9-92-080  Release procedure for impounded vehicles.
   (a)   Unless a vehicle is held pursuant to applicable state, federal or any other law, or a court order or warrant that authorizes the continued impoundment of the vehicle, the owner or other person entitled to possession of a vehicle impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 may obtain immediate release of the vehicle by paying the full amount of the applicable towing and storage fees, as provided in subsection (b), plus all amounts due for outstanding final determinations of parking, standing, compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system or automated speed enforcement system violations incurred by the owner, including all related collection costs and attorney's fees authorized under Section 1-19-020. Regardless of whether the owner or other person entitled to possession obtains immediate release of the vehicle through making full payment, such person may request a hearing before the department of administrative hearings to be held in accordance with Section 2-14-135 of this Code.
   (b)   The owner or other person entitled to possession of a vehicle lawfully impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 or Section 9-100-120 shall pay a fee of $150.00, or $250.00 if the vehicle has a gross weight of 8,000 pounds or more, to cover the cost of the towing and a fee of $25 per day or $50 per day if the vehicle has a gross weight of 8,000 pounds or more, to cover the cost of storage, provided that:
      (i)   no fees shall be assessed for any tow or storage with respect to a tow which has been determined to be erroneous;
      (ii)   with respect to a vehicle that is held pursuant to applicable state, federal or any other law, or a court order or warrant that authorizes the continued impoundment of the vehicle:
         (A)   no storage fee shall be charged during the continued impoundment of the vehicle if such vehicle cannot be released or is not released to the owner because of such law, order or warrant; and
         (B)   only storage fee assessed by the court that authorized the continued impoundment of the vehicle shall be charged if such court orders the release of the vehicle to the owner;
      (iii)   except as otherwise provided in this subsection, no more than $1,000 shall be charged or collected to cover the cost of storage per vehicle, regardless of the size of the vehicle or the duration of the storage; and
      (iv)   no more than a one-day storage fee shall be charged to cover cost of storage per vehicle, if the vehicle is disposed of pursuant to Section 9-92-100.
   (c)   A lienholder asserting its right to possession of an impounded vehicle pursuant to its conditional sales agreement may obtain immediate release of such vehicle by: (1) paying the applicable towing and storage fees provided in subsection (b) of this section and agreeing in writing to refund to the City the net proceeds of any foreclosure sale, less any amounts necessary to pay all lien holders of record, up to the total amount of any outstanding penalties imposed under subsection (a); (2) submitting a copy of the conditional sales agreement and title certificate; (3) submitting an affidavit stating that the purchaser is in default of the agreement; and (4) submitting an indemnification certificate executed by an authorized agent of the lienholder.
   (d)   The requirements of subsection (a) shall apply to a lessor referred to in Section 2-14-132 (i) of this Code only to the extent of such outstanding final determinations of parking, standing or compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system or automated speed enforcement system violations for which the lessor is legally liable with respect to such impounded vehicle.
   (e)   Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no impounded vehicle shall be released and operated on the public ways of the City without a current state registration plate registered to the impounded vehicle and unless the vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy. In addition, if an impounded vehicle is required to be licensed under Chapter 3-56 of this Code, no such vehicle shall be released without a valid City of Chicago wheel tax license emblem. The owner of an impounded rental or commercial motor vehicle may meet the wheel tax license emblem requirement of this subsection by presenting proof of ownership of the impounded rental or commercial motor vehicle and a receipt issued by the office of the City Clerk showing that the owner has purchased wheel tax license emblems for the owner's rental or commercial motor vehicles in accordance with Chapter 3-56 of this Code.
   (f)   Any vehicle impounded by the City or its designee shall be subject to a possessory lien in favor of the City in the amount required to obtain release of the vehicle.
   (g)   Notwithstanding any provision of this Code to the contrary and notwithstanding the fact that the vehicle is included in an immobilization list pursuant to Section 9-100-120, the owner or other person entitled to possession of a vehicle impounded pursuant to Section 9-92-030 shall not be subject to any penalty or fee associated with the impoundment and may obtain immediate release of the vehicle if the City nonsuits or an administrative law officer dismisses all of the alleged offenses for which the vehicle was impounded.
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 11-17-93, p. 42192; Amend Coun. J. 11-10-94, p. 59125; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-01, p. 75777, § 5.8; Amend Coun. J. 7-31-02, p. 90675, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 10-6-05, p. 56698, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-18-09, p. 76558, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-17-10, p. 106597, Art. III, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-28-11, p. 5048, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 11-26-13, p. 67528, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 10-28-15, p. 11951, Art. III, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 11-16-16, p. 37901, Art. VIII, § 10; Amend Coun. J. 7-22-20, p. 18957, § 6)