303.07  IMPOUNDING OR IMMOBILIZING VEHICLES.
   (a)   City police officers are authorized to provide for the removal and impoundment or for the immobilization of a vehicle in 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 vehicle has been abandoned or junked on private or public property as provided in West Virginia Code Article 17-24.
      (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 currently 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 or West Virginia Code Article 17C-15 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 license has been suspended or revoked.
      (10)   When any vehicle is found for which ten or more unpaid tickets for violations of City Parking Ordinances have been issued.
   (b)   Any unattended motor vehicle found parked at any time upon any public thoroughfare of the City against which there are ten or more unpaid tickets or other process, charging that such vehicle was parked, stopped or standing in violation of any law, ordinance or local authority of the City, may be immobilized or impounded in such manner as to prevent its operation, by a member of the City Police Department or any other Agent assigned to traffic duty.  No such vehicle shall be immobilized or impounded by any means other than by the use of a device or other mechanism which will cause no damage to such vehicle unless it is moved while such device or mechanism is in place.
   (c)   Prior to immobilization or impoundment, the City shall provide the owner of the vehicle with at least ten (10) days notice by either causing the owner to be personally served or by posting notice conspicuously on the vehicle and mailing notice to the address at which the vehicle is registered with the State of West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
   (d)   In any case involving immobilization or impoundment of a vehicle pursuant to this article, the member of the City Police Department or the agent assigned to traffic duty immobilizing the vehicle shall cause to be placed on such vehicle, in a conspicuous manner, notice sufficient to warn any individual to the effect that such vehicle has been immobilized for failure to pay the ten or more unpaid tickets or other process, and that any attempt to move such vehicle might result in damage to such vehicle, or cite such other reason for such immobilization where applicable.
   (e)   Any vehicle removed under authority of subsection (a)(2) hereof shall be disposed of as provided under West Virginia Code Article 17-24.  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, 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 or 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.  The impound operator shall release such vehicle only upon the receipt of the release form and payment of all towage and storage charges.
   (f)    Any vehicle immobilized or impounded  under authority of subsection (a) hereof shall remain immobilized until a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for immobilization or cost of towing and all unpaid parking tickets, mailing fees and costs are paid in full.
   (g)    Any person whose vehicle is impounded or immobilized has a right to a hearing to contest the validity of the impoundment or immobilization or the amount accrued for immobilization, impoundment, removal or storage.  If a hearing is requested, the immobilized or impounded vehicle shall be released upon the posting of a bond to cover all fines and costs.
(Passed 1-10-22.)