638.01  DISPOSITION OF ABANDONED VEHICLES.
   (a)   As used in this chapter, “abandoned vehicle” means a vehicle which has remained on public property or private property for a period of forty-eight hours after the Police Department or Building Department has affixed a written notice to the vehicle, or if said vehicle is not currently capable of being started and/or safely and properly operated on the highway.
(Ord. 2006-06.  Passed 4-4-06; Ord. 2008-04.  Passed 8-19-08.)
   (b)   If a vehicle has remained on public property or private property for a period of time so that it appears to the Police or Building Department to be abandoned, the Police Department or Building Department shall do all of the following:
      (1)   Determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
      (2)   Affix a written notice to the vehicle. The written notice shall contain the following information:
         A.   The date and time the notice was affixed.
         B.   The name and address of the Police Department or Building Department.
         C.   The name and badge number of the police officer affixing the notice.
         D.   The date and time the vehicle may be taken into custody and stored at the owner's expense or scrapped if the vehicle is not removed.
         E.   The year, make and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if available.
   (c)   If the vehicle is not removed within seventy-two hours after the date the notice was affixed, the vehicle is deemed abandoned and the Police Department or Building Department may take the vehicle into custody.
   (d)   The police or building department shall do all of the following:
      (1)   Recheck to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
      (2)   Within forty-eight hours after taking the vehicle into custody, enter the vehicle as abandoned into the law enforcement information network.
      (3)   Within seven days after taking the vehicle into custody, send to the registered owner and secured party, as shown by the records of the Secretary of State, by first class mail or personal service, notice that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned. The form for the notice shall be furnished by the Secretary of State. Each notice shall contain all the following information:
         A.   The year, make and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if available.
         B.   The location from which the vehicle was taken into custody.
         C.   The date on which the vehicle was taken into custody.
         D.   The name and address of the Police Department or Building Department which had the vehicle taken into custody.
         E.   The business address of the custodian of the vehicle.
         F.   The procedure to redeem the vehicle.
         G.   The procedure to contest the fact that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned or the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees.
         H.   A form petition which the owner may file in person or by mail with the specified court which requests a hearing on the Police Department's or Building Department's action.
         I.   A warning that the failure to redeem the vehicle or to request a hearing within twenty days after the date of the notice may result in the sale of the vehicle and the termination of all rights of the owner and the secured party to the vehicle or the proceeds of the sale.
   (e)   The registered owner may contest the fact that the vehicle has been deemed abandoned or the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees by requesting a hearing. A request for a hearing shall be made by filing a petition with the court specified in the notice within twenty days after the date of the notice. If the owner requests a hearing, the matter shall be resolved after a hearing conducted pursuant to M.C.L.A. 257.252e and 257.252f, as amended, the Act. An owner who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by posting a towing and storage bond in an amount equal to the accrued towing and storage fees with the court. The owner of a vehicle who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by paying the towing and storage fees instead of posting the towing and storage bond. If the court finds that the vehicle was not properly deemed abandoned, the Police or Building Department shall reimburse the owner of the vehicle for the accrued towing and storage fees.
   (f)   If the owner does not request a hearing, he or she may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying the accrued charges to the custodian of the vehicle.
   (g)   If the owner does not redeem the vehicle or request a hearing within twenty days after the date of the notice, the secured party may obtain release of the vehicle by paying the accrued charges to the custodian of the vehicle and the Police Department or Building Department for its accrued costs.
   (h)   Not less than twenty days after the disposition of the hearing described in subsection (e) or, if a hearing is not requested, not less than twenty days after the date of the notice, the Police or Building Department shall offer the vehicle for sale at a public sale pursuant to M.C.L.A. 257.252(g), as amended.
   (i)   If ownership of a vehicle which has been deemed abandoned under this section  cannot be determined either because of the condition of the vehicle identification numbers or because a check with the records of the Secretary of State does not reveal ownership, the Police Department or Building Department may sell the vehicle at public sale pursuant to M.C.L.A. 257.252(g), as amended, not less than thirty days after public notice of the sale has been published.
(Ord. 2000-14.  Passed 6-20-00.)