(A)   If an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor is not claimed under § 93.04 of this code:
      (1)   The owner or lienholder:
         (a)   Waives all rights and interests in the item; and
         (b)   Consents to the sale of the item by public auction.
      (2)   The Police Department may sell the item at a public auction or use the item as provided by § 93.07 of this code.
   (B)   (1)   Notice of the auction shall be given by publication as set forth in § 93.04(C).  The publication shall specify:
         (a)   The motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor being auctioned; and
         (b)   The time, date, and location of the auction.
      (2)   This publication shall be completed at least 10 days prior to the auction.  A garagekeeper who has a garagekeeper’s lien shall be notified of the time and place of the auction by a letter from the Police Department.
   (C)   The purchaser of a motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor:
      (1)   Takes title free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership;
      (2)   Shall receive a sales receipt from the Police Department; and
      (3)   Is entitled to register the motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor and receive a certificate of title.
   (D)   Any motor vehicle not redeemed as provided by law shall be sold at public auction in the manner provided by the Chief of Police.  Before selling those motor vehicles, the impounder shall post 2 notices of sale, 1 at the County Courthouse and 1 at the Main Street entrance of City Hall.  The notice shall describe the impounded motor vehicles to be sold by year, make, and model, state that the same is unredeemed and is being sold at public auction pursuant to state law, and state the time, date, place, and manner of sale.  The notice shall further state that the purchaser of the motor vehicle shall take title to the motor vehicle free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership, and is entitled to register the purchased vehicle and receive a certificate of title.  The notice may contain multiple listings of abandoned motor vehicles.  Failure to give the notice required by this division, in whole or in part, shall not affect the sale of the motor vehicle, it being the intention of the City Council that following the above procedures for giving notice of the sale shall not be a condition of the sale but merely a means of advertising the sale to potential bidders.
   (E)   The Police Department is entitled to reimbursement from the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, watercraft, or outboard motor for:
      (1)   The cost of the auction;
      (2)   Towing, preservation, and storage fees resulting from the taking into custody; and
      (3)   The cost of notice or publication as required by § 93.04.
   (F)   After deducting the reimbursement allowed under division (E), the proceeds of the sale shall be held for 90 days for the owner or lienholder of the vehicle.
   (G)   After the period provided by division (F), proceeds unclaimed by the owner or lienholder shall be deposited in an account that may be used for the payment of auction, towing, preservation, storage, and notice and publication fees resulting from taking other vehicles, watercraft, or outboard motors into custody if the proceeds from the sale of the other items are insufficient to meet those fees.
   (H)   The city may transfer funds in excess of $1,000 from the account to the city’s general revenue account to be used by the Police Department.
   (I)   The Police Department, or its delegate, shall keep a record book which shall contain a description by year, make, and model of all motor vehicles impounded; the date and time of the impounding; the date notices of impounding were advertised or mailed to lienholders and owners of record and the return receipts therefrom; the date the motor vehicle was redeemed or sold; the amount realized for each motor vehicle at its sale; the amount of fees to which the impounder is entitled pursuant to this section, the name and address of the buyer; the name and address of the garagekeeper, if any, entitled to recover his or her charges for servicing, storage, or repair of the motor vehicle upon redemption or sale, and the amount of his or her charges; and any other information the Mayor may deem necessary.
(Ord. 329, passed 11-18-1996)
Statutory reference:
   Auction of abandoned motor vehicles, see Tex. Trans. Code, §§ 683.014 and 683.015