Sec. 25-269. Removal or immobilization of motor vehicles against which there are outstanding parking violations.
(a) Whenever there is found parked upon the public streets or highways or public grounds of the city any motor vehicle against which there are three (3) or more outstanding, unpaid or otherwise unsettled parking violation notices or citations, such vehicle may, by towing or otherwise, be removed to another place for temporary storage and safekeeping by an officer or employee of the police department, or by any other person acting under the direction of such officer or employee, or such vehicle may be immobilized in such manner as to prevent its removal or operation.
(b) It shall be the duty of any police officer or employee of the police department removing or immobilizing the motor vehicle, or under whose direction such vehicle is removed or immobilized, to inform as soon as practical the owner of the removed or immobilized vehicle of the nature and circumstances of the prior unsettled parking violation notices or citations for which the vehicle was removed or immobilized. In any case involving immobilization of a vehicle pursuant to this section, there shall be placed on such vehicle in an conspicuous manner, a notice warning that such vehicle has been immobilized and that any attempt to move the vehicle might damage it.
(c) The owner of an immobilized vehicle, or other person acting on the owner's behalf, shall be allowed at least twenty-four (24) hours from the time of immobilization to repossess or secure the release of the vehicle. Failure to repossess or secure the release of the vehicle within that time period may result in the removal of the vehicle to a storage area for safekeeping under the direction of a police officer or employee of the police department.
(d) The owner of such immobilized motor vehicle, or other person acting on the owner's behalf, may repossess or secure the release of the vehicle by payment of the outstanding parking violations notices or citations for which the vehicle was removed or immobilized and by payment of all reasonable costs incidental to the immobilization, removal and storage of the vehicle, and the efforts to locate the owner of the vehicle. Should the owner of the vehicle fail or refuse to pay such fines and costs, or should the identity or whereabouts of such owner be unknown and unascertainable, such motor vehicle may be sold in accordance with the procedures set forth in sections 46.2-12.13 and 46.2-12.17 of the Code of Virginia. Any personal property found in any unattended or abandoned motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer may be sold incident to the sale of the vehicle as authorized in this section.
(e) The owner or other person entitled to lawful procession of a removed or immobilized motor vehicle shall have the right to request a hearing before the city manager or his designee in order to determine the validity of the removal or immobilization. A hearing must be requested in writing within fourteen (14) days after the motor vehicle is immobilized or removed. Administrative hearings will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. any weekday which is not a holiday. The hearing officer will review the circumstances and any evidence presented and decide whether just cause existed for the removal or immobilization of a motor vehicle. Anyone wishing to contest a removal or immobilization, should bring the outstanding parking violation notices or citations along with the vehicle registration and any other documentation to be presented to the hearing officer. The removal, immobilization and storage cost will be waived only if the hearing officer determines that the vehicle was improperly removed or immobilized. The hearing shall be in the form of an administrative proceeding rather than a judicial trial and the rules of evidence shall not apply. The decision of the designated hearing officer is final and is not subject to appeal.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any person of their constitutional right to a hearing in a court of competent jurisdiction as to the outstanding parking violation notices or citations which led to the removal or immobilization of the motor vehicle.
(g) The provisions of this section shall apply to motor vehicles parked at the Lynchburg Regional Airport. (Ord. No. O-95-070, 3-28-95, eff. 6-1-95; Ord. No. O-97-231, 11-25-97; Ord. No. O-09-123, 10-13-09, eff. 1-1-10)
Last updated date: 1/4/2010 7:54:18 AM