Parking Officers Who Chalk Tires Are Trespassing, Court Finds

If you receive a parking ticket after an officer chalked your tires – you may be able to have the violation thrown out.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found chalking tires to determine how long a car has been parked in a certain area qualifies as trespassing and is considered an unreasonable search.

The court ruled in a plaintiff’s favor after they were issued 15 parking tickets over the course of three years by a Saginaw, Michigan parking enforcement officer who was also described as the city’s “most prolific issuer of parking tickets.” They argued that chalking tires was a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

A U.S. district judge in Michigan dismissed the case when it was first brought forward in 2017. The judge in that instance found that the search was considered reasonable as the chalk was not an “information-gathering device,” and could not be used to violate their privacy. We’re no law experts, but this seems blatantly false – the chalk is being used to gather information on long you’ve parked in a certain area. Anyways, we digress.

We can just leave this parked here, right?

One of the judges on the panel this time said that chalking a car’s tires qualifies as a search being commenced “without probable cause or even so much as ‘individualized suspicion of wrongdoing’ — the touchstone of the reasonableness standard.” The plaintiffs’ case has now been reinstated.

So the next time you notice some yellow or white chalk marks on your tires, remember – the parking officer not only gave you an ugly-looking chalk line, they also just violated your rights.

[Source: CNBC]