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(A) All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing, and to ask reasonable questions of other witnesses, in the discretion of the hearing officer. The formal rules of evidence shall not apply at the hearing and hearsay evidence shall be admissible.
(B) If after the hearing, the hearing officer determines by a preponderance of evidence that the motor vehicle was used in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, any violation of this chapter, or any violation of any statute or ordinance referenced in this chapter, then the hearing officer shall enter an order finding the owner of record of the motor vehicle civilly liable to the village for the applicable administrative fee.
(C) If after a hearing, the hearing officer determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the motor vehicle was not used in connection with such a violation, the hearing officer shall enter an order finding for the owner and for the return of the motor vehicle.
(D) If the owner of record requests a hearing but fails to appear at the hearing or fails to request a hearing in a timely manner, the owner of record shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to a hearing and hearing officer shall enter a default order in favor of the village in the amount of the administrative fee. However, if the owner of record pays such administrative fee and the motor vehicle is returned to the owner, no default order need be entered where the owner is informed of his or her right to a hearing and signs a written waiver. An order and finding of liability to the village for the administrative fee shall be deemed to have been made when the village receives the signed written waiver.
(E) All of the following four requirements shall apply to any administrative hearing conducted under this section:
(1) Administrative hearings shall be conducted by a hearing officer who is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state for a minimum of three years;
(2) At the conclusion of the administrative hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision either sustaining or overruling the vehicle impoundment;
(3) If the basis for the vehicle impoundment is sustained by the administrative hearing officer, any administrative fee posted to secure the release of the vehicle shall be forfeited to the municipality; and
(4) All final decisions of the administrative hearing officer shall be subject to review under the provisions of the Illinois Administrative Review Law, ILCS Ch. 735, Act 5, §§ 3-101 et seq.
(Ord. 13-10, passed 12-17-2013)