Court blocks Chapel Hill towing rules pending appeal
Posted June 25, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The North Carolina Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that Chapel Hill suspend enforcement of new towing regulations while a lawsuit over the rules is appealed.
Chapel Hill adopted towing regulations in February 2012 to cut down on complaints about predatory towing, but the ordinance never took effect because towing company operator George King challenged them and a local ban on using cellphones while driving.
King argued that the combination of the two ordinances would harm his business, saying that his drivers would be cited for using a cellphone in responding to calls from people seeking to recover their towed cars.
A Superior Court judge threw out both ordinances last year, but the state Court of Appeals reversed the ruling three weeks ago, saying King hadn't shown any harm from either ordinance.
Chapel Hill intended to begin enforcing the towing regulations Monday while holding off on the cellphone ban while driving.
The rules would require tow zones to be properly marked, set fees towing companies can charge, require them to accept credit or debit card payment, mandate that they inform police before towing any vehicle and prohibit impound lots from being more than 15 miles from town.
King asked the state Supreme Court Monday to review the Court of Appeals ruling.