King v. Town of Chapel HillAnnotate this Case
Through the Towing Ordinance and the Mobile Phone Ordinance the Town of Chapel Hill sought to regulate the business of towing vehicles parked in private lots and the use of mobile telephones while driving. Plaintiff, who operated a towing business within the town limits of Chapel Hill, sought a declaratory judgment to invalidate both ordinances, claiming that the Town lacked the authority to enact either ordinance. The trial court agreed with Plaintiff and entered a permanent injunction barring enforcement of both ordinances. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the Towing Ordinance covered a proper subject for regulation under the Town’s police power; and (2) Plaintiff was not entitled to challenge the Mobile Phone Ordinance because he had not been cited for a violation. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the fee schedule and credit card fee provisions of the Towing Ordinance exceeded the Town’s authority, but the remainder of the Towing Ordinance was valid; and (2) the legislature’s comprehensive scheme regulating use of a mobile phone on streets and highways precluded the Town from doing so.