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(A) The owner of a motor vehicle which has been impounded or immobilized pursuant to this subchapter or other person entitled to possession, may challenge the validity of such impoundment or immobilization and request in writing a hearing before the Parking Violation Hearing Board. The hearing shall be conducted within ten business days of the date of the request, unless the owner or other person entitled to possession waives the limitation or the city shows good cause for such delay. The city or its designee shall retain possession of an impounded vehicle pending the hearing, unless the owner or other person claiming right of possession posts a bond in an amount equal to the fines and fees accrued as of the date of the hearing request, or $75 whichever is less. If the owner or person claiming possession of the impounded vehicle is unable to pay the amount of the bond, the hearing shall be held within 72 hours of the date the request for hearing is received, unless such person requests or agrees to a continuance.
(B) No less than five days prior to the date set for the hearing, the city shall notify the person requesting the hearing of the date, time and place of the hearing. In the case of a hearing required to be held within 72 hours of the date of the request as provided in division (A) above, the person requesting the hearing shall be informed at the time of his or her request, or as soon thereafter as is practicable, of the date and time of the hearing.
(C) Any person who refuses or except for good cause fails to appear at the time and place set for the hearing shall be deemed to have conceded on his or her and the owner’s behalf the validity of the impoundment or immobilization.
(D) At the hearing, after consideration of the evidence, the Board shall determine whether the impoundment or immobilization was valid and reasonable. Where it has not been established that the impoundment or immobilization was justified, an order releasing the vehicle shall be entered. All fines and fees paid or amounts posted as bond because of the impoundment of a vehicle shall be returned and the owner shall not be responsible for any fees owed to a designated towing company. Where it has been established that the impoundment or immobilization was justified, the Board shall uphold the impoundment or immobilization and condition the release of the vehicle upon payment of all fines and fees accruing thereto. If bond has been posted as security for release of the vehicle, the bond shall be forfeited to the city or its designee. All fines or fees in excess of the amount of the bond posted shall be ordered to be paid by the owner of the vehicle to the city. The Board shall furnish the owner or person appearing on the owner’s behalf with a copy of its order.
(E) The Board may consider a parking citation and any other written report made under oath by the issuing officer in lieu of the officer’s personal appearance at the hearing.
(F) An appeal from the Hearing Board’s determination may be made to the county’s District Court within seven days of the Board’s determination. The appeal shall be initiated by the filing of a complaint and a copy of the Board’s order in the same manner as any civil action. The action shall be tried de novo and the burden shall be on the city to establish that impoundment was justified. If the court finds that the impoundment was justified, the owner shall be ordered to pay all fees and fines accruing as of the date of judgment. If the court finds that the impoundment was not justified, the city shall be ordered to release the vehicle, if applicable, and to return all fines and fees paid as a result of the impoundment and the plaintiff shall be authorized to recover his costs.
(G) The judgment of the county’s District Court may be appealed to the county’s Circuit Court in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.
(1984 Code, § 75.79) (Ord. O-16-05, passed 3-8-2005; Ord. O-42-10, passed 12-7-2010; Ord. O-12-13, passed 3-26-2013; Ord. O-18-13, passed 6-11-2013; Ord. O-08-16, passed 5-3-2016)