By on April 26, 2011

Washington state’s second highest court endorsed the growing municipal practice of using extended vehicle impound periods to rack up fees. The a three-judge court of appeals panel considered the question in the context of whether Raymond Mann’s vehicle was rightly taken for thirty days by Kent police on March 13, 2009.

A police officer had run Mann’s license plate and discovered his driver’s license had been suspended. Mann was arrested and his car towed away and stored. Washington statutes provide that a vehicle “may be held for up to thirty days” if driven by someone with a suspended license. Mann requested a hearing in Kent municipal court and successfully argued that the city’s impound ordinance was unlawful because it failed to give the police officer at the scene discretion to reduce the period of impound. The court ordered the car released. The city appealed, and the King County Superior Court agreed the city ordinance violated state law. The city appealed again, and this time the court of appeals upheld Kent’s procedures.

“We hold that the ordinance is a valid exercise of the city’s authority under the impoundment statute,” appeals court Judge Michael S. Spearman wrote. “The statute’s plain language permits the vehicle to be held for up to a specified number of days ‘at the written direction of the agency ordering the vehicle impounded.’”

The appeals court disagreed with the lower court rulings that found the ordinance’s use of mandatory periods conflicted with the flexibility found in the word “may.” The lower courts were influenced by a 2002 state supreme court finding that found a Washington State Patrol regulation that imposed mandatory impoundment in all cases exceeded the authority granted under state law.

“The statute simply states that the agency may not hold a vehicle for more than the applicable number of days, and that it must provide written direction, Spearman wrote. “Other than the maximum impoundment periods set forth in the statute, there is nothing in the statute’s language from which we can discern a legislative intent to limit a municipality’s discretion regarding the period of impoundment… local impoundment ordinances must permit an officer to exercise discretion over the initial decision to impound. But after a vehicle is impounded, an ordinance may impose fixed, mandatory periods of impoundment, consistent with RCW 46.55.120(1)(a).”

The decision is good news for municipalities and private towing firms that charge a minimum of $174 per impound. On top of this, storage fees run $39 per day — or $1170 for the mandatory thirty-day period.

A copy of the decision is available in an 80k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File City of Kent v. Mann (Court of Appeals, State of Washington, 4/11/2011)

[Courtesy:Thenewspaper.com]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

45 Comments on “Washington Appeals Court Upholds Mandatory Vehicle Impounds...”


  • avatar
    segfault

    The hefty fees sound like they might actually discourage people from driving on a suspended license.  Not sure for what other reasons they can impound, but I think it would be appropriate for driving without insurance as well.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      The hefty fees sound like they might actually discourage people from driving on a suspended license.

      It would depend on why his license was suspended.  If the guy lost his job and couldn’t pay a ticket of his excise tax I’m not sure I’d agree with such punitive measures. 

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @jmo, are you saying that if you got your licence suspended because of hard luck, it would  be OK to ignore the suspension and drive with it anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        th009, so how would you suggest he get to work and feed his family?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Walk, bus, bicycle, carpool with neighbour.
         
        Otherwise, what’s the point of requiring driver’s licences if the lack of licence can be just ignored?

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        Walk, bus, bicycle, carpool with neighbour.

        Three LOLs and one good luck, in most parts of the country.

        Otherwise, what’s the point of requiring driver’s licences if the lack of licence can be just ignored?

        If a driver’s license meant what it used to I’d agree with you.  But they’ve been largely redefined from a certificate of (relatively) safe vehicle operation into a certificate of taxes paid on time.  Punishing debtors by taking their ability to legally get to work is insane. There’s nothing to do with a law that bad except ignore it until it gets changed.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @aspade, “There’s nothing to do with a law that bad except ignore it until it gets changed.”

        I think there is no point continuing this conversation then …

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        You’re right.

        Better for all of us if he sat home and signed up for food stamps.
         

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        aspade,

        That’s the real goal of policies like this. Create dependents, create permanent Democratic voters and move us one day closer to the end of all freedom.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Otherwise, what’s the point of requiring driver’s licences if the lack of licence can be just ignored?

        If it’s for failing to pay $200 in excise tax then a $100 fine is reasonable.  A $1200 fine and taking the car for 30 days is unconscionable.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @jmo, the impounding of the vehicle is not for failure to pay excise tax or for driving drunk, or anything in between.  It’s for driving without a valid driver’s licence.
         
        Of course aspade believes that things like driver’s licences and insurance are strictly optional, regardless of any laws, and enforced only by the liberal-communist-freemason conspiracy in the government.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      I would have given the driver 30 days in jail and sold his car at auction as part of the punishment.
       

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      As driving with a suspended license / expired registration / lack of insurance presents a “clear and present danger” to the community at large, and the power and mass of modern automobiles makes them lethal weapons, they should simply authorize the officer to shoot the driver to death in lieu of arrest.

      If not, then how about a little respect for Search and Seizure?

      • 0 avatar
        asapuntz

        It is NOT acceptable to pilot a 2-ton vehicle without liability coverage. So whatever the basis for the suspension (barring error), this person does pose a greater hazard, since insurance will probably NOT pay out for an at-fault driver with a suspended license. Should tax dollars be used to cover such individuals’ insurance premiums?

        If someone cannot drive to work, they need to find alternate means. Maybe rent at a nearby motel room for 4 nights/wk? Arrange with the employer to work 4×10 to reduce it to 3 nights? Get (pay) someone else to drive you? Some combination of the above.

        As for the towing & storage fees, they weren’t applied until the driver was caught ignoring the suspension. The consequences of being caught have to make up for the relatively low risk, or the penalty is ineffective.

      • 0 avatar
        SVX pearlie

        An uninsured motorist becomes personally liable, and can expect to have his wages garnished for the rest of his life.

    • 0 avatar

      @segfault and twotone
      I really hope you are not Americans. It would be a shame if our forefathers did what they did, just to have imbeciles like you among real AMERICANS. You may be familiar with the 14th amendment?

      Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

      Property cannot be taken without DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States…

        Ahh – but can you *prove* you were born in the United States! I think not! Have I seen your birth certificate! No! I need to examine it myself! What are you trying to hide? Why haven’t you come clean?!

        Ahem.

    • 0 avatar

      Here is the LAW:

      “The use of the highway for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived.” Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago

      “The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right.” Schactman v. Dulles

      “The state cannot diminish rights of the people.” Bennett v. Boggs

      “The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice.” Davis v. Wechsler

      “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v. Arizona

      “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.” Miller v. US

      If you can’t reach the conclusion, based on actual LAW, that some serious wrongs have been done to these poor people with suspended licenses, then you are clearly delusional.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    The Newspaper is presumptuous stating it is for the money. Driving with a suspended license is totally uncool. Parking the bad actor’s car for 30 days is far from excessive. A $40/day fine makes it $1200. A bit steep but steep enough to stop those who keep driving anyway?
     
    OTOH, if the individual is the family wage earner, the sole driver, and only going to and from work when no other reasonable choice is available, there should be some accommodation somehow.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      For a lot of people, where the car is their livelihood, it’s a reasonable option to attempt to evade pursuit to avoid having the car impounded for 30 days with a $1200 fee.

      Or simply shoot the damn cop.

      • 0 avatar

        @CarPerson

        “Driving with a suspended license is totally uncool”. Really? Do you think the people with the suspended licenses agree? A bit steep? A Seattle study in 1999 found that of 184 people with suspended licenses, the average person had $2,095 in unpaid fines and a monthly income of $810.60. And you think they can afford 1400.00 in impound fees, AND losing their TRANSPORTATION to and from work and/or school? EVERY SINGLE one of these “criminals” fits the “family wage earner, the sole driver, and only going to and from work when no other reasonable choice is available”. And all this ignores the most glaring part of it all:

        “The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 179

        Still feel the same way?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Good, real consequences for driving after having one’s license suspended. He should be glad his car was in jail for 30 days, and not him! “The Newspaper” seems to have a very one-sided anti-enforcement view of all things related to driving.
     

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      And here, I thought it was Constitutional issues.

      At what point does an administrative issue escalate into arbitrary government seizure of a $10k+ item for 30 days without appeal?

      There’s no review here, and even if there were, the government is hiding by statute to impose a 30 day seizure.

      And where’s the proportionality? A $100 issue becomes a $1200 additional fine holding a $10k+ car?

      John, suppose you get pulled and there’s a clerical error, so the cop pulls your license, sees that there’s a problem and impounds. The seizure and mandatory hold of your private property now escalates to 30 days. You get to pay $1200 because some moron in the DMV fat-fingered something. Not to mention the additional cost of alternative transportation.

    • 0 avatar

      Good? I can tell you right now a police officer impounding a car without DUE PROCESS is not “good”. It is the ultimate insult to the American people.

  • avatar
    musiccitymafia

    Can’t disagree more. If they want to levy a big fine well that’s understandable (commit the crime, pay the fine). To make the vehicle unavailable for an extended time AND force the perpetrator to hand-over a pile of cash to an outside private company … doesn’t make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      +1.
       
      When government teams up with redflex to screw motorists we’re outraged.  When the government teams up with Hal’s towing to do exactly the same thing the bootlickers come out to cheer em on.  Makes no sense.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t even have to explain, i’ll just paste THE LAW in here and let you decide for yourself if you are in fact, a complete and total imbecile:

        “The RIGHT of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is NOT a MERE PRIVILEGE which a city may prohibit at will, but a common right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 179

        The claim and exercise of a Constitutional Right CANNOT be converted into a crime.” Miller v. U.S. 230 F, 2d 286, 489

        “The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land [Common Law] long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. HE OWES NOTHING to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights.” Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 at 47 (1905).

        Caps for emphasis. Your wife is not happy with your sex life, musiccitymafia.

  • avatar
    92golf

    What was the drivers license suspended for? Most commenters are assuming it was for driving while drunk but it could have been anything; not paying a fine, being behind on family support payments etc….
    I don’t loan my car but suppose I did and the person had their license suspended? I know that most people would say it’s my responsibility to make sure the license was valid and I agree. But I don’t have access to government records and if the person lies to me about their license how would I know?
    So, why should the car be impounded for 30 days?
    The driver is the one at fault and they are the one who should be reprimanded by the law. Depending on the judge and the offense it could be a fine or jail time.
    I wonder if the statutes original intent was to force impound lots to hold unclaimed cars for 30 days before selling them to cover the impound and towing fee. Or perhaps the idea was to allow the local government to hold the car if a particular situation made it clear it was a good idea.
    I don’t know all the particulars but on the surface, interpeting “may hold” as “must hold” a car for 30 days doesn’t seem like a good use of a statute and generates contempt for government.

  • avatar
    Jonathan I. Locker

    I think the main problem people would have with this is not directly stated. Namely that when a person is arrested, not convicted, the automobile is impounded and the 30 day impound automatically applied.
    Granted, it does not seem that in this case the driver was not guilty, but how can we tell without a hearing as required by due process of law? This seems like a taking without due process. The car is impounded, and fees assessed based on the arrest, not the conviction.
    There may be a way to get your fees back if you are later acquitted of the violation, but that still seems backwards. If you want to fine me, then okay. But at least find me guilty first.

  • avatar
    truffle_shuffle_steer

    I’m not really sure the government is supposed to be making money from people who break the law- break even, absolutely, but turning a profit seems like a little bit of a conflict of interest no?
    Plus you pay a storage fee for the time it sat in the lot, but if it gets put there by accident do you get to charge the government for your time? It’s always a good time when nobody in authority gets held accountable for their actions…

    • 0 avatar
      92golf

      It’s always a good time when nobody in authority gets held accountable for their actions…

      You want to be able to hold a bureacracy responsible?

      Me too, unfortunately I think that means we’re both living in some kind of fantasyland……

  • avatar
    GS650G

    So the takings clause in the constitution, not important any longer?
    If it was impounded for 30 days to prevent it’s use by a suspended driver I could understand the logic but the storage fees are excessive and far above even renting a parking space there. The tow charge is hard to dispute but sitting a car on the ground is not justified by a 39 dollar charge daily.
    How many pieces of s#it do they get which owners don’t bother retrieving? Next up will be a disposal fee.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I was arrested once for driving on a suspended license. I was a teenager at the time, and it was the result of a DMV clerical error. It turns out those mouth breathers are fallible. They suspended my license the day they issued it. I actually got my first speeding ticket, and the officer said my license was suspended. I told him it wasn’t. He said okay, and said I should enroll in a first time driving offender program which would remove the ticket from my record in exchange for my father and I attending a week or two of driver safety classes. I completed the program and the ticket was expunged.

    A year or so later, a deer jumped in front of my car and I hit it. I drove to the nearest police station, and reported the accident. I offered my license to the officer doing the paperwork, and he ran it ‘just in case.’ Again, it came up suspended. This time, he read me my rights and arrested me in front of my friend’s father who had come to pick us up as my car needed to be towed. It was not a fun time. When my father called the court to find out why my license was suspended, they told him not to talk to them as they planned on subpoenaing him to testify so they could put me in jail for a year. It took a long time for the public officials to notice that my records indicated that my license was suspended the same day it was issued. There was no reason for the suspension, in their system or legally. It was a clerical error by a person who was part of a system that assumes it is in the right and drivers don’t have any rights. I didn’t go to jail, but my family and I were all treated like liars and criminals. The incompetent public officials even lost my license during the process. They assume they don’t make mistakes though.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I drove for almost all of 1988 on a suspended license due to a DMV clerical error. It took me a full year to find somebody who knew which form to send me so I could “swear” (e.g. check a box on the form) that their information was incorrect. My insurance company had wrongly reported a lapse in coverage.
       
      So much for the presumption of innocence, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Liberals only care about the rights of drug dealers, rapists and murderers for some reason. Apparently they don’t worry about getting caught parking for 2 hours and 15 minutes in a 2 hour space.

        California DMV is so busy robbing everyone blind that they don’t have the time to renew licenses. A friend had to rent a car two weeks ago. She discovered that her license was expired, and couldn’t rent the car without a trip to the DMV, where she learned that she’d filed her renewal in December of 2010 but the DMV hadn’t gotten around to sending her the new license yet. They claim the backlog is now ‘only’ a couple months.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Liberals only care about the rights of drug dealers, rapists and murderers for some reason.

        What the… Where did that come from?

        And I hate to take the bait, but it seems truly bizarre that the same people who rant about how the government screws up and people don’t have rights when assumed guilty of a crime… then complain when “liberals” promote policies which try to ensure that those accused of crimes don’t end up in jail due to clerical errors rather than guilt.

        How come demanding due process for someone unjustly accused of driving without a license is good, but demanding due process for someone unjustly accused of rape is “caring about rapists”?

        How come the government officials are incompetent and mistaken when a citizen is accused of speeding, but apparently infallible if a citizen is accused of being a drug dealer?

      • 0 avatar
        LJD

        Perisoft: +1,000,000

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        PeriSoft, the problem is reality. It is liberal judges and liberal legislatures that are railroading people for moving and parking violations. They absolutely don’t care about due process for anyone that isn’t a terrorist, sex offender, drug dealer or murderer. Due process is standing between their state employee union backers’ unfunded pension and benefit plans and motorists’ check books.  If you’re missing that, it explains why you’re a liberal. Look at the trial lawyers that come out of the woodwork to defend the worst monsters but consider a defense to be a luxury for drunk drivers.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        Due process is standing between their state employee union backers’ unfunded pension and benefit plans and motorists’ check books.  If you’re missing that, it explains why you’re a liberal.
         
        I get the feeling that you care more about your talking points and rash assumptions than actual policy. You ignored my points and launched into a tirade against unions (Say what? Where does that come into this?). Where’s your evidence for ‘liberal judges and legislatures’? Do you have stats on the severity of traffic infraction legislation vs. legislative and court party affiliation? Do you have evidence that policies promoted by ‘liberals’ affect due process for those accused of major crimes more than those accused of minor crimes or misdemeanors?

        Do you have any basis at all on which to base your rather serious accusation that ‘liberals’ “care” about rapists and murderers? Do you have evidence suggesting that police violations of legal technicalities (which tend to be a bugaboo of those who think themselves tough on crime, and are presumably what you refer to here) disproportionately help those accused (accused, not convicted) of terrifying and outraging crimes like rape rather than those accused of obnoxious but not frightening crimes like insider trading or embezzling?

        Or do you figure you can just randomly say stuff and it’ll be so?
         
        And how do trial lawyers come into this? You can hire an expensive attorney for any accusation, if you want, but people don’t tend to hire expensive attorneys when facing a $500 fine. If you’re facing 15 to 25, the stakes are a bit higher. And how do the choices representation of people (at least those with the money) affect my points at all? Those without the money usually don’t end up with the “trial lawyers” who you lump into one monolithic group. Prosecutors, it should also be noted, are also lawyers.

        And expensive defense attorneys are a product of business competition. If you dislike that, perhaps legal defense should be “socialized” (ahem) the same way prosecution is now? This is a legitimate question, I think – and discussing it is rather more useful than yelling, “Lawyers suck!” and sticking a fork in it.

        You merely repeated your claims from before, continued to fail to provide references or backup information, and threw in a random stab at unions for no obvious reason other than that you’re pissed off at the ‘liberal’ bogeyman, whatever that is.
         
        Oh, and before you make any more assumptions, I can hardly be described as a ‘liberal’, at least in the sense I suspect you think of it. I’m closer to being a libertarian, really – I’m a particular fan of Rand Paul’s speech regarding the Patriot Act.

        But I happen to believe that a degree of economic control is necessary for capitalism to thrive in its true sense. I’m an entrepreneur, and feel strongly that I should be able to benefit if I can sell my company for a ton of money, in particular by the purchase of a Maserati Quatroporte. Real laissez faire capitalism as promoted by some conservatives, though, isn’t capitalism at all. And I believe that, just like a basic level of law protecting citizens from one another is necessary to allow personal liberty, a basic level of law protecting corporations from one another is necessary to allow real capitalism. I can’t create value as an entrepreneur if larger companies are allowed to run roughshod over smaller ones. In this I am in line with The Economist, one of my favorite reads, and hardly a liberal stalwart.
         
        I also believe social safety net on some level is both morally right and flat out good policy. I think it makes moral and financial sense to provide at a low level things which are absolutely necessary to live a meaningful life – housing, medical care, very basic food. The cost of providing those things is far lower than the cost of not providing them. Some people will take advantage of a situation where they’re provided, but some people take advantage of cushy middle-manager jobs and some people take advantage of tax havens. That is neither here nor there regarding policy.
         
        The majority of people in the world will prefer to work to improve their lot in life (a fundamental aspect of conservatism and individualism, it should be noted), and the economic bonus alone of those people having a baseline to work from will far offset the cost of supporting the losers who take advantage – even if it’s a fairly high percentage.
         
        Even if you think it’s unfair for the poor to be taxed a smaller percentage than the rich, even if you are galled by the idea of the lazy receiving an iota of undeserved support, social policies that prop people up enough so they don’t spend their time flopped covered in cardboard on an air vent over the 14th street L line are flat out good economics in the long term. And knee-jerk political black/white ‘competition’ has made it impossible to discuss those policies on merit, resulting in a situation where good fiscal policy becomes impossible to implement because it fails the litmus test of ‘conservatism’ or ‘liberalism’.
         
        I try my best to not view the world through a simplified us-vs-them lens. Bandying about terms like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ as insults and accusations does nobody any good.
         
        And doing so (as in this case) without having the slightest clue about the accused’s actual positions makes it nearly impossible to have any forward progress in discussing things that actually mean something. Slapping an angry label on your ‘enemy’ and calling it a victory is not going to help. I wish to hell that people would stop doing it.

      • 0 avatar
        Slapstick

        There aren’t enough +1′s in the world to show how much I support Perisoft.

  • avatar

    In Michigan you can get a restricted drivers license with two DUIs on your record. The idea is that just because you’ve driven drunk you shouldn’t be deprived of being able to get to work.
     
    However, if you owe the state of Michigan even a penny for “driver responsibility fees” (Lansing’s end run around constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy), you absolutely cannot get any kind of driver’s license.
     
    So don’t tell me this is about safety. They’d rather have certified drunks driving than let you or me slide on being forced to ante up more money to lazy entitled government bureaucrats.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    In this situation, a driver is dealing with two different entities, the government bureaucracy and the towing/storage company. I wonder if I should be looking to set up one of the latter, pick up some unused land, fence it, and get in cahoots with the local sheriff. Then I make money hand over fist off each impounded car for thirty days, and there’s a good chance that the owner doesn’t or can’t pay my fees; then I can sell it and get the money that way. Sounds like a heckuva deal to me.

    I find it harder and harder to rebut the presumption that my county, state, and federal governments see me as a profit center….

    • 0 avatar
      smrotstnerb

      example.

      Non knowing person in 2007 gets suspended because of parking ticket that flew off of window while at work. Collections can Optionally send something and they might, after they collect a couple months of interest, but the DOL sends a notice of suspension when your suspended… not a warning. you pay, then pay the DOL 150 to get your liscense back, + 25 to get a NEW license. back to square one right? Nope. if any more suspendeds within a 5 year block, you get your car towed. 30 days. thats 1800 bucks where I live, and you have to pay 1/2 of that within 5 days of your car being towed, just to have a CHANCE to get your car back. now, you pay (rediculous) the deposit, go to court, they hit you with 350 fine plus you have to pay another 150 to the DMV after you clear up the problem that got it suspended. thats 1100 and you haven’t got the car yet, now. you then pay the rest of the tow, thats another 750, + the average tow charge you would get (250-400 depending where your at) + 100 for the police to call the tow yard, and your over 2000. how many people in washington can drop 2000 in 30 days. and still smile with a car? My car was only worth a 1000 bucks… so… they charged me the difference after they SOLD the car because I could NOT afford that tab. I haven’t even pleaded guilty on the suspended liscense charge yet! Not to mention the whole time I was paying Insurance(100/mo), and now I lose that because of the moving infraction. I tell ya. Laywers do this job for 300 bucks to represent you in suspended liscense cases and do NOTHING. For all those who haven’t had one… you have slipped through the cracks of this scam. the court system will coin-op you too, but at least they have a payment plan. Its directly not thier fault… Indirectly its the SERVICES they contract to are the real evil. Insurance companies point system, Tow companies, and Collection agencies rape you more than any court charges will. The worst part is that none of those companies have good reputations for helping their clients with “payment plans”. its get raped, and heres the towel, clean yourself up. The best payment plan you can opt for with the collection agencies is 50 percent up front with a minimum of 400/mo till your court fines are paid.

      Just an fyi. I am a single male in my 30′s now.. still paying with a dead end Mcdonalds job that can fire me any day for NO reason, and the cycle starts ALL over AGAIN. This is since 2007 with no chance to actually get somewhere in life because these vultures are picking my remains. I truly thought about going to a different state and starting over because its so damn corrupt… but heres the catch… Its in almost EVERY STATE. so I am really thinking about going to Canada or something because at least there, the court system dosen’t even have TIME to do this to you. They still have the 100 dollar charge, and go home with your car after 24 hours. no reinstatement fee from what I hear from my maple leaf friends.

      45 percent of people in whatcom county are in jail with a suspended liscense. Oh, hows the economy treating you? how many cars are at the auction sites? I hope your auction car blows up on the freeway… well at least that one guy who bought my car for half of what it was worth, and then i paid 2 times what it was worth retail. Thats American dream and the Beautiful RIPOFF.

  • avatar
    relton

    Used to be, in Michigan, the state and the insurance companies were in a sort of collusion to get your money. The state would assign points to  traffic tickets, and the insurance companies would use the points to raise your rates.

    Then, the state realized that they could muscle the insurance companies out of that racket by charging extra nt to issue points. That’s right, fior a fee, the state will waive the points for speeding, etc. Thus the state collects the money that the insurance companies would have colleted.

    Sort of like to Mafia gangs involved in a turf war.

    Bob


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States