Investigations & Cases


Active Case

Philadelphia "Courtesy Tow"

Eastman v. City of Philadelphia

Civil rights lawsuit to reform Philadelphia’s “courtesy tow” program that “relocates” vehicles that are legally parked on public streets without notice to the vehicle owner or operator. Philadelphia provides no information to vehicle owners or operators regarding the towed location of the vehicle, leaving residents searching for their vehicle, believing their vehicle was stolen, and/or burdened with towing and impoundment fees.


  • CASE STATUS Active
  • DATE FILED May 17, 2021
  • CASE NUMBER 2:21-cv-02248
  • DEFENDANTS City of Philadelphia
  • COURT Eastern District of Pennsylvania


Many Philadelphia drivers are unaware that motor vehicles lawfully parked on City streets can be “relocated” without warning to make way for construction, repairs, emergency work or public gatherings authorized by the City. At times, temporary “no stopping” signs are posted and vehicles that were legally parked are moved to another location.  This vehicle relocation program, sometimes called “courtesy towing,” provides no notice to the vehicles’ owners or registered operators that their vehicles have been relocated. Vehicle owners return to their legal parking spots only to find their vehicles missing. Philadelphia has no system in place for owners or operators to find the relocated vehicle, other than being told by the City to report the vehicle as stolen. The “courtesy tow” program creates additional problems for vehicle owners or operators, including ticket and impoundment fees.

In May 2021, Kohn Swift filed a class action civil rights lawsuit (Complaint) on behalf of several drivers who have been harmed by the Relocation Program, seeking reform of the program and damages for the Plaintiffs. To date, two of the Plaintiffs have accepted early settlements of $15,000 each.  The remaining Plaintiffs continue to prosecute the claims for injunctive relief on behalf the the class.

If you have been impacted by Philadelphia’s vehicle relocation program, please complete the contact form below and one of our professionals will contact you promptly.



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