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(a) Police officers are authorized to provide for the removal and impounding of a vehicle under the following circumstances:
(1) When any vehicle is left unattended upon any street, bridge or causeway and is so illegally parked so as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic, or so as to unreasonably interfere with street cleaning or snow removal operations;
(2) When any motor vehicle, including an abandoned junk motor vehicle, as defined in Ohio R.C. 4513.63, is left on private residential property, as defined in Section 452.05(d), or on private agricultural property, for at least four consecutive hours without the permission of the person having the right to the possession of the property, or on a public street or other property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel, or upon or within the right-of-way of any road or highway, for forty-eight consecutive hours or longer, without notification to the Police Chief of the reasons for leaving such vehicle in such place, except that when such a motor vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic, it may be ordered into storage immediately;
(3) When any vehicle has been stolen or operated without the consent of the owner;
(4) When any vehicle displays illegal license plates or fails to display the current lawfully required license plates;
(5) When any vehicle has been used in or connected with the commission of a felony;
(6) When any vehicle has been damaged or wrecked so as to be inoperable or violates equipment provisions of this Traffic Code whereby its continued operation would constitute a condition hazardous to life, limb or property;
(7) When any vehicle is left unattended due to the removal of an ill, injured or arrested operator;
(8) When any vehicle has been operated by any person who has failed to stop in case of an accident or collision;
(9) When any vehicle has been operated by any person who is driving without a lawful license or while his or her license has been suspended or revoked;
(10) When any vehicle is found for which two or more citation tags for violations of this Traffic Code have been issued and the owner or operator thereof has failed to respond to such citation tags as lawfully required.
(b) The Director of Public Safety is hereby authorized to designate any land suitable for the purpose, now owned by the City, as a place where vehicles which have been impounded by the Police Department may be kept. In the event that no land owned by the City is available, the Director may designate privately owned premises as a place where vehicles may be impounded.
Whenever a vehicle has been impounded a report shall be made to the Chief of Police or the officer then in charge of the Police Department, and a record shall be made of each vehicle so impounded and of any other information relative to the violation for which it was impounded and the name of the owner of the vehicle if at such time the name can be ascertained.
(1972 Code § 303.08)
(c) Any vehicle removed under authority of paragraph (a)(2) hereof shall be ordered into storage and/or disposed of as provided under Ohio R.C. 4513.60 et seq. Any other vehicle removed under authority of this section shall be ordered into storage and the Police Department shall forthwith notify the registered vehicle owner of the fact of such removal and impounding, reasons therefor and the place of storage. Any person desiring to redeem an impounded vehicle shall appear at the Police Department to furnish satisfactory evidence of identity and ownership or right to possession. Prior to issuance of a release form, the claimant, owner or operator shall either pay the amount due for any fines for violations on account of which such vehicle was impounded or, as the court may require, post a bond in an amount set by the court, to appear to answer to such violations. There is hereby created in favor of the pound owner and/or pound operator a lien in favor of the towing and/or impound entities so that the towing operator may recoup the towing charges and/or storage charges as a result of the impoundment ordered by the City. The impounded vehicle may only be released when the lien has been satisfied in favor of the towing operator and/or the pound operator. Further, the lien hereby created shall allow the towing operator and/or the pound operator to maintain possession of the vehicle towed until any and all towing and/or storage charges have been paid. The pound operator shall release such vehicle upon the receipt of the release form and payment of all towing and storage charges.
(Ord. 1995-106. Passed 6-6-95.)
(d) No owner or operator shall remove an impounded vehicle from the place of storage without complying with the above procedure. Possession of a vehicle which has been impounded and unlawfully taken from the place of storage, by the owner or operator, shall constitute prima facie evidence that it was so removed by the owner or operator.