Booted drivers receive refunds

A company that boots cars in a lot near campus violated city ordinances.

Elizabeth Cook

Anyone with a vehicle that has been booted behind Stub & Herb’s since Oct. 1 has a refund coming to them.

A boot, used to immobilize vehicles, is a mechanical clamp that locks the front left wheel of a motor vehicle. Boots are used when someone illegally parks in a private lot.

Throughout January meetings were held regarding Clampdown Parking Enforcement, the company hired to boot in the parking lots shared by Milio’s Sandwiches, Stub & Herb’s, MacNicol, Bona Vietnamese Restaurant, Papa John’s and Enrica Fish Medical Books.

Richard Tuffs, a license inspector for the city of Minneapolis, said anyone who was booted and paid a fine in these lots since Oct. 1 will receive a refund because Clampdown Parking Enforcement violated seven ordinances regarding booting.

The company could not be reached for comment.

Aside from the refunds and administrative fines for Clampdown Parking Enforcement, new signs are in the parking lots and all other ordinances are now up to date.

Tuffs said this is not the first vehicle immobilization company to break city ordinances.

“Pretty much all have received at least one (complaint) for ordinance violations,” Tuffs said.

Tuffs said there were massive changes to the ordinances regarding booting in May. After the changes, he personally did a workshop with all companies so they knew what the ordinances were. Since then, he’s been monitoring the companies, he said.

Tuffs also said he looks into every complaint he gets from the public.

Former Ward 2 council member Paul Zerby said he approves of the changes to the parking lots and of refunds given to people.

“I was just very pleased to see some enforcement was taking place under that ordinance,” Zerby said.

Zerby said the biggest hot spot for booting complaints was Stub & Herb’s parking lot. The parking lot shared by Hollywood Video and Pizza Hut in Dinkytown also received a lot of complaints.

“When I was on the council, I got a number of complaints,” he said.

George Barry, assistant manager at Papa John’s, said in the past year there have not been many complaints about booting.

“Maybe one or two people have (complained),” Barry said.

Barry said that before the lot was under surveillance for booting, there was a problem with people who parked in the lots but didn’t stop at any of the businesses.

Jeremy Natoli, a shift supervisor at Milio’s Sandwiches, said that in the past three months there haven’t been many complaints.

Natoli said new signs in the parking lot have gone up in the past month.

Tuffs said the big problem with the lot behind Stub & Herbs is that there are so many businesses sharing it.

“(People) didn’t know where they could park,” Tuffs said.

Now there are color-coded signs that say which spot is for which business.

Tuff’s said that everyone who has been booted since Oct. 1 already has been reimbursed. If someone hasn’t yet, they can call the city, but they need to have their receipt.

“This lot is really in good shape now, compared to what it was,” Tuffs said.