April 17, 2009
Re: Predatory Towing Prevention Act, Chapter 39, P.L. 2009
Yesterday, Governor Corzine signed into law, Chapter 39, P.L. 2009 which revises the “Predatory Towing Prevention Act of 2007” by removing various requirements on towing companies such as tariff provisions and registering with the State. The Division of Consumer Affairs, the agency charged with writing implementing guidelines, is in the process of writing new regulations to implement the new Law. The expected date for approval and publication of the new regulations is unknown at this time.
One positive effect of the Predatory Towing Prevention Law signed yesterday is that it restores an authority to municipalities that was preempted by the 2007 Law. Specifically, the provisions of this new law do not preempt any political subdivision from registering or licensing towing companies.
Section 4 of Chapter 39 addresses the schedule of towing services established by the Director of Consumer Affairs for which fees may be charged by a towing company. All such fees are required to be “reasonable and not excessive”. From our understanding, this section also prohibits towing fees charged from exceeding the maximum amounts allowed by any applicable municipal ordinance. At this point, we are unsure whether some revisions to municipal towing ordinances may be warranted since Section 4 in its entirety remains inoperable for 90 days following the effective date of chapter 39. We await further details from the Division of Consumer Affairs on how municipalities might be impacted as this process unfolds.
In the meantime, for a copy of Chapter 39, contact Donna Baltz at email@example.com
We suggest you contact your municipal attorney for a formal review of the law.
For further information, contact Helen Yeldell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.