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A. Impounding Procedures:
1. Establishment: The council may establish and provide one or more impounding lots for the purpose of keeping and storing impounded motor vehicles.
2. Removal Of Vehicle: Whenever any police officer finds any vehicle obstructing the traffic or improperly parked so as to be hazardous to public safety on any street or obstructing the entrance of any private driveway, or interfering with the maintenance, cleaning, repairing or snow removal on any streets 1 , or if the vehicle needs to be safeguarded after its driver has been arrested, the officer may remove the vehicle and hold it in the impounding lot or lots or until the city is reimbursed for all costs and charges of the removal and storage or until the same has been disposed of as hereinafter provided. This subsection shall be applicable to any motor vehicle found standing in or upon any street where the same has not been moved or used for a period of twenty four (24) hours, regardless of the requirements set out in this title. (Ord. 196; amd. 1967 Code §61.22)
3. Charges: The city council shall set the fee for towing a motor vehicle so impounded from the place where found to the place where it is impounded, an administrative fee and a storage fee for the motor vehicle so impounded, as established by the city's fee schedule. (Ord. 90-26, 1-22-1991; amd. Ord. 2007-30, 1-7-2008, eff. retroactive to 1-1-2008)
4. Lien: The city shall have a lien upon the motor vehicle for the tow charge and for ground use. If any sum secured by such lien be not paid within thirty (30) days after the motor vehicle has been impounded, the city may sell the property and out of the proceeds of the sale there shall be paid first, all charges and disbursements of the sale; second, all charges paid by the city to any other person in connection with the towing and storage of the motor vehicle and third, the total indebtedness then secured by the lien.
5. Foreclosure By Sale: The sale shall be made at public auction where the property is situated. A notice stating the time and place of sale, the amount which will be due on the date of sale exclusive of the expenses of advertising and sale, and the grounds of the lien, giving a general description of the property to be sold, shall be served personally on the owner of the property if the owner can be found within the city or within the county in which the property is stored, and if the owner cannot be found, then it shall be mailed to the owner at least three (3) weeks before the time fixed for the sale if the place of residence or post office address of the owner is known to the city officials or with due diligence can be learned by the city authorities, and shall be published once in each week for three (3) successive weeks in the official newspaper. The last publication of such notice shall be at least one week prior to the date of sale. In case neither the place of residence nor the post office address of such owner is known to the city authorities and cannot with reasonable diligence be learned, the publication of notice shall be sufficient to authorize such sale.
6. Sale: The property sold shall be in view at the time of the sale. Under the power of sale, any motor vehicle impounded may be sold to satisfy the amount due at the time of sale, including expenses, and the property may be offered for sale and sold in the form and condition that the same was received by the city. The city, its representatives or officials, may fairly and in good faith purchase any property sold under this section, provided the sale is conducted by the sheriff of the county, the sheriff's deputy or a licensed auctioneer.
7. Papers To Be Filed: All papers had and made in connection with the sale provided for shall be filed with the city clerk.
8. Foreclosure By Action: Nothing in this section shall prohibit the city from foreclosing the lien by action in the district court and pursuant to the order of the court made in such action.
9. Release Of Impounded Vehicles: No person shall take from the impounding lot or other place designated by the council, any impounded vehicle without first paying all charges and liens against the same.
10. Records: The police department shall keep a full and complete record of all motor vehicles impounded together with a record of all charges and fees against the same in a book provided therefor by the city. (Ord. 196; amd. 1967 Code §61.22)
B. Disposition Of Unclaimed Motor Vehicles: Any motor vehicle which is in the custody of the city by reason of having impounded the same, or otherwise lawfully coming into the possession of the city and remaining unclaimed by the owner, may be disposed of by the city at a public auction sale conducted by a representative of the police department in the following manner:
1. The vehicle must have been in possession of the city for a period of not less than thirty (30) days after the mailing of notice to the registered owner, if any.
2. Prior to disposal of any such motor vehicle, the city shall mail to the registered owner, if any, as shown by the records of the state registrar of motor vehicles, notice of its possession and intent to dispose of said motor vehicle.
3. The definition of motor vehicle shall be the same as that set forth in section 169, Minnesota statutes.
4. The motor vehicle shall be sold to the highest bidder at a public auction sale, notice of auction must be published in the official publication of the city once each week for two (2) successive weeks.
5. The net proceeds of any such sale shall be placed in the general revenue fund of the city, the net funds being described as the sale price less any costs of handling, storing or sale of such vehicle. Any such net proceeds shall be paid over to the former owner of the motor vehicle upon application and satisfactory proof of ownership within six (6) months of the sale. (Ord. 440, 10-29-1969)
C. Impound Lots To Be Used:
1. All "impounded vehicles", as defined in section 10-2-2 of this code, shall not be towed to nor kept or stored at any place other than an impound lot within the city.
2. Any motor vehicle, trailer, motorcycle or other vehicle involved in an accident within the city shall be towed to an impound lot, to a bona fide auto repair garage or to the residence or business place of the owner thereof subject to the limitations, conditions and requirements contained in this code.
3. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not to exceed seven hundred dollars ($700.00) or imprisoned in the county jail, or both. In addition to the penalties set forth herein, the city may take such additional steps as may be necessary, through means of injunction or restraining order from the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction within Clay County, Minnesota, to obtain enforcement of the provisions of this subsection. (Ord. 670, 1-22-1979)
1. See also section 5-2-6-7 of this title.