August 22, 2014
After a two-week moratorium, the Los Angeles Police Department resumed impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers today.
The practice, which most often impacts illegal immigrants, was halted pending a legal assessment of an Oregon case.
Some local politicians suggested that impounding vehicles of unlicensed
drivers might not be constitutional.
Last week, police Chief William Bratton deferred lifting of the moratorium to the Police Commission.
Then yesterday, the chief said commission approval to resume the practice isn't necessary.
State law allows impounding vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.
Many unlicensed drivers are illegal immigrants who cannot get driver's licenses.
In the Oregon case involving Jorge Miranda, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that impounding a legally parked vehicle is unreasonable seizure of private property under the 4th and 14th amendments when there is no reasonable public safety justification.