Skip to main navigationSkip to News Headlines
NJ Division of Consumer Affairs
Global Navigation
Division of Consumer Affairs
The State of New Jersey Office of The Attorney General (Dept. of Law & Public Safety) The State of New Jersey NJ Home Services A to Z Departments/Agencies OAG Frequently Asked Questions
OAG Home
OAG Contact
Division of Consumer Affairs Alerts and Recalls
Division of Consumer Affairs Alerts and Recalls
Office of the Attorney General Homepage Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Division of Consumer Affairs
Division of Consumer Affairs Highlights
Division of Consumer Affairs Topics in a A-Z List Format
Office of Consumer Protection (OCP)
New Jersey Bureau of Securities
Office of Weights and Measures
Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Professions and Occupations List
Contact the Division of Consumer Affairs
Division of Consumer Affairs in Spanish
Division of Criminal Justice
Division on Civil Rights
Division of Gaming Enforcement
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
Division of Law
Juvenile Justice Commission
NJ Racing Commission
State Athletic Control Board
Division of NJ State Police
Victims of Crime Compensation Office
OPRA - Open Public Records Act
Download Free PDF Reader

Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Director

 

 

For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327
 

Division of Consumer Affairs Continues Crackdown on Predatory Towing Companies; Charges Irvington-Based Towing Company with Violations in Removing Vehicles from Three Newark Parking Lots

NEWARK The Office of the Attorney General and the State Division of Consumer Affairs have filed suit against an Irvington-based towing company, alleging that it illegally used spotters to target vehicles and failed to provide proper notice to motorists in the parking lots it patrolled.

The state's lawsuit alleges that Gilliam Towing, and its owner Marlin Gilliam, violated the Predatory Towing Prevention Act and regulations, as well as the Consumer Fraud Act, when towing vehicles from three private parking lots located at 25-33 Court Street, 80 Court Street, and 127 Halsey Street, all in Newark. The state's Complaint was filed in State Superior Court in Newark.

"We allege that this towing company engaged in precisely those predatory towing practices that our laws prohibit," said Attorney General Paula T. Dow. "Through unlawful surveillance and inadequate signage, this company watched and waited for unsuspecting motorists. Through this action and our ongoing initiative, every tower is on notice that this conduct will not be tolerated."

The state is consumer restitution, plus assessment of civil penalties against the defendants, reimbursement of the state's investigative and legal costs, and compliance with the Predatory Towing Prevention Act and the Consumer Fraud Act.

"The defendants are charged with essentially turning these private parking lots into their own personal feeding grounds, prowling for vehicles and reaping towing fees," said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. "With this initiative, our investigators are out on the streets fighting back. Those towing companies lying in wait, looking to prey on unsuspecting consumers, should think twice before pouncing. We're watching."

Calcagni noted that this is the fourth towing company against which the Division has taken action since March, when the Division first went public with the statewide crackdown. "Investigations, including undercover operations, into additional towing companies and their practices continue," said Calcagni.

Consumers should know the law. The Predatory Towing Prevention Act prohibits towing companies from the following:

Failing to release a vehicle that has been hooked or lifted, but has not actually removed from private property, upon request of the vehicle's owner;

Trolling (cruising) for vehicles parked without authorization;

Paying for information about vehicles parked without authorization;

Refusing to accept an insurance company check or a debit card, charge card, credit card, or check for towing or storage services, if the towing company ordinarily accepts such payment at its place of business;

Charging for a towing or storage service not on the Division's schedule of services; and

Charging an unreasonable or excessive fee.

A consumer education brief that highlights these and other key features of the Predatory Towing Prevention Act has been produced by the Division of Consumer Affairs and can be read online at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/brief/towing.pdf

Consumers who believe their vehicles have been illegally towed from private parking lots should file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs. To file a complaint, go to www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or call 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section is representing the Division of Consumer Affairs.

View Complaint

###

   
Contact Us | Privacy Notice | Legal Statement | Accessibility Statement
NJ Home Logo
Divisional: DCA Home | Complaint Forms | Proposals | Adoptions | Contact DCA
Departmental: OAG Home | Contact OAG | About OAG | OAG News | OAG FAQs
Statewide: NJ Home | Services A to Z | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright State of New Jersey, 1996-2007
This page is maintained by DCA. Comments/Questions: email

Page last modified: