What are your rights when your car gets blocked in

In a follow up to this thread

This has happend to me twice.

I’ve parked my car where I’m directed to at a special event, and then later in the day, some lazy idiot blocks me in.

Would it be legal to move a vehicle that has blocked your vehicle in?

The set up – My Wife and I are parked in a field on public property. This is for a triathlon race. There are not any truly designated parking spots, but it’s organized, it’s a grass field with some lime markers for the event, we where directed where to park. The field is used for parking for special events.

About a thousand cars are parked there. Later in the day there are no parking attendants. But a car comes in and blocks us in.

They have prevented us from leaving. It’s obvious that they have done so and did it so they would not have to walk a hundred yards where they could have parked their car and not blocked people.

If I had a friend drag the car out of my way, and did not damage it, would I be liable for anything?

What if I did damage it? They where preventing me from using my property. Preventing me from leaving.

This has also happened to a friend and she called the cops. They said they couldn’t do anything. The cop wouldn’t even give the obstructing car a ticket.

I’m guessing that it would depend on the judge.

My attitude has always been that that’s why I have 4Low. Probably not legal, but sometimes a jerk’s just gotta learn his lesson about selfish parkng.

I know nothing about what your rights are in such a situation. I do know that in the real world if you roll the offending car down a hill or ram it out of the way and drive off most likely unless the person who blocked you in happened to take down your license plate number when they did so, or they catch you in the act, you’ll almost definitely never face any of the repercussions.

I also know that in the city limits around here, if you block in a driveway the police can and will tow your car (interestingly, I’ve known friends who have had their cars ticketed or towed for blocking in their own driveways.)

If the parking area is on private property, the police can’t move or ticket the blocking vehicle unless the property owner (or responsible party, ie. whatever group rented/leased the field for the triathlon) directly requests it.

The easiest thing for you to do is call a tow company. If they agree to tow it, any future repercussions are between them, the asshat, and the property owner. Usually, they’ll agree to tow it; most people don’t understand tow laws, and generally, the worst thing that can happen to them is they’ll be ordered to refund the towing fee.

What is 4Low?

A lot of torque.

Does that mean that LSLGuy drives a monster truck? In that case, it would be foolish to park behind him and block him in.

Low-range gears on a 4WD truck.

Depending on each situation and jurisdiction this is incorrect. I’ve ticketed and towed zillions of cars that parked people in, including in “field” parking situations such as during a county fair. Sometimes the offending car was just towed out of the way, sometimes I had it towed to impound so the offender would not only have to pay the ticket but would also have to pay the tow service to get his car back. Bwwahahaha! [devil w/pitchfork smiley]

Perhaps incorrect, but it did happen. In a town owned parking lot no less.

And by saying “ticketed and towed” I assume you’re in law enforcement?

And yes, the 4-low option is very tempting. When people do this it really, really pisses me off.

What do you base the decision on?

You couldn’t be liable if you didn’t damage it, but it’s your word against his. If he has a scratch on it he wants fixed, expect to get the blame and the bill.

I’ve winched a vehicle out of my way before, but I wouldn’t do it if there were any possible way anyone would know it was me.

In an ideal world people would know to leave their cars in neutral-- that’s the typical MO here in Thailand, from what I’ve seen. If someone blocks you in here, it is perfectly acceptable to push their car out of the way (as long as you don’t leave it in a dangerous position).

I don’t know how pushable a car is when not in neutral gear, though…

I believe it. Like I said, it depends on the jurisdiction. It is possible that jurisdiction doesn’t empower the police to do anything in that situation or specific location. Or the departments written policy for some reason doesn’t allow it. Or the cops were just too busy or even lazy to do anything about it.

How much parking was available. If there were spaces open and it’s apparent the violator simply double parked to save some walking time, that car is getting ticketed and towed to impound. Otherwise by the middle of the event space in the “field parking” area opens up and the car can be moved to a different area of the field.
Very rarely is that type of parking completely filled up. People park others in just so they have less area to walk. Jerks!

Hopefully some place that will cause the owner to wander around for hours, unable to figure out where they’ve left their car, wondering the whole time if it’s been stolen?

Now that would be poetic justice. :smiley:

That’s what happens when cars get towed to impound. Dispatch gets a frantic “my car’s been stolen!” call. Towed cars are all logged in the day book. When told it hasn’t been stolen they’re relieved…until they find out they have a $20 parking ticket and a $35 impound fee.

None of this, by the way, happens unless the owner of the car that’s been parked in complains and wants to leave.

Eh? If it’s pushable, presumably without opening the car, that would indicate that the parking brake isn’t set either. I would NEVER leave a car in a “rollable” condition, no matter how perfectly level I thought the surface was. I also never park in neutral - you want the gears as a backup in case the parking brake slips. That’s why automatics have “park”. Manuals are parked in gear. On hills, you apply the parking brake with the clutch in and take your foot of the brake, so that the load is on the parking brake and you know it’s engaged, but leave the car in gear (against the hill, though that doesn’t actually matter that much), and wheels curbed, if there’s a curb.

Only $55? Cheap.

In our current apartment complex, something like this happened just before we moved in. A resident blocked in another resident (on purpose; seems like they were feuding), and the block-ee called the police; they cited the block-er with unlawful imprisonment!

We talked about some related issues here: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=388400