Monday, December 16, 2013

Legal Controversy Brewing Over Booting Attended Vehicles At Waukegan Business Parking Lots

Photo courtesy of Lake County News Sun

Business owners hired Chicago Parking Management, a security company to boot and tow vehicles of parents briefly dropping off high schoolers in private lots near school. 

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 16, 2013

Waukegan, Illinois - Controversy over the legality of business owners allowing a hired parking lot security company from the Chicago Parking Management, Inc. to immobilize offenders that briefly enter a lot to drop off Waukegan High School students is brewing, according to the Lake County News-Sun (LCNS). The LCNS reported, that drivers in vehicles are blocked from leaving the ungated parking lot once they are spotted by hired security for the businesses. The offenders are booted while their vehicles are still running, but can't leave because they have been blocked by security vehicles. 
In other states, such an aggressive tactic is considered a scam by the businesses involved and the security firm that is hired to immobilize and boot vehicles while parking lot offenders are still in their vehicles.
Offenders who are mostly Spanish speaking drivers have to pay up to $125 to get the boot removed and avoid a tow.
It's clearly illegal and a gross violation by the business owners and those putting on the boots to immobilized vehicles while the drivers are still inside the vehicles, even if it's a private business parking lot. Businesses are given city permits to operate in Waukegan and thus by having an open parking lot, vehicles can't be immobilized for profit. Offenders have to be allowed to leave the private parking, if they refuse for whatever reason, vehicles can be cited and then towed at the owners expense.
If a driver happens to leave the vehicle unattended at a private business parking lot and is not shopping at the business and clear signs are placed warning that an unauthorized vehicle is subject to be booted, a fine and will also be towed at the owners expense would be legal.
4th Ward Alderman Harold Beadling told LCNS, that business owners around the high school had to hire a parking lot security company after parents dropping off their high school children in their parking lots kept customers from entering the lots to park and shop. Business owners should be supported, since they pay taxes, according to Beadling. But parents dropping off their children also pay taxes and shouldn't be scammed and forced to pay for a boot to be removed by the businesses. 
City officials in Waukegan have received complaints about the legality of immobilizing vehicles while drivers are still inside and not allowing vehicles to leave or be given a warning not to park in the lot.
Steve Martin, the Waukegan city attorney was not available for comment and was unaware of the questionable booting by the hired security at businesses near the 1000 and 1100 block of Washington Street near the high school. Martin is expected to review the booting tactics used by the involved businesses and the company that they hired, according to David Motley, spokesperson for the City of Waukegan. 
Martin should force the security company to refund all the money taken from booting and towing to its victims, once he can confirm that Waukegan has no ordinance and the state does not have any established law allowing such scams, Hispanic News Network U.S.A. found.

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