PRINCETON – A Bluefield woman alleges her vehicle was unlawfully impounded and searched.

Brittainy Pannell filed a complaint in Mercer Circuit Court against city of Bluefield and Tow Pro Towing LLC alleging that they violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges she received permission to park her vehicle at the property of a family friend in August 2017. In October, the suit states she was informed the Bluefield Police Department was at the property for an abandoned vehicle complaint. She alleges she went to the property to retrieve the vehicle and was told at the scene the car was being seized on the belief there were drugs and/or paraphernalia stored in the vehicle.

The suit states the vehicle was seized and towed from the site by Tow Pro. The Bluefield Police Department searched the plaintiff's vehicle and no drugs or paraphernalia was found, the suit states. The suit states the vehicle is still in custody of Tow Pro.

The plaintiff holds the city of Bluefield and Tow Pro Towing LLC responsible because the defendants allegedly violated her rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by taking custody and possession of her motor vehicle.

The plaintiff seeks an injunctive relief preventing defendant Tow Pro from destroying her vehicle, award for compensatory and punitive damages, plus interest, attorney's fees, costs and all other relief as the court may deem just and proper. She is represented by Stephanie A. Pfeifer of The Ratliff Law Firm in Bluefield. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Derek C. Swope.

Mercer Circuit Court case number 17-C-434




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