An administrative law judge has ruled that the Texas Vehicle Code can be used to shield an owner from civil penalties for failing to have the vehicle towed.
In a recent decision in the case of James H. “Joey” Davis, a motorist who claimed that he was owed $5,000 in back taxes and fees, Judge John B. Smith Jr. ruled that Davis was entitled to have his vehicle towed because the Code of Texas bars him from getting the money back.
The Code of State Motor Vehicles (CSMV) does not provide any mechanism for the payment of back taxes or fees, according to the ruling.
Smith ruled that a judge can order the owner to pay the back taxes, but only if the owner has filed an action in a court of law seeking to recover those amounts.
The judge noted that Davis’ case was based on the claim that he had not complied with the Code, and the statute does not address how a court can order an owner to comply with a code.
In an interview with KXAN-TV, Davis said he would appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court.
He told the station that he wants his vehicle back, but not because of the Code.
Davis said that if the court rules against him, then he’ll just file a new suit in court.
In 2013, Davis sued the city of San Antonio over the back tax and fees owed to the city.
The city argued that Davis had not filed a claim to collect those amounts, but had instead paid them by the car to a bank.
The court ruled that since Davis had filed a lawsuit to collect the back-tax and fees from the city, he was entitled, under the Code’s limitations, to receive them.