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Federal judge strikes down use of tire marks to enforce parking rules

Alicegop | CC BY 2.0

A federal judge has struck down the city of Saginaw's use of chalk marks on tires to enforce parking regulations.

The ruling says that's an unreasonable search under the U.S. Constitution.

The judge in this class action lawsuit rejected the argument that the fines were minor and that using chalk marks is already an accepted practice. That shouldn't matter, says plaintiffs' attorney Phillip Ellison. "This case is a perfect example of 'what's always gone on doesn't mean it's right.'"

Matt Bach with the Michigan Municipal League says this probably settles the question. "The court has ruled, so we will follow what the court has decided that we should do on this issue."

But both sides agree that the judge's remedy of one dollar per illegal mark is impossible to comply with. So, this is probably not the final word in the case.