Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Maryland

Can a tow truck driver enter your car without permission if the car is being tow

I was at a friends place for the night and I parked in a lot that you had to be out of by 7 o'clock am. I understand I should have been out by then but when I went to my truck at 8 I found that it had just been lifted up by the tow truck. I had put my emegency break on that night and when I went to tell the tow truck driver there was no way he could tow b/c of my break being on I realized that my doors were unlocked. I asked if he had entered my truck and he said I had ''left'' the door open on one side and went in to unlock the break. He said since I am on private property he is allowed to do so. Is this true, I have tried to look up the law but have been unsuccesful.



Asked on 10/25/04, 1:17 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Albin Alan S. Albin, Attorney at Law

Re: Can a tow truck driver enter your car without permission if the car is being

Well, suppose the tow truck driver had hooked you up without releasing the emergency brake. Wouldn't that have caused (potentially) damage to your vehicle?

Are you sure you didn't leave the door unlocked? If the truck driver testifies otherwise, do you think the judge will believe you or the truck driver?

Since you knew that you were parking in a lot with a time limit, a judge might well infer that you put your parking brake on because you thought you might come back late, and you wanted to try to prevent your vehicle from being towed in that event.

Sounds like a "push" to me, doesn't it? If you're the Plaintiff, however, you have the burden of proof--if it's a tie, you lose.

Also, even if you can show a trespass by the towtruck driver, can you show any damages? Was your vehicle damaged in any way? If not, you will not be able to recover anything, since obviously you were overtime and the lot apparently had the right to have you towed.

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Answered on 10/25/04, 4:52 pm

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