Confused about towing? These DU law students are here to help

Colorado lawmakers have spent the last few years increasing protections for people with tow trucks – they argued the balance of power needed to be returned to car owners.

But with so many changes in recent legislation, it can be a headache for residents to understand the new rules and rights.

Attended Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.

A group of students will spend the fall semester in the school’s law and innovation lab, briefly striving to help Colorados learn their rights and seek support to combat predatory traction. I created an application.

“We seek to provide Colorados with a way to deal with incredibly stressful issues in a calming and empowering way,” said the Law School, which helped design Colorado Tool’s Traction Rights Advisor. said third grader Will Denny.

The app, which law students hope to debut after the new year, focuses on getting people the information they need in the moment and right after the tow. It includes an easy-to-follow guide in English and Spanish explaining the laws and scripts to follow when dealing with tow operators.

The tool also provides an avenue for individuals to file complaints with the Public Utility Commission, which regulates the towing industry, and Colorado’s Attorney General, who was empowered by recent legislation to play a more active role in consumer protection. To do.

Spanish speakers can use the tool in their native language and generate and submit complaints in English.

DU has also partnered with the Community Economic Defense Project (formerly the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project) to help pay for getting your car back after being towed.

“Colorado has had a predatory housing traction problem for years,” said Zach Newman, co-founder and executive director of the organization.

An economic assistance fund from the Community Economic Defense Project budget will help individuals who cannot afford the 15% fee (up to $60) under the new towing law get their cars back quickly. The remaining fees (often hundreds of dollars) must be paid in the end.

“We couldn’t have built an app to navigate this,” says Neumann.

Denny and his fellow sophomore and junior law students began by parsing HB22-1314, which was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in June. The Tow Carrier Nonconsensual Towing bill made some significant changes to Colorado’s towing law.

The bill also requires tow truck operators to give 24-hour notice to tow a vehicle from an apartment complex or mobile home parking lot in most cases, and the tower must provide valid plates. It prohibits the removal of the car because it has expired.

According to Denny, it was infuriating to tell people the horror stories of the tow truck. Tennant was so afraid of being towed out of his parking lot that he organized a watch group to watch his car overnight. People reported illegal towing to the police, only to be told that authorities could not help. A resident physically stands between his vehicle and the tow operator to prevent his vehicle from being dragged out of the parking lot.

“What these people were going through was just surreal,” Denny said. “There were no resources for these people at all.”

On Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the University of Denver, Lois Lupica, Director of the Law and Innovation Lab, and Will Denny, a third-year law student, work as Towing Rights Advisors to Tools in Colorado. (Photo credit: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

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