The answers listed below are often the top questions we receive; the reply to the questions is based mainly on factual information and experiences acquired over twenty plus years of investigating and researching these types of situations. We have made suggestions on what we believe is the correct response and stated such conclusions for the actions in question. These are not legal opinions, simply easily written answers to questions that are often convoluted and difficult to understand. As in any action where you believe you have been misinformed. We encourage you to consult with you property/community manager for further guidelines and appeal processes for such actions.
Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

Top Questions

  • What is a safe list? Variance. How can I obtain one?
  • What is a safelist/variance, a safelist/variance is a short term parking exemption. It allows for vehicles to park within properly marked spaces inside of associations and communities that Courtesy Patrol Specialists, Inc. may patrol and conduct parking enforcement. This is similar to a guest pass system; however these passes are limited to your vehicle only and cannot be transferred, they are also created electronically. The safelisting system is an effective method used by hundreds of associations/communities thru out Southern California. The rules on safelisting vary from association to association. In most cases, a safelist requested for one overnight stay is valid for 24 hours from the time of the safelisting request. Typically, there are limits to the number of safelist any one vehicle or residence can use. These limitations are set forth by your association’s board of directors/management company prior to our enforcement of such rules commencing. Please contact your association/management company for a complete set of your parking rules and restrictions.

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  • I was unaware of the rules of my association/community, and my vehicles(s) were cited or towed. What is my recourse? Do I have any?
  • The parking rules and how they are enforced may vary from association/community to the next. The one thing that they do share in common is this, all of their rules are published and are issued to the homeowner at the closing of escrow, for rental units, it should have be issued from your onsite management team, or your landlord. As we try to educate all residents, tenants, and guest on the parking rules for each property that may have enforcement, the true responsibility for "the knowing and understanding of the rules is YOU". As we are a contracted vendor for your community, we have to enforce such rules; this is what we were hired for. If you believe you have a grievance on the validity of the towing. You are encouraged to contact your property management company to contest. They serve as the liaison between the vendor and you the resident.

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  • What is a citation or inventory window?
  • The citation window as is called within the industry is a tracking mechanism designed to verify if vehicles have been issued citations before and within what period of time. In most parking programs, there is a limit to how many citations or warnings a vehicle may receive before towing can occur, this program simply will look back in time and see if the vehicle has received any previous citations, the look back time period is usefully set forth by the parking rules and regulation. In most cases the association or community will have a look back period up to 180 days (roughly six months) some look back periods may be longer or shorter based on your rules and regulations. The inventory window works exactly the same, however in many cases the look back period of time is much shorter (typically less than 90 days).

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  • How is an inventory recording different from a citation that is issued?
  • An inventory is the method used when citations are not issued, we are simply recording the amount of time any one vehicle is parked with an association, this action typically occurs after midnight, to ensure the vehicle was recorded and assuming that it will be parking overnight. This is rule is normally adopted for associations/communities that do not use a safelist/variance type of system, the association/community is allowing vehicles to parked there for a certain amount of days per rule. When you have exceeded the amount allowed, a courtesy notice will be issued to the vehicle for your notification, the follow up on this notice by the vehicle owner is very important, any failures to clarify on why the citation was issued, can lead to towing if the vehicle continues to park in this manner.

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  • My car is moved daily, why is it still being cited for non movement?
  • This violation as is often misunderstood, every community has a limit on the number of hours or days you may park a vehicle in anyone space. Normally the rule is no more than 72 hours at a time. At a time, the issue with the enforcement of this rule is this, when does your time expires, we are often told by the vehicle owner that it has not been there 72 hours yet and you gave me a courtesy citation already, this is true, If the officer was to wait the full amount of time (for example 72 hours) at the end of this 72 hour period, you could be towed without any notice because the amount of time was already allowed. Is this fair???We are currently enforcing this violation as follows. Many vehicles will park in the same spot out of convenience or habit, there is no violation of non movement for these cases, however The Courtesy Patrol officer, will monitor any vehicles that they believe are not being driven on a consistent basis. The officer in most cases will monitor the vehicle for at least 24 hours to see if the vehicle moves before citing it. The argument is, I was not there for the time I am allowed, this is true, however for enforcement purposes, the time the vehicle was giving the notice is when the clock starts. You will have the number of hours allotted per your community to move your vehicle. When that time has expired, no further notices would be giving. We want to educate the residents on this violation. This is why you may be cited prior to the vehicle being in one spot for the hours allowed. If you are driving your vehicle at least one of those 3 days, your vehicle would never be in jeopardy of being towed for this violation. Since the vehicle is moving and the officer(s) will be aware of such. Any citations issued for this violation are null and void when the vehicle is moved prior to the time allotted per your rules and regulations.

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  • Does the Association/Management have the right to enforce parking and other regulations within my community?
  • The answer is yes, since they are enforcing vehicle violations that occur on private property that they manage and/or have the exclusive rights to control. The governing documents, CCRs or parking rules allow for vehicles that may be parking in non compliance of such rules to be cited, fined or towed away at the vehicle owner’s expense. As many associations and communities refer to the impounding of vehicles as a last resort. In many cases, this is the only way to ensure compliance is achieved. We have to remember that they serve the community as a whole and have the legal obligation to ensure that all areas of concern within the community (including parking) are being addressed and regulated. Please feel free to contact the management agent of your community for clarification on this issue.

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  • Your Courtesy Patrol Officers are not law enforcement personnel; do they have the legal authority to issue notices and impound vehicles?
  • The answer is yes, our officers are not considered law enforcement personnel and we are never allowed to represent ourselves as such; that is the law. The law is also clear that our personnel are allowed to enforce many of the same vehicle code violations your local law enforcement regulates daily on the public right of ways. Here are some examples; the local authorities will regulate fire lane and red zone parking, vehicles parking in handicap spaces without valid disable plates or placards. They can also enforce resident only permitted areas, as well as time limits on hourly parking spaces, etc. In many cases law enforcement agencies cannot and will not enforce these violations on private property. Your association is forced to hire a licensed contractor to perform such duties. The citations issued from law enforcement agencies usually have large monetary penalties attached to them as allowed per the California Vehicle Code. The association/community often at times cannot assign or collect these types of fees because the vehicle owner cannot be easily identified. This is why courtesy notices/citations that are issued on private property can lead to the towing of the vehicle to ensure the violation is corrected and does not continue to repeat itself. Please feel free to contact your association or community manager for further details.

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  • I received a courtesy notice indicating that I was in violation for having my recreational vehicle on the property?
  • Many associations and communities have guidelines that prohibited these types of vehicles from parking in the common areas, driveways, and even in your own garage. It is not uncommon for these regulations to be enforced by your own municipality if your residence was not located inside of a private community. Some of the reasons why these vehicles are issued citations are; the size of the vehicle, the legal street registration of such vehicles, esthetics (how does it look in the community) safety hazards associated with such vehicles, (nuisances) etc, as each community is different regarding enforcement, we encourage you to request a complete set of parking rules from your management company. Many of the vehicle types that we are authorized to issue notices too are classified as the following, Motor homes, campers, watercraft, and trailers of any kind (both recreation and commercial).

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  • Your officer failed to knock on my door, and had my vehicle towed instead, do you consider this action as being courteous?
  • This is not a difficult answer, the answer is No! We cannot knock on any resident’s door to inform them that their vehicle may be towed away, and here are some of the reasons why.

    Experience: has showed us that some residents will constantly park in no parking zones for convenience, they will repeatedly park in this manner and believe that they will not be towed because the courtesy patrol officer will knock on their door, this often leads to ineffective parking enforcement when suggested.

    Favoritism: It is not the association’s intent to tow vehicles in violation; however the association can be fined by the local fire or police authority for vehicles parking illegally in these areas, posted firelanes, red zones, and fire hydrant areas. The city will fine the community, not the offending vehicles, is that fair to the rest of the community members that will have to pay these fines for the residents and guest that are parked in non compliance? Is it fair to wake up your neighbors in the middle of night by requesting the officer to knock on the offending residents/guest door, often times this has to been done loudly and repeatedly to get someone’s attention to come out and move the vehicle? No! It is not fair for the rest of community members to be burdened by the illegal parking actions of a few.

    Fairness: It is not the association’s intent to tow vehicles in violation; however the association can be fined by the local fire or police authority for vehicles parking illegally in the following areas: posted fire lanes and fire hydrant areas. The Fire Marshall for the city will fine the HOA, not the offending vehicles. Is this fair to the rest of the membership to have to pay these fines for residents or their guest that are parked in non-compliance? Is it fair to wake up your neighbors in the middle of night requesting that an officer knock on the offending residents door? Often times this has to been done loudly and repeatedly to get someone’s attention to come out and move the vehicle? No! It is not fair to the rest of residents to be burdened by the illegal parking actions of a few.

    Safety: You would think that by having us knock on a resident’s doors is a fair and positive service for the community, often times such advisements become confrontational as the offender does not care about how they parked and threatens the officer with violence just for performing the duties for which they have been contracted for. These are just a few of the valid reasons why we do not knock on doors; we also encourage communities to remove these types of exemptions from their parking policies.

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  • What is a parking permit? And how do I obtain one?
  • Parking permits are currently the industry standard for regulating community streets and common parking areas, these programs may appear as over regulation and intrusive at first, in contrary, they are an effective compliance tool for associations, communities, and commercial office complexes. The parking management of these areas is crucial for ensuring that authorized residents, tenants and visitors have a place to park within the property they reside or visit, without these types of programs in place, that task is nearly impossible. Many of the property types mentioned above have tried other parking programs that were less intrusive in the past and they have discovered that they simply do not work. The effectiveness of the program is contingent on the parameters set for both the enforcement, and the administration of such programs. We are contracted by associations and communities to administer, issue, track, and collect the fees for these permits as stated in your parking permit program. We would also like to help educate residents on these programs and answer as many questions as we can. Our staff is knowledgeable and our goal is to issue your parking permit as fast as possible once you have been qualified for such issuance.

    If your community currently has a parking permit program in effect, and Courtesy Patrol Specialists, Inc. has been hired to maintain this program. Please feel free to email us at parking@courtesypatrols.com and one of our staff members will get back to within 24 hours. The permit office hours are currently Monday thru Friday from 10am to 6pm, all weekend inquires will be answered on the Monday following the original request unless that Monday is a legal holiday.

    We look forward to serving you.

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  • I have never heard of these rules, does your officer just make up these rules so they can issue warning notices and impound vehicles?
  • Our Courtesy Patrol Specialists, Inc. officers are not allowed to change or interpret the rules outside of the rules that been approved by your management/board of directors. We enforce many different kinds of vehicles violations. All of these violations have been approved and agreed upon prior to us conducting this type of enforcement, we try to make the enforcement of such rules clear and concise, and to ensure there is no gray areas. Many of the rules and regulations are vague on how they can be enforced, in many cases we will inherit a parking enforcement program that has already been authorized and performed by other vendors, we simply restart where they left off. In some instances, we have the ability to make suggestions and changes to the already active program, these changes will be published by your management company, and notifications will also be sent to the property owners advising of such changes. If you believe that you have been issued a warning/citation for a violation that does not exist within your community rules, please give a call and we will be happy to research the issue for you.

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