of coffee, decided to run into Starbucks. I was driving a big truck and couldn't fit in the small parking spaces behind Starbucks, so I parked in the lot behind that. I was in Starbucks less than 5 minutes, came out to get in my truck and couldn't believe this thing was attached to my wheel! This is extortion. All he has to do is sit there and collect money from innocent, unsuspecting people, while telling you there IS a sign there. (But it's in 10 pt type.) I went into the office and told the lady I don't know how she can sleep at night! How can we get the word out? I am sending a letter to Starbucks asking that they put a sign on their door!"
July 18, 2009 by Kris in Frankfort, KY
Friday, December 25, 2009
The 30-year-old man is accused of 43 counts of extortion and 12 counts of coercion after forced money out of drivers for illegal parking under contract of supermarkets, hospitals and clinics, Nickolai confirmed."
Did the governments not ban racketeering and extortion to rid us of the “Mafia”?
But its ok because for Robbins Parking to do it. At least the Mafia extorted money in return for protection. Robbins parking extorts money from us and we get nothing in return other than an unsafe place to park our vehicle for a short period of time."
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Outlaw Private wheel clamping and vehicle removal companies. More details
Submitted by Tom Halvey – Deadline to sign up by: 15 January 2008 – Signatures: 263
More details from petition creator
"The Facts about wheel-clamping in Scotland, in 1992 wheel-clamping on private land was banned overnight, as it was declared to be extortion and theft. * Many clampers don’t have offices and work from PO Box addresses or from mobile phones. Charges can range from around £50 to over £500 for the removal of clamps and towing away fees. The government brought in legislation that has effectively legitimised extortion by clamping companies, how can clamping be a crime of extortion in one part of the U.K. and is then legitimised in another area of the U.K.
Fines/costs levied are far in excess of anything that could be called reasonable.We are concerned that there are inherent flaws with the licensing scheme arising from the fact that there is no enforceable code of practice that clampers have to abide by upon receiving a licence and are still able to charge as much as they like. The government should look to rectify this as a matter of urgency."
Monday, December 21, 2009
The fines for parking on private land are also demanded without any type of legal process and this is something that the RAC would like to see changed. The changes would certainly help people with courier jobs, as there is nothing worse than returning from a delivery to find a large yellow wheel clamp placed on your beloved van."
"So how exactly is wheel clamping illegal? Chris Elliott, a barrister for the RAC, argues that the concept of one citizen punishing another is alien in English law and that the purpose of clamping is simply to prevent a vehicle being on private land without permission. Therefore, Chris argues, clamping is perverse as it perpetuates the harm caused to the landowner which is ultimately a self-inflicted wound.
The only tactic is to punish or deter, both of which have no foundation in English law. This is because they are based on a notion that one person cannot punish another and that punishment is a power reserved solely for the State.
There are further arguments by barristers that the practice of clamping is also contradictory to protocol 1 of the Human Rights Law, which states that every person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions and should not be deprived of them, unless in accordance with English law."
When are those involved going to wake up to the fact that wheel clamping is illegal under the laws and constitutions of Great Britain.
Arbitrary fines were made illegal some 600 years ago by the Magna Carta, which guaranteed the right of trial before any fine or other punishment could be imposed.
This has been ratified several times since, in such acts as the 1689 bill of Rights, the 1701 Act of Settlement, and Article 6 of the 1998 Human Rights Act.
No one can be subjected to a fine unless found guilty in a court of law.
Putting up notices stating an intention to clamp illegally parked vehicles does not make the act lawful. Under civil law, as opposed to criminal law, you cannot have your goods seized for non-payment of a debt unless the debt has been proved in the civil court and a warrant issued.
Neither do any of the clamping firms have any defence by claiming to be licensed. No one can be licensed to break either the criminal or civil law,
Anyone who has been clamped is quite entitled to sue for damages in the civil courts. "
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Facts about wheel-clamping
- In Scotland, in 1992 wheel-clamping on private land was banned overnight, as it was declared to be extortion and theft.
- Many clampers don’t have offices and work from PO Box addresses or from mobile phones. Charges can range from around £50 to over £500 for the removal of clamps and towing away fees.
- It is estimated that the clamping industry is worth somewhere in the region of £240 million per annum, with around 350 firms operating across England and Wales.
Examples of Cowboy Clamping behaviour
The RAC Foundation has received hundreds of complaints about cowboy clampers over recent years. Our dossier of cases includes:
- A postman who was clamped whilst delivering a parcel to a customer’s front door
- A lady who reported her car stolen, only to be telephoned by clampers a month later, demanding £900 for the release of her car
- A clamper who forced a heavily pregnant lady to walk two miles to a cash point to get the clamp release money
- A hearse was clamped with a body in the back of it
- A disabled lady was clamped when her badge feel off the windscreen of her car. Despite producing her badge, the clamper demanded payment and claimed he was “clamping for charity”.
- A man was clamped when he stopped because the clamping lorry had run into the back of his car.
- In 2001, in response to The Foundation’s and motorists’ concerns, the government passed legislation in the form of the Security Industry Act in order to set up a licensing scheme for clampers. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) was later set up in 2003 to implement the scheme.
- As of 3rd May 2005, clamping without a Security Industry Authority Licence became a criminal offence. Anyone clamping, towing or blocking vehicles for a fee will now need a licence.
- All wheel-clampers now have to undergo training, criminal record checks and identity checks in order to be granted a license to clamp.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Investigators found the car booters had "...refused to identify themselves" and that these businesses, who are governed by both the licensing department and Reno municipal codes, were "...not really meeting the guidelines and requirements..."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Click here to read what residents have to say about private car booting operations:
Here are a couple highlights:
"The boot serves no purpose... it's a straight up money grab. It doesn't free up a parking space - which is supposed to be the reason for enforcing illegal parking anyway.
At least towing frees up the parking space for those who are "supposed to be there"... or at least that's the excuse.
These predatory tow companies are the lowest forms of life."
"...to place a boot on a vehicle is technically theft since the vehicle owner is being deprived of use of the vehicle without lawful cause since there is no inclusion in any code for a private entity to boot a vehicle, only to tow it.
So, if push comes to shove the tow operator could be charged with grand theft, dealing in stolen property, and extortion for requiring $100 payment to release the stolen property. It would probably only take one arrest of the greedy tow truck operators to make this practice come to a screeching halt. "
Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham Discusses Clampers in His Area:
Why does England and Wales not get in line with Scotland where private clamping is totally illegal."
Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham, UK.Tel +44 115 9705100; Fax +44 115 9423263
"Fred" from www.LegalBanter.com :
"The present legal position of clampers is a scandal and amounts to barely legal extortion in many cases. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to bring in a system of licensing that will regulate them.
We have all heard the horror stories, up to and including the deliberate setting up of tempting-looking sites to entrap the unwary. At up to £300 per victim the costs are easy to recoup.
I recently heard a case in court where the driver of a clamper truck was seen by the police to clamp a vehicle, whereupon they checked him over. It turns out that he has no licence, and his truck is uninsured. He then tried to give the officers false details, and only adjusted his attitude when they handcuffed him and put him in the police vehicle. He then failed to turn up to court, and I issued a warrant for his arrest.
The Government needs to find time for a short Bill bringing in licensing of clampers, with a proper code of practice. Perhaps a private member will oblige?"
"My point has nothing to do whether clamping is legal - it obviously is. What has happened though is that some clamping firms are in the extortion business rather than that of parking control.
In my area a car was towed away within four minutes of being left and the owner was told that it would cost him £385 to get his car (which was in an adjacent street) back.
Clampers have threatened and intimidated old and vulnerable people. All I am asking is that clampers are properly licensed, checked for criminal backgrounds, and that their behaviour be subject to a code of practice.
My story about the unlicensed and uninsured clamper who then tried to get arsy with the police was to illustrate what some of the clampers are like. They should be controlled."
Krissie Labanauskas "Car-Boot Racket; Old Navy Chicago, 60290"
"No Savings Here!""...Had a terrible experience here. Parked with intention of using coupon at Old Navy but had to use the restroom before shopping so ran across street to Starbucks....On way to shop at Old Navy, saw boot on my car! Store managers claim their hands are tied and cannot do anything regarding their customers being booted.
Car next to me was booted as well, when they had already shopped at Old Navy, one person was still in Old Navy at time of boot, and three others ran to Starbucks for a drink.
All in all, I paid $115 to remove boot...terrible experience, did not use coupon or shop at store after being rudely dismissed by manager.
No discretion to help out customers regarding boots sounds like a bunch of b*** s*** OR terrible corporate management/policy. Either way, avoid this store and certainly avoid the lot. Global Parking Management Inc. supposedly runs the lot.
March 17, 2009 by Krissie Labanauskas in Chicago, IL