On March 5, 2012 I wrote about how my car got towed, wrongfully and illegally, from a parking lot in Hartford where I had parked to go dancing on a Saturday night downtown. I said I planned to sue to get my money back. Here's the link to that story: http://wwwbobs-blog.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-my-car-got-towed-from-hartford.html
Here's a potential breakthrough development in that case, which could well make it worthwhile for a class action lawyer specialist to take the case on as big class action on behalf of all car owners who have had their cars towed illegally as I did.
There's a Laz parking lot on the south side of Pearl Street, west of Ann Uccello Street. I've parked there many times over the years when I've gone to Theaterworks for plays, just east of Ann Uccello Street, also on the south side of Pearl Street. All the plays I've gone to have been at night. But I've never been towed to West Hartford and had to pay $113 to West Hartford Auto Center to get my car out of Car Concentration Camp. Why not? I've only had an $8 charge ticket put on my car's windshield one time a few weeks ago, after dancing at Pig's Eye on Asylum Street. Why no tow job?
In the little parking lot there's a metal attendant's booth which is always empty at night. There are not parking lot attendants to take money, although directly across Pearl Street is a large parking lot which is probably also a Laz lot. I'll have to check it out.
Anyway, on St. Patrick's Day, after getting out of Up or on the Rocks and PourHouse and having a few slices of pepperoni pizza at Aladdin Pizza just west of PourHouse, I walked back to get my car parked way away across from Bushnell Park. When I got to Ann Uccello and Pearl I decided to walk over to the little parking lot on the south side of Pearl to see if it is in fact a Laz lot and if so what the signs say about after-hours parking, towing, and the like. The reason I wondered about that is this.
Several weeks ago, a Hartford cop told me to get out of Hartford and not return that night to either Russian Lady or PourHouse or he was going to arrest me because I had danced across the street from PourHouse to a little cafe/bar on the north side of the street PourHouse is on. He claimed I was "disorderly" because of this, although he could not explain what the disruption to the peace and good order of the state resulted from my shuffling my feet in a creative way while moving my old bones from the south to the north side of the seat to entertain the people in the cafe/bar across from PourHouse as I had the kids standing outside PourHouse with cigarettes hanging from their lips, lungs filled with tobacco smoke and all its toxins, disordering the cellular structure of their God-given lungs. If anybody was "disorderly," and in a harmful way, wasn't it the smokers who were being "disorderly" to the natural order of their lung organs and not me for moving my feet in a way which humans, even cops, call "dancing"?
So I agreed because he said he didn't care what happened the next night, only this night. I got in my car which I parked up on Church Street, north of where the cop and I had words, droved west on Church and turned left at the end of Church, where it joins the road which comes up from Bushnell Park. I drove slowly past Asylum to see what was happening outside Pig's Eye, since the cop had not told me to stay out of Pig's Eye. Seeing activity there, I turned left (east) on Pearl and parked in the little parking lot which is the focus of this piece. As always whenever I had parked there in the past at night to go to Theaterworks or one other time to go dancing, the attendant's booth was empty and there were a few cars parked there.
At the end of the evening at Pig's Eye, I retrieved my car and noticed a little slip of paper on the driver's side windshield. It was a note from somebody on a printed form which said I owed $8 for parking there. It did not tell me who I owed the money to or where I should send the money. If it had, I would have mailed a check for $8 to the parking operator. I wish I had kept this printed form with the information about my car, its make and model, and license plate, and the $8 charge, as evidence in my case against Laz and West Hartford Auto Center for wrongfully towing my car from the lot at the northeast corner of Church and Ann Uccello Streets.
So on St. Patrick's Day, on the way back to my car, I made a walking detour to the little lot on the south side of Pearl and noticed the unattended parking lot booth had a sign which said that after-hours parkers parked in the lot at their own risk and gave the name of the towing company. I should have gone back after getting my car and written down the exact wording but I can do that in a day or two.
Here's the rub. At the little lot on Pearl, they don't seem to tow cars which are parked there. It's operated by Laz. They have a similar sign on the unattended parking lot booth. And when you park there, you either park free or they put a little slip of paper on your windshield saying you owed $8 for the privlige and license to park there. Why the different treatment of parkers in the two Laz lots?
Here's the importance of the disparate treatment of parkers in the two Laz parking lots. Laz is treating its customers in different ways in the two parking lots. In the Pearl Street lot, it tickets with $8 charge slips but does not tow. In the Church and Ann Street lot, it just tows without ticketing with charge slips. And it gives people like me, who have first parked in the Pearl Street lot that the worst that will happen to them in the Church and Ann Street lot from parking there at night, after hours, is that we will get a charge slip on our windshields which we'll owe Laz money for, but not get our cars towed to West Hartford and have to pay $113 cash at an ungodly hour of the morning to spring from behind the barbed-wire car concentration camp.
This disparate, misleading, and unfair treatment will, I believe, be dispositive of the case I intend to bring in court against Laz to get my money back for the wrongful, unjust, and now, I believe, illegal towing of my car.
It also may be the lynchpin and key to a class action suit against Laz for all the car owners who have paid untold hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, in towing charges, apart from the aggravation and inconvenience involved, to get their cars back from this Laz-y Kar Kidnapping Kompany.