LOS ANGELES — Today, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the Los Angeles Police Department’s impound policy, known as Special Order 7, is lawful.
Under the terms of Special Order 7, unlicensed drivers can avoid an automatic 30-day impound of their vehicles if they meet several requirements, including having auto insurance, valid identification and no prior convictions for unlicensed driving. The order allows individuals to recover their vehicles within a few days rather than subject them to a 30-day hold.
In 2012, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) went to court on behalf of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and LA Voice, to intervene in two lawsuits challenging Special Order 7.
“The ACLU Foundation of Southern California applauds today’s ruling,” said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. “The decision recognizes that Special Order 7 does not conflict with existing laws, nor does it undermine the vehicle code. What Special Order 7 does is simply direct officers on how to apply the vehicle impound laws without creating unfair hardship on poor immigrant residents who were too often disproportionately affected by harsh 30-day impounds, or creating the perception of profiling of Latinos in an effort to impound vehicles.”
Contact: Michael Kaufman, 213.977.5232, or Peter Bibring, 213.977 5295.

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