My car was towed from a shopping center in Santa Clara county. I had parked at the said location around 8pm. I got my car released from the towing company after paying $450. The release document says that my car was first noticed at the shopping center at 7.30pm and picked up at 8.43pm. However, I can prove that my car wasn't there at 7.30pm and the towing company is lying. 1) I was at a restaurant 4 miles away at 7.30pm, and my receipt shows the time as 7.25pm. 2) My google location history shows that I was at the restaurant from 7.25pm - 7.50pm, and started driving from the restaurant to the shopping center at 7.50pm.

What recourse do I have? Can I get my money back?

1 Answer 1


No, you can’t

You have evidence about where you were; you have no evidence about where your car was.

  • Doesn't it depend how precise the location history is? If it has 3D sub-meter resolution, it will show OP's phone entering the interior passenger volume of the parked car during the time the towing company says the car was already sitting stationary in that spot. And since cars are driven forward/backward, the location would appear to enter that volume either through the trunk/rear window or through the hood/windshield -- not from the side (operable doors/windows). ...
    – nanoman
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:52
  • ... Moreover, the motion over time will be consistent with driving speed into the parking lot, then natural slowdown in a parking motion. This could make a very strong case that the phone got to that location by being in the car as it was parked there. Alas, the location history is probably not precise enough.
    – nanoman
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:52
  • 1
    Apart from all this, you give a negative answer by saying there is "no evidence about where your car was". I think it offers some evidence, if this were to come to a lawsuit and OP testifies that they were transporting themselves that evening using this car, which they own (which is very plausible), and offers the mentioned records in combination with that. Why are you sure this wouldn't be enough to help OP win civilly on "preponderance of the evidence", say in small claims court?
    – nanoman
    Sep 10, 2020 at 9:00

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