State Appeals Court Overturns Ban on LAPD’s Vehicle Impound Policy

Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2014

A state appeals court panel Friday overturned a ban on the Los Angeles Police Department’s controversial vehicle impound policy that restricts when officers can seize the cars of unlicensed drivers.

The three-judge panel from California’s second appellate district found unanimously in favor of the LAPD and Chief Charlie Beck. In 2012, when he implemented the impound policy, Beck thrust the department squarely into the contentious debate over the rights of immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Under the terms of the policy, called Special Order 7 by the department, if police stop an unlicensed driver who meets several requirements–including having auto insurance, valid identification and no previous convictions for unlicensed driving–officers cannot invoke the part of the state vehicle code that authorizes them to confiscate the vehicle for 30 days, a punishment that comes with costly fines and charges.

In a city with roughly 400,000 immigrants who are in the country illegally and forbidden by state law to obtain driver’s licenses, Beck argued the monthlong impounds unfairly burdened such drivers, who often have few practical options other than to risk having their cars seized in order to drive to work or take their children to school.

The Police Protective League, the union that represents the LAPD’s rank-and-file officers, and a Los Angeles resident sued over the policy, arguing Beck was illegally attempting to supersede state laws governing vehicle impounds.


As the case wound its way through the courts, legislators last year passed a law that beginning on Jan. 1 will give immigrants in the country illegally the right to be issued driver’s licenses. That law, and how it might affect Special Order 7, was not addressed in Friday’s ruling.

Bibring said the judges’ decision was still important because there could be problems with the law’s rollout and, inevitably, some people will not apply for driver’s licenses.


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  • superlloyd

    Poor little illegal aliens. Their very presence is criminal and now they suffer again for breaking the law. Cry me a river.

  • Luca

    Social engineering from the bench and City Hall have helped destroy the City of Angels. In many places it is a third-world hovel.

    • Albert

      I’ve heard they had to shut down a number of hospitals in Cal because they couldn’t keep up with the costs of providing them all with free medical care.
      On a more somber note. California has permitted so many of them to come through that they have become THE majority race in that state. They did it to themselves. They could have enforced our existing federal laws concerning illegals but chose not to. By the laws still existing today, it’s supposed to be illegal to hire them, illegal to rent them property, and within the state’s right to deport them. Unless Obama gets his way and abolishes said laws.

  • Fair Dinkum

    How did Hispanics gain immunity from our immigration laws, motor vehicle laws, insurance regulations and zoning regulations?

    • Albert

      Think it has something to do with brown skin privilege.

  • LexiconD1

    I hate to tell you how many accidents are caused by illegals (which they run away from), and how many citizens are killed in LA, daily. This is stupid. Illegals don’t bother with insurance, ever. You have to have uninsured motorist added to your insurance, just because they are so many uninsured illegals here.

    • IstvanIN

      The director of A Christmas Story, Clark and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed by an illegal drunk driver. Among many others.

    • Mary

      I don’t live in California, but I can definitely vouch for this. My first post-college job was as an auto claims adjuster. Much of our business was in southern California, and the number of hit-and-runs and accidents of all kinds involving illegals was almost unbelievable. Many, many DUIs, and they were often driving the car of their girlfriend’s cousin or similar. Utter chaos.

      • LexiconD1

        You might not live here, but you hit the nail on the head of the problems…

    • Alexandra1973

      One thing I learned in high school Spanish class, while we were talking about Mexican culture: Mexican drivers will intentionally target pedestrians.

  • MBlanc46

    Do I read this correctly? Does the chief-of-police promote a policy that keeps illegals from having their cars impounded when stopped by the police? And a court has just upheld this policy? Please tell me that I’ve misunderstood this. Please.

  • Tim

    My biggest Eureka moment came at the DMV. The man in front of me had no identification, no previous history of residence or an expired drivers license. They gave him an form to sign and sent him on to the photo booth. I was there merely to renew my license in a city and state where I had a forty year driving record and residence. They told me to step out of line and come back with my social security card. So I blurted out, “What about him?!Just give me the same form you gave him!!”.. Instead I got an DPS officer coming out behind the counter with a scowl on his face…

  • Alexandra1973

    “Beck argued the monthlong impounds unfairly burdened such drivers, who
    often have few practical options other than to risk having their cars
    seized in order to drive to work or take their children to school.”

    Wait a minute.

    Illegals–criminal invaders–should not be holding a job here, nor should they be sending their children to our schools.

  • WR_the_realist

    We have reached a point of utter madness. A policy is overturned because it puts a burden on people who aren’t supposed to be in the country in the first place.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Just another policy to disenfranchise White, Christian Americans who DID build this country–and give that hard work and assets to third world, low IQ, non-deserving leaches.

    Obama promised to ‘transform America’—and I’d bet that SOB would be re-elected again if he could run.

    Our Forefathers are looking down and reassessing their sacrifices that we’ve allowed to be thrown away.