Saturday, October 10, 2009

Private Parking Lot "Booting" Ruled Illegal in Washington State

In 2005, authorities in the state of Washington ordered companies operating in parking lots to stop using the "boot" to punish drivers for trespassing on business parking lots.

"There are no laws regarding the use of wheel clamps, but attorneys for the Licensing Department said that using them to immobilize someone else's vehicle is illegal for anyone but an authorized government agent, such as a police officer."


"Using a clamp to immobilize a vehicle is to deprive the owner of the vehicle of the use of his property. That vehicle is being held for ransom, basically, until the owner pays the money to release it...That's an impound."




Source: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/208947_clampdown22.html

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Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham Discusses Clampers in His Area:

"From what I have seen most clampers come from the fringes of the criminal classes. They are of the same ilk as those who come to your door offering to tarmac the drive, demand a huge price and then drive you to your bank to get cash to pay them with.

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 :

SOURCE: http://www.legalbanter.co.uk/uk-legal-moderated-legal-topics/24038-illegal-wheel-clamping-legal-recourse.html

"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