SAN ANTONIO - Towing companies have lost another court battle over the fees they are allowed to charge.
Municipal Judge Robert Lipo denied a motion Tuesday morning from Bexar Towing, asking him to dismiss more than 400 tickets received by towing companies from police for alleged over-charging.
Earlier this year the city started actively enforcing a towing ordinance that had been on the books since 2002. That ordinance says towing companies cannot charge more than $85 for a tow from private property.
Bexar Towing and other towing companies at first refused to lower their prices, and kept charging $250 per tow, plus storage and impound charges, which brought the cost for drivers up to about $293.
Police then started writing tickets to the towing companies for over-charging on tows, with Bexar Towing, also known as Roadside Recovery Specialists, receiving the vast majority of citations.
Bexar Towing has challenged the validity of those tickets. The company argues that state law requires the city to conduct a tow fee study before it can begin enforcing lower fees.
The case is scheduled to go to trial on November 27th, but Bexar Towing was asking Judge Lipo to dismiss the tickets before that. Tuesday morning he refused to do that, and so the trial will still take place next week, barring any delays.
If Bexar Towing and other towing companies are eventually found guilty of over-charging, they could face a penalty of $200 to $1,000 per violation, according to Deputy City Attorney Joe Nino.
The city began its crackdown on towing fees and practices this past spring, prompted by an undercover investigation by the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters.