Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs File Suit Against Woodbridge Towing Company for Allegedly Charging Excessive Fees
and Other Violations of the Predatory Towing Prevention Act
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and State Division of Consumer Affairs
have filed suit against a Middlesex County-based towing company that allegedly
charged excessive towing fees when removing vehicles from private parking lots,
exceeding the fees charged by area towing companies by an average of 76%.
The State’s five-count Complaint, filed in State Superior Court in New Brunswick,
alleges that Scott Flowers’ Towing, also known as Scott’s Towing, committed multiple
violations of the Predatory Towing Prevention Act and Regulations and also a violation
of the Consumer Fraud Act. Scott Flowers, 52, of Woodbridge is the owner/operator of
Acting on a consumer complaint filed in mid-2012, Consumer Affairs launched an
investigation of the business practices of Scott’s Towing at three residential parking lots
in Woodbridge. Investigators found allegedly inadequate signage that did not fully
disclose required information to consumers about non-consensual towing. Scott’s
Towing also misrepresented the amount of its towing fees on its signage, as the
company actually charged consumers higher amounts.
The company also allegedly did not have contracts to service two of the three parking
lots as legally required and also allegedly charged storage for two days when vehicles
were in its possession for less than one day.
“Open season on motorists by predatory towers is over. We will find those towers who
prey on motorists and make a quick, illegal profit and we will hold them accountable for
their actions,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.
The State alleges that Scott’s Towing since at least January 2012 conducted towing at
the following private properties in Woodbridge: Sharon Gardens Condominiums,
Woodbridge Center Drive; Peach Street Condominiums, Rt. 35 at Woodbine Ave.; and
Hirams Community, 1120 Rt. 1. Scott’s Towing did not have written contracts to
provide towing services at Peach Street Condominiums and Hirams Community. The
company towed at least 29 vehicles from these three lots in 2012.
The Predatory Towing Prevention Act states that towing fees are considered excessive
“if they exceed by more than 50 percent, or a different percentage established by the
director by regulation, the usual and customary fee charged for such nonconsensual
towing or related storage service by other towing companies or storage facilities
operating in the municipality.”
Consumer Affairs investigators found that Scott’s Towing charged motorists a $195
towing fee versus the $111 average towing fee charged by five other local towing
“We’re seeking the return of the excessive fees paid by the consumers whose vehicles
were towed, as well as the imposition of civil penalties against the defendant,” said Eric
T. Kanefsky, Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “In the end, rogue
towers stand to lose far more money than they can ever hope to gain by violating our
predatory towing law.”
A consumer education brief that highlights the key features of the Predatory Towing
Prevention Act, which was enacted in April 2009, has been produced by the Division of
Consumer Affairs and can be read online at NJConsumerAffairs.gov/brief/towing.pdf.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar in the Division of Law’s Consumer Fraud
Prosecution Section is representing the State in this action. Investigator Michael Bruch
in the Office of Consumer Protection conducted the investigation.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.
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Consumer Outreach events.