Some stores have adopted sophisticated surveillance systems which monitor license plates and automatically bill anyone who parks for more than 20 minutes. Photo: SORANEWS24
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¥9 mil awarded to convenience store from man for over 11,000 hours of unauthorized parking

31 Comments
By SoraNews24

The Osaka District Court has awarded compensation to a convenience store in Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture, which was seeking damages from a man who repeatedly parked there illegally between 2013 and 2015.

According to the store, the man lived nearby during the period in question and had left his two vehicles parked in front of the store for a total of over 11,000 hours. The store’s management gave numerous verbal and written warnings but all went ignored. As such they were seeking 9.9 million yen, the estimated value of parking there in addition to punitive damages from obstructing their ability to do business.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the defendant failed to mount any form of defense and submitted no statements of any kind to the court. As a result, the judge decided to accept the convenience store’s complaints as they were and awarded them the bulk of what they were seeking, 9.2 million yen.

While a legal victory for the abused business, readers of the news could easily see where this was going to lead.

“That guy’s never going to pay. Can they seize his property?”

“It would have been cheaper just to rent a parking space.”

“I wonder if he’s going to pay…”

“Hopefully that was a convenient space, because it’s going to cost him.”

“This should be a criminal case.”

“I’m a little disappointed he didn’t respond to the lawsuit. I would have liked to have heard his excuse.”

“Wow, I’ve read about murder cases where they didn’t even have to pay that much.”

The defendant certainly doesn’t seem to be the proactive type, so there will probably be some more legal wrangling to attempt to get such a large sum of money out of him. Nevertheless, it serves as another example of how conveniences stores are growing increasingly impatient with people unjustifiably using their spaces.

Sources: Jiji.com, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese convenience store demands ransom from owner of car parked illegally in its lot

-- Diabolically clever Kyoto style of writing “No bike parking” has Japanese Internet impressed

-- Every weekend is an itasha car show at Akihabara’s UDX parking garage

© SoraNews24

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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In the UK "Can't Pay We'll Take It Away" High Court sheriffs get a writ to seize goods in lieu of payment. Is there a law or facility for this in Japan

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So they, the convenience store, could not have documented the parking infractions and made a call to the Police and had the car towed? This does not make sense. They should have brought the Police into play at the time. That is of course, if there are laws on the books that would let the police tow the vehicle.... which I would think exist. And if they do exist, then the convenience store, in my opinion, will lose this case. Also, if there was no law to allow them to get the vehicle towed, then the should sue the local municipality.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@SaikoPsycho

I thought the same thing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Cosmos1

Assuming there are goods to be taken away and the defendant has a job to pay the debt-without the above it is difficult to do anything.

Parking on private property is not a criminal matter but a civil one therefore little police interest.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Kuripiss, it is a police matter, regardless of the amount of "interest". If someone parks in my driveway, private property, I'm not going to call the Shiakusho....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Cosmos I don't understand what the English 'district court' means. Osaka has all types of courts. Criminal and bankrupcy courts can confiscate, the lower ones can't. I think it is the court for neighbouring issues. It only has advice value, nothing forces to pay except honest or concern for good reputation. Or fear of the yakuza.

o they, the convenience store, could not have documented the parking infractions and made a call to the Police and had the car towed? 

No because it's private parking. We had the same issue in my mansion, with strangers using parking of residents and the police said "not our problem".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So they, the convenience store, could not have documented the parking infractions and made a call to the Police and had the car towed? This does not make sense. They should have brought the Police into play at the time. That is of course, if there are laws on the books that would let the police tow the vehicle.... which I would think exist. And if they do exist, then the convenience store, in my opinion, will lose this case. Also, if there was no law to allow them to get the vehicle towed, then the should sue the local municipality.

unfortunately the police won't do that. 2 times in my building a car parks in my spot and I call the police and they just all me to park somewhere else. one of those 2 things there was no vacant spot in the parking lot and they just told me to wait until he/she leaves. BTW, both cars were not from people living in my building.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

they just tell me*

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Parking on private property is a civil matter, not a criminal one. The police won’t (and I believe can’t) do anything about it.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

458.3 days. Like my ex wife say- that long.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shiakusho

Shiyakusho 市役所 しやくしょ

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most parts of the world a few days of illegal parking like that would end up with a tow truck coming and towing your car away. You would only get it back once you pay for the tow, impoundment charges etc. Mounts up very quickly, and you have no car till you pay them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's a convience store near my house that's had a car parked there illegally for over a year, maybe even two years, I've went back home and come back to Japan 3 times and it's still there. The staff taped a notice on the back window for the owner but it's never been moved. Sometimes I wonder if the owner died or something. I often wonder why the heck they don't just get it towed, but maybe, as others have said the police won't help

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is actually a very common practice although, this case is quite extreme lasting a couple of years. I have to admit, I have done a similar thing a few times, but only leaving my car parked at a convenience store for a few hours of the day while I attended to other business. I'm sure most drivers have done it too.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Here in Australia, they would have simply towed his vehicles away every time he parked there. He would then have had to pay the towage and recovery fees to get them back. He would have found another place to park pretty quickly I imagine.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That is total BS.... that the police will do nothing is unacceptable. Maybe this is Yakuza realm... did the police refer them to the "local" Yakuza group? Give the Yakuza Y50,000 and they rough the car or owner up a bit. People need recourse in this type of situation.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Regarding the police, I think the same thing happens with accidents in car parks. When backing up at a filling station, one of the employees gave my mate the "oorai, oorai" guiding right up until he bumped another employee's car. That guy threw a wobbler and called the police, but they just told them to work out among themselves because their jurisdiction was only on public roads. My mate ended up just driving off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Will he rob the same convenience store to pay that off?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just have the car towed and have him pay for the expenses. Why is this even a big deal? Businesses in the USA do this as often as people breathe. And over 11,000 hours? lol was someone recording all of this data in the two years?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The article doesn't state whether it was a civil or criminal ruling - if the former, the law has no teeth and he will not likely pay anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@expat - The article doesn't state whether it was a civil or criminal ruling - if the former, the law has no teeth and he will not likely pay anything.

I'm guessing the parking is on private property making it a civil suit. The only time police are involved on private property is in the case of a car accident on private property for insurance purposes. I had some idiot drive into my parked car at a highway stop a few years ago. The police had to be called to make an insurance claim. In this particular case, the property owners have no power to remove the offending vehicle. They can only request the owner does not park there. If they were to have the vehicle towed, they would be breaking the law. There are quite a few similar things like this in Japan regarding private property. Quite often I've seen signs on private parking areas threatening drivers with penalties of ¥30,000+ for using the carpark without authorisation. I saw one sign that stated a ¥30,000 penalty for using the car park to turn around. However, there is no legislation to make people pay these stupid fines, as in this case as well. It is very unlikely he will have to pay anything and even if the court rules in the convenience store's favor, there is no law to actually make him pay or penalties for defaulting on the penalty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Give the Yakuza Y50,000 and they rough the car or owner up a bit. People need recourse in this type of situation. not even that a 300yen spray can with the words thief in Japanese sprayed down the side of the car should suffice . just be sure you keep your face out of view of the security cameras.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There was an article a while back about a similar issue with illegal parking at a konbini. It was mentioned that the business owner wasn't legally allowed to move the car because the car was private property, and the business owner would be breaking the law.

I know that sounds stupid. Well, it is stupid. But, that's the reason these cars aren't towed like in much of the rest of the world in these situations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You cannot take the law into your own hands but it is possible to make a civil claim to remove the obstruction on your premises.

On the criminal side, obstruction to business comes to mind as an applicable crime. Tresspass also.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@seif: when someone parks in your spot that's when you park right behind them and they cannot leave.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

second warning just tow his car why wait so long to take action?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Next thing you have to pay to park and use the toilet.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Also, don’t trust the police to help you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

https://www.myparkingsign.com/MPS/Customer_Parking_Signs.aspx

Customer Parking - Unauthorized Cars Will Be Towed Away At Owner's Expense

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You could also take the alternative view that if you cannot move the car, neither can the owner.

Wheel clamps. There you go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure most drivers have done it too.

Don't assume something to assuage your own conscience. In the bigger scheme of things maybe it's not THAT big of a deal to you, but it's a personal morals and ethics issue, you either have them or you don't.

Customer Parking - Unauthorized Cars Will Be Towed Away At Owner's Expense

Funny! Are you suggesting they contact the American police? Those signs are meaningless HERE

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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