Juries to hear clamping cases

| 08/04/2010

Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman Courts , wheel clamping(CNS): Two separate cases involving drivers who were wheel clamped by local firms will have their cases heard before juries. In one case coming before the Grand Court a defendant is accused of theft regarding a wheel clamp and in a second case a man is accused of damage to property as a result of their respective responses to having their cars disabled by the wheel clamping firm. The issue of wheel clamping is becoming increasingly controversial but these are the first two cases in which drivers who have taken action against being clamped are facing prosecution. Both defendants have elected to have their cases heard before a jury. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

The issue of clamping was raised in the Legislative Assembly last month when Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, questioned the legality of clamping and suggested that the firms were breaking both the Planning Law and the Road Traffic Law. In a private member’s motion, he asked government to investigate and clarify the situation.
Miller argued that having sufficient parking spaces is often mandated as part of a business’s planning permission. Consequently, clampers were unlikely to have the legal right to impose fines on drivers who are parking in the spaces designated to the building they are visiting, no matter how long they are parked.
The MLA noted that the clampers may also be breaking the Traffic Law, which states that anyone who interferes with a vehicle or any of its controls and equipment without the owner’s permission, which the clamping certainly wasn’t, was guilty of an offence.
Miller then offered advice to the victims of clampers who were visiting and parking at premises legitimately to call the police and ask them to enforce the Traffic Law 2003. He said the high fines being imposed were causing hardship and resentment in the community and he was concerned that if the issue was not addressed, someone was going to get hurt through tempers fraying and frustrations running high. The veteran politician said he believed that the parking companies were taking more and more liberties with people on this subject because they were getting away with it and no one was challenging their rights to do this to the public.
Parking fines for clamping currently range from $50 to $85, and CNS has been informed of numerous cases where the clampers have immobilized vehicles of drivers who were legitimately parked but have refused to remove the clamp without payment. In one case a driver was clamped in his own allocated parking space outside his place of work.
During the parliamentary debate the premier said government was willing to consider the motion since the planning laws were currently under review as part of government’s goal to create a national development plan. He said that he would ask the committee to add this question to the entire issue of parking restrictions in the George Town area as it needed to be addressed. McKeeva Bush said he agreed that there needed to be clarity regarding the law and what exactly the landlords could and could not do when it came to people parking on the premises under the Planning Law.
Last year, David Guilfoyle took an unorthodox approach to paying a clamping fine when he gave the parking company 7500 pennies and brought the question of parking fines into the fore. He also noted that the clamping fine was greater than the fine he would have had to pay for parking illegally on the street and, moreover, the police would not clamp his car.

Category: Headline News

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     

    In my humble opinion the whole idea of disabled parking is very little more than a legal means of collecting unearned money (stealing) from the public that has very much more than likely been forced upon us like so very many insane ‘laws’ that exist in Cayman nowadays by some supremely intelligent expatriate who earned himself a huge bucket of money from it and will be forever revered for doing so   

    I have NEVER been to a supermarket, bank or any other business place in Cayman and found more than 25% of the ‘disabled’ parking places occupied. If a person can make his way from his residence to a supermarket parking lot why in Jesus name does he suddenly require special treatment to get him into the store? Every business place in Cayman has allocated TOO MANY of these very prime spaces to this cause. It is very frustrating to pull into any parking lot in Cayman to find that there are NO VACANT PARKING SPACES save the FOUR OR SIX ‘disabled’ spaces by the front door. WE have been overcome by unnecessary burocracy that has been forced upon us by our all knowing expatriate superiors who are very handsomely PAID to keep us in chains. Make no mistake though, the expatriates are not to blame. It is us Caymanians that are to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. This is what happens to a country that prefers to give our heart and soul to someone else to think for us rather than to START THINKING FOR OURSELVES.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Read the Traffic Law. That Law confers authority to immobilize vehicles on private companies. Those who are contracted to provide this function are acting quite legally. 

  3. responsible person says:

    Read the comments. Some of these people have gone to great lenghts to try to prove that they don’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of us.  I think that goes a long way to explaining why so many things are screwed up here. I myself always park responsibly and have never been in the position of feeling like I have to kill someone for doing his job.  But thats just me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let all do what David did to them,If you get a clamp pay them in 1 cents.

    What were the courts results on the other cases

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let all do what David did to them,If you get a clamp pay them in 1 cents.

    What were the courts results on the othercases

  6. Anonymous says:

    Buy a Bicycle! or walk into town………

    Might solve the obesity problem same time! 

    • Anon247 says:

      Bicycle riders are dicing with death every time they take to the road in cayman. The drivers here are dreadful, many ignoring cyclists and never giving them space (especially those who cycle "with" the traffic). Leave the bike at home – it’s too dangerous.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since someone brought up the topic of bicycles. It always amazes me as to why I see people trying to ride on the white lines on the roadside! I absolutely hate it, when the lanes are so narrow and you have to avoid hitting him and then the car next to you. Especially when there’s a sidewalk. Is there a law against riding / walking on the sidewalk? If not, please have some value for your life and get off the road! No one wants to hit pedestrians or cyclists or  another persons car!

        • Anonymous says:

          "Since someone brought up" , sir/madame, you need to be educated on the road rules.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Surely there is a major distinction between public and private property. On private property the owner can make the rules… and Ezzard’s comments re Traffic Law don’t apply to private property (I would assume), just the public roadways.

    I’ve never been clamped, but, you know what ? I’ve never parked in a handicapped space either. Never. Ever.

     

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am a woman a strong woman to tell you the truth and I too got clamped once .This almost cost the security his life as I was going to kick him through the glass window he was standing next to.He was saved by 2 men holding me back .He was the skinnest and most pittyful looking security I have ever seen.By the way I DID NOT PAY the fine as I was off loading my vehicle at the time and had all right to do so.

    • LaLa LooLoo says:

      Strong woman, you go. I only wished I was there to see you kick him through the window, I would help you.

    • Anonymous says:

      So now we’re encouraging violence against honest people doing their jobs. Being lazy and violent are not something to boast about. Too lazy to park in a legitimate space and walk the extra yard and too violent to accept that you have been caught without threatening a beating.

      People like you go a long way towards explaining why the Caymanian people are looked down upon in the region and even within Cayman. You bring shame to your people.

      • Free Spaces says:

        I don’t see anywhere in the strong woman’s post that gives one reason to call her lazy. I’ve had my vehicle clamped just for pulling up in front of a store to deliver a box that was too heavy for me to lift but this stupid procedure was carried out within the short time that I was waiting for the owner of the business to accompany me outside to remove his package. The very rude and abrupt man who installed the device couldn’t care less what both the business owner and I had to say and after about 1/2 hour of sending up my blood pressure, I eventully paid. However, in my case whereby the worker collected the cash, PUT IT IN HIS PANTS POCKET, and wasn’t able to provide me with a receipt on the spot, I would love for anyone to come and tell me that I’m lazy, violent, looked down upon, shameful and whateverelse you want to label me as for calling this man a THIEF for taking my money as if it was some kind of hand out. And by the way, I’m a woman but who knows, if I was a man I would’ve probably sent him sailing through the shop window that day too.

    • Anonymous says:

      "I am a woman a strong woman to tell you the truth"

      I think by "strong" you mean "angry and need anger management"

  9. Around & Around We Go..... says:

    "You park on private property with a warning sign that you will be clamped if you park there and you park there anyway so you get clamped. If you don’t want to get clamped don’t park there. Problem solved ; )"

    How can parking at a public plaza or store be private when it is soliciting consumers to come in and do business????? Get Real!!!! You will learn when one day you get clamped for going to a store and the guy goes” Am sorry you were parked for 45 mins and you are only aloud 30mins”.. And you spent money at this same place hmmmmmm. If I wanted to be taken for a ride I would go to a Them park…

     
    I feel that the only people that can and should enforce the illegal parking on roads and public area are Gov employed staff so if they need to create parking division. Then I say go for it an then it can and will pay for it self.. At leas then the money is going in to the governments bank act not some private person act and he is laughing all the way to the bank.. Now for private area such as apartments & residential areas then let  private companies deal with that. But areas Deemed Public or Commercial should be to the Gov.
     
    That way they will be ticket not clamped and if you get 3 tickets that are not paid then they will be called to traffic court with a chance to lose their drivers licenses and/or double the fines.
     
     
  10. Waiting.... says:

    Like Mr. Guilfoyle, I have a bucket full of pennies at home and waiting for Mr. Clamper any day.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is not quite as simple as "You Park on Private Proerty" says. I parked last year in a parking space outside Strathvale House across from Rackhams. I thought I was parking on the public road only to find my car clamped when I came out of Rackhams after spending an hour there. I was clamped because the front wheels of my vehicle were encroaching into a box with diagonal lines. Three quarters of my vehicle was in a parking box. When I challenged the car clamping company about the clamping I was told they were entitled to clamp anyone who was wrongly parked in these spaces as they belonged to Strathvale House as according to them the private property extended up to the double yellow line on the road despite the fact these car parking spaces would have to any ordinary observer been considered as part of the public road.             

    • Anonymous says:

      You should have removed the clamp from your vehicle that was park on the road at Strathvale House and take it to the Cayman Drop Off. Your car is private property and any fixed object placed there is consider a part of the car decorative or not, I would assume  like the car it belongs to you. Then let the non government appointed "Toy Soldier, Rent-A-Cop, Traffic Designate Officer" take you to court and explain, who died and appointed him "Her Majesty’s" heir to cede  Crown Property to Strathvale House.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, this is what happens when businesses locate in central George Town and cannot provide adequate parking for their staff and the general public. It’s so frustrating when you need to get into a store and there is no where to park. But next to you there is an empty space with an orange cone there. I mean come on! I go to the Post office all the time in town and on a good day I might can easily pull up on the side but then there are days that I find myself driving round and round like a clock. Same for the court house, where do those people park? It’s ridiculous to try to get into town in the day, and worst if you know that you have to park your car and walk for miles to get where you need to go. Not all of us come of the cruise ship you know… some of us actually have vehicles! And sometimes, we park in "illegal" spaces because we know that we only plan to be away from the car for two minutes literally. XXXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      "And sometimes, we park in "illegal" spaces because we know that we only plan to be away from the car for two minutes literall"

      So we are breaking the law

      Either the handicap parking one or we are trespassing on private property.

    • Anonymous says:

       I attempted yesterday to post a new forum topic on the parking issue in town, but I guess CNS has been inundated with approving/disapproving comments, etc. Hopefully you will see it pop up one day soon & then the situation can be discussed constructively, under a proper topic heading.

      CNS: Oops, sorry! My fault. Your forum topic is published now.

  13. Anonymous says:

    "Private firms also clamp when people are parked in the handicapped parking and they aren’t handicapped. "

    That may be so, but it is up to the police to ticket people illegally parked in a handicapped space.  The average Joe can’t walk around enforcing the law.

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      And why not?  The average Joe may be able to enforce it better then the police!!! If a private firm is hired to clamp illegal parked cars, Handicap parking if you  are parked in a handicapped parking and aren’t handicapped it is an illegally parked car!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    You park on private property with a warning sign that you will be clamped if you park there and you park there anyway so you get clamped. If you don’t want to get clamped don’t park there. Problem solved ; )

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously it is not that simple. These are shopping plazas and office buildings, not your driveway at home. This is not even about parking in a no parking zone. You may be a legitimate visitor who is detained at the premises longer than you expected.  

    • Anonymous says:

      That being said. The Clamping people are extortionists as they specifically operate a business to drive around to clamp vehicles just to collect the $75 for release. Acting on their own accord and not necessarily on instructions from property owners. A parking lot with public access is in fact "PUBLIC" and falls under the jurisdiction of the Police and if someone is illegally parked, it is the responsibility of the police to ticket the offender. Likewise if there is an accident or any other infringement of the laws. By Law a property with public access can only be deemed PRIVATE with propper sinage and it is denied access to the public for one 24 hour period within one year.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Private firms also clamp when people are parked in the handicapped parking and they aren’t handicapped.  THis still is happening and you would be surprised on who parks there.

    The law is the law if it states do no park here then you shouldn’t park there and if you do you will have to deal with the consequences which can include wheel clamping!!!

     

  16. The Clampers Worst Nightmare says:

    Most of the clamping undertaken in Cayman is tortious and a large proportion is arguably criminal.

    For example, one clamping company XXXXXX refers in its signage to impsing a "fine" those improperly parked.  A private clamping company cannot "fine" anyone, that is the role of government alone.  The use of this language on their signs means that anyone who has had to pay money to XXXX would be able to recover the money (and other damages) from XXXX in the Summary Court.  Moreover threatening to act as if empowered to charge "fines" is probably crossing the line into criminal activity too.

  17. Anonymous says:

    At a time when the courts are scrambling for jurors for serious trials, calling a jury for a traffic offence seems like a collosal waste of resources. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It might seem to be a collosal waste of  jurors resources.  Have you ever thought such small and un-noticed actions increases larger problems?  Government or owners should be receiving 10% of these collections as they are making money off  properties that they do not own. ONLY IN CAYMAN THIS HAPPENS!!!!!!! 

       

      • Anonymous says:

         I think many owners of property are getting 10% if the clamping fines as part of the arrangement. And the clampers are only there because the owners have asked them to be – ownership has nothing to do with it.  

        You are wrong that this only happens in Cayman – go to any civilized country and you will find clamping because if you park on private land you consent to any terms and conditions associated with it.

      • Alovicious Bonner says:

        Justice is Justice, no matter if it is by Judge or Jury.  I do fear that one of these days someone is going to get seriously hurt on this Island for clamping peoples wheels.

        I witnessed a situation where a woman stopped in an area that was later learnt to be private no parking.  The car shut off and would not start.   The woman went to look help to have the car started and by the time she came back he wheel was locked.  he explained what happened, but was told by the clamper that "That is not his business"   The poor lady had a broken down car and had to borrow 75.00 which she could not afford to pay and still had to wait untill next day to get her car moved.  These people are a rip off and should be closed down.

        Another time a lady went to a supermarket, to pick up a few items for her sick child after leaving the hospital.  Could not leave the sick child in the car, and had to take her in the trolley.  Of course she parked in a space close to the door, not wanting to walk too far with the child .  10 minutes later returning to her car to find it locked.   Did not have 75.00 to pay the fine requsted..  Her Sick child cryinging in her arms in the hot sun, the drink and milk melting in the tolley as the clamper said "Sorry mam I am only following orders, I understand your child is sick but you have to pay 75,00 before you can get your car to take her home.  You really think that one day someone is not going to get seriously hurt for these actions?.  Saw the lady some time later, who said that her husband had went with a crowbar looking for the clamper but did not find him.  Suppose he did?.