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Seattle man wins case against city after truck he lives in was impounded

Steven Long, who had his truck impounded and was hit with steep fees, took his case against the city to court - and won. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - A Seattle man who had his truck impounded and was hit with steep fees, took his case against the city to court - and won.

"The emotional part was the heartfelt when I came home and my home was gone I was in total shock," said Steven Long.

In 2016, his truck was impounded from a Seattle lot, after he violated the city's 72-hour parking rule.

It left him out in the cold with nothing. Everything he owned was in that truck.

"My soul, my home, my livelihood. I was really, really heart broken, because basically shock. Mostly shock," said Long.

Long took his case to court and the judge ruled in his favor because he was living in his truck, and the steep fines violated the State's constitution.

"The homestead act in Washington protects homes from for sale or attachment in order to pay debt," said attorney Ann Logerto from Columbia Legal Services.

Under State law, vehicles and boats can be considered homes. That means as the ruling stands, anyone who lives in their car could still get a parking ticket, but the vehicle can't be impounded.

"Individuals who use vehicles as homes will have the ability to define their vehicle as a home and to the let police know or magistrates know that this is their home and can't be held," said Logerto.

The city attorney's office lost the case, but told KOMO News it doesn't agree with the ruling and is evaluating options.


Logerto said the city argued in court that the ruling makes parking enforcement difficult.

"The judge was very specific. She was not saying there can't be parking enforcements," said Logerto.

"I sure hope no one goes through what I had to go through," said Long.

Long hopes his case will generate dialogue with the city.

The city has 30 says to decide whether to appeal.


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