It has come to our attention recently through both clients, friends, and otherwise that the City of New Orleans Department of Facilities and Infrastructure has been potentially aggressively unlawfully booting immobilizing cars and automobiles in Orleans Parish. Our firm is currently taking names of people who have been booted in the past two years (2012-2014) since New Orleans changed its booting policies.
Car Booted – Orleans Due Process Violations
In 2009, the city revised the booting immobilization statute to read, “Any unoccupied vehicle found on street or highway against which there is a recorded and unpaid delinquent parking citation issued under the authority of this article shall be immediately immobilized or towed and impounded, or both, by any police officer or other person duly authorized.” At the time, Councilwoman Stacy Head stated: “This is good news.” Under the U.S. Constitution, the Louisiana Constitution, and by statute, we believe that New Orleanians who already pay high property taxes, and tourists who visit here frequently, are being unconstitutionally booted and/or towed by the City of New Orleans without proper procedural safeguards to ensure due process afforded to the owners of the cars.
Through various inquiries, it has been determined that people are being booted in Orleans Parish with only one (1) outstanding parking ticket, non-moving violation, without ever having been notified by the City of New Orleans of the initial citation. In short, The City of New Orleans is not verifying that it notified previous violators of outstanding parking or red light camera violations and, instead, taking an aggressive approach to boot your vehicle to make you pay even more money than you should owe.
Our firm is currently seeking inquiries among the public to determine if a potential class action lawsuit can be filed against the City of New Orleans for these tactics. Immobilization and/or towing of a vehicle is definitely not unconstitutional in some circumstances. Yet, the one ticket rule now being enforced by Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant and the City of New Orleans Department of Facilities and Infrastructure coupled with the failure of notifying owners of red light violations and/or outstanding tickets is definitely unconstitutional. It definitely has to stop; and, the actions of the City in patrolling neighborhoods in search of boot eligible cars should call the public to effectuate a change. These actions are also now making the local news - http://www.wwltv.com/news/New-Orleans-Drivers-Shocked-by-Car-Boots-after-City-Steps-Up-Enforcement-248935421.html
Potential Violations Of The American With Disabilities Act
Moreover, as many people have found out through the actions of the City Of New Orleans immobilization department, the department requires you to pay your outstanding tickets and boot fee which will automatically remove your boot, and, then require you to carry the heavy boot yourself back to their office. However, we believe this latter action is a clear violation of the American with Disabilities Act codified in 42 U.S.C. Section 12101. In short, anyone with a potential physical disability would not be able to remove the heavy boot off their car and return it to the City of New Orleans. We have discovered that those people who could not get their boots to automatically remove had to wait over four hours for a City of New Orleans public employee to remove their boot; this is also a potential violations of the American With Disabilities Act.
If your car has been booted by the City of New Orleans and you never previously were notified of an outstanding violation, or never even had a violation, please let us know by clicking the link below: