Tulsa, OK asked in Constitutional Law for Oklahoma

Q: When does TPD have legal rights to tow a vehicle that is operable and parked on the street in front of its residence?

If a neighbor complains and calls the Mayor's Hotline, the City investigates and then makes a determination within a 2 wk. timeframe. It seems the wrong vehicle was towed. There wasn't an actual ticket, but the tow paperwork listed a different address and incorrect vehicle info. Further, there was no sticker on the vehicle prior to tow. The sticker that was placed on vehicle was seen at the tow shop and it said "vehicle to be moved within 24 hours". The vehicle that I believe was supposed to be towed (inoperable and parked the wrong way on the street for Over 6 mos.) has since been removed. It was gone within a few days after my vehicle was towed. Also, my vehicle has insurance, a state tag, and was not intrusive to any fire hydrants or blocking a anyone's driveway. Is this legal?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Local ordinances typically govern the circumstances under which a vehicle can be towed from a public street.

In many jurisdictions, a vehicle can be towed if it's in violation of parking regulations, abandoned, inoperable, or deemed a safety hazard. If the tow was predicated on inaccurate information, such as the wrong vehicle description or address, there could be grounds for contesting any fines or fees associated with the tow.

The absence of a warning sticker on the vehicle prior to towing, if required by local ordinance, may also be an issue. It's essential to gather all evidence, including photographs, tow paperwork, and any other relevant documentation.

If you believe your vehicle was wrongfully towed, consider reaching out to local authorities or legal counsel to address the issue. Mistakes can occur, and jurisdictions typically have processes in place to rectify such errors. Contesting the tow in a timely manner can be crucial.

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