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(a) Impoundment. The City's Chief of Police, or a state highway patrol trooper, upon notification to the Chief of such action and of the location of the place of storage, may order into storage any motor vehicle, including an abandoned junk motor vehicle as defined in Section 454.08 of this Traffic Code, that:
(1) Has come into the possession of the Chief or state highway patrol trooper as a result of the performance of the Chief's or trooper's duties; or
(2) Has been abandoned on a public street or other property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel, or upon or within the right-of-way of any road or highway, for forty-eight (48) hours or longer without notification to the Chief of Police of the reasons for leaving the motor vehicle in such place. However, when such a motor vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic it may be ordered into storage immediately unless either of the following applies:
A. The vehicle was involved in an accident and is subject to ORC 4513.66; or
B. The vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle. If the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle, the Chief of Police or state highway patrol trooper shall allow the owner or operator of the vehicle the opportunity to arrange for the removal of the motor vehicle within a period of time specified by the Chief of Police or state highway patrol trooper. If the Chief of Police or state highway patrol trooper determines that the vehicle cannot be removed within the specified period of time, the Chief of Police or state highway patrol trooper shall order the removal of the vehicle.
(3) The Chief of Police is hereby authorized to investigate why the motor vehicle has remained in the same place for seventy-two (72) hours or more and may determine, in his sole discretion, whether such motor vehicle has been abandoned.
(4) Subject to Section 454.03(c), the Chief shall designate the place of storage of any motor vehicle so ordered removed.
(b) Delivery to Place of Storage. If the Chief of Police or state highway patrol trooper issues an order under division (a) of this section and arranges for the removal of a motor vehicle by a towing service, the towing service shall deliver the motor vehicle to the location designated by the Chief of Police not more than two (2) hours after the time it is removed.
(c) Notice to Vehicle Owner.
(1) The Chief of Police shall cause a search to be made of the records of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to ascertain the identity of the owner and any lienholder of a motor vehicle ordered into storage by the Chief or by a state highway patrol trooper within five (5) business days of the removal of the vehicle. Upon obtaining such identity, the Chief of Police shall send or cause to be sent to the owner or lienholder at the owner's or lienholder's last known address by certified mail with return receipt requested, notice that informs the owner or lienholder that the motor vehicle will be declared a nuisance and disposed of if not claimed within ten (10) days of the date of mailing of the notice.
(2) The owner or lienholder of the motor vehicle may reclaim the motor vehicle upon payment of any expenses or charges incurred in its removal and storage, and presentation of proof of ownership, which may be evidenced by a certificate of title or memorandum certificate of title to the motor vehicle, a certificate of registration for the motor vehicle, or a lease agreement. Upon presentation of proof of ownership evidenced as provided above, the owner of the motor vehicle also may retrieve any personal items from the vehicle without retrieving the vehicle and without paying any fee. However, a towing service or storage facility may charge an after-hours retrieval fee established by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission in rules adopted under ORC 4921.25 if the owner retrieves the personal items after hours, unless the towing services or storage facility fails to provide the notice required under ORC 4513.69(B)(3), if applicable. However, the owner shall not do either of the following:
A. Retrieve any personal item that has been determined by the Chief of Police to be necessary to a criminal investigation;
B. Retrieve any personal item from a vehicle if it would endanger the safety of the owner, unless the owner agrees to sign a waiver of liability.
For the purposes of division (c)(2) of this section, "personal items" do not include any items that are attached to the vehicle.
(3) If the owner or lienholder of the motor vehicle reclaims it after a search of the records of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been conducted and after notice has been sent to the owner or lienholder as described in this section, and the search was conducted by the place of storage, and the notice was sent to the motor vehicle owner by the owner of the place of storage or the owner's employee, the owner or lienholder shall pay to the place of storage a processing fee of twenty-five dollars ($25), in addition to any expenses or charges incurred in the removal and storage of the vehicle.
(d) Disposal of Vehicle When Unclaimed. If the owner or lienholder makes no claim to the motor vehicle within ten (10) days of the date of mailing of the notice, and if the vehicle is to be disposed of at public auction, as provided in Section 454.05 of this Traffic Code, the Chief of Police shall proceed in accordance with ORC 4513.61(D).
(e) Duties of Towing Service or Storage Facility. No towing service or storage facility shall fail to comply with this section.