Not logged in? Join one of the bigest Law Forums on the Internet! Join Now!   Latest blog post: Tips for Achieving an Amicable Divorce

Advertisments:




Sponsor Links:

Discount Legal Forms
Discounted Legal Texts


Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Been involved in a traffic accident? Discuss traffic laws here

Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Postby oakley » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:36 am

In California...

My mother in law is handicapped, and parked in a guest parking spot near our apartment. There are about 500 or so residences in this complex, with plenty of guest parking, scattered around. The only handicapped parking is a 1/4 mile away near the offices.

This complex employs two separate towing companies who are very predatory. We've had lots of trouble with them in the past, but this is the first time the handicapped issue has come up.

Generally, the complex requires a guest to go to the office each visit for a new guest pass. Assuming the handicapped pass allowed her to park basically anywhere that is not red or impeding traffic, my mother in law figured she was okay to park in one of the many open guest spaces near our residence.

After her visit, she returned to her car, and there was a note that said if she parks there again, she'll be towed. They claimed it to be private property and they can do whatever they want, and that she needed to be parked in one of the handicapped spaces (1/4 mile away).

From what I can find, an apartment complex with more than 4 units has to abide by many of the ADA rules. They have to provide acceptable parking for them, but from the looks of it, can be at the disabled persons expense. But that isn't the case here. They are claiming that they have the right to tow her out of a guest parking spot when her pass is clearly displayed.

Searching California Penal Codes, I was only able to find info about specifically parking in handicapped spaces. But nothing about where else you can park. Reading the paperwork that she carries with her, it says a handful of places that are allowed and not allowed. But nothing really concerning private property. And nothing about whether a residential complex that is open to the public is considered private property in regards to disallowing handicapped parking privileges.

Is the apartment complex allowed to tow a handicapped vehicle from a guest parking spot?
oakley
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:08 pm

Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Postby lazaro94 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:42 am

A handicapped pass does not allow her "to park basically anywhere that is not red or impeding traffic". It allows her to park in handicapped spaces and anywhere that she could park without the handicapped pass. It does not allow her to park in any space where she would not be allowed to park without the handicapped pass, except handicapped spaces.

The ADA does not allow her to select any parking space she wants. If a handicapped resident requests that they designate a space close enough for the handicapped resident to use as a handicapped space, then they must either designate a space close enough as a handicapped space or reserve a space for the handicapped resident, but they get to the pick the space, as long as it is one that the handicapped resident can use (not too far or inaccessible due to steps). I am not sure if they have to designate a space as handicapped if there is no handicapped resident, just a handicapped guest and a non-handicapped resident, or if they only have to do it when there is a handicapped resident.

The term "private property" refers to ownership of the land, not to whether the place is open to the public. The two are unrelated. Walmart is open to the public, but is private property. An army base is not open to the public, but it is not private property. "Property" means "owned". It does not mean "open to".

Whether the vehicle is handicapped has nothing to do with whether they can tow it. Unless it is a handicapped space, they can do whatever they could do if it was not a handicapped vehicle. Even if it is a handicapped space, they can still tow it for other reasons. The only thing that the handicapped pass changes is whether they can tow it for being parked in a handicapped space.

Theoretically, if a handicapped resident requested a handicapped space, and stated in the request that they were entitled to the space under the ADA, and the apartment complex violated the ADA by denying the request, that might change things. I don't know. But it may not matter. I do not recall whether the ADA gives guests the right to handicapped parking. It might only be residents. Not sure.

But your question does not mention anyone making a formal request for a space to be redesignated as a handicapped space, and invoking their ADA rights to a handicapped space. If this is just someone ignoring the parking regulations because she thinks being handicapped lets her park anywhere, without first request that the apartment complex management (not her) select a suitable space for her use, then she is definitely wrong.
lazaro94
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:19 pm

Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Postby mate » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:45 am

The owner/manager of the complex can have any car towed they want to have towed for any reason or no reason. Yes they can do that and nothing you can do about it. Now do I think it is right, no, but what I think doesn't count. The property is private property so laws you are talking about don't count.
mate
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:34 am

Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Postby jomei69 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:58 am

If it is the complex's policy that a car must have a guest pass to use a guest parking spot, then yes... they can have the car towed, and probably would have had it not been for the handicapped plates.

A handicapped parking pass is not a ticket to park anywhere you want. Plates and permits do not allow you to disobey state or local parking regulations. If the rule is that you must have a guest pass to park in a guest space, then a handicapped permit doesn't supersede that.

Now, if the complex is in violation of ADA regulations, as far as providing adequate handicapped parking, that is something you should report to the city.
jomei69
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:14 am

Can an apartment complex tow a handicap vehicle from a guest parking spot?

Postby adalwine » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:59 am

Assuming your mother stopped and got the required pass she should not have been towed.
The only reasoning I can guess at is that handicapped parking spaces have more space between them and sidewalk ramps near by. They may have some internal rules about handicapped people parking in non-handicapped spaces for liability reasons, (something like not being sued if your mother tripped over a non-ramped curb.)
adalwine
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:31 pm


Return to Traffic Law

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post