Federal Judge Rules Tire Chalking Unconstitutional

DETROIT (AP) — A judge says a Michigan city violated the U.S. Constitution by chalking tires to enforce parking limits. But Saginaw won’t be forced to refund thousands of tickets. Federal Judge Thomas Ludington said Monday that Saginaw must only pay vehicle owners a dollar for each marking. Ludington says the chalking was illegal but “relatively harmless.” Saginaw staff marked tires and subsequently wrote tickets if they returned to find a vehicle was parked too long. After five years of litigation, Ludington ruled in favor of Alison Taylor, who received 14 tickets. The judge says marking tires without a warrant violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.