On February 25, 2020, a lawsuit was filed in Federal court alleging that the City’s practice of towing and selling vehicles for unpaid tickets is unconstitutional. Each year the City takes tens of thousands of vehicles from Chicagoans, not because they are illegally parked or pose a safety hazard, but rather because the owner has outstanding tickets with the City, according to the suit. In such cases, the City tows, impounds, and sells the vehicle. None of the proceeds of the sale are given to the owner, nor are the sale proceeds applied to the outstanding tickets, the suit alleges. As a result, the owner not only loses a car, but is also left with the existing ticket debt, as well as hefty towing and storage fees. The lawsuit alleges that this practice constitutes an unlawful taking without just compensation in violation of the United States and Illinois Constitutions. In addition to the City of Chicago, the lawsuit also names the City’ tow contractor, United Road Towing, as a defendant.
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