California appeals court denies access to records of vehicle impoundment

A California appeals court rejected a bid for access to an electronic data base of vehicles private towing companies impounded at the request of the police department. The court ruled that the city’s right to access to the data base did not constitute possession. (Justia, January 22, 2019)

A civil rights lawyer filed a public records request with the Los Angeles Police Department for the impoundment records. While the department had access to the database, the data is owned and operated by a private association of police garages that store and tow impounded vehicles. The court said the lawyer offered no legal grounds for the argument that the city’s right of access constitutes “constructive possession” while the city presented evidence that it does not dictate what information is included  in the database or have the authority to modify it. (Metropolitan News-Enterprise, January 24, 2019, by a MetNews Staff Writer)