Fight the Booters: Arm yourself with the law
[I recently dug up this article from last year that pantherjad wrote: I think it applies well to the current discussion about booting- Jeff]
I have heard many gripes, complaints, rumors, anecdotes, and misinformation about booting and towing in Provo and Orem. While I hate this practice and these companies, one great way for us to fight them is to know the law.
The following is a few highlights I have found in the Provo and Orem city ordinance codes as well as links to the whole code. Know the law and realize it is different in Provo vs. Orem. [...]
Provo's code is Title 9 (Public Peace and Safety) Chapter 9.32.140: Parking Enforcement and Towing Operations Provo Title 9 pdf (pg 29 of pdf)
Provo also has additional law on the matter in Title 6 (Provo Chapter 6.08 pdf)
Highlights from Provo Law:
[140-6(b)(iii)]:maintains personnel authorized to release any vehicle to its owner twenty-four (24) hours each day and who can respond within one (1) hour of a request for release of a vehicle;
[140-6(c)(ii)]: possesses evidence of a signed towing or parking
enforcement request or the agreement required by Subsection(6)(b)(i), and the fee schedule required by Subsection (6)(b)(ii)of this subsection;
(iii) upon request, provides the name and telephone number of the property owner or agent, and shows evidence of the signed request or agreement and the fee schedule required by Subsections (6)(b)(i) and (ii) to:
(A) a person whose vehicle is subject to the towing or
[140-8(d)(i)]: If the vehicle owner or agent arrives at the vehicle
before the parking enforcement or towing business has
mechanically connected the vehicle to an immobilization device
or a tow truck, the parking enforcement or towing business shall:
(A) not continue to tow or immobilize the vehicle, and
(B) not be entitled to immobilize or tow the vehicle or to charge any fee whatsoever if the vehicle is promptly removed from the premises.
(ii) If a tow truck is mechanically connected to a vehicle, the tow truck shall be in possession of the vehicle. If the vehicle owner or agent attempts to retrieve the vehicle before the vehicle is removed from the property, the maximum towing or parking enforcement fee shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the posted rate schedule.
(e) No parking enforcement fee, other than fees authorized by this
subsection, shall be charged as a condition of releasing an
(f) A vehicle shall be released immediately upon payment of any
required fees authorized by this section.
[140-12]: In addition to any other penalty, a civil action for damages or to abate a violation of this Chapter may be brought by any aggrieved person.
(a) A person who authorizes, tows, or immobilizes a vehicle from private property in violation of the provisions of this section is liable in a civil action for a penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) as the court may determine. A civil action under this subsection may not be commenced later than one hundred eighty (180)days after occurrence of the violation.
Orem's code is Article 19-7: Towing and Parking Enforcement Companies (19-7:1-9) Orem Article 19-7 pdf 19-7-6 is most applicable (pg 16 of pdf)
Highlights from Orem law:
[19-7-6 (J)]: If the registered owner or authorized agent arrives at a vehicle before the parking enforcement or towing company has finished booting the vehicle and finished completing the required paperwork or before a tow truck operator has removed the vehicle from off the premises, the parking enforcement or towing company shall be entitled to only one-half the regularly charged fee for booting or towing a vehicle and upon payment shall release the vehicle to the registered owner or authorized agent.
What you should do if you catch the booter: stop him immediately from finishing his job (in Orem this is so that you only have to pay half the fee), ask to see a copy of the contract he has with the apartments, ensure that he has followed both the contract and the law, record the info for the apartment contract holder for later reference, ask him not to boot you (just in case he might give in), then pay fine and get car back, contest the fine with the booting company if it is wrongful, follow up with apartment if not successful, if the law was broken call the city attorney's office.
Things I did not find in law:
- Stipulations about time limits before booting (this is arranged in each contract), in Provo they can tow you after 2 hours of being booted.
- Procedures for warning instead of booting (again this matter is left to individual contracts)
Remember, know the law so you can use it to your advantage. Don't let these slime bags screw you over.
I am also not a lawyer (just an OCD student pissed off at "the Man").
Keep the fight alive, we shall overcome!!
Additional Information added by Editors - 11/01/2007:
When dealing with bad employers, you should always arm yourself with the law and a good knowledge of employement law. Local attorneys in your area can help get a good understanding of the labor law in your area. If you have been hurt on the job, a good workers compensation lawyer can help you get what you deserve.