(OOLITIC) – The Oolitic Town Council over the last several months received several complaints of abandoned vehicles that blanketed the town.
In several meetings Town Council member Glen Gross asked Town Marshal Jon Jefferies to start looking into the situation.
Last week, Town Marshal Office issued a total of 39 warnings to residents to address and move the vehicles.
The ordinance gives residents a total of 10 business days, excluding the weekends and holidays. As a reprieve to allow residents to get the issues resolved.
Officials say with the Memorial Day Holiday; residents were given almost 15 days to get the problems resolved.
According to officials, only one resident has filed an appeal.
The Oolitic Town Council will meet Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to address any concerns regarding the enforcement of the town ordinance.
According to a town ordinance, officers will tag any vehicle that does not have a current license plate or does and is mechanically inoperable and has been left on private property continuously for more than 30 days.
Violators will be issued a written warning and will have ten days to remove the vehicle, get it operational, or plated.
“If the vehicle is not removed or brought into compliance with the ordinance, the owner of the vehicle will be fined $50,” says Marshal Jeffries. “The fine will then increase $25 a day until the vehicle is removed or brought into compliance.”
In addition, according to the ordinance any such vehicle, parts, and accessories may be removed and stored and the owner will be liable for any cost involved.
Here is the ordinance –
Oolitic, IN Code of Ordinances
CHAPTER 92: ABANDONED OR INOPERABLE MOTOR VEHICLES
92.01 State law adopted by reference
92.03 Town Marshal
92.04 Abandoned Vehicle Fund
92.06 Notice of impoundment
92.09 Measurement of time
92.10 Liability for loss or damage
§ 92.01 STATE LAW ADOPTED BY REFERENCE.
The Town Council adopts the rules, procedures, and definitions of the state’s abandoned vehicle statute pursuant to I.C. 9-22-1 et seq., as amended.
(1996 Code, § 6-20) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.02 DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE. Includes any of the following:
(1) A vehicle located on public property illegally or left on public property continuously without being moved for three days;
(2) A vehicle located on public property in such a manner as to constitute a hazard or obstruction to the movement of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on a public right-of-way;
(3) A vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the property owner or person in control of that property for more than 48 hours;
(4) A vehicle from which the engine, transmission, or differential has been removed, or that is otherwise partially
dismantled or inoperable and left on public property;
(5) A vehicle that has been removed by a towing service or a public agency upon request of an officer enforcing a statute or ordinance other than this chapter, if the impounded vehicle is not claimed or redeemed by the owner or his or her agent within 15 days of the removal of the vehicle;
(6) A vehicle that does not display the appropriate current license plate and has been left on private property continuously in a location visible from a public way for more than 30 days; or
(7) A vehicle that is mechanically inoperable and has been left on private property continuously in a location visible from a public way for more than the 30 days, even if said vehicle has current registration plates.
(1) The Town Marshal and any of his or her Deputies; or
(2) Any ordinance officer for the town.
BUREAU. The state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
FISCAL BODY. The Town Council.
INOPERABLE.Unable to move under its own power.
MOTOR VEHICLE. An automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck, tractor, bus, school bus, recreational vehicle, watercraft, motorized bicycle, or other form of transportation which requires registration and/or licensing by the state.
NOT ABANDONED VEHICLES.Such vehicles are not considered abandoned if stored in a garage or other accessory building. Such vehicles are also not considered abandoned if they are:
(1) A vehicle in operable condition specifically adapted or constructed for operation on privately owned raceways and located on a trailer designed to transport the race car;
(2) A vehicle stored as the property of a member of the armed forces of the United States who is on active duty assignment;
(3) A vehicle located on a vehicle sale lot or a commercial vehicle servicing facility;
(4) A vehicle located on property licensed or zoned as an automobile storage or impound yard;
(5) A vehicle registered and licensed under I.C. 9-18-12 as an automobile storage or impound yard; or
(6) A single vehicle located on private property posted for sale by owner for not more than 60 days in a one-year time period.
(1) The Town Marshal or any of his or her Deputies; or
(2) Any ordinance officer.
SHALL. The act referred to is mandatory and not discretionary or directory. (1996 Code, § 6-21) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.03 TOWN MARSHAL.
(A) The Town Marshal’s office is designated and assigned as the agency responsible for the removal, storage, and disposal of abandoned motor vehicles and abandoned motor vehicle parts within the incorporated area of the town, pursuant to I.C. 9-22-1-2, as now or hereafter amended, and said office is granted all powers reasonable and necessary for the performance of its responsibilities under this chapter.
(B) The town may contract with a third party, subject to a proper resolution being adopted by the Council setting forth duties and responsibilities of the parties.
(1996 Code, § 6-22) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.04 ABANDONED VEHICLE FUND.
(A) There is created the Abandoned Motor Vehicle Fund which shall be used to pay for the costs of removal and storage of abandoned motor vehicles or parts not claimed by the person who owns or holds a lien on said vehicle or parts. In addition, the proceeds from the sale of the abandoned motor vehicles or abandoned motor vehicle parts received by the town shall be placed in this account. The costs incurred by the town in administering this chapter shall be paid from this Fund.
(B) Said Fund shall also have added to it such monies, if necessary, as may be appropriated by the Town Council. The proceeds of sale of an abandoned vehicles or parts by the agency shall be credited against all costs incident to the removal, storage, and disposal of the vehicle. All monies remaining in said Fund at the end of each year shall remain in such Fund and not revert to the General Fund, pursuant to the authority of I.C. 9-22-1-27. The monies in said Fund shall be expended and used only for the purposes enumerated in I.C. 9-22-1-26 et seq., providing for the disposal of abandoned motor vehicles.
(C) A separate accounting of each sale shall be maintained. The agencies may seek payment of any abatement expenses not covered by the proceeds from the sale of the abandoned motor vehicles pursuant to provisions established for filing a lien on the real estate of said owner. (1996 Code, § 6-23) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.05 PROCEDURE.
(A) When an officer, as defined in § 92.02, finds a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts believed to be abandoned, he or she shall attach in a prominent place on the vehicle a notice tag containing the following information. Identity of vehicle or parts to be removed and classify the vehicle or parts as:
(2) A traffic hazard; or
(3) A vehicle parked in violation of a traffic ordinance.
(B) After attaching the notice tag to the abandoned motor vehicle or parts, the officer shall also conduct an owner identification search. If the owner is known or identified, the officer shall serve a notice to abate.
(C) The notice to abate served on the owner shall contain the following information:
(1) The date, time, officer’s name, public agency, and address and telephone number to contact for information;
(2) The vehicle or parts are considered abandoned;
(3) The vehicle or parts will be removed after 72 hours if located on public property or private property without the consent of the property owner, or after 240 hours if located on private property;
(4) The person who owns the vehicle or parts will be held responsible for all costs incidental to the removal, storage, and disposal of the vehicle or parts;
(5) The person who owns the vehicle or parts may avoid costs by removal of the vehicle or parts within the time periods outlined in division (C)(3) above;
(6) The owner of the vehicle or parts may petition for an appeal of the officer’s citation to the Town Council;
(7) The owner of the vehicle or parts may avoid impoundment of the cited vehicle and/or parts by removing the vehicle or parts within the time frame established on the citation and notifying the appropriate agency of said removal. If the owner petitions for an appeal to the Town Council, no further action on the abatement notice will occur until after the hearing date, unless the abandoned motor vehicle poses an immediate safety concern; and
(8) In the event the owner of the motor vehicle cannot be found and the property owner, upon which the vehicle is located, cannot locate the owner or fails or refuses to give the officer the name of the owner, then, and in that event, the property owner shall be responsible for removal of the vehicle as provided above.(1996 Code, § 6-24) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.06 NOTICE OF IMPOUNDMENT.
For vehicles or parts with market value of more than $100: after removal of abandoned motor vehicle or parts to a storage area, the agency shall prepare and forward to the Bureau an abandoned vehicle report containing a description of the vehicle including the make, model, engine number, if any, readily available vehicle identification number, if any, and the number of the license plate, if any. The agency shall request that the Bureau advise the agency of the name and most recent mailing address of the owner and lienholder of the abandoned motor vehicle or parts. (1996 Code, § 6-25) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.07 DISPOSAL.
(A) If the vehicle or parts are in such condition that vehicle identification numbers or other means of identification are not available to determine the owner or lienholder, and the owner of vehicle or parts is not the property owner of where the vehicle or parts are located, the vehicle or parts may be disposed of without notice.
(B) If the cited owner wishes to appeal the decision of an officer, he or she must file an appeal with the Town Council within ten days after receipt of said citation. The appeal will be scheduled on the next available agenda of the Town Council.
(C) If the owner is duly served with notice to abate and fails to petition for an appeal to the Town Council or appears and the appeal is denied, the following will occur:
(1) If, in the opinion of the officer, the market value of the abandoned vehicle or parts is less than $100, the officer shall prepare a written abandoned vehicle report of the vehicle or parts including information on the condition, missing parts, and other facts that might substantiate the market value of the vehicle or parts. Photographs shall be taken to describe the condition of the vehicle or parts. The officer shall immediately dispose of the vehicle to an automobile salvage yard. A copy of the abandoned vehicle report and photographs relating to the abandoned vehicle or parts shall be forwarded to the Bureau. The public agency disposing of the vehicle or parts shall retain the original records and photographs for at least two years; or
(2) If, in the opinion of the officer, the market value of the abandoned vehicle or parts is $100 or more, the officer shall require the vehicle or parts to be towed to a storage area.
(D) If the person who owns or holds a lien upon a vehicle or part does not appear within 15 days after the mailing of a notice under § 92.05, the agency may sell the vehicle or parts by either of the following methods:
(1) The agency may sell the vehicle or parts to the highest bidder at a public sale. Notice of the sale shall be given under I.C. 5-3-1, except that only one newspaper insertion one week before the sale is required; or
(2) The agency may sell the vehicle or parts as unclaimed property under I.C. 36-1-11. The 15-day period for the property to remain unclaimed is sufficient for a sale. (1996 Code, § 6-26) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.08 CHARGES.
The costs for removal and storage of abandoned motor vehicles or parts not claimed by the owners or lienholders shall be paid from the Abandoned Motor Vehicle Fund established in § 92.04. The charges for towing, storage, and removal of abandoned motor vehicles or parts may not exceed the limits established by ordinance of the fiscal body. (1996 Code, § 6-27) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.09 MEASUREMENT OF TIME.
In computing any period of time prescribed in this chapter, the day of the act, tagging, or mailing shall not be included. Such time computation shall commence on the next succedent day and shall conclude on midnight of the last day of the period that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. (1996 Code, § 6-28) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.10 LIABILITY FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE.
The following are not liable for loss or damage to a vehicle or parts during the removal, storage, or disposition of abandoned motor vehicles or parts under this chapter:
(A) A person who owns, leases, or occupies property from which an abandoned motor vehicle or parts
(B) A public agency;
(C) A towing service; and
(D) An automobile salvage yard.
(1996 Code, § 6-29) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)
§ 92.99 PENALTY.
Any person owning vehicles or parts and accessories or any person permitting such vehicles, parts and accessories to remain on public or private property, in violation of this chapter, shall be liable for a fine of $50 for each vehicle or set of parts or accessories for first violations with subsequent violations set at $25 per day of violation. The Town Marshal or his or her designee may issue a citation for such violations. In addition, any such vehicle, parts and accessories may be removed and stored and the owner shall be liable for such costs.
(1996 Code, § 6-30) (Ord. 96-11-01, passed 11-25-1996)