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Findings and purpose. M.S. Chapter 168B and Minnesota Rules Chapter 7035, as they may be amended from time to time, are hereby adopted by reference. Sections 95.01 through 95.09 and §§ 95.30 and 95.31 are adopted under the authority of M.S. § 168B.09 Subdivision 2, as it may be amended from time to time. If any of theses provisions are less stringent than the provisions of M.S. Chapter 168B or Minnesota Rules Chapter 7035, as it may be amended from time to time, the statute or rule shall take precedence.
(A) Definitions. For the purpose of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE. A motor vehicle as defined in M.S. § 169.011, as it may be amended from time to time, that:
(a) Has remained illegally for a period of more than 48 hours on any property owned or controlled by a unit of government, or more than 4 hours on that property when it is properly posted; or on private property for a period of time, as determined under M.S. § 168B.04 Subdivision 2, without consent of the person in control of the property; and
(b) Lacks vital component parts, it in an inoperable condition, or has no substantial potential for further use consistent with its usual functions, unless it is kept in an enclosed garage or storage building.
(c) A classic car or pioneer car, as defined in M.S. § 168.10 as it may be amended from time to time, it not considered an abandoned vehicle.
(d) Vehicles on the premises of junk yards and automobile graveyards that are defined, maintained, and licensed in accordance with M.S. § 161.242 as it may be amended from time to time, or that are licensed and maintained in accordance with local laws and zoning regulations, are not considered abandoned vehicles.
(e) A vehicle being held for storage by agreement or being held under police authority or pursuant to a writ or court order is not considered abandoned, nor may it be processed as abandoned while the police hold, writ, or court order is in effect.
VITAL COMPONENT PARTS. Those parts of a motor vehicle that are essential to the mechanical functioning of the vehicle, including, but not limited to, the motor, transmission and wheels.
(B) Custody. The city may take into custody and impound any abandoned motor vehicle.
(1) The city shall give notice of the taking within 10 days.
(2) The notice shall set forth the date and place of the taking, the year, make, model and serial number of the abandoned motor vehicle, if that information can be reasonably obtained, and the place where the vehicle is being held, shall inform the owner and any lien holders of their right to reclaim the vehicle under division (D) below, and shall state that failure of the owner or lien holder to exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle and contents shall be deemed a waiver by them of all rights, title and interest in the vehicle and a consent to the sale of the vehicle and contents at a public auction pursuant to division (E) below.
(3) The notice shall be sent by registered mail to the registered owner, if any, of the abandoned motor vehicle and to all readily identifiable lien holders of record.
(4) If it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and address of the registered owner and all lien holders, the notice shall be published once in the official newspaper. Published notices may be grouped together for convenience and economy.
(D) Right to reclaim.
(1) The owner or any lien holder of an abandoned motor vehicle shall have a right to reclaim that vehicle from the city upon payment of all towing and storage charges resulting from taking the vehicle into custody within 15 days after the date of the notice required by this section.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair any lien of a garage keeper under the laws of this state, or the right of the lien holder to foreclose.
(3) For the purposes of this division (D), GARAGE KEEPER is an operator of a parking place or establishment, an operator of a motor vehicle storage facility, or an operator of an establishment for the servicing, repair or maintenance of motor vehicles.
(E) Public sale.
(1) An abandoned motor vehicle and contents taken into custody and not reclaimed under division (D) above shall be sold to the highest bidder at public auction or sale, following 1 notice published at least 7 days prior to the auction or sale.
(2) The purchaser shall be given a receipt in a form prescribed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, which shall be sufficient title to dispose of the vehicle.
(3) The receipt shall also entitle the purchaser to register the vehicle and receive a certificate of title, free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership. Before a vehicle is issued a new certificate of title, it must receive a motor vehicle safety check.
(4) From the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, the city shall reimburse itself for the cost of towing, preserving and storing the vehicle, and all administrative, notice and publication costs incurred pursuant to this subchapter.
(5) Any remainder from the proceeds of a sale shall be held for the owner of the vehicle or entitled lien holder for 90 days and then shall be deposited in the general fund of the city.
(F) Disposal of vehicles not sold. Where no bid has been received for an abandoned motor vehicle, the city may dispose of it in accordance with this section.
(G) Contracts and disposal.
(1) The city may contract with any qualified person for collection, storage, incineration, volume reduction, transportation or other services necessary to prepare abandoned motor vehicles and other scrap metal for recycling or other methods of disposal.
(2) Where the city enters into a contract with a person duly licensed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Agency shall review the contract to determine whether it conforms to the Agency’s plan for solid waste disposal. A contract that does so conform may be approved by the Agency. Where a contract has been approved, the Agency may reimburse the city for the costs incurred under the contract that have not been reimbursed.
(3) If the city utilizes its own equipment and personnel for disposal of the abandoned motor vehicle, it shall be entitled to reimbursement for the cost thereof along with its other costs as herein provided.
(Prior Code, § 11.301) (Am. Ord. 330, passed 4-5-2010; Am. Ord. 336, passed 6-6-2016)