Lawsuit on Vehicle Impound Policy
Posted in the Rowland Heights Forum
#1 Jul 29, 2012
An immigrants-rights organization and a residents' group want to help the city of Los Angeles fight off a lawsuit by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch challenging the LAPD's policy liberalizing procedures for impounding cars of unlicensed drivers.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and LA Voice, represented by attorneys for the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, filed papers Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court asking a judge to allow them to intervene and help the city defend the impound policy in court.
A hearing is scheduled Sept. 25 before Judge Terry Green.
The suit filed May 16 by the Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Watch was the third suit filed in as many months challenging the policy. Plaintiff Harold Sturgeon of Los Angeles wants a judge to find that the department's impound policy is an unlawful use of taxpayer money specifically "to help unlicensed illegal aliens.''
But according to the CHIRLA/LA Voice court papers, the impact on immigrants would be disproportionate.
"In the past two decades, vehicle impoundments -- and in particular mandatory 30-day impoundments -- have had devastating impacts on working class and immigrant residents who rely on their cars to get to work, take their children to school and do all the necessary activities for which, in Los Angeles, a car is essential,'' the proposed intervenors' court papers state.
"Worse still, an impoundment in many cases amounts to a de facto forfeiture as the steep fees associated with a 30-day impound often exceed that a low-income driver can pay, if not the value of the vehicle itself,'' according to the CHIRLA/LA Voice court papers.
Law enforcement agencies have been criticized for using impounds to generate money and for targeting Latinos assuming they are less likely to be licensed, the CHIRLA/LA Voice court papers state. Some CHIRLA members themselves have been affected, their court papers state.
Angelica Salas, CHIRLA's executive director, stated in a sworn declaration that many members feel stops for even minor violations can lead to deportations.
"In addition, many of them feel disrespected and ashamed when the police stop them and make them take all of their belongings from their vehicles during an impoundment, especially when they have their families with them, including small children,'' Salas stated.``In my experience, car impoundments are one of the main reasons why many members do not trust the police.''
Expenses related to 30-day impoundments run as high as $2,000, according to the CHIRLA/LA Voice court papers.
In February, the Police Commission, which provides civilian oversight of the LAPD, approved the policy to allow an unlicensed driver who is stopped for a moving violation, and who has valid identification, car registration, proof of insurance and a clean driving record, to avoid a mandatory 30-day impound of his or her vehicle.
A driver who was at fault in an accident, or had a prior conviction for driving unlicensed, does not qualify for a shortened one-day impound.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who proposed the policy with the backing of immigrants' rights groups and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said in May that the former policy was unfair to undocumented immigrants who cannot get drivers licenses.
Beck has said the change was also an attempt to eliminate confusion by officers in the field over two conflicting laws regarding when to impound a vehicle and for how long.
Between April 22, when Special Order 7 took effect, and May 8, mandatory 30-day impounds dropped by 45 percent compared to the same period in 2011, according to a statistic circulated by the union representing rank-and-file police officers, which opposes the policy.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he could not verify that, but police personnel were doing an analysis of its towing numbers.
#2 Jul 29, 2012
mandatory 30-day impoundments -- have had devastating impacts on working class and immigrant residents who rely on their cars to get to work, take their children to school and do all the necessary activities for which, in Los Angeles, a car is essential
Baldwin Park Bimbo's and Bozo's took 10 million dollars right out of the local economy and gave 9 million dollars to their tow company.
The other million dollars went to officer overtime.
And you wounder why Baldwin Park is a shitttt hole and on the verge of bankruptcy
#3 Jul 29, 2012
I hope they use Royal Coaches and the Baldwin Park Police department as a poster child for why these 30 day impounds have a devastating impacts on working class and immigrant residents who rely on their cars to get to work, take their children to school and do all the necessary activities for which, in Los Angeles, a car is essential.
And how the policy is a receipt for corruption and civil rights violations. Not to mention out right stealing cell phones and wallets from the motoring public.
Dam crooks waring badges and Panties.
#4 Jul 30, 2012
Welll we know Royal Coaches didn't make their money on just towing stranded vehicles. They didn't buy all that property, build their shop out, buy all those new trucks, make thousands of dollars for political donations, and we know the grand theft charges for stealing personal property was washed under the table by the puppet police chief and paid off council people.
Yes it is true your city to has been screwed by the tow scam and it was all thanks to a corrupt city council and puppet police chief.
Please contact these law firms and tell your stories and get your money back.
#5 Feb 18, 2013
So true they took my car because my spouse had a suspened d.l i had a valid d.l but they towed it anyway and me being 6 months pregnant didnt matter
#7 Feb 18, 2013
Baldwin Park has had this same liberilizing impounding policy for drivers of unlicensed vehicles in effect since late 2010.
#8 Feb 18, 2013
Isn't that when Bozo Lozano ordered the Baldwin Park Police Thief,,, oops I mean Chief to write a new tow policy. And isn't that the same new tow policy that Thief Hadsell. OOPS I mean Chief Hadsell told the council that her officers will no longer be taking wallets, cell phones and other personal property from drivers they stop.
Baldwin Park City Hall and the Baldwin Park Police Department.
took 10 million dollars out of the local economy and gave it to their tow company. Then Royal Coaches gave kick backs to officers and city officials.
What an embarrassment
#9 Feb 19, 2013
What was your first clue that your spouse shouldn't be driving and you should have been driving. Then if you had insurance and he got in a wreck your insurance wouldn't be any good anyway. When will be people learn drive illegal and get caught nobody's fault but yours dumb ass.
If you can't obey the laws of the country you live in go to another country that you can do anything you want illeagally.
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