City of Los Angeles sued for 'stealth towing'

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A West Los Angeles man is suing the City of Los Angeles over a 72-hour street parking rule they call unfair.

West Los Angeles residents David and Jerolyn Sackman knew they were going out of town when they parked their van on the street.

They checked street signs, had a permit and planned to be back before street sweeping the upcoming Thursday.

"I thought we were okay," Jerolyn Sackman said.

But when David tried to leave for work when they got back, his car was gone.

They called the city and discovered he'd been towed and cited for leaving the car for more than 72 hours. He received a $68 ticket and paid nearly $300 for the impound.

"It's just not fair. We're trying to follow the law," David Sackman said.

City documents show that more than 4,500 people are towed every year because of this rule.

The Sackmans set up a Facebook page called, "No Stealth Towing," where others are sharing their frustrations.

David, an attorney, is also suing the city in federal court.

"It is a violation of due process to tow away someone's car without warning when they're following all the posted signs," David Sackman said.

The city of Los Angeles says it doesn't comment on pending litigation, but the city attorney released a response:

"Perhaps it is too broad a generalization to state, as everyone learned in grammar school, that ignorance of the law is no defense," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

Jerolyn Sackman fired back.

"To assume someone would know about parking without any education or notification seems unrealistic for people to follow," she said.

The case will be heard in federal court on May 8.

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