Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Texas A&M Student Wins Statutory Violation Hearing in Nueces County

Yesterday, a college student attending Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi went to court regarding the towing of his vehicle from an apartment complex.  The college student did his homework and instead of filing for a tow hearing, he decided to file a statutory violation suit against the property manager and landowner only.

This college student, who asked not be named, represented himself, as the property manager had an attorney, unaware the college student read the entire code of civil procedures in preparation.

The sole issue rested on the layout of the sign, specifically the red background below the tow truck symbol.  This area of the sign stated: Towing Enforced at All Times.  The property manager testified she did not notify the tow company in writing she installed a legally worded tow sign.

The college student presented evidence based on the Texas Occupations Code 2308.255, 301 and 302.  After the Judge considered all the evidence and testimony, he ruled in favor of the college student and ordered the property manager to pay $1963.12 to the college student.

The owner of the tow company testified that TDLR said their tow signs were legal, but the Judge told him text in quotes cannot have words added or deleted.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TDLR's Advice Resulting in $10K Judgements Against Their Licenees, Tow Companies

The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations (TDLR) continues to tell tow companies and consumers Texas Towing Compliance (TTC) giving them incorrect information reference nonconsent towing, but the Courts are finding them guilty handing down staggering judgements worth thousands of dollars.

My opinions are based on what STATE LAW says, not some interpretation of a towing organization's attorneys.

More and more JP's around the state find TDLR's version to be highly inaccurate, especially when it involves statutory language in quotes.

But then again, TDLR has no liability, even after giving the wrong information and then they are baffled at the thought they cannot change statutory language to appease their favorite trade organization, Southwest Tow Operators.

Motorists should continue filing complaints against tow companies and vehicle storage facilities, but if you want your money back from an illegal tow, an unauthorized drop fee or even overcharged, your best bet is Texas Towing Compliance.

With Texas Towing Compliance' new website, you can have a live chat about your towing incident and get in touch with dedicated attorneys who have a proven track record of getting your back plus more.

Just remember, if you get a letter from TDLR after you have filed your complaint stating insufficient evidence to forward your complaint to investigation, call Texas Towing Compliance, as our towing hotline is answered 24HR a day, 7 days a week.

After revealing the tow signs not being compatible with the changes in Texas Towing Law, Occupations Code 2308.301 and 302, the number of tow victim calls has quadrupled. So far this week, all 68 tow victims were put in contact with TTC prosecutors who have filed civil suits against landowners, tow companies and property management companies for statutory violations.

So, if you have been towed after September 1, 2013 from a public or private parking facility and the tow sign states "Towing Enforced at All Times" in the red background directly below the tow truck symbol instead of only "Towing Enforced", your due a huge payout.

Legal Sign effective 9-1-13

Illegal Sign effective 9-1-13

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

95% of the Towing Signs Posted in Texas are Illegal based on Changes in State Law effective 9-1-13

all tow signs must have this text/layout
The towing sign shown above has all the required statutory text as required in the Texas Towing Law, Occupations Code 2308.301 and 302. If you have been towed from a parking facility with any other tow sign posted than the one above, you were illegally towed.

Travis County is replacing all the tow signs at every parking lot owned by Travis County.

Sec. 2308.301. General Requirements for Sign Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (a)(2)(B) and Section 2308.304 or 2308.305, an unauthorized vehicle may not be towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted under Section 2308.257 unless a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility is:
(1) facing and conspicuously visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility; (The sign face must be aimed at the center of the driveway entering at the street)
(2) located:
(A) on the right or left side of each driveway or curb-cut through which a vehicle can enter the facility, including an entry from an alley abutting the facility; or

(B) at intervals along the entrance so that no entrance is farther than 25 feet from a sign if:
(i) curbs, access barriers, landscaping, or driveways do not establish definite vehicle entrances onto a parking facility from a public roadway other than an alley; and
(ii) the width of an entrance exceeds 35 feet;  If two vehicles can pass at the entrance and there is a flowerbed in the middle, it takes two signs, to comply.
(3) permanently mounted on a pole, post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier;
(4) installed on the parking facility; and
(5) installed so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than five feet and no higher than eight feet above ground level.
(b) Except as provided by Section 2308.305, an unauthorized vehicle may be towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted under Section 2308.257 only if each sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles:
(1) is made of weather-resistant material;
(2) is at least 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall;
(3) contains the international symbol for towing vehicles;
(4) contains a statement describing who may park in the parking facility and prohibiting all others;
(5) bears the words, as applicable:
(A) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner's or Operator's Expense";
(B) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner's or Operator's Expense"; or
(C) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Booted at Owner's or Operator's Expense";
(6) contains a statement of the days and hours of towing and booting enforcement; A separate text phrase of the hours towing is going to occur. and
(7) contains a number, including the area code, of a telephone that is answered 24 hours a day to enable an owner or operator of a vehicle to locate a towed vehicle or to arrange for removal of a boot from a vehicle.

Sec. 2308.302. Color, Layout, and Lettering Height Requirements.

(a) Except as provided by Section 2308.305, each sign required by this chapter must comply with the color, layout, and lettering height requirements of this section.
(b) A bright red international towing symbol, which is a solid silhouette of a tow truck towing a vehicle on a generally rectangular white background, at least four inches in height, must be on the uppermost portion of a sign or on a separate sign placed immediately above the sign.
(c) The portion of the sign immediately below the international towing symbol must:
(1) in lettering at least two inches in height, contain the words, as applicable:
(A) "Towing and Booting Enforced";
(B) "Towing Enforced"; or 
(C) "Booting Enforced"; and
(2) consist of white letters on a bright red background.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), the next lower portion of the sign must contain the remaining information required by Section 2308.301(b) displayed in bright red letters at least one inch in height on a white background.

(e) The bottommost portion of the sign must contain the telephone numbers required by Section 2308.301(b), in lettering at least one inch in height and may, if the facility owner chooses or if an applicable municipal ordinance requires, include the name and address of the storage facility to which an unauthorized vehicle will be removed. The lettering on this portion of the sign must consist of white letters on a bright red background.

Sec. 2308.303. Telephone Number for Locating Towed Vehicle Required.

If a parking facility owner posts a sign described by Sections 2308.301 and 2308.302, the owner of a vehicle that is towed from the facility under this chapter must be able to locate the vehicle by calling the telephone number on the sign.  I tell parking facilities if they have a phone number that is answered 24/7 by a live person, they can provide the caller with the phone number of the towing company, instead of allowing a tow company to advertise their information on the sign on their property. Local governments should use 311 to field these calls, should a vehicle owner or operator choose to file a report for an illegal tow, damages or personal property stolen from inside the vehicle while in custody of the tow company and vehicle storage facility. 

Parking facilities should purchase their own towing signs installed by someone other than the towing company.  Texas Towing Compliance can have your signs made, installed and certify your parking facility for the reasons you choose to have vehicles towed are legal, to avoid costly legal fees and huge monetary judgments.

If you were towed after September 1, 2013 by any these towing companies, you could be entitled to $1000 plus triple damages. Find your receipts and go back to where you towed from and take a closeup photo of the tow sign and where it is posted.

If you have been towed, charged a drop fee or boot fee anywhere in Texas from a parking facility with a tow sign that state anything other than: "Towing Enforced" or "Booting Enforced" or "Towing and Booting Enforced" in the red background below the tow symbol, your entitled to collect $1000 plus triple damages.

If your vehicle was sold at auction by a tow company/vehicle storage facility after being towed from a parking facility with a tow sign that states anything other than: "Towing Enforced" or "Booting Enforced" or "Towing and Booting Enforced"   your entitled to a larger refund after filing a Theft Liability Lawsuit.

Texas Towing Compliance's new website is up and running and everyone is encouraged to subscribe so our prosecutions teams around the State of Texas can assist you in recovering the money your entitled to by State Law.