Uptown Driver Wants Refund After Car Towed in Parking Zone

A woman says she was towed from an Uptown Dallas street, despite there being no signs or warnings against parking in the area.

"There's no signs over here that say no parking and there's no signs on that side of the street that say no parking," said Jessica Frankel.

Frankel's little, blue Nissan Versa was at the center of a big problem in June, one she still doesn't understand to this day.

"I still have no idea. I still can't figure out why my car was towed," said Frankel.

Frankel said she parked her car in Uptown one evening and came back to find it gone.

"First thought was hopefully it wasn't stolen," Frankel said.

Not stolen, but arguably the second worst thing that could happen -- it had been towed.

She found out after calling 911 that the Dallas Police Auto Pound took it away.

Completely perplexed and caught off guard, the North Texas woman looked around for a "No Parking" sign. She didn't find one, but nonetheless, she needed to get her car.

So she went to the pound the next day and paid $185 to get her car back.

"Then they also handed me a ticket," Frankel said.

She went to go contest the ticket, but it wasn't in the system. 

"An officer, or someone, came out and handed me a sheet of paper and said sorry for the confusion, and said here is the information on if you want to get your money back from your vehicle getting towed," Frankel said.

Not much of an explanation, but the document said she was "not liable" and Frankel felt vindicated.

"When he told me it was officer error, I thought it was a cut and dry."

But not so fast.

She submitted the paperwork and waited for a month.

"I then did not hear anything back from them," Frankel said.

She never got her money back.

We reached out to the Dallas Auto Pound who first told us the vehicle was parked illegally and that the officer error on the citation does not change the violation.

"Well, the obvious thing is to put up parking signs if it is illegal to park in this area," Frankel told us.

We thought the same thing.

When we asked them how drivers should know they shouldn't park there - they said they'd research and came back with a resolution, saying:

"We do recognize that without proper signage illustrating "No Parking" it may cause confusion with motorists. Therefore, to alleviate confusion at this specific location, the police department will be requesting the city's Streets Department to place signage that plainly states this location is a No Parking zone."

Our contact with the Dallas Police Department also told us they would refund Frankel the amount she paid to get her car back due to the confusion. Frankel has since received the check for $185.95 and said she's happy and hopes the city gets those signs up very soon.

Parking in some North Texas neighborhoods, like Uptown, can sometimes be tricky, so here's some advice:

  • Always check for signs and markings on the curb when selecting a parking spot.
  • If the spot seems too good to be true, but there aren't any signs, take a picture of your car as proof.
  • And lastly, if you're skeptical about a spot, it may be a good idea to pass on it and try to find another one.
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