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Saginaw County woman takes local parking enforcer to federal court


We’ve all been subjected to parking tickets but a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Appeals is pushing back against local parking enforcement in a big way.

The Sixth Circuit Court heard the case against the city of Saginaw last year on behalf of Allison Taylor, who has claimed a “most prolific issuer of parking tickets” used chalk on her tires to issue parking tickets.

Phillip Ellison is the plaintiff attorney. He said the use of chalk is unlawful.

“This process of using a tire mark trespassing onto a car or vehicle is unconstitutional because it’s extracting information with the purpose and goal of issuing a parking ticket.”

Ellison said his case is based on a 2012 Supreme Court decision.

“What US V. Jones said is the Government can’t put a tracking device on a someone's car without a warrant. What we essentially argued is that a chalk mark is just a low tech tracking device.”

Attorneys for the City of Saginaw argue that chalking tires does not amount to a 4th amendment search and even if it did the chalking falls under “community caretaking.”

Ellison said the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case in October and could announce a decision at any time.