Court rules 4 states must stop marking tires when enforcing legal parking

SAGINAW, Mich. -- A Michigan city's policy of chalking tires to enforce parking restrictions has been declared unconstitutional.

A federal court says chalking tires in Saginaw, Michigan to keep track of parked cars is an unreasonable search and has no role in maintaining public safety. The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals created a new legal precedent Monday in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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In the Bay Area, San Francisco continues to mark tires but only in residential neighborhoods according to an official with parking enforcement. City of Oakland spokesperson, Sean Maher told ABC 7 the city enforces "parking by registering a license plate with a timestamp using handheld computer equipment."

Saginaw marks tires with chalk to keep track of how long a vehicle is parked. Alison Taylor sued after receiving 15 parking tickets between 2014 and 2017. Tickets start at $15.

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The appeals court says Saginaw failed to demonstrate in "law or logic" how marking cars justifies a warrantless search. The court says marking tires was a strategy to raise money.

ABC 7 contributed to this report.
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