HOOVER SLOVACEK LLP5051 WESTHEIMER,SUITE1200HOUSTON, TEXAS77056(713)977-8686Fax (713)977-5395www.hooverslovacek.com
DUDE WHERE’S MY CAR?CLE PRESENTATIONHOWARD M. BOOKSTAFFSEPTEMBER 18,2015HOUSTON BAR ASSOCIATION
Theinformation supplied at this seminar and the opinions expressed are those of the author and not theHouston Bar Association.There is no intention to give, and nothing said should be taken as, legal advice. The purpose of this handout is to educate those in attendance only. This handout is not intended to address particular legal issues, is not to be used for marketing or advertising purposes and is not to be distributed to others without the express written permission of the author.All rights reserved.
What authority gives you the right to tow?(§2308.254)Texas towingstatuteAmunicipal ordinanceDirection of a peace officerOwner or operator of the vehicle
When can you tow without the consent of the vehicle owner or operator?(§2308.251, 2308.252(a) and 2308.253(b))SignsActual noticeConstructive noticeAutomatic right to towContractual right to tow
What type of constructive notice is required?(§2308.252(b), (c) and (d))Notice attached to vehicleNotice mailed
How can a parking facility owner protect itself from liability for damages arising out of the removal or storage of a towed vehicle?(§2308.403)Removed by a towing company insured against liability for property damage.Stored by a vehicle storage facility insured against liability for property damage.
What type of information is required to be supplied to a towing company before the towing company will tow?(§2308.255)Written verification of signage; orWritten verification of actual or constructive notice
Where should a sign be posted in order to authorize a tow or a boot?(§2308.301)Facing and conspicuously visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility.Located on the right or left side of each driveway or curb-cut through which a vehicle can enter the facility.
Permanently mounted on a pole, post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier.Installed on the parking facility;andInstalled so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than 5 feet and no higher than 8 feet above ground level.
What arethe signrequirements? (§2308.301(b))Be made of weather-resistant material.Be at least 18” wide and 24” tall.Contain the international symbol for towing vehicles.Contain a statement describing who may park in the parking facility and prohibiting all others.
Bear the words “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense” or “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense” or “Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Booted at Owner’s or Operator’s Expense”.Contain a statement of the days and hours of towing and booting enforcement; andContain a number, including the area code, of a telephone that is answered 24 hours a day to enable the owner or operator of a vehicle to locate a towed vehicle or to arrange for removal of a boot from a vehicle.
What are the color, layout and lettering height requirements of signs to allow towing? (§2308.302)The topmost portion of the sign:must contain a bright red international towing symbol on a generally rectangular white background, at least 4 inches in height.The portion of the sign immediately below the towing symbol:must contain the words “Towing and Booting Enforced”, “Towing Enforced”, or “Booting Enforced” in lettering at least 2 inches in height. The lettering on this portion must be white letters on a bright red background.
The next lowest portion of the sign:must contain the remaining information required on signs (§2308.301(b)), with bright red letters at least 1 inch in height on a white background;andThe bottommost portion of the sign:must contain a 24 hour telephone number, in lettering at least 1 inch in height and may, if the facility owner chooses or if an applicable municipal ordinance requires, include the name and address of the storage facility to which an unauthorized vehicle will be removed. The lettering on this portion must be white letters on a bright red background.
Can a parking facility owner restrict only certain areas of the parking lot? (§2308.304)Yes.With signage.
Can a facility owner restrict only certain spaces? (§2308.305)Yes.With signage?
What are the possible penalties for failing to comply with the towing or booting law? (§2308.404, 2308.405, 2308.406 and 2308.407)Towing, storage or booting fees assessed in connection with the removal or storage of the vehicle.
Note: Negligenceneed not be proven in order to recover.Intentional, knowing or reckless conduct for $1,000.00 plus three times the amount of fees assessed in the removal, towing, storage or booting of the vehicle.Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than $1,500.00.Injunction pursuant to the DTPA.