Lawsuit filed against LAPD's new impound policy, which offers more leeway to undocumented immigrants

An impounded car.
An impounded car.

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The LAPD's new car impound policy, which was seen as a compromise between police and immigrant advocacy groups, is now the subject of a lawsuit.

The suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court asks the judge to block the LAPD from enforcing its new policy, which isn't even two weeks old.

It argues that it is illegal for the LAPD to impound cars for 30 days if a driver has an expired license, or doesn’t have one at all. According to civil rights attorney Cynthia Anderson-Baker, the impound fees (which can cost up to $1,500) are too harsh for drivers who are low-wage, undocumented immigrants.

However, the new impound policy does allow offenders with a valid ID, car registration and proof of insurance to forgo the 30-day fee.

Those who are driving without a license but are accompanied by a licensed person in the car still have to pay court fees, but get to keep their cars.

The police department says it is too soon to comment on this legal challenge.

The L.A. Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers, also opposes the new policy because it allows more unlicensed drivers to be on the road. The union hasn't yet decided whether it will file a lawsuit of its own.