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Today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


Booting cars not merely annoying, it puts people's safety at risk

By Dane Bergeson

January 18, 2005 | "We are being extorted," says Quinn Bingham, student at Utah State University. "Booters are performing an illegal seizure of your property and extorting you for your well earned money."

I am sure most all people can sympathize with Quinn. I myself, like most USU students, have parked in an area not knowing that it was a booting zone and had to pay the most unforgettable $50 of my life. I have felt robbed and powerless in the situation. The whole ordeal feels really shady. After being booted you call an individual's cellular number and they arrive only to take your hard-earned money. Most often it is a young college-age person in an unmarked car.

Other reasons why people may feel robbed or wronged: You may feel cheated because the booters usually have no workers identification or proof of employment. They rarely give you a receipt, and you have no "due process." Due process, according to, "is an established course for judicial proceedings, or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual." In other words, if an individual is booted, there isn't any way for the individual to fight the sanction. There is no appeals process. The Fifth Amendment states "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Quinn has been working with David Daines, an associate professor and legal confidant here at Utah State. Together they are filing a lawsuit about just that. They, like most all students, feel it is dishonest and unconstitutional. Daines and his son Chris Daines are lawyers and feel Quinn has a very strong case. They feel so passionately about the issue, the father-son duo has teamed up to fight the injustices pro bono or in laymen's terms, donated legal work.

Les Essig, USU student body president, said, "Not only is booting dishonest and unconstitutional not to mention it is a danger to our students. We can't have people walking all over town late at night trying to put together money to pay for a boot." Most people end up finding that their car has been booted at night. That makes for a very dangerous situation. The individual is vehicle-less and scrounging up cash. There isn't an ATM on every street corner.

With any luck the City of Logan will re-consider its parking situation. Booting can not continue with such high risks.


Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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