Police sent me a bill more than 6 months after they towed my car away

18 posts in this topic

I live in a district where street parking had been with toll until recently (now they issue park permit for residents). Back in July last year, as I had always been doing, I parked my car on a street nearby where parking had been for free. But it turned out that parking there was temporarily forbidden due to the preparation for the DOM or something. They towed my car over to a street nearby. I got a fine of 25EUR. I took care of it.

 

Today, 7 months after the event, I got a letter from the police which says I have to pay additional 300EUR for "Amtshandlungsgebühr", "Gemeinkostenzuschlag" and "Besondere Auslagen / Abschleppkosten".

 

Shouldn't there be a statutory deadline for the authorities to do such things? I've got a couple of speeding tickets in Germany so far, and they all arrived within a month from the events. I understand the towing involves a third party - the tower - and it can take longer than just sending a speeding ticket. Even so, sending a bill after 7 months sounds unusual and absurd. I mean, can they send me the bill whenever they want to - like after years if they want to?

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7 minutes ago, thomasaki said:

Shouldn't there be a statutory deadline for the authorities to do such things?

 

The limitation periods and rules are standardized in the laws of the respective federal states. The period usually begins at the end of the year in which the towing measure took place. 

 

Section 22 GebG Hamburg stipulates a limitation period of 4 years. If the invoice comes directly from the towing company, the limitation period according to section 195 BGB is 3 years.

 

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A few years ago my car was properly parked but pope Benedict came to vist. So they cleared all cars along his route. 

 

I get that. Security.

 

But they also charged me for moving the car. That I don't understand. I did nothing wrong so why punish me for the fact they changed my legal, free parking space to must clear for security.

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26 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

A few years ago my car was properly parked but pope Benedict came to vist. So they cleared all cars along his route. 

 

I get that. Security.

 

But they also charged me for moving the car. That I don't understand. I did nothing wrong so why punish me for the fact they changed my legal, free parking space to must clear for security.

 

They do have the right to temporarily block legal parking spaces but depends on how much time they gave you to move the car.  If they put up signs temporarily disallowing parking, you should have at least 48 hrs from the time the signs went up until you have to move.  If they gave you less notice and you go to court, you might just win.  See for example https://www.anwalt.de/rechtstipps/parkverbot-oh-schreck-der-wagen-ist-weg_003684.html

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1 hour ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

But they also charged me for moving the car. That I don't understand. I did nothing wrong so why punish me for the fact they changed my legal, free parking space to must clear for security.

 

This stolen from a parallel thread.

 

The ACE (seems to be a motorists’ club) interviews an expert, who has this to say:

 

Errichtung von Parkverbotszone wegen Baustelle oder Umzug – und das während urlaubsbedingter Abwesenheit. Was kann passieren?

 

Lempp: „Dauerparken ist zwar grundsätzlich erlaubt, jedoch muss man als Halter dafür Sorge tragen, dass das Fahrzeug jederzeit entfernt werden kann, wenn ein Haltverbotszeichen aufgestellt wird, beispielsweise wegen Bauarbeiten, einer Veranstaltung oder um einen Stellplatz für einen Umzugswagen zur Verfügung zu stellen. Die Halterpflicht gilt selbst bei krankheits- oder urlaubsbedingter Abwesenheit, so dass unter Umständen die Fahrzeugschlüssel einer Vertrauensperson überlassen werden müssen, die sich um das Fahrzeug kümmert. Für die Zulässigkeit des Abschleppens in solchen Fällen kommt es vor allem auf die Zeitspanne zwischen dem Aufstellen des Verbotszeichens und dem Abschleppen des zunächst korrekt geparkten Fahrzeugs an. Die von den Verwaltungsgerichten insoweit vorgeschriebenen Fristen variieren zwischen 4 Tagen und 48 Stunden“.

 

Basically, you’re responsible for making sure your car can be removed from the street, even if you’re not there. But there has to be some advance warning, generally 2-4 days.

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10 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

The limitation periods and rules are standardized in the laws of the respective federal states. The period usually begins at the end of the year in which the towing measure took place. 

 

Section 22 GebG Hamburg stipulates a limitation period of 4 years. If the invoice comes directly from the towing company, the limitation period according to section 195 BGB is 3 years.

 

 

Thank you @someonesdaughter ! That's quite long...

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2 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

A few years ago my car was properly parked but pope Benedict came to vist. So they cleared all cars along his route. 

 

I get that. Security.

 

But they also charged me for moving the car. That I don't understand. I did nothing wrong so why punish me for the fact they changed my legal, free parking space to must clear for security.

 

Oh that's mad.

I really don't get how it can be justified to remove someone's car and charge the owner with just a few days notice period. That basically means anyone who has no on-premise parking is always at risk of his/her car being towed when, for example, he/she goes on to vacation. I believe the one who needs the segment to be cleared should bear all the cost and there should be a much longer notice period. If there's a petition or something about that, I definitely want to contribute.

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8 minutes ago, thomasaki said:

I believe the one who needs the segment to be cleared should bear all the cost and there should be a much longer notice period.

 

How can this be done, for example, if the road is to be excavated at short notice in order to repair pipes? And how far in advance do you want to plan your next move so that the furniture van can park? A public street is a public street and not a permanent parking lot. 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

How can this be done, for example, if the road is to be excavated at short notice in order to repair pipes? And how far in advance do you want to plan your next move so that the furniture van can park? A public street is a public street and not a permanent parking lot. 

 

 

 

Yeah a public street is a public street. That's why I believe the one who needs exclusive use of a street segment should bear any costs. Someone's broken pipes or moving is not anyone else's business and no reason to tow anyone's car and rip the owner off. Apparently, the law means otherwise though.

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1 minute ago, thomasaki said:

Yeah a public street is a public street. That's why I believe the one who needs exclusive use of a street segment should bear any costs.

 

So, you want to pay for parking? How much would be appropriate for your exclusive use of the street segment? 

 

1 minute ago, thomasaki said:

 

Someone's broken pipes or moving is not anyone else's business

 

Don't want to hear your complaints once you've been without water or electricity for weeks, because the city can't tow the cars ...

 

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1 minute ago, someonesdaughter said:

So, you want to pay for parking? How much would be appropriate for your exclusive use of the street segment? 

 

Why not? If I ever need one, I should be the one who pays for it or asks the car owners to move their car.

 

4 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

Don't want to hear your complaints once you've been without water or electricity for weeks, because the city can't tow the cars ...

 

As I said, the one who needs exclusive use should be the one who pays for it. In this case it's the house owner, definitely not car owners.

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3 minutes ago, thomasaki said:

Why not? If I ever need one, I should be the one who pays for it or asks the car owners to move their car.

 

You park in the street. This is about you and your exclusive use of the street segment. In your own opinion you would have to pay for parking there. How much would be appropriate for your exclusive use of the street segment? 

 

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Wait a moment.  This is Germany. Property owners often are the ones who pay to the renovations of the road outside their house often.  It creates enormous upset.  Quite a high profile case in my city where one side of the road has to but the other - thanks to paths running alongside - do not.

 

So, rest easy,  it is what you want, no need to sweat.

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26 minutes ago, thomasaki said:

Yeah a public street is a public street. That's why I believe the one who needs exclusive use of a street segment should bear any costs. Someone's broken pipes or moving is not anyone else's business and no reason to tow anyone's car and rip the owner off. Apparently, the law means otherwise though.

 

Exactly.  There's nothing much we can do to change the law but when you know the law, you know what to expect.  When you go on vacation, you could opt to leave your car in a parking garage or at a friends house or you could park it on the street and give someone a key and ask them to check on it every couple of days.  Or you just park it somewhere and take the risk.  When I go on vacation I try to leave my car in a parking bay and not on the street because I think it less likely that they'll block parking in the bays than on the street.  Still, I know if I leave it there for 2 to 3 weeks, it might be towed before I'm back.

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19 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

You park in the street. This is about you and your exclusive use of the street segment. In your own opinion you would have to pay for parking there. How much would be appropriate for your exclusive use of the street segment? 

 

I'm talking about the cost of clearing the obstacles on the street segment, not the parking fee. So it just depends on what you do there. If you simply find out the car owners and successfully convince them to move their car, I don't think you need to pay anything. If you tow the cars, you pay for the towing company.

 

Anyway I think this isn't going anywhere. How it works in Germany just differs very much from what I believe it should.

Thank you again for helping me understand that what the police demands is perfectly legit.

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2 minutes ago, thomasaki said:

I'm talking about the cost of clearing the obstacles on the street segment, not the parking fee.

 

You talked about the exclusive use of the street -

 

Quote

As I said, the one who needs exclusive use should be the one who pays for it.

 

and demanded that those who want to use the street exclusively should also pay for it. That would have to be true for you, too. You use the street as your exclusive parking space. 

 

But maybe you can also see now that this is nonsense and your use of the road simply brings with it the obligation to check regularly whether your car is is in the way or not. Simple.

 

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30 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

You talked about the exclusive use of the street -

 

I thought it was obvious but to make it clearer for you, exclusiveness I've been talking about is one in arbitrary time and space.

Me parking my car on a street is technically exclusive use of the spot, but I can neither reserve the spot or remove the car sitting on my desired spot.

I pay for parking when I have to, I don't when I don't have to. If it becomes 10€/h everywhere, I probably stop owning a car. But that's it. I'm not arguing with anyone about that.

 

35 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

But maybe you can also see now that this is nonsense and your use of the road simply brings with it the obligation to check regularly whether your car is is in the way or not. Simple.

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Well I've been seeing it all along, just saying that's absurd when "regularly" means "every couple of days".

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1 hour ago, thomasaki said:

I pay for parking when I have to, I don't when I don't have to. If it becomes 10€/h everywhere, I probably stop owning a car.

 

The charge is 0€/h, but ~300€ per occasion when the space is required for another purpose after 48 hours warning. Take it or leave it.

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