FREE RIDE

Tire Marking Deemed Unconstitutional in Four States

Marking tires to enforce parking time limits has been deemed unconstitutional in four states, the Associated Press reports Monday. The case concerned Alison Taylor, who’d been issued more than a dozen $15 parking tickets in Saginaw, Michigan, after her tires had been marked. Her lawyer claimed the tire marking violated her 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, writing that “The city does not demonstrate, in law or logic, that the need to deter drivers from exceeding the time permitted for parking—before they have even done so—is sufficient to justify a warrantless search under the community caretaker rationale.”

The standard applies to the four states covered by the 6th Circuit: Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky—although it will be more harshly felt in cities like Saginaw, which doesn’t have parking meters downtown. “We don’t think everyone deserves free parking,” Taylor’s attorney told the Associated Press. “But the process Saginaw selected is unconstitutional. [...] I’m very glad the three judges who got this case took it seriously. It affects so many people.”