This is not obvious at all. In California, the lot owner has no recourse to charge after the customer has left, though the owner has the right to have the car towed before the customer leaves. We don't know the law in the jurisdiction where this occurred.
IMO the point here is that if the lot owner illegally traced someone from the license plate it makes it highly unlikely the "bill" submitted has any validity and paints this whole operation as a shakedown using shady practices rather than a legitimate debt. Of course, it is possible the car owner's address was obtained some other way-perhaps the information was collected when he parked, or through a credit card payment. It would be interesting to know how the address was obtained in this case.
Don't be so sure. The Act specifically provides for attorney's costs and fees. This is how California's Lemon Law is written. The result is that there are hundreds of California lemon law attorneys vying desperately to get cases, even small ones, as the real money is in the fees they charge which are automatically reimbursed if the case prevails. This also puts great pressure on defendants to settle a case that has merit, rather than have to pay trial costs and attorney's fees if they lose. In California Lemon Law cases, from my personal experience with a case, attorneys routinely agree to no charges up front and not to charge fees unless the case prevails, in which case the fees are paid from the judgement. (Although they may try to hold a client on the hook for costs if they lose, but even that is negotiable.) The point is when a statute provides for recovery of attorney costs and fees, it makes it much easier to find an attorney to take a small case, if the case has merit.tibbitts wrote: ↑Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:45 pm The issue of how the parking lot obtained the address is completely separate, and he can certainly pursue that if he wants, although I'll guess he'd have a problem finding an attorney to pursue this without him supplying a considerable sum up-front. So he'd be betting probably tens of thousands of dollars on winning.
If the business has been illegally obtaining information from the DMV, no one is going to be talking about the $50 any more, except maybe in this thread.