158-39.1 REMOVAL OR IMMOBILIZATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES WITH MORE THAN TWO (2) OUTSTANDING PARKING VIOLATIONS
A. Any motor vehicle parked on the public highways or public grounds against which there are three (3) or more unpaid or otherwise unsettled parking violation notices may be removed to a place within the Town of Front Royal or in Warren County designated by the chief law enforcement officer for the temporary storage of the vehicle, or the vehicle may be immobilized in a manner which will prevent its removal or operation except by authorized law enforcement personnel. Removal shall be carried out by or under the direction of a law enforcement officer.
B. It shall be the duty of the law enforcement personnel removing or immobilizing the motor vehicle or under whose direction such vehicle is removed or immobilized, to inform as soon as practicable the owner of the removed or immobilized vehicle of the nature and circumstances of the prior unsettled parking violation notices for which the vehicle was removed or immobilized. As promptly as possible, each removal also shall be reported to the Town Manager.
C. The owner of the removed or immobilized motor vehicle, or other person acting on his behalf, shall be permitted to repossess or to secure the release of the vehicle by payment of the outstanding parking violation notices for which the vehicle was removed or immobilized and by payment of all costs incidental to the immobilization, removal, and storage of the vehicle, and the efforts to locate the owner of the vehicle.
D. Should the owner fail or refuse to pay such fines and costs, or should the identity or whereabouts of the owner be unknown and unascertainable, the motor vehicle may be sold in accordance with the procedures set forth below.
E. The Chief of Police shall, within fifteen (15) days, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, notify the owner of record of the motor vehicle and all persons having security interests in the vehicle of record, that it has been taken into custody. The notice shall (i) state the year, make, model, and serial number of the abandoned motor vehicle; (ii) set forth the location of the facility where it is being held; and (iii) inform the owner and any persons, having security interests of their right to reclaim it within fifteen (15) days after the date of the notice after payment of all towing, preservation, and storage charges resulting from placing the vehicle in custody. The notice shall state that the failure of the owner or persons having security interests to reclaim the vehicle within the time provided shall constitute (i) a waiver by the owner and all persons having any security interests of all right, title, and interest in the vehicle and (ii) consent to the sale of the abandoned motor vehicle at a public auction.
If records of the Department of Motor Vehicles contain no address for the owner or no address of any person shown by the Department's records to have a security interest, or if the identity and addresses of the owner and all persons having security interests cannot be determined with reasonable certainty, notice by publication once in a newspaper of general circulation in the area from where the motor vehicle was removed shall be sufficient to meet all requirements of notice.
F. If a motor vehicle removed pursuant to this Section is not reclaimed as provided in this section, the Chief of Police shall sell it at public auction. The purchaser of the motor vehicle shall take title to the motor vehicle free of all liens and clams of ownership of others, shall receive a sales receipt at the auction, and shall be entitled to apply to and receive from the Department of Motor Vehicles a certificate of title and registration card for the vehicle.
From the proceeds of the sale of such removed motor vehicle the Town or its authorized agent shall reimburse itself for the expenses of the auction, the cost of towing, preserving, and storing the vehicle which resulted from placing the motor vehicle in custody, and all notice and publication costs incurred pursuant to this section. Any remainder from the proceeds of a sale shall be held for the owner of the motor vehicle or any person having security interests in the vehicle, as their interests may appear, for ninety (90) days, and then be deposited into the treasury of the Town.
(Ord. No. 9- 2001 Added Entire Section 9-10-01-Effective Upon Passage)