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Michigan city really, really wants its unconstitutional tire chalking back

So sad: Saginaw says ruling is causing cities to abandon parking enforcement

A federal court declared last month that the parking enforcement technique of marking tires with chalk was unconstitutional. That's not the end of the story, though. On Monday, Saginaw, Mich., asked the federal appeals court if it would rethink its original decision. The city says the case was of "exceptional importance."

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals originally made the ruling, arguing it violated the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. Allison Taylor of Saginaw and her lawyer made that argument before a three-judge panel of the appeals court, and the court agreed. Now, Saginaw says the decision is prompting cities across the region to abandon parking enforcement. The Washington Post reports cities as large as Columbus, Ohio, have quit enforcing parking limits with chalk for fear of lawsuits. The states within the 6th Circuit affected by this ruling include Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

A few days after the original ruling, the court issued an "amended" decision, stressing to Saginaw that it could attempt to convince a lower court of its case to resume chalking by mounting a different argument. Saginaw has not taken that route, but instead has asked the appeals panel to either reconsider or for the full 6th Circuit to hear the case.

As of now, police and parking enforcement are either not enforcing parking in some areas or coming up with alternative methods. One police department in Wisconsin is reportedly considering taking pictures of parked cars to determine how long they've been parked. Taylor's lawyer wants the lawsuit to be certified as a class action, so folks who got tickets via chalk enforcement can get refunds. Apparently, the city of Saginaw collects up to $200,000 a year from parking tickets using this method.

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