JUST IN: Advanced Towing ordered to pay only $750 in Attorney General’s lawsuit – ARLnow
Superior Towing truck in Clarendon
(Up So far, 10:35 p.m.) The Arlington Circuit Courtroom finally acquired here to A selection in Virginia Lawyer Widespread Mark Herring’s regulationsuit in the direction of Superior Towing after final month’s multi-day trial.
The court has ordered the towing agency, whose methods have angered many in Arlington, to pay a civil penalty of simply $750 for 5 separate violations. That’s a far cry from the $650,900 thOn the Lawyer Widespread’s office was looking for at trial.
“Although the Defendant’s conduct is sanctionable, the Courtroom is constrained by the cures out there in each the Virginia and Arlington County Code,” wrote Decide William Newman in an opinion letter despatched to Every facet late Wednesday afternoon.
Furthermore, the court Did not problem an injunction in the direction of the towing agency, writing that whereas There have been “deficiencies” in Superior Towing’s enterprise practices and doc maintaining, the court “Does not discover proof to problem a everlasting injunction in the direction of Defendant.”
Chap Petersen, Superior Towing’s attorney — As properly as to a Virginia state Senator — said at trial that he believed “the office of the Lawyer Widespread Desires to place my shopper out of enterprise.” He said the ruling largely vindicates The agency and proprietor John O’Neill.
“While dissatisfied thOn the Courtroom made any discoverings in the direction of our shopper, we really feel vindicated in thOn the Courtroom solely assessed a $750 nice for the  found violations,” writes Petersen in A press launch to ARLnow.
The court assessed one $150 civil penalty for not safely securing shopper automobiles with straps, one $150 civil penalty for not updating contract modifications for a enterprise Parking lot in Ballston, and three $150 civil penalties for using three drivers that Weren’t registered with the Virginia Division of Felony Justice Providers (DCJS).
By way of the trial, the AG’s office, relaunched by Assistant Lawyer Widespread Erin Witte, referred to as Superior Towing’s practices “predatory, illegal, and dangerous.” To show this, they referred to as up a parade of witnesses, collectively with Arlington County Cops and drivers who had their automobiles towed.
The court found revenue In just A pair of of the Lawyer Widespread’s claims.
The AG’s office argued that Superior Towing didn’t clearly mark parking areas On the Ballston lot, shut to Gold’s Clinic on Wilson Blvd, leaving consumers confused. However, the court dominated the spots have been correctly labeled and indicators correctly posted and, subsequently, didn’t assess a civil penalty.
Furthermore, the AG’s office claimed that Superior Towing didn’t have copies of towing contracts out there for public inspection. However the court dominated thOn the related contracts have been out there to The general public and, furtherly, didn’t assess a civil penalty for that.
“Superior Towing has been found to have violated the regulation and it’s time for The agency To wash up its act. I am dissatisfied thOn the Courtroom solely awarded $750 in civil penalties and Did not award restitution to consumers, particularly the victims of Superior’s dangerous towing practices who voluntarily testified in court To inform their story,” Virginia Lawyer Widespread Mark Herring wrote in A press launch to ARLnow. “Superior Towing has employed predatory and illegal towing practices for years, costing Virginia consumers lots of, if not hundreds of dollars, and it deserves to be held accountable for its movements. I am Joyful with the exhausting work my Consumer Safety Part has carried out on this case, and We can’t cease going after dangerous actors who prey on Virginians simply making an try to go about their Daily lives.”
Petersen famous that, earlier than the trial, the Lawyer Widespread’s office supplyed to settle the case over the summer time for $780,000 and an injunction in the direction of sure practices by The agency.
“I really feel the distinction between the AG’s supply and the Courtroom’s choice speaks for itself,” he said.
ARLnow has reached out to the AG’s office for Contact upon the ruling, however has but To Take heed to again as of publication.
While it stays potential thOn the Lawyer Widespread might attrmovement the ruling, Herring misplaced his bid for A third time period final week, placing further movement Inside the case into question.
A final decree is scheduled to be launched to Every facet in court on December 10.