In April, 2016, Nicholas Porto, of the Porto Law Firm [...]
Opportunities for private property towing are everywhere. Anywhere there is a parking lot, there is the potential for a private property tow. The marketing concept is simple. The private property tower approaches the private property owner and says they will provide all of the signs for free and essentially protect the property from unwanted trespassers, all at no costs to the property owner. The property owner is thrilled. Business is booming for the tower.
Though the reception of privatized dispatching has been mixed, one thing is for certain: the combination of corporate America with local municipalities creates a novel legal situation for towers (and tow lawyers).
There are laws in place designed to protect tow operators and other emergency personnel working on the roadways. These “Move Over Laws” typically require motorists to move over and change lanes or, at a minimum, slow down when they observe an emergency vehicle.
When I tell people that my focus is “tow law,” I get a lot of curious looks in response. There simply aren’t a lot of lawyers who (1) know such a field exists or (2) have any idea what this means. Frankly, when I first started practicing law, I didn’t either. This all changed for me in 2005 when I was introduced to my first tow client: Transmasters Tow in Lawrence, Kan.
A property owner has a right to exclude unwanted vehicles from their property. A vehicle owner has a right to have their vehicle removed in a lawful manner. A city might have a right to protect citizens from “predatory towing” or exorbitant prices.