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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

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
booting operation;

[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
immobilized vehicle.
(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

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:

  1. Stipulations about time limits before booting (this is arranged in each contract), in Provo they can tow you after 2 hours of being booted.
  2. 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.

If you feel you are being mistreated due to your a, race, or sex, then find a good discrimination lawyer. Do an attorney search today and find the best fit for your case.

!! :D

Great post, this is VERY helpful. I'm going to load the excerpts above onto my PDA phone for future reference.

Another tip: Use a CREDIT CARD to pay any booting fees. After you have dipsuted the charge from the booting company and the apartment complex, and they have not given in - if you feel you were treated unfairly, dispute the charge with the credit card company.

The CC company will give you your money back immediately and take it back from the booting company. Most likely, they will give up at this point because it's only $50 or whatever. They can try to contact you further and get you to pay, but HEY - you have your car now and there's not much they can do.

Thanks for the info

This is some great stuff panther, gracias.

A few years ago my buddy and I thought about buying a boot off the internet (they go for about a grand) and then booting the booter. We never did anything about it...but I often think back to our crazy shemes and smile

Oh by the way....

Go to a non college town some time and notice how booting is not an issue. Towing companies and Apartment complexes target us because they know we won't put up much of a fight.

.

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Having fun with the towing companies...

Here's a good story for anyone that wants to give the towing/booting companies a hard time.

Okay, so I admit it... I'm kind of a pain in the butt. My friend got a boot on her car simply because there were no more visitor parking spaces at parkway crossing. She parked as far away as possible to show that she didn't intend to take a spot that required a permit. I called the booting company told them that they needed to bring a copy of their contract with parkway, paperwork proving that whomever placed the boot on the car was an actual employee of the company, and a copy of their business license. They didn't seem too happy about this, but said they would send someone within fifteen minutes. Two hours later a guy shows up without any of the documentation. Then he threatened to tow the car because I had been requesting said documents.

(Keep in mind I was very polite and apologetic, stating that I just wanted to make sure that everything was legitimate)

After he threatened me I called the Orem City Police and talked to an officer about my options. He was very sympathetic, but because it's on private property it's a civil matter and he couldn't really do anything about it. However, even though I insisted on not being an inconveinience, he was very nice and offered to come down to make sure that the company's threats were on file etc. and to protect my rights. I informed the company of this and literally within five minutes they had a tow truck, two company jeeps, and a company truck there. I believe their motive was intimidation... but I played innocent. They continued to threaten to tow the car. I told them that I would be taking them to civil court to settle the matter and that they needed to remove the boot. Their sense of urgency to tow the car was obviously to have it removed before the police arrived. I called my new officer friend and informed him of this. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy.

Now the boot is off my friends car, and unless the company can please us somehow, they will be going to civil court for violation of the law and of their contract.

For those of you that didn't get it, here are the violations:
-Inability to procure required documentation
-Inability to have the boot removed within a reasonable time of the request
-Inappropriate conduct

good info

knowing the law is the only way anyone is going to get anywhere.

i just don't know if this problem will every really be fixed.

You've got it all wrong...

Lets face it, most of us are Mormon and if we're not we at least are ethical. Somehow the CC charge-back doesn't bode well with me. If a it truly was a wrongful/illegal boot, then getting your money back some other way is possible. When will Provo's students become a little bit more accountable?
Booting is an issue in other towns, by the way. They even boot in the Bronx as a precursor to towing. I guess people in Provo don't get out much.
I will cede part of your point, though. It is a little more prevalent in Provo & Orem, but that is because of the sheer numbers. There are 50,000+ students in these towns. Space simply is limited which is why parking enforcement is such an evil necessity. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Property Managers choose to have it done and receive no compensation for the services. C'mon, not everyone on ProvoPulse is that dense, are they?

Melvin is unfortunately right.

I grew up in San Diego, and how could you ever not notice the many tow trucks cruising around the beach looking for cars to tow? It's almost $200 to get your car out of impound! My sister lives in Texas near Texas A&M and her car got towed, it was MORE than $200. My cousin goes to Michigan State, and same story etc... Its a college town thing, its not going away. My car was towed, and it sucked but I'm glad it wasn't over $200. It may seem like the booting/towing companies are stealing from us, but how much better are we if we're stealing too? It is stealing if we're breaking rules and get booted, then somehow finagle our money back. How about just being careful? Make it a point to look at signs and ask around. Then if you get booted know the law. Beat them at their own game.

Another thing...

Many people are so caught up believeing that parking enforcement companies are scum and trash that they don't even give them a chance... so much so that they don't realize that when they are in doubt about parking enforcement rules, they can call University Parking Enforcement anytime to find out if parking is okay. According to the city ordinance, they have to answer the phone 24 hours a day and their phone number is posted on every sign at every property entrance that they patrol (regulated by the ordinance as well). I have had many doubts answered and prevented myself from getting towed or booted just by doing this simple thing.

Riding with a booter

One of my good friends is a booter for Campus Parking Enforcement. I hate the booting as much as the next guy, but I was amazed when I went with a ride with him one night. We were at a complex in Orem and he had just booted two cars parked directly in front of a fire hydrant. He finished the paper work, and as these cars were in a place that could compromise safety, he sent for the tow truck. Before he was able to call them on the walkie, the guys came out. They were both buddies that parked there. We had been there 20 minutes already doing the paper work as such, and actually left these cars last as the rest of the parking lot was patrolled. One of the guys was very belligerent and was very self righteous and threatened my friend with harm (using words not right for an LDS, let alone an RM). He called us pharisees and hypocrites for not "letting him off the hook" and such, as well as cussing us out with words I have never even heard before.

I understand being upset with getting caught--shoot, we've all been caught with our hand in the cookie jar at one time or another. But a loss of dignity and integrity is uncalled for. Just remember that when you guys are fighting the aristocracy in Utah county in booting and longboarding matters. Good luck!

bingo

you nailed it, vegor.

as students we let the aristocracy push us around. we're too busy, lazy, and apathetic to do anything about it.

More power to you...

Knowing the law and remaining calm are a dangerously effective combination. I still laugh that my roommate's story (popular content "vertical signage" )is one of the most viewed here on provopulse. The booting company had no interest in reviewing his claim but when you pay with a credit card and can quote applicable city statutes banks will generally side in your favor. I love that you stayed calm in the midst of obvious intimidation tactics. Let us know what else happens.

true

melvin - true the CC chargeback as stated in this earlier article is certainly wrong. I think that people should be aware of the laws and that will empower them the most. Of course more than that it'd be nice if some of the laws were lightened up. However, I'm certain such a task is no easy thing, and also less likely to happen.