MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee towing company says the city has gone too far, but a Milwaukee judge said otherwise on Tuesday morning, Jan. 28. The legal battle started with FOX6's hidden camera investigation.
Wisconsin law limits how much towing companies can charge to remove a car from private property, but it does allow them to charge extra when special equipment is required to haul a vehicle away.
In summer 2019, the FOX6 Investigators found one towing company almost always charges for using special equipment, even when our hidden cameras showed otherwise. Because of our investigation, a new ordinance was passed in Milwaukee requiring towing companies to submit itemized receipts for all non-consensual tows.
In response, Always Towing filed a lawsuit to stop the new law from taking effect.
"The city doesn't tell us what a reasonable charge would be," said Emil Ovbiagele, attorney for Always Towing. "The city doesn't tell us when it would be appropriate, or more appropriate, to use special equipment."
"We don't know what special equipment means," said Tyrone St. Junior, assistant city attorney. "We have to figure that out at some point, and this ordinance is an attempt to do that."
On Tuesday morning, Judge William Pocan denied Always Towing's effort to temporarily block the law while their lawsuit progresses, meaning they will have to begin submitting itemized receipts or face potential action against their license to do business in the city.
The next court date was set for Feb. 10.