Last Updated on February 26, 2015 by Lawrence Berezin
The unconscionable boot and tow two hours later part two
This is the second part of a two-part series on the nefarious practice of boot and tow two hours later. Here’s a link to part one. In this post we’ll cover:
- Analysis of my Twitter conversation with the NYC DOT and the Evil Empire
- Review of the Immobilization Rule, 4-08(a)(9)
- Justification for immobilization and towing
Twitter conversation about the legal authority for boot and tow two hours later
My initial review of the law and rules failed to disclose a legal basis for the costly practice of boot and tow two hours later. So, I communicated with the DOT and DOF to ascertain the legal basis for this practice.
Immobilization Rule 4-08(a)(9):
Immobilization and towing of illegally parked vehicles.
(i) Time and manner of immobilization. Any illegally parked vehicle found parked at any time upon any public highway in the City may, by or under the direction of any person authorized by the Commissioner, be immobilized in such manner as to prevent its operation, and thereafter may be removed to a tow pound as provided in these rules; provided, however, that no such vehicle shall be immobilized by any means other than by the use of a device or other mechanism which will cause no damage to such vehicle unless such vehicle is moved while such device or mechanism is in place.
(ii) Notice. Notice of immobilization pursuant to this paragraph shall be placed in a conspicuous place on the vehicle. Such notice shall contain: (A) a warning that any attempt to move the vehicle may result in damage to the vehicle; and (B) the time, place and manner in which the vehicle may be redeemed.
(iii) Immobilization fee. The registrant of an immobilized vehicle which has not yet been removed to a tow pound pursuant to these rules, or any other person authorized by the registrant of such vehicle, may secure the release of the vehicle upon satisfaction of all parking summonses in judgment, if any, for which the registrant of the immobilized vehicle is liable and payment of an immobilization fee of $185.00.
(iv) Applicable rules. Where a vehicle has been both immobilized and towed, the owner shall be subject to both the immobilization requirements of this paragraph, and all applicable provisions of these rules.
(v) Right to immediate hearing. The registrant, title holder or operator of any vehicle that has been immobilized shall have the right to an immediate hearing during regular business hours at the Parking Violations Bureau in relation to the immobilization.
(vi) Removal fee. The fee for removal of illegally parked vehicles to a tow pound shall be determined in accordance with the following fee schedule. Said fee shall be payable before such vehicles are released. (A) The removal fee for Regular Towing shall be $185.00 and shall apply to any vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight less than 6,500 pounds, that may be towed through the use of a single tow truck not weighing more than eight tons. (B) The removal fee for Heavy Duty Towing shall be $370.00 and shall apply to any vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight of 6,500 pounds or greater, and/or requires either more than one tow truck or a single tow truck which weighs in excess of eight tons, in order to be towed.
(vii) Storage fee. In addition to the removal fee set forth in subparagraph (vi) of this paragraph (9), there shall be a storage fee of $20.00 for each day such vehicle remains in the possession of the city, up to and including the day such vehicle is released. Said fee shall be payable before such vehicle is released.
(viii) Vehicles not removed considered abandoned. Any vehicle which is not removed from city property within 10 days following the mailing of a request to remove it shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle pursuant to paragraph (d) of subdivision 1 of §1224 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and shall be disposed of by the Commissioner pursuant to such law. Such request shall be sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the registered owner of the vehicle, at the address contained on the registration of such vehicle.
(ix) Release of vehicle in process of being removed. When a vehicle has been hooked to a tow truck in preparation for removal to a pound but the owner or other person lawfully entitled to possession of such vehicle appears and requests the release of such vehicle before the tow truck is in motion, such vehicle shall be unhooked and released, provided, however, that the person to whom such vehicle is released must execute a binding agreement consenting to pay the vehicle release penalty as set forth in subparagraph (x) of this paragraph (9) within thirty days from the date of such agreement and, in the event of non-payment, to the imposition of additional penalties in accordance with subparagraph (xi) of this paragraph (9); and provided further that such person present a current valid driver’s license and either registration for the vehicle, title to the vehicle, insurance identification and keys for the vehicle, a rental agreement and keys for the vehicle in case of a rental vehicle, or company identification and keys for the vehicle in the case of a commercial vehicle.
(x) Vehicle release penalty. The penalty for the release of an illegally parked vehicle under the circumstances permitted by subparagraph (ix) of this paragraph (9) shall be $100.00 for illegally parked vehicles which meet the criteria contained in subparagraph (vi)(A) of this paragraph (9), and $200.00 for illegally parked vehicles which meet the criteria listed in subparagraph (vi)(B) of this paragraph (9). This fee is in addition to any other monetary fine(s) and penalty(ies) permitted by law for the underlying parking violation(s); provided, however, that in no event shall a vehicle release penalty be imposed if the underlying parking violation or, in the case of multiple parking violations, all underlying parking violations, is (are) dismissed by the Parking Violations Bureau. (xi) Non-payment of vehicle release penalty. The Parking Violations Bureau may, in accordance with law, prescribe additional penalties for non-payment of the vehicle release penalty set forth in sub-paragraph (x) of this paragraph (9) and enter and enforce default judgments for such vehicle release penalty and additional penalties.
Birth of the Boot
I’ve followed the birth and growth of booting vehicles in NYC. And now with the unholy alliance with ticket – boot- tow 2 hours later.
Here are links to the prior blog posts.
How many times can you be punished for the same parking violation? Let’s say Ellen unwittingly parked in a space where parking was prohibited between 11P-7A. At 12 midnight Ellen is issued a parking ticket for no parking. The cop calls Sgt. Boot with its ignoble 2 hour warning to remove or suffer the conseaquences of a tow. Now it’s 3AM and Captain Hook arrives at the scene of the parking “crime.” Ellen’s chariot is toast. Ca-ching, Ca-ching, Ca-ching (ticket, boot, and tow). Fair or foul?
How about this? Joe parks directly in front of a fire hydrant in a busy commercial area of Brooklyn, creating a danger to public safety. Warrior tickets and calls in Sgt. Boot.
This illegal parking job creates a danger to public safety. This calls for an immediate removal of the vehicle by Captain Hook. Why wait 2 hours before removing the danger?
- Call Captain Hook if the drivers bad parking behavior endangers the public safety.
- Call Captain Boot if the Sheriff or Marshal captures a scofflaw (48-hours to remove boot)
Please, enlighten me, why in Sam Hill would you boot and tow 2 hours later. What is the justification, except Ca-ching?
I must be stupid for thinking the city was being nice. When the city first began their booting program, I thought it was to AVOID the expense of towing, and to GIVE drivers a chance to call a special phone number, pay the fine, get a code to remove the boot (avoiding the inconvenience of going to the impound yard) and return the boot to the city. In other words, it was supposed to HELP people that parked illegally.
Now, it appears they are using it for a double fine. If a car is booted and the driver does not know it for 2 hours (perhaps he is sleeping or at work or at dinner or at the movies or at….) then he gets BOTH punishments. So, my question is, what is the purpose of the boot? The answer is simple. The city is preventing the driver from moving his car after getting a ticket. And hoping that he will not be able to get the boot off before the hook comes.
Lawrence Berezin says
Good afternoon, Lee.
Always great to read you here!
I agree 100%
So from one “stupid” guy to another, it didn’t take long for the Evil Empire to turn the boot into another scam to raise money from the unsuspecting driving public.
Thanks for sharing your sentiments with us.
the city is holding our car ransom for $775. apparently we had two tickets we never received which added up to, with late fees, $350.70 – they can officially mess with you at $350+ so isn’t that convenient? do they put tickets on cars in a manner that will make them fly away never to be seen by the folks who need the info? these are the only two tickets we have ever “received”.
and we live in Queens, and they have towed the car to Brooklyn. apparently, we have two weeks before they do anything, but there is no way we can afford this.
do we have any recourse? we spoke to the judge and he upheld the tickets. how can they boot and tow at the same time? why aren’t more people up in arms about this?
Lawrence Berezin says
What a shame!
You lost your hearing. But, you have a right to appeal the judge’s decision within 30 days from the entry. Unfortunately, that option doesn’t stop the sale of your car.
According to the DOF website, an auction can occur within 10 days from the tow date.
I suggest you visit the DOF at one of the business offices. See if you qualify for a payment plan. Also, check into whether a hold can be placed on the auction to permit you time to redeem your vehicle.
I really feel bad about your situation.
Let us know how you make out.
Larry, you are missing the point.
Just because the commission or the NYPD “type up a rule” and say its the rule or law, does not mean it is legal or valid, nor does it mean it is constitutional.
This law clearly reeks of lack of due process and also clearly makes the police judge, jury and executioner. The “boot and tow” in two hours is a clear violation and abuse of authority by the NYPD and I don’t care how many “rules” the guy behind a counter with a title prints up and posts.
It needs to be challenged in a proper court or at the proper legal levels as this is a clear abuse.
When NYPD does a 2 hour boot and tow, where do the revenues for that go towards?
Lawrence Berezin says
I agree 100%.
I’ve communicated with the NYC DOT, NYC DOF, police department, Councilmembers Ydanis Rodriguez and Greenfield without receiving a reasonable reply explaining the legal basis for this boot and tow money grab.
By the way, I’m not sure what “point I’m missing.” If your suggesting I think “…because the commission or the NYPD “type up a rule” and say its the rule or law, does not mean it is legal or valid, nor does it mean it is constitutional” you’re preaching to the converted.
Now, what action are you going to take to change this evil practice?
Looking forward to your reply.
Any updates? It’s now 2020 and this is still happening. My car was booted and towed 2 hours later even though I have zero tickets. Making matters worse, my car was parked legally at the time they towed the vehicle. Is this legal? It seems they should have to tow the vehicle during the hours prohibited to park.
Are you still fighting this?
Lawrence Berezin says
I’m afraid I did not have any luck trying to persuade the City Council to rectify this grotesque practice.
I’m hoping that our fellow drivers contact their councilperson and rant and rave about this injustice.
If the City Council won’t take up the fight, or the Governor, Senators, or Congresspeople, then our goose is cooked.
(Or, a class action lawyer files a lawsuit).
Please contact your councilperson and encourage other friends to do so.