Illegal Towing Continues At Denver Pay Lots

Woman Fights Back After Car Illegally Towed

A 7NEWS investigation in September first exposed illegal towing from downtown Denver pay lots. We found out that under city ordinance privately owned pay parking lots are not allowed to tow vehicles for non-payment.

Just two months after the 7NEWS investigation aired Julie Harris' Honda was towed from a "Stop N Park" pay lot in Denver. Her $3 parking space ending up costing her $264.

Harris was unable to contact "Stop N Park." She's taking action against the pay lot to get her money back.

"I will file in small claims court against this pay lot tomorrow," said Harris.

Harris is also filing a complaint with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses against "Stop N Park."

"I knew it because I heard it on 7 News," said Harris.

In September Denver's Excise and Licenses Director, Tom Downey, took action by warning pay parking lots to stop towing or they could lose their license.

"We've gotten a lot of reaction from folks in the public, people who've had similar experiences," said Downey. "So, you're helping us and the mayor make Denver better, faster and stronger by cleaning up things like this."

If people don't pay, Downey said that parking lot owners can issue a private ticket, or they can call Denver Public Works Right of Way Enforcement for a city ticket -- but they cannot tow.

"There may be confusion out there that they have the option to tow. They do not," Downey said.

Pay parking lots can tow if someone is blocking an entrance or not properly parked in a space.

Downey said the ordinance prohibiting towing for non-payment applies only to privately owned lots where drivers pay to park, not to privately owned lots where drivers can park for free.

The simplified information for pay lot parking regulations is posted online and can be seen here or by going to Denver.gov.

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