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Orange County Towing Company Stung For Illegal Tow

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Jason Taylor, a Laguna Niguel resident, watched as Beach Cities Towing Services Inc. towed his truck and car, illegally, from his Laguna Niguel condominium complex on Sept. 2, 2007. In return, Taylor set an example for us all by standing up to the towing company’s exploitative practices.

In taking Taylor’s vehicles away, the towing company, Beach Cities Towing, violated many requirements of the California Vehicle Code, Section 22658 and charged him an exorbitant amount of $560 for eventually releasing the cars.

Taylor took Beach Cities to small claims court and won. He was awarded his $560 back. But, Beach Cities continued to bully Taylor by appealing the case and being granted a new trial, a new trial where Beach Cities could bring an attorney.

Not to be out gunned, Taylor sought help from…..you guessed it, Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys. When I read Taylor’s request for guidance with his case, I just couldn’t let him go it alone. So rather than give him the advice he sought, I assigned one of our attorneys, Eric Hansen to actually represent Taylor at the new trial, pro bono.

The case was heard in Orange County Superior Court last week. The judge not only gave Taylor the $560, but also awarded him four times that amount in punitive damages plus attorney’s fees. Beach Cities Towing should have left well enough alone. The towing company was in blatant violation of state law, which clearly states the circumstances under which a towing company may tow a vehicle away and how much they can charge the vehicle owner.

We represented Taylor in court because what some towing companies are doing is illegal. They take advantage of vehicle owners who are dependant on their vehicles and often don’t have the time or resources to fight back. Taylor’s case and the punitive damages awarded is an emphatic win for the common man. I’ve seen predatory towing companies get away with a lot because their victims are not be aware of their rights or do not have the knowledge and resources to fight them. I commend Taylor for boldly standing up for his rights and putting in the time and effort to research California law and go after Beach Cities. Congratulations Taylor! Good job Eric.

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  • John Hoff

    How glad I am to see a law firm interested in the broad pattern of abusive towing practices. This is a national problem and, certainly, a California problem.

  • kevin.eb

    Lets look at the facts- 3 people arrested,2 employees from Mr.C’s and the security gaurd,Ther security gaurd has to call in the PPI to Mr.C’s before they can pick up any vehicle,it has to signed off by the security gaurd before they leave with a vehicle.Yes the tow company should have strapped the vehicles down better than they should have and been fined,we do not know all the facts, only what the press is allowing us,so the rest should be left for the courts.As for the few of you that are being oppportunistic to take jabs at the owners of Mr.C’s It is obvious that you have a grudge for some God forsaken reason Tow truck drivers are out there making a living,have families to support and bills to pay like you and me so why are they so below you?

  • Edward Farias

    John Hoff, you sound so simpathetic to these criminals. I do agree most tow truck drivers are earining a living. But the laws are in place and if you break the law, you are a criminal. Why abuse the system! I wonder if the Property Management is getting a kick back to allow these criminals access to an otherwise controlled area in apartment complexes. I too was towed with out written authorization from my parking stall in the middle of the night. I too will stand up to these criminals and protect my rights and the rights of my fellow tennants that fell victim to these predators.

  • annonymous

    Here’s a class action for you…June 12th 2009. Medlins Towing in Westminster. 13 cars were towed at the furniture store center adjacent to the Golden West Swap Meet in Huntington Beach. I was a victim. And while I was stranded I saw people get their cars towed within minutes upon arrival. The security guards hid in the side and would phone the tow trucks that were lined up in the alley waiting for people to leave their cars. I don’t think this is the 1st time they’ve done this. It seemed well-planned out. I wish I had taped it! I was able to save a few people from getting towed, too. Rich people do not go to swap meets. We are poor and struggling and Medlins made us pay cash because their machine was “broken.” HBPD is currently investigating the incident and all parties involved. I am pursuing civil suit against property owner and the GM for Medlins calls me out of the blue and threatens to sue me for false allegations. I’m not even going after him??I told the property owner that her case was weak since Medlins had prior involvement with an illegal towing of 23 cars and one of the persons involved was “convicted” of a felony and sentenced. Should i be worried that Medlins is going after me?

  • Daniel

    I’m a security guard and I often have to have vehicles that are illegally parked towed. For example, at one shopping center I patrol, people park there, leave their vehicles, and go to the apartments behind the center to visit friends, etc. There are 11 signs in the center (all of which conform with the requirements of CVC 22658) that clearly state the center parking is for customers only and violators will be towed, yet these people ignore the signs. When they are towed, these people proceed to lie, claim they were in the center the whole time, etc. In a few cases people have even tried to bribe shop owners to lie for them and say they were in their store. I’ve been threatened, attacked, in some cases I’ve had to use my baton and pepper spray on people (who’d been towed) who jumped me in the center when I came through for my next patrol check. I do concede that there are shady tow truck companies out there who prey on people, but if you wanna put them out of business, it’s very simple-don’t park where you’re not supposed to.

  • garagehero

    The security guards and parking lot personnel at Kaiser Permanente hospital in Hollywood are receiving kickbacks from the tow truck companies. Many unsuspecting doctors, employees and visitors have gotten their cars towed illegally by these bandit towing companies. If you visit Kaiser Sunset, beware. The are few signs. This crap flies in the face of their TV commercials!

  • Cora Heiser

    I was towed from an apt complex in Twentynine Palms. The apt complex had signs that did not follow cvc 22658. The tow company did not provide the authorization or consumer notice. I am in the process of taking this to small claims. I asked for the police reports to two low income housing areas and a total of 26 tows by the same tow company was reported. Apparently no one in Twentynine Palms were aware of this law until I researched it and reported it to the Sheriff’s station and the CHP. The case went to the ADA, but he stated today that he will not press charges.

  • Saira Leal

    My mothers car was towed from her apartment complex. She was parked in her assigned space and had her sticker visible. we believe that the driver of the tow truck opened her car because when she went to get her car back the sticker was missing and they said that that is why they took it. but we are still able to see the glue from where the sticker was. we would like to know what we can do and if the tow truck driver has the authority to open a vehicle?

  • ETHAN

    I had my car towed last night. When I called the tow company they said that they would not accept anything but cash to retrieve the car. I told them I didnt have cash but asked if I could pay with a credit card. They told me the machine was down and if i didnt pay cash, i could not get my car back. It was 10pm and i had to work early in the morning. I finally borowed enough cash and went to get my car only to find that they had no machine at all and the lot was a 50ft by 50ft fenced in piece of dirt. Nothing else was there. I checked the laws and section K states that they must take a credit card as a form of payment or it is a misdemeanor and they are liable for 4 times the amount payed. Do you think I could take this to small claims? Thanks

  • lesson for all: use common sense. Don’t park in places where you think your car can be towed. illegally towed, that’s it.

  • Thanks for the great info.

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