Predatory towing investigation on KOIN-TV

Has your car been towed in the last six years?

By Sean Aaron Cruz

Portland, Oregon— If your car has been towed from private property in Portland in the last six years, you will really, seriously really, want to see this broadcast. KOIN 6 will broadcast a story on its investigation into predatory towing practices in the City of Portland tomorrow, Tuesday October 29, at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. Reporter Chris Woodard has been working on this for several months.


Towers created the towable offense of “No Back-in Parking” with City Hall’s OK

And then you are going to be angry, even angrier than you were when your car was towed, thinking about all of the angst and the valuable time that was wasted by a tow truck driver on top of the cash he took out of your pocket, holding your car for ransom. And then there was the bastard’s attitude, remember that….

And then you are going to want to talk to City Hall about getting your money and./or your vehicle back, because the contracts the towers have with property owners and managers are/were illegal and therefore unenforceable. The towers had no legal right to tow your vehicle, not since the passage of Senate Bill 431 and Senate Bill 116 in 2007.

Those towing contracts are all based on property owners and managers receiving illegal consideration (free towing services), a direct violation of Oregon state law and the City of Portland’s own ordinances. And that is only one of the ways in which they are on the wrong side of the law.

But you didn’t know that at the time, so you forked over the cash, and you also did not know your rights vis a vis PPI (Private Property Impound) towing, rights granted to you by the 2007 Legislative Assembly but which have never been enforced in the City of Portland.

The PPI towing system in Portland is based upon lack of public awareness, failure to enforce existing state law and illegal consideration.

You are going to be angry to learn how many ways the towers have gained since 2007 to take money out of your pocket, and wonder how this could have possibly happened, with virtually no public involvement in the process along the way.

Find out how many ways the towers are screwing you in violation of state law on KOIN 6 tomorrow, Tuesday October 29, at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.


Sean Aaron Cruz, serving as Senator Avel Louise Gordly’s chief of staff, researched and drafted the several legislative concepts in Senate Bill 431, sponsored by Senator Gordly, that were passed by unanimous Senate and House votes in 2007. Several other concepts derived from his research into predatory towing were incorporated into Senate Bill 116, sponsored by Attorney General Hardy Myers. Both bills outlawed certain predatory towing practices and created new consumer protections against illegal towing. Both bills were signed into law by Governor Ted Kulongoski, but none of the provisions of these bills have been enforced, resulting in several thousand illegal tows each year.

About 1000nations

Sean Aaron Cruz is Executive Director of 1000 Nations and a co-founder of The Friends of Celilo Falls. He is the organizer of the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival. He is co-author of Winona LaDuke's new book, "The Militarization of Indian Country." He is the father of four children who disappeared into Utah in a Mormon abduction in 1996, and the author of Oregon's landmark anti-kidnapping statute "Aaron's Law" (Senate Bill 1041), named for his late son Aaron Cruz. He writes online as Blogolitical Sean.
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1 Response to Predatory towing investigation on KOIN-TV

  1. C says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work and investigation into this.

    How can you be reached for questions? I would like to know if these illegal contracts extend to businesses like grocery stores who tow in/around their area, and how you can find out if they have an illegal contract?

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