Lincoln's defense: the ICC never told them they were violating the law.
What I learned from reading all the ICC filings: in Chicago, you need to file different contracts to tow on a "patrol" basis (where the tow truck spots the unauthorized car) vs. a request basis, where the customer asks you to have a car towed. Lincoln Towing didn't care about the distinction; the ICC did.
Also, they had drivers without licenses.
Honestly, I doubt the other Chicago towing companies are much better.
Their Wikipedia page is pretty funny; it's pretty clear that someone with an interest in Lincoln Towing has authored chunks of it.
After some rounds of bad towing companies / behavior Minneapolis passed some city ordinances that limited towing. There still are bad actors but a lot of the easier methods they can use are gone now.
That is what privatization of law enforcement with a financial incentive to “find crimes” leads to.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
1. Step one, file claim in small claims court, get your money back / recorded action against the towing company / etc.
2. Carry a tyre valve removal tool with you. Whenever you see one of the offending companies tow trucks parked, and either unoccupied, or the driver is distracted, remove the valves from as many of the trucks tyres as you can.
This shouldn’t damage the tyres, unless they are left deflated for a long period, and it’s extremely inconvenient.
Also allow the use of force in defense of property wrongfully seized.
Will not end well. The more aggressive towing companies in Atlanta send their operators out in pairs, wearing mirrored sunglasses, body armor and carrying sidearms like they're mercenaries. You're outmanned and outgunned.
It's like they know they're engaged in business that might upset people or something.
The police, with all their training, still shoot civilians accidentally. I really wouldn't want to test the how-not-to-shoot-civilians training of some wannabe-Blackwater towing goon.
If you've ever been to a city council town hall, or read a local newspaper in an area where it's a problem, this is brought up regularly.
You get coverage of an example of illegal activity in the news:
Response from local politicians:
Politicians seeking input from their constituents:
Leading to a new law:
With enforcement of the law:
I don't see any handouts or special interest groups here.
I will assume that a flagged car will always be impounded when found. I guess that's the point of flagging it.
If your car was impounded because you were flagged without breaking any rules maybe you can address that somehow. Since your registration was paid up, flagging you car seems excessive, especially when it was just as a "reminder". There must be a way people don't end up in this situation for a "reminder" flag. So you can work on your side to make sure others don't get flagged unless their car really needs to be impounded.
Unless you were you supposed to update your address and check in with them to remove that flag, especially before leaving the state. In which case some more care from your side is required.
I'm not saying "privatizing law enforcement" is good. To a hammer everything looks like a nail and when you pay that private company "per nail" you can bet that's what they'll find at every corner. But you can always grab the issue from your end and try to do something about it. Otherwise next time you might as well have the Police impound your car and pay them for the ride. Same difference.
You have 2 choices. The first is the "always do it yourself" fix to other people's mistakes or intentional trespasses. The second is to have the "people in charge" do it for you in a sustainable manner, at scale.
The second option might include repeated litigation. I have no idea how it would work but making them pay more than they earn every time is a strong deterrent.
You win the game by controlling who gets to run as a candidate. That way, no matter who wins individually, you still end up with a majority in the legislature who will support policies friendly to you. And you don't need 100% control; some dissenting candidates need to be allowed, to provide an veneer of legitimacy to the process, but not enough to actually sway the votes in Congress.
Is a functioning democracy a right or a duty?
Or I guess you can just complain and post comments.
The city council has shown interest in restricting towing (has done it) and just recently they had one of them on TV talking about towing bad actors.
There is a lot of cynicism further down the chain but it is just BS by people who don't know anything, as at least in Minneapolis politicians have taken action regarding towing.
Is that even legal?
3 months later, Erin found it, while taking a walk past the impound lot on Harrison. They made her pay all 3 months of impound fees.
The city made an effort to change this a few years back but stopped when they realized that they would have to pay the towing company a bunch of money from loss of revenue with the modified contract.
If 100 plaintiffs sue 1 defendant, each plaintiff has to appear once. The defendant (or their paid agent) gets dragged in 100 times.
The company got in trouble supposedly due to anonymous tipsters who knew some inside info to some news stations (for the record no it wasn't me, I didn't have anything).
At least some folks made good choices.
Note: sheriffs of London paid 300 £s per year, hoping to make a profit from the fines they collected.
A labourer's annual wages at the time were 2 £/yr.
A master carpenter might earn 20-40 £/yr, depending on days worked.
A kitchen servant, 2 - 4 shillings/yr.
In: "List of price of medieval items"
If anyone is interested in some of the roman dynamics of the time I highly recommend Paul Maier's historical fiction on Pontius Pilate: https://www.amazon.com/Pontius-Pilate-Paul-L-Maier/dp/082544.... (his book on Nero is great too)
It's not unlike winning friends and donors for campaign funds by playing nice with wealthy special interests as a modern politician in order to progress up the ladder to national office and then continue to win re-election.
In a corrupt city if you piss of people with connections you get run out of business unless you also have connections.
Owned a small business that was trying to get work with a city agency.
Got denied to be an approved vendor when I applied. We were told they would reconsider in two years.
A client of mine was wealthy and well connected. He was trying to convince me to let him invest in my business. I told him about being denied.
He made a phone call on our behalf to city hall. We got a call from the city agency within an hour that we were now an approved vendor.
Moral of the story. Chicago is corrupt AF.
The problem was they weren't enforced. As others mentioned in this thread, you can only operate this way as a business with political connections.
Regulations in themselves are never sufficient. They have to be practical and their utility measured based on the reality of the efficacy in real life. A hundred more rules for customers/businesses won't solve the deficiencies of government inefficiencies, corruption, and cronyism.
More residential areas don't have this, though. Some homes have driveways and some buildings have garages. There's always a paid garage nearby or airport parking.
I assume they're just keep spooling up another LLC and continuing.
A friend in the business took one of the Chinatown busses off the road after they pulled up for inspection with the rear brakes on fire with bald tires and no mirrors. The unlicensed driver ran off into a cornfield and vanished.
He pulled it off again a week later in the same condition, with another LLC on the side (something like “harmonious dragon 2,llc). That time it was associated with a more serious crime and seized.
Chinatown busses in particular are very bad.
> Then there was poor Peter Salva, a construction worker who in 2015 was doing roof work when he noticed a couple of Lincoln Towing workers hauling away his truck. When he began climbing down, the workers unhooked his ladder. He fell and broke his leg
We break into cars when we gotta
With pick axe and hammer and saw
And they said that this garage had no license
But little care I for the law
To me way, hay
Tow them away
We plunder the streets of your town
Be it Edsel or Chevy there's no car to heavy
And no one can make us shut down
Having your car broken down is the least of your problem. They will come, drag your car to their affiliated workshop, charge you high fees, and then the workshop charges you high fees as well. You can refuse, but it involves lots of persistence.
Hopefully they're shut down for good and people went to prison.
My fear is they'll pop back up under a different name and continue the same f*ckery.
That's what a scam auto auction place in South Chicago did. They had numerous BBB complaints and dozens of on-line horror stories.
The state attorney finally shut them down several years ago but it looks like they're back and in the same freakin' building in Harvey IL. Only now they're called First Marshall Auto Auction.
I've seen their ads on craigslist and flag them, but it's like playing whack-a-mole.