The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Private parking enforcement officers should get the boot

Just about every useful law has a loophole, and just about every loophole has some bottom-feeding scum willing to exploit it for personal gain.

Trespassing is a serious violation, and the law allows private enterprises to prosecute against such practices without guaranteeing due process so small organizations can realistically enforce their boundaries without public enforcement. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately, there is a nasty barnacle on this legal life raft: overly opportunistic private parking enforcers.

According to an article in Tuesday’s The Salt Lake Tribune, “USU alum wants to put the brakes on ‘booting,'” a student at Utah State University is fighting back against what he claims is “unjust” treatment at the hands of parking enforcement officers in Logan.

After receiving a $50 fine even though he possessed the necessary credentials for parking in his residential area, Utah State alumnus Quinn Millet took his case to the Utah Court of Appeals and argued that booting is a “heavy-handed” means of dealing with parking problems that deprives alleged offenders of their right to a fair trial.

The case was dismissed last summer, and it will likely meet the same fate again after Millet’s second appeal last week. According to the article, Logan City Attorney Kymber Housley dismissed Millet’s “constitutional” argument against booting as “illogical.”

Whether or not booting is constitutional, students need to protect their rights from these enforcement agencies-which are very active around the U’s campus as well.

The 7-Eleven parking lot on 1300 East is manned by one of these agencies, whose officers park their imitation Chevy Impalas in the most prime spots of those they enforce while handing out tickets by the minute to patrons who walk to businesses across the street.

Sometimes these “officers” make irrational judgments. All professionals do. If that happens to you, however, you don’t have much of a choice but to whip out the plastic and pay.

Look around. There isn’t a judge, there’s no guarantee the officer would even give you his or her boss’s real phone number if you asked for it. Even if you were a fire-breathing dragon that could crush petty parking officers with your thumb, they’re armed (not with qualifications, mind you, but guns).

If you ever have any complaints, make sure to take note of the officer’s name and license plate number, take a picture of the scene if possible and call the officer’s business.

Chances are you won’t get anywhere, but at least by fighting it you’re depriving them of personal resources that hurt their bottom line. Don’t apologize, either. They certainly have no problem attacking your wallet.

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