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City of Chicago sued over vehicle impound policy

May 1, 2019 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s vehicle impound policies are being challenged in a class-action lawsuit.

Attorneys for the Institute for Justice claim in a lawsuit Tuesday the city is holding vehicles ransom until the owners pay fines that have accumulated, even though a final judgment hasn’t been rendered. Institute lawyer Diana Simpson says that is unconstitutional.

Simpson pointed at Veronica Davis as an example. Her car was in a shop for repairs when a repairman who took it for a drive was arrested and the car impounded. Davis has been unable to get her car back for nearly a year as the storage fee grows.

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The institute says in 2017 the city impounded about 22,000 cars and took in more than $28 million in fines and fees.

A Law Department spokesman says because litigation is pending, the city has no comment.