WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jan 25, 2013) - Judicial Watch announced today that California Superior Court Judge Terry Green has refused to dismiss a taxpayer lawsuit filed May 8, 2012, against the Los Angeles Police Department and Police Chief Charlie Beck over Special Order 7, a policy that regulates the impounding of vehicles. Under Special Order 7, police officers would no longer immediately impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days as long as they meet certain conditions. The ACLU, on behalf of the Coalition for Humane Immigrants' Rights of Los Angeles and LA Voice, has intervened to defend the LAPD policy.
The California Vehicle Code mandates the vehicles of unlicensed drivers can be impounded for 30 days. However, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, under the policy enacted by Police Chief Beck and the Board of Police Commissioners, "vehicles of unlicensed drivers will only be impounded for a day, if that person has insurance, valid identification, has not caused an accident and has not been cited previously for unlicensed driving. An exception may be made in some cases if a licensed driver is immediately available to drive the vehicle away."
But, as Judicial Watch notes in its complaint, according to the California Constitution and California Vehicle Code § 21, "a local government has no authority to regulate or control any matter covered by the California Vehicle Code unless such authority is expressly granted by the State of California....Because the provisions of Special Order 7 are not within the purview of any express authorization granted by the State of California Defendants...were without authority to enact Special Order 7..."
Read more at Judicial Watch