Inmaculada M. drove her Volvo into the private parking lot under the Plaza Bisbe Berenguer Palou in Palma de Mallorca in March 2009. She selected the first parking space inside the barrier just a stone’s throw from the pay machines. As though determined to hog this prime location, she pulled on the hand brake and left it there for the next nine years, clocking up €28,000 worth of parking fees.
Finally, last week, a tow truck came to remove the car, bringing to an end a nearly decade-long legal fight. For nine years, the car park owners fought to get rid of the vehicle and collect the fee from the shadowy Inmaculada M.
Four other vehicles have also been abandoned for months
In 2013, a judge ordered the decamped motorist to pay the €28,000, but she failed to materialize. The car lot owners demanded the enforcement of the claim and Inmaculada M. was declared to be in default. But this made no difference. Months turned to years as Inmaculada M. failed to respond.
The process dragged on until 2017 when the courts awarded the parking lot owners the Volvo, though its value failed to cover even a fraction of the parking fee. With nothing to lose, they decided to wait a little longer to see if Inmaculada M. might surface, but eventually gave up the fight and called the tow truck to take the Volvo to the junk yard.
Inmaculada M’s case is not unique in this parking lot. While wrestling with her case, the car lot owners reported that four other vehicles had also been abandoned for months. One such vehicle belonged to a recently divorced couple who had become confused over who owned the car. Another motorist had died, having parked his car there to go to a nearby hospital. In all four cases, the car park owners were able to extract at least some of the parking fee. However, with €28,000 on the meter, Inmaculada M. naturally decided to steer well clear.
English version by Heather Galloway.