$500 for a Tow Is Too Much, Classes Say


     BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) – Six nearly identical class actions claim Southern Illinois cities charge unreasonable administrative fees of up to $500 for towing vehicles of people who are arrested.



     The complaints were filed in St. Clair and Madison County Courts.
     The plaintiffs say they were charged $300 to $500 in “administrative fees” upon trying to retrieve their vehicles. City ordinances allow the fees.
     Two of the class actions were filed against Fairview Heights in St. Clair County. The other four were filed against Alton, Collinsville, Edwardsville and Granite City in Madison County.
     All were filed by Brian Polinske of Edwardsville.
     “The Level 1 Administrative Fee is not the tow fee but merely a receipt given to the plaintiffs so they can then appear at the towing facility which possess their automobile and then pay the actual towing fee,” the complaints state. “Thus the Level 1 Administrative Fee is not connected or related in whole or in part to the cost of towing, towing services or actual services provided.
     “The fees under the above ordinances have no rational basis in accomplishing the means as stated by the ordinance. There is no rational justification for imposing $500.00 administrative fee upon a motorist to merely issue that person a receipt stating they have paid $500.00.”
     The class consists of all people cited and arrested for any of the alleged violations which subject that person to the administrative fee, including driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. The plaintiffs want their money back.

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