City Seeks Ruling On Legality Of Car Clamping

June 30, 2014

The Corporation of Hamilton said they are “actively seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court of Bermuda in response to the suggestion from the Senior Magistrate that clamping is illegal.”

Last week another clamping case was dismissed in the Courts, with Senior Magistrate Archie Warner saying that in line with comments that he had made previously, that if someone placed an item on the property of another person without the permission of that person; then the person whose property had been impacted had the right to remove that property.

A spokesperson said, “The Corporation of Hamilton in response to the continued suggestion from the Senior Magistrate that clamping is illegal and that he will throw out all cases before him; state that the Corporation is actively seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

“It is our belief that the statements being made about the Corporation of Hamilton both in and out of the courts are not supported by both case law and rulings by the courts.

“Further, anyone clamped in a Corporation Car Park has firstly been warned by signage that any violation of the parking rules on the property will result in a clamp being installed on their vehicle.

Wheel Clamp Parking Generic (2)

“The rules which are to be followed are clearly signed and the ownership of the clamps are clearly indicated not the least of which is a six inch sticky envelope containing the ticket which explains who clamped them and why they were clamped and who to call to release the clamp.

“If someone damages the clamp on Corporation property it is no different than damaging the pay and display machine, the signage or lighting all of which are the destruction of private property and damages will be sought.

“Any threats to the Corporation of Hamilton staff during the course of their duties will not be tolerated and will be vigorously pursued with the Bermuda Police Service and if necessary in the civil courts. We will tolerate no injury or intimidation to our staff or agents properly going about the work of the Corporation.

“It is our hope that the Supreme Court will be able to bring this issue to a close at the earliest opportunity.”

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Comments (38)

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  1. Family Man says:

    Any threats to the Corporation of Hamilton staff during the course of their duties will not be tolerated”

    Only CoH Board members may threaten their staff.

  2. Ride says:

    “If someone damages the clamp on Corporation property it is no different than damaging the pay and display machine …”

    As I understand the magistrate has said that it is not the same as the machines and signage are not illegally attached to a person’s property.


  3. Ringmaster says:

    People are warned by signs. If someone damages the clamp on Corporation property it is no different than damaging the pay and display machine, the signage or lighting all of which are the destruction of private property and damages will be sought.

    It has to be a legally enforceable breach of a law that allows clamping, not just a sign or damage and that is what the Senior Magistrate is saying. Take a case to the Supreme Court as a test. So far there has been no action.

  4. i and i says:

    Business of Hamilton…..this chamber needs for you to say enough is enough….and stop this nonsense!I you don’t you will most certainly lose business…standat?

    • coolieh says:

      Really, try talking that crap in NY city!

      • For Real?? says:

        This is not NYC, Manila, Singapore, Johanasburg nor Tailand. And we don’t want their way of life. Why is that even relavant???

  5. Cardine Alice says:

    Well appeal the decision (if they can) rather than making threats and continuing to clamp. thus far the Court’s decision stands.

  6. i and i says:

    Deprivation of liberty is illegal, taking control of personal property is stealing ,a vehicle could be a lifeline to an ill or infirm person ,to do with heat ,or health (diabeties, any amblitory or dissabling ailment,with child or pet…..any of these reasons are likely to cause significant harm….what kind of liability insurance do you have chamber of commerce?You really should have it if your carrying on like this…well over a million dollars too I would say….you may need it….your actions are likely to cause harm to possible great harm….to me…that is diabollicle!

    • The Dark Knight Returns says:

      @ i and i, reading your comments……all I can say is wow……u are extremely intelligent and I agree with you. I am sitting by with my popcorn waiting to see how this plays out.

    • get real says:

      if your vehicle is your lifeline don’t park where you are not permitted to park and you will not have an issue.

      Anyone that thinks this is wrong has some real problems. Obey the signs and don’t park where you aren’t permitted to park and you will never have a problem with a clamp. How can anyone not see this? What makes you better than someone else, in that you should be allowed to park your car somewhere because you are too lazy to find appropriate parking elsewhere? Or maybe you can’t afford the parking spot, well parking is necessary when you have a car, so if you can’t afford it, don’t buy a car.

      It’s pretty simple stuff here.

      • hmmm says:

        contributory negligence could reduce the claim depending on the circumstances.

      • JADDON FRY says:

        I got drunk one friday night. got a taxi home so I didn’t drive drunk. went to pick up my car 10;30 am on a saturday it was clamped. (bullS**t)

        I went to court because I was on Jury duty. I couldn’t leave in the middle of my court case to move my vehicle. I got clamped. (Bulls**t)

        Next time I get clamped I WILL be breaking it off and throwing it in my trunk :)

    • Rich says:


  7. Bda diva says:

    One thing, though…….the C of H is persistent!

  8. nuffin but the truth says:

    The C of H thinks they are above the Law!

    it’s time they were put in their place!

    • get real says:

      It’s the idiots parking in the lots that say they will clamp you without the proper parking pass and cry because they got clamped that think they are above the law. The City displayed sufficient warnings, if you refuse to heed the warnings, you get what you deserve.

  9. i and i says:

    You choose an action,all action has consequence ….you chose by your action….your consequence…these areas are licenced to public passage and requirements there of,safety and lawful traverse…..respect existing law….and refain from interpretting law to suit your inherent greed!

  10. Jim bob says:

    The C of H want their money.

    Hopefully it sure to towards putting on other successful events like the black mayors conference…….not.

  11. Commodore JB of BBIRYC says:

    I applaud The Senior Magistrate on his decision as I have had numerous run ins with the powers that be over parking. Without going into too much detail, if I find any of my modes of transport clamped -weather it be my car, cycle, jet or any of my yachts, I will promptly remove the clamp.

    • coolieh says:

      Obey the law/rules and there is no issue!

  12. LMAO says:

    I remember there was a time when they were encouraging more people to ride motorcycles to town instead of cars, then they realized they don’t make money off motorcycles so now they have removed a large number of cycle parking and replaced them with huge sidewalks.

    Now they want to force you to pay them $100 for simply going 5 minutes over your time on a $2.50 parking vulture.

    They’re still loosing because now they spend money on clamps that are being destroyed, plus wages to pay big tall intimidating men to do something that is illegal.

  13. LMAO says:

    They talk about intimidation to their staff, I’ve seen some of those guys and clearly they hired them because they aren’t easily intimidated and will more likely intimidate the offenders instead.

  14. The Dark Knight Returns says:


    Duty to comply with directions
    12 (1) A driver about to enter, or in, or leaving, a fee car park during controlled hours shall comply with any direction contained in any sign, notice or other indication erected by the Corporation in or about the fee car park for the regulation of traffic in the fee car park.

    16 A person who—
    (a) leaves a vehicle in a fee car park during controlled hours otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of a parking pass issued to him in respect of that vehicle; or
    (b) not being the holder of a parking pass in respect of a vehicle, leaves the vehicle in a fee car park during controlled hours without exhibiting a ticket or tickets on the vehicle in conformity with paragraph 5; or
    (c) leaves a vehicle in a fee car park during controlled hours after the expiry of the validity period of a ticket or tickets exhibited on the vehicle; or
    (d) leaves a vehicle in a fee car park in contravention of a direction contained in a notice referred to in sub- paragraph (2) of paragraph 15; or
    (e) contravenes a prohibition in paragraph 9, 10 or 11, being a prohibition applying to him; or
    (f) contravenes a direction referred to in paragraph 12, being a direction applying to him,
    commits an offence.

    Punishable by way of a fine/ticket (my words) So by the look of it the CoH does not have the authority under the law to clamp any vehicle. Nowhere in any of the legislation does it give the CoH the authority to clamp offenders vehicles.

    Something tells me that the CoH if found to be clamping vehicles illegally will be pushing Gov to pass law giving them authority to clamp offending vehicles.

    • Werner says:

      How about clamping cars that where left on the front street lots at 9.10 am on a Saturday morning. Happens every Saturday, some drivers using common sense and deciding to leave their vehicles after a drink too many only to get clamped right away.

  15. Tricks are for Kids says:

    If you just adhere to the parking rules and limitations you wouldn’t have to worry about being clamped……Why make easy hard?….If everyone just followed the rules it would put the “clamping company” out of business.

    • ABM says:

      Wait a minute, are we to obey the laws or the rules?? They are two different things. You are required by law to obey the government law that was established, but rules on the other hand are not backed by the law therefore not making one required to obey them (well, in this particular instance anyway). And according to law, COH has no right to place these things on your vehicle.

    • Tricks are for Kids says:

      Sorry that you all “DISLIKE” my comment….however MY opinion remains they same…..If there is a two hour “LIMIT” why should you be “ALLOWED” to go beyond that time limit?????

      • JADDON FRY says:

        you shouldn’t, but sometimes things happen where people can’t make it back to their car on time. GIVE them a ticket! Simple. But no COH doesn’t want to ticket people because that means the ticket money will go to the Government and not to COH, can’t have that. Every dollar is theirs!!

  16. get real says:

    If there is a sign saying they will clamp your vehicle if you park there without the proper permit, you deserve the clamp. How in the world do you not see this? I am so sick of this “holier than thou” attitude around here. All this BS because someone doesn’t want to pay a fine for disobeying a fine. Brilliant, just Brilliant.

    • ABM says:

      That may be true, buy the fact still remains that according to LAW, COH does not have permission to enforce this particular sign.

    • Danielle says:

      The issue is not whether they have a sign there or not. The issue is whether the action taken by the corporation is lawful.
      If the COH has a sign posted that says “If you park here without proper permit, we will douse your car with gasoline and light it on fire” does that give them the right to do so? Are you going to say, well there was a sign posted so they were warned? Of course not! If I was to post a sign outside my business saying “No loitering. Offenders will be cracked over the head with a hammer”, doesn’t give me the right to do something illegal just because I warned the offender. Posting signs does not give people the right to take an action which is unlawful. The senior magistrate was spot on with his ruling.

      • Commodore JB of BBIRYC says:

        So correct Danielle.. Perhaps I should put a sign on my car that reads, “If a clamp is placed on my car, I will cut it off and charge you for my time.” C of H should know that my time is extremely valuable. I’d like to see them clamp one of my yachts as well!

      • LMAO says:

        I like how you explained it for them.

  17. Common Sense says:

    The COH can be legitimately criticized on numerous issues, but in this case they are acting appropriately in seeking an opinion from the Supreme Court. There are notices on private properties both inside and outside Hamilton that have been plagued with illegal parkers so much so that they are now displaying the same notices about vehicles being clamped if they are parked on private property.

    One way or another we need a ruling by a higher court to confirm if the magistrate is correct in his interpretation of the law, or the lack of it. The sooner the better.

  18. Y-Gurl says:

    Corporation are indeed a law unto themselves, I take note of the new black poles lining our streets, looks like our new national tree is a galvanized pole, why are they allowed to do what they want? Which includes clamping by the zombies in Hamilton, I see it on a regular basis old ladies coming back with their shopping to find a clamp on their car, our city is a badly engineered under visited mess which has been trenches, asphalted, re dug for years and the “engineers” seem to be happy, even the street cleaner gets a machine to lean up against most of the day which again is a reflection of the lack of management in this organization..
    Any other organization acting in this manner would have been taken apart a long time ago so who is paying attention

  19. JADDON FRY says:

    I may open up a clamp removing business. Charge 10 bucks for my time and gas to get there. I wont rip you like the COH !!!How many think i should do this ?

  20. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    A free city buss service is long over due, get the cars out of the city, the merchants are loosing out to Atlanta, because of petty parking fees.

  21. foldgers says:

    I have long stopped driving into hamilton. This occured when I had to circle almost twenty times to find parking. I now catch the bus and travel by gypsy back home if i really have to go. Now i mostly shop overseas. I dont have to dress up, and I dont have to worry about getting clamped. I havent been in town for so long it always seems new when i do get to walk around…