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Woodstock Adm. Adj. Court - Part 3

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Woodstock Adm. Adj. Court - Part 3

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
June 16, 2012


What did I say would happen? It's going to happen.

Thanks to the Woodstock Vehicle Impoundment Ordinance, enacted in January by the City Council, unanimously and without discussion, a Woodstock man will lose his car! I told you it would happen!

A defendant stated in court on Wednesday (that's Woodstock's own get-rich-quick Administrative Adjudication Court) that, with the damage to his vehicle in a crash plus a $500 ticket plus towing plus storage costs, he could not afford to get his car back.

So there it sits in the impoundment yard at a local tow yard, running up $40/day in storage costs. The ordinance provides that his vehicle can be deemed abandoned after 35 days. I guess that means the tow company can dispose of it as junk and hope the salvage value exceeds the towing charges and storage.

To add insult to injury, the City will still expect the owner to fork over the $500 fine. And, if he doesn't, you can expect the City to file a lawsuit against him and seek not only the $500 but also legal fees and court costs.

Great, just great. Did our esteemed City Council, in its infinite wisdom, foresee this possibility. Or perhaps probability? I didn't see anyone in court on Wednesday who looked like he could afford a $300/hour lawyer to defend him against the Great City of Woodstock.

Judge Eterno's hands were tied. As he stated more than once, he is bound to the law. The "law", in the form of this unnecessary and unfair ordinance, was silently passed in January.

Watch for discussion of more cases from Wednesday's court.



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