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Carrboro Ready To Act On Towing Complaints

Carrboro Ready To Act On Towing Complaints

CARRBORO – A week after the state Court of Appeals upheld Chapel Hill’s ability to enforce its towing laws, a Carrboro resident has filed a complaint against Barnes Towing for violating the Town Code.

Among the rules that Josh Arenth, the man in question, is accusing Barnes Towing of violating is exceeding the maximum $100 fine and not accepting payment by credit or debit card. Arenth says his car was towed from the Carr Mill Mall parking lot after he went to a nearby shop not served by the lot.

Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton says multiple complaints have been filed against multiple towing companies in Carrboro, but town officials did not know to what authority they had to respond.

“With the recent decision in George’s Towing v. Town of Chapel Hill, I think it’s clear that we do have the power to act,” Chilton said.

The Superior Court ruled that Chapel Hill’s towing regulations, including maximum fines, easily accessible lots and acceptance of credit and debit cards, were unconstitutional. This made towns like Carrboro unsure of what enforceable power they had until the Court of Appeals’ overruling decision.

To act upon Town Code violations by towing companies, Mayor Chilton says the town must first receive a complaint from a citizen.

“When we receive complaints, we’re definitely taking them seriously and investigating,” Chilton said.

Barnes Towing released a statement saying they do not violate the Town Code and they are unaware of Arenth’s case.

1 Comment

  1. sammyslade

    Mayor and Board of Aldermen,

    In response to recent complaints against the towing of vehicles from Carr Mill Mall, Police Department staff has met with Barnes Towing to re-inform them of the towing regulations in the Town of Carrboro. They are aware of the signage requirements and that Carr Mill Mall does not currently meet those requirements. They have been informed that until the signage is correct, they are not able to charge any fees for towing a vehicle from that property, and that each vehicle towed will result in a civil penalty from the Town. They were informed that they may resume towing activities once the signage complies with the Town Code, but that the Board of Aldermen would be considering changes to the signage requirements on June 25th, so that they may wish to wait until that time to make the changes to the signage and resume towing activities.

    Staff has worked to resolve the latest towing complaints we are aware of. Going forward, citizens are requested to contact the Carrboro Police Department directly if there is a complaint about towing practices. That way, CPD staff will have the information and documentation needed to pursue a claim against the towing companies.

    Further information, including suggested changes to the Town’s towing regulations, will be presented on June 25th.


    Matthew Efird, MPA

    Assistant to Town Manager

    Town of Carrboro



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