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Court Ruling Finds Chalking Tires to Determine Parking Time Unconstitutional

April 24, 2019

It’s unconstitutional for a parking enforcement officer to mark your tire with a piece of chalk to determine how long you’ve been parked, according to a new federal appeals court ruling.

The court ruled in favor of Alison Taylor, who received several tickets for being parked too long in a Michigan city that uses the chalk method to measure time elapsed. Taylor’s lawyer said the officer who used the chalk conducted an unreasonable search, the Associated Press reported.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Taylor, meaning parking officers can’t use chalk on vehicles in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The ruling doesn’t apply to the District, where handheld electronic devices and license plates are used to determine whether a car has been parked for longer than the driver paid for.

A D.C. Department of Public Works spokesman said D.C. parking enforcement officers don’t use chalk in the manner described in the court case.

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