is it illegal to block in a car taking up your space to wait for tow truck?

So say someone parks in your parking spot a that is assigned to you and they are trying to move out because they see you on the phone and you are calling a towing company. Is that legal or illegal?

Clarity please.

They might tow you for it.

You’ll likely be charged the dispatch fee as they won’t be towing the person that can drive away. 50 different states 50 different sets of towing laws. You are intentional escalating a situation, so the police will not look kindly on you regardless of the law.

Jurisdictionally dependent, legally speaking. Also possibly insanely reckless.

It is generally not illegal to park in someone else’s spot, so it’s unlikely it’s legal to block them in. You could maybe say it’s a citizen’s arrest if they were doing something illegal (you saw them injure someone), but that’s not the case here. I think you blocking the person could be illegal, however. You are intentionally detaining someone.

The owner of the parking garage may have more rights than you do for something like this. They might be able to put a locking boot on the car to force the person to pay a fine or something like that. But that doesn’t mean you have the same rights to enforce the parking rules as they do.

Are you guys not reading what I am writing? I said what if someone parks in your assigned parking spot which is legally yours and you came by but the car is still there and you call a tow truck because you don’t feel like going door to door and wasting your time to ask someone if they know who parks there. So say you block a person that is in your legal assigned parking spot would it be illegal to block them because you called a tow truck already anyways so I wouldn’t want them to leave until they get towed.

Here is a lawyer who says that in a somewhat similar case, blocking in another car could constitute a criminal offense of false imprisonment (not to mention a civil violation).

ETA: I don’t see how the space is “legally” yours in any case, any more that the desk I use at work is “legally” mine.

Well, it depends; here at my apartment complex, covered parking costs extra, and you get a window sticker for your assigned parking spot. Someone parking in an assigned slot who is not authorized to do so is liable to be towed at owner’s expense.

Some complexes have assigned parking for individual rental units; I’ve seen parking lots at some rental properties where unit numbers are painted on one or more parking spots (in addition to more unmarked “general” parking, but those are typically further away from the units themselves).

In some urban apartment complexes, assigned parking may be offered at a nearby garage as part of the rental agreement; or, perhaps, you can buy or lease a parking spot at certain garages. Then it becomes your spot. Other people aren’t allowed to park there, and may be towed at owner’s expense.

IME, very few landlords/property managers/garage attendants actually patrol or otherwise check for “stickers” or other identifying devices in their “reserved/select” parking areas, especially after-hours or weekends.

Define better the term “blocking them in.” Do you mean illegally parking in the driving lane so that they cannot move the vehicle? Or are you affixing something to or otherwise disabling the vehicle? Is this a one time event or a recurring theme.
ETA: Does the signage clearly state that towing could occur? Do you have the authority to enforce that if so or is it incumbent upon the parking space management to do so?

So if the goal is to get them to leave your assigned space, why would you prevent them from doing that? Because you want to make sure they get punished? Huh.

Anyway, what you are describing could easily be construed as a citizen’s arrest. You have physically detained the person by not allowing them to depart the location. This means that you (A) have reason to believe they have committed a crime and (B) you must summon a police officer. Keep in mind that you have no protection against liability. You can be sued for unlawful detention, and it will be up to a jury to decide whether your arrest was necessary and prudent based on the local laws.

TLDR: You are playing with fire, both physically and legally.

I’m pretty sure everyone understood what you were saying. You don’t have the right to detain them just because you want their car to get towed. Laws vary a bit from place to place, but generally, if they are trying to leave and you are preventing them from leaving, you are the one that is breaking the law at that point, not them. Laws vary from place to place, but basically you are the one who will possibly get arrested and the person that was parking in your spot can sue you for illegally detaining them and they will very easily win a nice big fat lawsuit against you.

Also, since you say the parking spot was assigned to you, this implies that you are not the owner of the property on which the parking spot resides. That makes it even worse, because then you don’t even have the legal authority to have them towed. They can sue you for towing/storage fees, lost wages for time spent recovering their vehicle, and any other damages they suffered as a result of the towing.

If you are the property owner, even then, if you want a car removed from your property, you have to pay the towing fee. Towing companies are not public employees who remove vehicles for free just because someone didn’t park where they were supposed to.

This is the problem. You want them to get punished for parking in “your” space, and in your view if they can just drive away, they are getting away with an offense.

So I can say that I sympathize to a degree with your feelings, but the law is almost certainly not on your side, for reasons that have already been cited in this thread.

We’re sorry this is not the answer you were hoping for.

I know a guy who bought parking spaces in DC, and then rented them out. Clearly those spots were legally his: he had title to them.

I don’t see how being a tenant who is supposed to use space 4949 confers any more legal status than being assigned the desk over in the corner.

Tow companies can’t tow an occupied car so the best move for the parker would be to simply sit in the car and call the police. OP would be wise to release the parker before the cops arrive.

I don’t know where you get that idea. It’s certainly not true in all jurisdictions.

It’s pretty common for people to try to stop a repo towing of a car by either sitting in it, or by putting their child in the car(!), thinking that will stop the repo. It won’t, though it might delay it a while. The tow company will just call the police, who will look at the repo paperwork and then make them get out of the car.

But they can’t tow an occupied car.

You don’t know what kind of person is in that car–blocking them in is pretty much asking for your name to appear in the local news along with the words “tragic road rage incident.” But if you are unhappy with the number of openings your body has currently, then by all means, continue.
It even says on sign before you enter the parking lot. That is the actual sign you see that I just took a picture of

I don’t even know why you cant post picture on this website but go to that link. You see that sign before you enter the parking.