Apply to join The Signal

Atlanta residents sue Atlanta booting companies

A car is booted in the parking lot across from One12 Courtland Apartments. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-45-31-pmKevin Patrick Law and The Werner Law Firm have filed two lawsuits against major parking companies in Atlanta, such as Advanced Booting Services and Empire Parking Services.

According to the lawsuit filed against the two Atlanta booting companies that own hundreds of parking lots within the Atlanta City limits, they are illegally immobilizing vehicles with those bright yellow boots.

In 2008, the city of Atlanta mandated all booting companies to have clear, two and one-half by three feet signs along with other compliances listed in the Atlanta Code of Ordinances, Art. 5 § 162-261. However, if a company has not followed all applicable city zoning ordinances regarding the posting of signs and the specified requirements then it is unlawful to place a boot on anyone’s car.

Trial attorney Kevin Patrick, from Kevin Patrick Law told The Signal that’s not the case with most of the booting companies roaming around Downtown.

“These companies are not allowed to use abbreviations, and they are supposed to have accurate phone numbers so if your car gets booted there is a way to work things out. What we’ve found is that most of these companies don’t follow the law, and we are trying to hold them accountable,” he said.

Signs posted by Atlanta Booting Services throughout Atlanta have their name abbreviated as ABS. The ordinance states that no abbreviations shall be used in the language contained in the sign, the company has made unauthorized abbreviations. Not following that qualification specified in the Atlanta City ordinance automatically disqualifies this company from impounding cars, according to the ordinance.

In order to hold these companies accountable, on Nov. 13, 2016, the first class action lawsuit by Melissa Ledbetter, Ryan Tibbetts, Sherry Rosen and any similarly situated persons, was filed against Advanced Booting Services, a company thought to participate in this practice.
Both law firms are working on filing more lawsuits against booting companies such as Lanier Parking Solutions.

Georgia State student Taylor Davis said he thinks he’s been a victim of the violations.

“I’ve gotten a boot four times in four different parking lots and decks. Every single time I had to pay $75 to get it off. Some times I had to call my mom and ask for money because I didn’t have enough,” she said.

The Atlanta City Ordinance states that the cost of impound per day should be a maximum $50. Although there are maximum fines allowed by law, disclosures that these fines have exceeded the city’s law must be provided on the sign and they do not.

Georgia State student Daniel Schmidt said he had to pay a $200 fine to have his boot removed because he did not know there was a sign that stating the cost of a boot removal.

“I just feel like if I can’t park my car for five minutes to go to the top of an apartment complex to take a selfie under the stars without my car getting booted, what can I do?”

The plaintiffs of the lawsuit are seeking financial compensation for the total amount of fines they had to pay even though these companies were not following the law.

“This is about having a meaningful way to resolve disputes. By not putting the legal name of the parking lot owner on the sign, and instead using a parking agency, the lot owners are attempting to avoid responsibility for using predatory practices to exploit patrons of their businesses,” Matt Wetherington from The Werner Law Firm said.

 

2 Comments

  1. I was one of EPS Parking Services most recent innocent victims. I carefully read all signs posted at the payment station and paid $8 for 2 hours – although my meeting was scheduled for only 1. The meeting ran over by 40 minutes and being an honest person with integrity, unlike EPS & LAZ Parking, assumed I could pay any overage upon returning to the lot – on the rare chance the meeting ran over. As I stated earlier, I had scanned the lot and payment station signs upon parking and saw no signs regarding booting of your vehicle if you were 1 minute late getting back to your car. I followed the instructions of putting my receipt on the dashboard, while helping another lost soul figure out the parking procedures, and saw reference to a $10 fine if you failed to put the receipt on your dashboard. I also saw a sign stating that if you did not pay at the payment station in advance, booting would be enforced for non-payment. Not only was my car booted upon returning to my vehicle, but I was treated extremely rudely by both the phone rep and the employee that arrived to remove the boots – both were very fast talkers, repeated ignoring my questions of explanation since I was totally at a loss as to why my car was booted and treated me like a criminal. These guys and this company needs to be held accountable for their unscrupulous business practices!

  2. My loaner car from my mechanic was booted this morning. I had been driving a rental car for over a month, my mechanic loaned me a car & I returned the rental car, the loaner car was parked at my condo with a pink parking pass on my dash board with a 7/15/18 expiration date. The loaner car was booted because the license plate number was different, even though, it clearly states that I am an owner in this subdivision & lists my Unit number.
    I have called Empire Parking Services, (EPS) repeatedly to speak with the 4 Managers; Brian, Scott, Chip or Daniel and was told by the rude phone operator that they have 24 hours to call me back.

Join the Discussion

%d bloggers like this: