We have no doubt it is very upsetting to have your car towed and then find out said car is nowhere to be found. But suing the city for $500 billion in damages isn’t going to help you out, especially if it’s a handwritten demand.
A federal magistrate recommended on Monday that a woman’s lawsuit against Columbus, Ohio should be thrown out, reports TheNewspaper.com. Apparently the city had impounded the vehicle in January, while the woman was in the hospital recovering from a traffic accident. While she was hospitalized, she never received a notification about the status of her car, she claims.
When she was released and went to the impound lot to see about her car, she says she was given the run around, and no car. Her suit claims the city sold her car and that it holds a grudge against her.
“Plaintiff has and continues to have issues with the impound unit and thus would like to permanently restrain and grant an injunction on defendants and its officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys from any further action resulting to any action with plaintiff,” she wrote in her complaint.
Because she wasn’t given notice, the woman claimed that act was a violation of her due process rights, but that didn’t help her case.
“In this case, the undersigned finds that plaintiff fails to state a facially plausible federal claim,” the US Magistrate explained. “Plaintiff first attempts to a bring claim under the Fourth Amendment for unlawful seizure. From the facts plaintiff pleads, however, it appears that the seizure of her vehicle was proper. As both the Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have held ‘[t]he authority of police to seize and remove from the streets vehicles impeding traffic or threatening public safety and convenience is beyond challenge.’”
And if the city didn’t return a car, as long as it was seized for a legitimate reason, the magistrate said that’s okay, too, at least constitution-wise, as “Plaintiff’s interest in regaining her vehicle, however, is outside the scope of the Fourth Amendment…”
The judge recommended dismissal because no pattern of misconduct had been established.
Meanwhile, did that car just disappear into thin air? That’s what we want to know.
Ohio: Federal Court Says City Can Keep Seize Cars [TheNewspaper.com]