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(a) The Police Department or Building Department may immediately remove a vehicle from public property or any other place open to travel by the public and impound the vehicle in any of the following circumstances:
(1) If the vehicle is in such a condition that the continued operation of the vehicle upon the highway would constitute an immediate hazard to the public.
(2) If the vehicle is parked upon the highway in such a manner as to create an immediate public hazard or an obstruction of traffic.
(3) When a vehicle is left unattended on a bridge, viaduct, causeway, subway, tube or tunnel where the vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic.
(4) When a disabled vehicle on a street constitutes an obstruction to traffic and the person in charge of the vehicle is, by reason of physical injury, incapacitated and unable to provide for the vehicle's custody or removal.
(5) When a vehicle is left unattended on a street and is parked in a manner which constitutes a definite hazard or obstruction to the normal movement of traffic.
(6) When a vehicle is found being driven on the street or highways in an unsafe condition which endangers persons or property.
(7) When a vehicle is left continuously unattended on a street for more than seventy-two hours and may be presumed to be abandoned.
(8) When the driver of the vehicle is taken into custody by the Police Department or Building Department and the vehicle would thereby be left unattended on the street.
(9) When removal is necessary in the interest of public safety because of fire, flood, storm, snow, or other emergency reason.
(10) When a vehicle is found parked in a tow-away zone which is designated by the City and which is properly sign posted.
(b) The Police Department or Building Department, after impounding a vehicle under subsection (a), shall do all of the following:
(1) Check to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
(2) Within forty-eight hours after impounding a vehicle, entered the vehicle as impounded into the law enforcement information network.
(3) Within seven days, excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays, after impounding the vehicle, send a notice that the vehicle has been impounded to the owner and the secured party, if any, by certified mail. Each notice shall contain the following information:
A. The year, make and vehicle identification number of the vehicle.
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.
E. The location where the vehicle is being held.
F. The procedure to redeem the vehicle.
G. The date by which the vehicle must be redeemed.
H. That a procedure exists to contest the impoundment of the vehicle.
I. A warning that the failure to redeem the vehicle or to contest the impoundment of the vehicle within twenty-one days after the date of this 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, or to both the vehicle and the proceeds.
(c) If the owner does not contest the impoundment of the vehicle, he or she may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying the accrued charges to the custodian of the vehicle.
(d) If the owner does contest the impoundment of the vehicle, the matter shall be resolved after a hearing conducted in the district court of the City. An owner who contests the impoundment of the vehicle may obtain release of the vehicle by posting a bond as determined by the court.
(e) After the disposition of the hearing described in subsection (d) and, if a hearing is not requested, not less than twenty-one days nor more than one hundred eighty days after the date the notice described in subsection (b)(3) is sent, the Police Department shall offer the vehicle for sale at a public sale unless the vehicle is redeemed.
(f) A public sale shall be conducted in the following manner:
(1) It shall be under the control of the Police Department or Building Department.
(2) It shall be open to the public and consist of open action bidding.
(3) It shall be held not less than five days after public notice of the sale has been published. The public notice shall be published at least once in the newspaper having a general circulation within the City. The public notice shall give a description of the vehicle for sale and shall state the time, date and location of the sale.
(g) The money received from the public sale of the vehicle shall be applied in the following order of priority:
(1) Towing and storage charges.
(2) Expenses incurred by the Police Department or Building Department.
(3) Remainder to the secured party, if any. If there is not a secured party, remainder to the owner. If the remainder of the money is not claimed by the secured party or the owner within thirty days after the sale, it shall become the property of the city.
(h) If there are no bidders on the vehicle, the Police Department and Building Department may do one of the following:
(1) Turn the vehicle over to the towing firm to satisfy charges against the vehicle.
(2) Obtain title to the vehicle for the city by doing the following:
A. Paying the towing and storage charges.
B. Applying for title to the vehicle.
(3) Hold another public sale pursuant to subsection (f).
(i) Within two days, excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays, after the disposition of the vehicle, the Police Department or Building Department shall do both of the following:
(1) Notify the Secretary of State of the disposition.
(2) Cancel the entry into the law enforcement information network described in subsection (b)(2).
(Ord. 2000-14. Passed 6-20-00.)