Judge Consolidates Lawsuits Over LAPD Impound Policy

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two lawsuits aimed at a controversial LAPD policy limiting how long the city can impound vehicles of unlicensed drivers were consolidated into a single lawsuit on Wednesday.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports Special Order 7 was aimed at lessening the financial burden on drivers who have their cars impounded for as long as month for driving without a valid license.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents over 9,900 rank-and-file police officers, filed suit claiming Special Order 7 puts officers in violation of state law for not impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.

The group Judicial Watch also filed suit in opposition to the move that attorney Paul Orfanedes said puts drivers at risk.

“It seems like the city wants to protect people’s right to drive without a license and without insurance, and that’s just wrong to just about everybody,” said Orfanedes.

Superior Court Judge Terry Green judge combined the lawsuits after ruling both are centered on whether Special Order 7 is valid or in violation of state law.

Deputy City Attorney Gerald Sato, meanwhile, asked the court to dismiss the case.

“You make a side-by-side comparison between the vehicle code and Special Order 7 and we say they’re consistent,” said Sato.

A hearing to dismiss the case is set for November 9.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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