Federal court rules 'chalking' unconstitutional for parking enforcement

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A way to enforce parking limits could be a violation of rights according to a recent federal ruling. A federal court ruled Monday marking tires on a vehicle is like entering private property without permission.

A Michigan woman argued the practice was a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The court ruled "chalking" is an unreasonable search of private property.

The ruling is from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit which only applies to Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. However, the "chalking" practice is used in cities across Kansas including Wichita.

We asked people who work in downtown Wichita if they see it as a problem.

"It doesn't bother me at all to make sure we're all honest and stay only two hours where we're supposed to," said Denice Klassen.

"I guess I can see peoples' perspectives on it. I personally wouldn't have a problem with it," said Krystal Iseminger.

The City of Wichita issued the following statement:

"The City has no policy that requires the marking of tires be utilized to establish a parking violation. It is one of many methods utilized to determine how long vehicles are parked in any location. The opinion in this case is from the 6th Circuit, which is not binding on Kansas Courts. We will continue to evaluate the ruling and our enforcement practices as we go forward."

The city says this kind of parking enforcement is handled by transit and mostly happens in the downtown area.