Vehicle impounded for right reason but procedure not followed, do I have a case?

Ok I was not aware that it is not permissible in my city to leave a vehicle with no tags parked in front of my house. The tags were valid, but I put them on another vehicle that I just purchased. I had a Ford and the axle broke (scheduled to be fixed) but it was time to buy a new car anyways so I bought a Kia FROM PRIVATE PERSON on January 7th. On the eighth, I took my bill of sale to license bureau to get PLATES and tags for new vehicle, but they could not do anything until I received the white title from my loan company, which had not yet arrived to me at this point. The lady at the bureau said "you know, it is perfectly legal to put your plates from your Ford on you Kia for up tp thirty days." I said I'm glad it is legal because this is what I did. So less than three days later, my Ford was towed for NO PLATES/TAGS. I had no idea this was a law. If I would have left the plates on it and continued to drive it INSTEAD of the Kia, the Kia would have been the vehicle that was towed. Either way, I could not win. SOMETHING was bound to get towed because there is no protection to give new car buyers (used from private people) a couple days leniency in order to get the white title to get what they need to make the vehicle legal! It's an outrage however............................................................................................................................................................... In looking at my local city codified ordinance, the procedure states that a vehicle impounded for this reason must be towed and the owner FORTHWITH notified (which means immediately) as to the reason for the tow and the whereabouts of the location. I was never notified. As a matter of fact, this happened on friday at 8:30pm, and I didn't notice until SUnday morning at which time I called it in as a stolen vehicle (because thats what I thought happened.) Now in order to identify me, they would have had to run the VIN number since the plates were not on the vehicle. They will not give me a court date until I pay the impound and storage fees (minimum of 360.00 just at this point)....but when I get the court date, I think I should try to fight this JUST ON improper procedure being followed. What are my chances of getting reimbursed on these fees? My hands were tied and I had no choice but to leave a vehicle untagged until my paperwork came in. I feellike I got a bum-wrap here and I am very interested in the opinions of law students, police officers, people who have successfully beat similar cases and so on. Only knowledgable opinions please, no left field guesses. Thank you all to those of you who can help.


Forthwith is not my sole defense. Thanks for your answer but is 30 days a literal answer or are you figuratively speaking? In matters like this, figurative numbers do not help. Not only was I not notified immediately, I was not notified at ALL!. Nothing in the mail today and it has been ample time, even considering the recent holiday, especially if it were to be done FORTHWITH. I repeat, even if not immediately, was not done at all. And the reason I bring this up is because there is no definition for HOW I am to be notified. I was notified when I myself called in to report ot stolen, but THIS was not my forthwith notification. Had I been notified, I would have saved additional storage fees, or atleast had the opportunity to do this. I am being very technical here, but sometimes this is necessary in order to win these cases through a loophole. As I said, there should have been additional clauses in place to protect new car buyers, or some time of leniency on time, or notice on car windo

Update 2:

I had no other option but to park in the street. I live in an apartment complex where the streets are considered city streets. As a matter of fact, MY OWN security are the ones who called the cops to issue the tow, they themselves should have notified me but that is another story. It is my fault for providing too many details here on this post, but the main topic at hand is I am going to plee for the fact that I had no choices in having a vehicle with no plates. This is not because I didn't have the money to pay to get tags, this is because I did not have a title issued yet to even get plates! Second, if this doesn't work, I will try the improper procedure thing. I won't even waste my time if I have no chance. I am however going to write governor/mayor whoever and point out the fact that if a person living on city streets buys a new car privately, it is an AUTOMATIC tow because no loan company can issue a title w/o first processing paperwork, minimum 3 days.

3 Answers

  • WRG
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You seem to be not thinking of another option you had. Not park on the street. While it may be a pain in the butt it was an option.

    You don't mention when they did contact you but no court is going to expect the city to run your VIN and contact you during a weekend. Even if they had contacted you at the time you would still have towing fees and at least over night storage. SInce you haven't gotten the car out of impound yet there is no reason for the court to believe that you would have had you been notified at the time.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Generally it may be searched to stock the contents of the auto. There's been contemporary alterations in case legislation concerning this, however the concept is cops have to recognize what is in a auto due to the fact that they're now liable for the contents. If there is a $forty,000 piece of bijou, they have to get that out and preserve it saved defense on the police station and now not the impound backyard, for illustration. As lengthy as an company has a coverage that involves inventorying each and every impounded auto, they're probably risk-free.

  • 1 decade ago

    Good luck, I suspect you will not go far with the "forthwith" defense. It does not mean they have to call you (they don't have your phone number) or stop by your house. It means they can't wait 30 days before mailing your notice.

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