David Yates Aug. 29, 2012, 4:55pm

Several individuals who own towing companies have sought and received a temporary restraining order against the city of Orange, hoping to stop city council from enacting an ordinance limiting the amount they can charge for a non-consent tow.

Ricky Gilbeaux, Steve Quibodeaux and Karl Vanderstucker filed the verified TRO application against the city on Aug. 27 in Orange County District Court.

According to the application, the Orange City Council intended to vote to enact a new ordinance to regulate non-consent towing during their Aug. 28 meeting.

Before that could happen, Judge Buddie Hahn of the 260th District Court, signed off on a TRO stopping city council from adopting any ordinances in violation of Section 2308.203 of the Texas Occupation Code, court records show.

The plaintiffs allege the new ordinance, if enacted, would limit the amount of money a wrecker service operator can charge for a non-consent tow to $175.

They argue the proposed ordinance is “in clear and direct violation of Section 2308.203 of the Texas Occupations Code,” the TRO application states.

The code states that a governing body shall establish or amend the allowable fees for non-consent tows at amounts that represent the fair value of services of a towing company.

The TRO will expire on Sept. 7, at which time a hearing on the matter will be held.

Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas represents the plaintiffs.

Orange County case No. D120297-c

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