A federal judge in San Diego has ruled that some auto theft recovery companies are complying with the law.
The ruling comes after a federal judge blocked two auto theft companies from obtaining the information from a California sheriff’s office that would allow the companies to make a report about an alleged theft.
In a decision released Monday, Judge Julie Gee ruled that a federal law requiring auto theft recoveries to notify victims of car thefts requires auto theft victims to sign a statement acknowledging that they may be at risk.
“The statement is the single most important step that a victim must take to be informed that they are at risk of being victimized by a car thief,” Gee wrote.
The judge’s ruling came after a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who argued that auto theft and auto recovery companies aren’t adequately informing victims of the dangers of car theft and need to do more to notify them.
Gee wrote that the law does not require companies to notify the public about car theft, and that a failure to do so violates the federal civil rights law.
She wrote that her ruling also applies to other types of auto theft that involve property damage, such as burglary, larceny or motor vehicle theft.
In a separate ruling last week, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling that blocked the companies from receiving information about car thefts from sheriff’s offices.
In the case, the California attorney general’s office sought the information to make an investigation about a possible car theft in January.
The California attorneygeneral’s office said the companies did not notify the victim of the possible theft, but instead told the victim to call the California Highway Patrol, which has been working with law enforcement officials.
Gee ruled Monday that the California government could not use the information in that investigation because it was not a “material factor” in the investigation.
However, Gee said that the information is “relevant” to the investigation, which involves a report that is made to the California Insurance Division.
Gees ruling does not prevent auto theft investigations from continuing, and is only a temporary setback, the Associated Press reports.