Fairview Heights is sixth city to face class action over DUI tow fees

Kelly Holleran Dec. 21, 2011, 12:50am


A sixth Metro-East city faces a class action lawsuit allegations it overcharged for towing fees after arresting drivers accused of driving under the influence.

Koren Earlin, who had been accused of driving under the influence, claims that Fairview Heights charged him hundreds of dollars in fees to retrieve his towed vehicles. Earlin claims, however, if a car is towed under any other circumstances, the city charges "a fraction of that amount," according to the complaint filed Dec. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

On the same day in Madison and St. Clair County, five other plaintiffs filed nearly identical lawsuits against the cities of Edwardsville, Collinsville, Granite City, Alton and O'Fallon.

In his complaint, Earlin says he was cited and arrested on Jan. 18. His car was also towed, and Earlin was also required to pay a $500 level one administrative fee to Fairview Heights before he could retrieve his vehicle, according to the complaint.

Earlin is seeking a refund for the administrative fee he was forced to pay, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Eric D. Holland and Steven L. Groves of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis and Brian L. Polinske of Polinske and Associates in Edwardsville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 11-L-665, 11-L-666.

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