Chapter 1: The Incident
My wife and I moved into our home in 1997.
When we moved in, the neighborhood grocery store half a block from our house had just closed and was in the process of being replaced by a CVS which is still there today.
Our new neighbors told us of the following:
- The grocery store had always allowed neighborhood residents to park all the time in their rear lot without towing them.
- There was a lot of ill will in the neighborhood because people did not want their independently owned neighborhood grocery store replaced with a CVS.
- To ameliorate that ill will, the management of the CVS had agreed to continue allowing people to park all the time in the rear lot without towing them.
Between 1997 and 2022—for 25 years—my wife and I and many other neighborhood residents parked day and night in that rear lot regularly without being towed, whereas cars parked in the front lot overnight were always towed. Indeed, on the few occasions when my wife or I accidentally left one of our cars overnight in the front lot, it was towed, and we paid the towing fee without complaint.
On one occasion when the rear lot needed to be cleared so its stripes could be repainted, CVS management left fliers on windshields in the rear lot for several days in advance, notifying people that their cars would be towed if they were parked there the day of the repainting.
On the afternoon of November 16, 2022, I went to the rear lot to get my car, which had been parked there the previous night. I found the rear lot empty of cars and cordoned off with tape. My car was gone.
I called the tow lot and confirmed that it had been towed, so I went there to retrieve it. While I was there I asked what had happened. The employee there confirmed to me that prior to that day the towing company had been instructed not to tow cars from the rear lot. However, she said, on that day, a new manager at the CVS had instructed them to tow all the cars from the lot. The towing company employee said that her company objected to this instruction on the grounds that they had previously been instructed not to tow cars from that lot, but the CVS manager said she didn’t care and wanted the cars towed, so the towing company complied.
I had to pay $150 cash to get my car back.
By knowingly allowing people to park in the rear lot for 25 years, CVS clearly granted an easement for said use of their property, and they are clearly liable for the financial damage caused by their attempt to revoke that easement without notice.
I sent a letter to CVS demanding reimbursement for the $150 tow fee and the $4.60 cost of mailing the letter. CVS did not respond, so I filed suit against them in small claims court.
Next: Chapter 2: The Hearing.