- Wilmington, Delaware has touted a supposedly “cost-free” method of towing by allowing private companies to keep and scrap cars if residents can’t pay the “ransom.”
- Lawyers at the Institute for Justice describe the city’s system as a “racket” because of the 2,551 cars towed in 2020, 987 of them were kept and scrapped.
- “Wilmington is taking cars without any kind of procedural protections, holding them for ransom, and then refusing even to credit the value of the car toward the supposed ticket debt,” IJ’s senior attorney Rob Johnson said in a statement.
Adam Klasfeld from Law & Crime writes:
“Delaware’s most populous city touted a supposedly “cost-free” method of towing cars allowing private companies to keep and scrap people’s cars. Two Wilmington residents challenged that system as “fundamentally unconstitutional” in a federal lawsuit asking a judge to put an end to that system and make them whole.
“Wilmington hired private towing companies to run its municipal impound system,” the 32-page complaint states in the introduction. “However, in lieu of monetary payment, the City contractually empowered the private towing companies to keep and scrap people’s cars. As a result, the towing companies scrapped thousands of cars without compensating owners. In the end, the City gets its municipal impound program for free, the tow companies make money by confiscating a large portion of the cars they tow, and vehicle owners lose their cars.”
Their lawyers at the Institute for Justice (IJ), an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit, describe the system as a “racket” in a press release—in the colloquial sense. The complaint does not allege racketeering…”
See full story here.