9-100-120  Immobilization program.
   (a)   The traffic compliance administrator is hereby authorized to direct and supervise a program of vehicle immobilization for the purpose of enforcing the parking, standing, compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system, or automated speed enforcement system ordinances of the traffic code. The program of vehicle immobilization shall provide for immobilizing any eligible vehicle located on the public way or any city-owned property by placement of a restraint in such a manner as to prevent its operation or if the eligible vehicle is parked or left in violation of any provision of the traffic code for which such vehicle is subject to an immediate tow pursuant to Section 9-92-030, or in any place where it constitutes an obstruction or hazard, or where it impedes city workers during such operations as snow removal, the traffic compliance administrator may cause the eligible vehicle to be towed to a city vehicle pound or relocated to a legal parking place and there restrained. As part of the immobilization program, the traffic compliance administrator may also establish a procedure for a self-release immobilization device which may be removed by the registered owner, or his designee, in compliance with any applicable rule promulgated by the traffic compliance administrator.
   (b)   When the registered owner of a vehicle has accumulated (i) three or more final determinations of liability or (ii) two final determinations which are more than one year past the date of issuance, for parking, standing, compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system, or automated speed enforcement system violation, or a violation of Section 9-105-020, in any combination, for which the fines, penalties, administrative fees provided pursuant to Section 9-100-160, if any, or related collection costs and attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 1-19-020 or Section 1-19-030, if applicable, have not been paid in full, the traffic compliance administrator shall cause a notice of impending vehicle immobilization to be sent, in accordance with Section 9-100-050(f). The notice of impending vehicle immobilization shall state the name and address of the registered owner, the state registration number of the vehicle or vehicles registered to such owner, and the serial numbers of parking, standing, compliance, automated traffic law enforcement system or automated speed enforcement system violation notices which have resulted in final determination of liability or which are more than one year past the date of issuance for which the fines or penalties remain unpaid. Failure to pay the fines and penalties owed within 21 days from the date of the notice will result in the inclusion of the state registration number of the vehicle or vehicles of such owner on an immobilization list. A person may challenge the validity of the notice of impending vehicle immobilization by requesting a hearing and appearing in-person to submit evidence which would conclusively disprove liability within 21 days of the date of the notice. Documentary evidence which would conclusively disprove liability shall be based on the following grounds:
      (1)   That all fines and penalties for the violations cited in the notice have been paid in full;
      (2)   That the registered owner has not accumulated three or more final determinations, or two notices which are more than one year past the date of issuance, of parking, standing, compliance, automated speed enforcement system violation, or automated traffic law enforcement system violation liability which were unpaid at the time the notice of impending vehicle immobilization was issued; or
      (3)   In the case of a violation of Section 9-102-020, Section 9-101-020, or Section 9-105-020, that the registered owner has not been issued a final determination of liability under Section 9-100-100 or Section 9-105-060.
   (c)   Upon immobilization of an eligible vehicle, a notice shall be affixed to the vehicle in a conspicuous space. Such notice shall (i) warn that the vehicle is immobilized and that any attempt to remove the vehicle may result in its damage; (ii) state that the unauthorized removal of or damage to the immobilizing device is a violation of Sections 16-1 and 21-1 of the Illinois Criminal Code; (iii) provide information specifying how release of the immobilizing device may be had; (iv) state how the registered owner may obtain an immobilization hearing; (v) state that if the immobilizing device has not been released within 24 hours of its placement, the device shall be released and the vehicle towed and impounded; (vi) provide information specifying how the registered owner may request an additional compliance time, as provided in rules, in addition to the 24 hours specified in (c)(v) of this section, before the immobilizing device is removed and the vehicle is towed and impounded; and (vii) provide information specifying how the registered owner may request an additional 15 days to retrieve his vehicle if impounded.
   (d)   (1)   The owner of an immobilized vehicle, or other person authorized by agreement with the owner or operation of law to retrieve the vehicle, may secure the release of the vehicle by entering into a payment installment plan pursuant to Section 9-100-160 and the rules promulgated thereunder.
      (2)   Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d)(1), the owner of an immobilized vehicle or other authorized person may secure the release of the vehicle by paying the applicable immobilization, towing and storage fees, and all amounts, including any fines, penalties, administrative fees provided pursuant to Section 9-100-160, if any, and related collection costs and attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 1-19-020 or Section 1-19-030, remaining due on each final determination for liability issued to the owner.
   (e)   The owner of an immobilized vehicle shall have the right to a hearing to determine whether the immobilization or any subsequent towing was erroneous, if the owner files a written request for a hearing with the traffic compliance administrator within 21 days after immobilization or within 21 days of the date of the notice sent pursuant to subsection (f) herein, whichever is later. Hearings requested pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted by an administrative law officer upon receipt of a written request for a hearing. The determination of the administrative law officer regarding the validity of the immobilization shall become final for the purpose of judicial review under the Administrative Review Law of Illinois upon issuance.
   (f)   Within ten days after a vehicle has been impounded, a notice of impoundment shall be sent by certified mail to the address of the registered owner as listed with the Secretary of State, and to any lienholder of record. The notice shall state that: (i) the owner has the right to request a post-immobilization and post-towing hearing as provided in subsection (e) herein; and (ii) if the vehicle is not claimed within 21 days from the date of notice, the vehicle may be sold or otherwise disposed of in the manner prescribed by Section 4-208 of the Illinois Vehicle Code; provided, however, that the registered owner may request from the department of streets and sanitation one extension of 15 days before a vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of. The department of streets and sanitation shall honor such a request and shall not sell or otherwise dispose of a vehicle during the 15-day extension period.
   (g)   The fee for immobilization shall be $400.00 for a truck tractor, semi-trailer or trailer, and $100.00 for any other type of vehicle, and the fee for towing subsequent to immobilization shall be as set forth in Section 9-92-080(b), provided that no fees shall be assessed for any immobilization or tow which has been determined to be erroneous.
   (h)   (1)   It is unlawful to remove, disable or damage any vehicle immobilization device, or to relocate or tow any vehicle restrained by an immobilization device without the approval of the traffic compliance administrator. The registered owner of the immobilized vehicle and any person who relocates an immobilized vehicle or removes, disables or damages an immobilization device in violation of this subsection shall each be subject to a penalty of $1,000.00 for such violation for a truck tractor, semitrailer or trailer, and $750.00 for such violation for any other type of vehicle.
      (2)   The owner of the immobilized vehicle and any person authorized by the traffic compliance administrator to remove any self-release immobilization device who fails to return such device to a location designated by the traffic compliance administrator within seven days shall be fined $50.00 for each day the person fails to return such device; provided that the total fine under this subsection shall not exceed $1,000 if the vehicle immobilized was a truck tractor, semitrailer or trailer, and $750.00 for any other type of vehicle.
      (3)   No person shall be found liable for violating both subsections (h)(1) and (h)(2) for the same incident.
      (4)   The offenses described in this subsection (h) shall be strict liability offenses as to the owner.
   (i)   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.
   (j)   Any vehicle immobilized 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.
(Prior code § 27.1-12; Added Coun. J. 3-21-90, p. 13561; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Corrected. 12-15-93, p. 44286; Amend Coun. J. 11-10-94, p. 59125; Amend Coun. J. 3-26-96, p. 19161, effective 1-1-97; Amend Coun. J. 4-29-98, p. 66564, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 12-12-01, p. 75777, § 5.12; Amend Coun. J. 7-31-02, p. 90675, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 7-9-03, p. 4349, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 7-29-03, p. 6166, § 6; Amend Coun. J. 12-15-04, p. 40508, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 7-30-08, p. 34899, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-19-08, p. 48243, Art. II, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 11-17-10, p. 106597, Art. III, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 7-28-11, p. 5048, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 4-18-12, p. 23762, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 10-28-15, p. 11951, Art. III, § 12; Amend Coun. J. 6-28-17, p. 51163, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 9-18-19, p. 4521, § 3)