When James Smith came back to the place he had parked his car on December 28, 2017 and it was gone, he thought it had been stolen. Instead, Mr. Smith, a lifelong San Francisco resident of 64 years, found out the car had been towed for parking tickets he did not know he had accrued. Mr. Smith had recently lost his apartment, and was sleeping in his car while he searched for alternative housing. Without his car, for the first time in his life Mr. Smith had to sleep in the street, where he was beaten and robbed while sleeping in a doorway.
In a lawsuit filed today, Bay Area Legal Aid and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, who represent Mr. Smith, sued city officials and challenged the state statute that permits the city to tow cars without notice.
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