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La Crosse’s municipal judge weighs in on proposed rules to boot cars for unpaid tickets



La crosse’s municipal judge, in an unusual move for him, has weighed in on proposed rules for booting and towing cars in the city.

Dennis Marcou expressed his concerns over a booting and towing ordinance at a meeting at city hall Monday.

The part about booting cars for unpaid parking tickets he likes — at least for out-of-towners. The part about booting unregistered cars? That might be a little too far.

“I don’t know if there’s any place in the statue that allows a municipality to do it for one violation,” he said.

Marcou says that might wind up not allowed under state law and could cause problems down the road.

“Can you imagine what would happen if somebody got booted, towed and their car was sold for failure to come and pay the tow, and then comes back and finds the ordinance was, let’s just say, was unconstitutional?” he asked. “And then the city has to pay back, not just the tow but the value of the car that was sold.”

The city’s board of public works has given preliminary approval to the new rules, which will be considered by the city council later this month.

As for the ability to boot parking ticket scofflaws from out of town, “I wish there was a way that we could enforce the unpaid parking tickets for people from (out of state) because there was never any way to do it,” Marcou said.

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