Press Releases

August 27, 2019

City of Los Angeles Towing Practices Challenged by Cancer Patient's Claim Over Wrongful Tow and Sale of his Vehicle


Today, we filed a claim for damages against the City of Los Angeles on behalf of Joseph Morrissey, whose car was wrongfully seized and sold while he was recovering from cancer surgery. Mr. Morrissey has been parking on the street outside his home for six years. After spending over a week in the hospital, he returned home to find he had been cited for failing to move his vehicle within 72-hours. Three days later, while he was bedridden and medically prohibited from driving, the City towed his car of ten years. His only mode of transportation now gone, Mr. Morrissey did everything he could to comply with the City and contest the ticket, but the City violated his right to due process, cashed his check, and sold his car anyways.

The City’s towing policy discriminates against people like Mr. Morrissey who have medical conditions that restrict their ability to move a car, and is particularly devastating for low-income Angelenos. 

The City has 45 days to respond to Mr. Morrissey’s government tort claim which alleges that the City’s unconstitutional towing practices harm Mr. Morrissey, and others like him. The submission of the claim today is the first step towards a civil rights lawsuit.

Read the full press release here. 

Read our report Towed into Debt here.