From the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center
Booting Car Not a Stay Violation
Posted by NCBRC – March 21, 2018
The City’s action in booting the debtor’s car after she had filed her bankruptcy petition did not violate the automatic stay where its purpose was to protect public safety. In re Hicks, No. 17-3663 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2018).
Ashina Hicks entered chapter 13 bankruptcy with almost $16,000 in traffic fines owed to the City of Chicago. After her petition, the City booted her car and did not remove the boot until the following day. Ms. Hicks filed a motion to show cause why the City’s action should not be found to be a violation of the automatic stay, and she sought $6,000 in damages for emotional distress, inconvenience and embarrassment. The City countered that its action was within its governmental power to protect the public safety and was not subject to the automatic stay under section 362(b)(4). The court agreed.