6-1-9: VEHICLE SEIZURE AND IMPOUNDMENT:
   A.   A motor vehicle, operated with the permission, express or implied, of the owner of record of that motor vehicle, that is used in connection with the following violations, shall be liable to the city for an administrative penalty in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), in addition to any towing and storage fees as hereinafter provided:
      1.   Driving while the driver's license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked, in violation of section 6-303 of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended, pursuant to Illinois secretary of state action; except that vehicles shall not be subjected to seizure or impoundment if the suspension is for an unpaid citation (parking or moving) or due to failure to comply with emission testing.
      2.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle with an expired driver's license, in violation of section 6-101 of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended, if the period of expiration is greater than one year.
      3.   Operating a motor vehicle without having ever been issued a driver's license or permit, in violation of section 6-101 of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended, or operating a motor vehicle without ever having been issued a driver's license or permit due to a person's age.
      4.   Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds, or any combination thereof, in violation of section 11-501 of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended.
      5.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, an offense or in violation of the Illinois cannabis control act, as amended.
      6.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, an offense in violation of the Illinois controlled substances act, as amended.
      7.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, an offense in violation of section 24-1 (unlawful use of weapons), 24-1.5 (reckless discharge of firearms), or 24-3.1 (unlawful possession of firearms and firearm ammunition) of the Illinois criminal code of 1961, as amended.
      8.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, an offense in violation of article 16 (theft and related offenses) or 16A (retail theft) of the Illinois criminal code of 1961, as amended.
      9.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, a felony as defined in the Illinois criminal code of 1961.
      10.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle in the commission of, or in the attempt to commit, an offense for which a motor vehicle may be seized and forfeited pursuant to section 36-1 of the Illinois criminal code of 1961, as amended.
      11.   Operation or use of a motor vehicle by a person against whom a warrant has been issued by a circuit clerk in Illinois for failing to answer charges that the driver violated section 6-101 (driving without a valid license), 6-303 (driving with a suspended or revoked license), or 11-501 (driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds) of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended.
   B.   The applicability of this section and the fees for towing and storing a vehicle under this section shall be as follows:
      1.   This section shall not replace or otherwise abrogate any existing state or federal laws or city ordinances pertaining to vehicle seizure and impoundment, and these penalties shall be in addition to any penalties that may be assessed by a court for any criminal damages.
      2.   This section shall not apply if the motor vehicle used in the violation was stolen at that time and the theft was reported to the appropriate police authorities within twenty four (24) hours after the theft was discovered, or upon verifiable proof that the vehicle was stolen at the time the vehicle was impounded.
      3.   Fees for towing and storage of a motor vehicle under this section shall not exceed those approved by the city manager or chief of police for all towers authorized to tow motor vehicles for the police department.
   C.   A motor vehicle that is used in the violation of subsection A of this section shall be subject to seizure and impoundment under this section. The owner of record of such vehicle shall be liable to the city for a penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) in addition to fees for the towing and storage of the vehicle. For the purposes of this section, the "owner of record" of a motor vehicle is the record titleholder as registered with the secretary of state.
      1.   Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this section, the police officer shall provide for the towing of the motor vehicle to a facility controlled by the city or its agents. When the motor vehicle is towed, the police officer shall notify or make reasonable attempt to notify the owner, lessee, or person identifying himself or herself as the owner or lessee of the vehicle, or any person who is found to be in control of the motor vehicle at the time of the alleged violations, if there is such a person, of the fact of the seizure and of the motor vehicle owner's or lessee's right to an administrative hearing and right to request a preliminary hearing to be conducted under this section. The police officer shall also provide notice that the motor vehicle will remain impounded pending the completion of an administrative hearing, unless the owner or lessee of the vehicle or lienholder posts a cash bond in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus fees for towing and storing the motor vehicle.
      2.   Whenever the owner of a motor vehicle seized pursuant to this section requests a preliminary hearing within twelve (12) hours after the seizure, the corporation counsel of the city or his designee shall conduct such preliminary hearing within twenty four (24) hours after the seizure, excluding Sundays and holidays. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the preliminary hearing. The formal rules of evidence will not apply at the hearing. If, after the hearing, the corporation counsel or his designee determines that there is probable cause to believe that the motor vehicle was used in the violation of subsection A of this section he shall order the continued impoundment of the motor vehicle as provided in this section unless the owner of the vehicle posts with the city a cash bond in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus fees for towing and storing the motor vehicle. If the corporation counsel or his designee determines that there is no such probable cause, the motor vehicle will be returned without penalty or other fees.
      3.   Within ten (10) days after a motor vehicle is seized and impounded pursuant to this section, the city shall notify by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner of record or lessee of the vehicle, and any lienholder of record, of the date, time and location of a hearing that will be conducted pursuant to this section. The hearing shall be scheduled and held, unless continued by order of the court or hearing officer, not less than fifteen (15) days and not more than forty five (45) days after the vehicle was seized. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing. Such hearing shall be conducted pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of chapter 8 of this title. The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer who is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois for a minimum of three (3) years. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision either sustaining or overruling the vehicle impoundment. If after a hearing, it is determined by a preponderance of evidence that the motor vehicle was used in the commission of any of the violations described in subsection A of this section the motor vehicle shall continue to be impounded until the owner pays a penalty of five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus fees for towing and storage of the motor vehicle. The penalty and fees shall be a debt due and owing the city. However, if a cash bond has been posted the bond shall be applied to the penalty. If it is determined at a hearing that the motor vehicle was not used in such a violation, the vehicle or cash bond shall be returned without penalty or other fees. All final decisions of the administrative hearing officer shall be subject to review under the provisions of the Illinois administrative review law. Unless the administrative hearing officer overturns the basis for the vehicle impoundment, no vehicle shall be released to the owner, lessee, or lienholder of record until all administrative penalties and towing and storage charges are paid. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, whenever a person with a lien of record against a motor vehicle impounded under this section has commenced foreclosure proceedings, possession of the motor vehicle shall be given to that person if he agrees in writing to refund to the city the net proceeds of any foreclosure sale, less any amount necessary to pay all lienholders of record, up to the total amount of penalties imposed under this subsection C.
      4.   Any motor vehicle that is not reclaimed within thirty five (35) days after the expiration of the time during which the owner of record may seek judicial review of the city's action under this section, or the time at which a final judgment is rendered in favor of the city, or the time a final administrative decision is rendered against an owner of record who is in default, shall be deemed abandoned and may be disposed of as an abandoned or unclaimed motor vehicle as provided by law in accordance with the provisions of article II of chapter 4 of the Illinois vehicle code, as amended. (Ord. 2015.52, 4-18-2016)