This is actually a crazy story. But in the end, the right thing was not done by the city.
The most crazy part is the owner of the car sued the city for $500 Billion. That’s right, a “B”. That very likely hurt her case. That’s just insane.
The city does have a right and a duty to clear the streets of cars (and debris, but that’s another story). The real issue here is whether they have a right to dispose of these cars while the owner is still in the hospital from that accident. Apparently there is no law to protect people from greedy cities like Columbus, Ohio.
“Furthermore, plaintiff’s claims do not appear to challenge the actual seizure of her vehicle, but instead focus on her inability to regain possession of her vehicle. Plaintiff’s interest in regaining her vehicle, however, is outside the scope of the Fourth Amendment…. Plaintiff also fails to state a viable claim under the Equal Protection Clause.”
Actually, that is exactly what the plaintiff’s claim should focus on. As just mentioned the seizure of the vehicle isn’t the issue as the city has that right and duty at an accident scene. I don’t think any reasonable car owner wants their car left at the scene indefinitely. Getting the car back later is the issue. The court ruling, however, appears to be within the law, as there is no law I can find that prohibits the city from stealing the car for its own purposes.
The law needs to change. Let’s start with Columbus, Ohio.
As for suing for $500 Billion. That was probably intended as an attention-getter. It appears to have succeeded.