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(a) The City of Danville may impound a motor vehicle which is abandoned upon the streets or thoroughfares within the city or parked, stopped or standing upon a street or public way within its jurisdiction in violation of any ordinance or statute prohibiting parking, stopping or standing in the location, manner or at the time the vehicle is cited or for any other lawful reason, including but not limited to the arrest of the operator of the vehicle.
(b) All violators shall be subject to the schedule of fines levied for parking and traffic offenses. Violators shall pay all reasonable towing and handling charges, not to exceed thirty-five dollars ($35.00), and all reasonable storage charges, not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) per day or portion thereof.
(c) Impounded vehicles shall be released only upon advance payment of the towing, handling and storage charges imposed thereon, unless the owner or other person entitled to possession challenges the validity of the impoundment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. A vehicle may be released to the owner or other person entitled to possession only upon proof of ownership or right to possession. The City of Danville, any Danville police officer, or any other party in custody of the impounded motor vehicle may in their discretion require reasonable security, bond or other assurances of indemnification from a person who is not the registered owner of the vehicle prior to releasing the vehicle to such person.
(d) The owner of a motor vehicle impounded pursuant to this section or other person entitled to possession may challenge the validity of such impoundment by requesting in writing a hearing before the hearing board. The hearing shall be conducted within ten (10) business days of the date of the request, unless the owner or other person entitled to possession waives the limitation or the hearing board shows good cause for such delay. The City of Danville shall retain possession of the vehicle pending the hearing, unless the owner or other person claiming the right of possession posts a bond in the amount equal to the fine and fees accrued as of the date of the hearing request, or seventy-five dollars ($75.00) whichever is less. If the owner or person claiming possession of the vehicle is unable to pay the amount of the bond, the hearing shall be held within seventy-two (72) hours of the date the request for hearing is received, unless such person requests or agrees to a continuance.
(e) (1) No less than five (5) days prior to the date set for hearing, the person requesting the hearing shall be notified of the date, time and place of the hearing. In the case of a hearing required to be held within seventy-two (72) hours of the date of the request as provided in sub-section (d) of this section, the person requesting the hearing shall be informed at the time of request or as soon thereafter as is practicable of the date and time of the hearing.
(2) 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 behalf of that individual and on the owner's behalf the validity of the impoundment.
(3) At the hearing, after consideration of the evidence, the hearing board shall determine whether the impoundment was valid and reasonable. If the impoundment is found unjustified, an order releasing the vehicle shall be entered. All fines and fees paid or amounts posted as bond because of the impoundment of the vehicle shall be returned. If the impoundment was justified, the hearing board shall uphold the impoundment and condition the release of the vehicle upon payment of all accrued fines and fees. If bond has been posted as security for release of the vehicle, said bond shall be forfeited to the City of Danville. Any 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 of Danville. The board shall furnish the owner or person appearing on the owner's behalf with a copy of its order.
(4) The hearing 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.
(5) An appeal from the hearing board's determination may be made to the Boyle District Court within seven (7) days of the hearing board's determination. The appeal shall be initiated by the filing of a complaint and a copy of the hearing 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 of Danville 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 the impoundment unjustified, the City of Danville 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 all costs.
(6) The judgment of the Boyle District Court may be appealed to the Boyle Circuit Court in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure.
(Ord. No. 1401, § 5, 8-23-88)
State law reference--Abandoned vehicle, KRS 18-9.751