Division 1. Abandoned Vehicles – Vehicle Impoundment

Chapter 10.04
ABANDONED VEHICLES

Sections:

10.04.010    Definitions.

10.04.020    Unlawful acts.

10.04.030    Removal of abandoned vehicles.

10.04.040    Notice of impoundment.

10.04.050    Disposition – Destruction.

10.04.060    Disposition – Sale.

10.04.070    Waiver of claims for damages.

10.04.010 Definitions.

Abandoned vehicle” means a vehicle that is:

1. Registered or titled as required under AS 28.10 that has been left unattended, standing, parked upon or within 10 feet of the traveled portion of a highway or vehicular way or area in excess of 48 hours;

2. Registered or titled as required under AS 28.10 that reasonably appears to have been left standing or parked on private property in excess of 24 hours or upon other public property for more than 30 days, without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property;

3. A wrecked or junked vehicle that reasonably appears to have been left unattended, standing, parked upon or within 10 feet of the traveled portion of a highway or vehicular way or area in excess of 24 hours; or

4. A wrecked or junk vehicle that reasonably appears to have been left standing or parked on private property or other public property in excess of 24 hours and without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property.

Director” means the director of community planning, or his designee.

Junk vehicle” means a vehicle that:

1. Is not currently registered, except for a vehicle used exclusively for competitive racing;

2. Is stripped, wrecked, or otherwise inoperable due to mechanical failure;

3. Has not been repaired because of mechanical difficulties or because the cost of repairs required to make it operable exceeds the fair market value of the vehicle; or

4. Is in a condition that exhibits more than one of the following: broken glass, missing wheels or tires, missing body panels or parts, or missing drive train parts.

Wrecked vehicle” means a vehicle that is disabled and cannot be used as a vehicle without substantial repair or reconstruction.

These definitions are for the purpose of this chapter only and shall not be used as definitions for language used in other chapters. (Ord. 2001-71 § 2, 2001; Ord. 86-017 § 42, 1986; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1982. 2004 Code § 8.14.010.)

10.04.020 Unlawful acts.

A. A person may not abandon a vehicle upon a highway or vehicular way or area.

B. A person may not abandon a vehicle upon public property or upon private property without the consent of the owner or person in lawful possession or control of the property. (Ord. 2001-71 § 8, 2001. 2004 Code § 8.14.015.)

10.04.030 Removal of abandoned vehicles.

A. An abandoned vehicle may be impounded by the director or his designee in accord with this chapter.

B. Notwithstanding subsection (A) of this section, no vehicle may be removed from private property without the written request or consent of the property owner or occupant. (Ord. 2001-71 § 3, 2001; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1982. 2004 Code § 8.14.020.)

10.04.040 Notice of impoundment.

A. Within 30 days of impoundment, notice shall be given to the registered owner of record (and lienholder of record, if any) of the abandoned vehicle. When the persons involved are known, adequate notice shall be by either certified mail or personal service. The giving of notice by mail is considered complete upon the return of the receipt or upon return of the notice as undeliverable, refused or unclaimed. If such persons are not known or cannot be located the vehicle shall be impounded and notice shall be by publication in the manner prescribed in the rules of court for service of process by publication. The director shall attempt to ascertain ownership from the Department of Public Safety.

B. Notice under this section shall contain:

1. The description of the vehicle;

2. The date, time, grounds and place of removal;

3. An itemized statement of amounts due the borough for towing and storage and stating that such fees must be paid prior to redemption of the vehicle;

4. A statement that the vehicle will be disposed of 15 days from the date notice was mailed or published unless the vehicle is redeemed and costs paid; and

5. A statement that the owner of the vehicle may, at any time within the 15-day period, request a hearing before the director concerning whether the vehicle was left for the period specified in FNSBC 10.04.010 or concerning the amount due. (Ord. 2001-71 § 4, 2001; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1982. 2004 Code § 8.14.030.)

10.04.050 Disposition – Destruction.

If the director determines that an abandoned vehicle impounded pursuant to this chapter has been scrapped, dismantled or destroyed beyond repair, or if he determines that because of the age and condition of the vehicle it is no longer of significant value, he may dispose of it by crushing or other means of destruction upon the expiration of the 15-day period required by FNSBC 10.04.040.

The borough may also dispose of junk vehicles at the written request of the registered owner of the vehicle or person in lawful possession or control of the vehicle. This written request shall be on a form prescribed by the borough. (Ord. 2001-71 § 5, 2001; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1982. 2004 Code § 8.14.040.)

10.04.060 Disposition – Sale.

A. The director may sell abandoned vehicles impounded in accord with this chapter at a public auction.

B. The public auction shall be preceded by at least 20 days’ notice of public auction posted in a newspaper of general circulation in the borough.

C. The notice of public auction shall state the description of the vehicle, date, time and place of auction, the name of the owner if known and a statement that, subject to the provisions of subsection (E) of this section, the vehicle shall be sold to the highest spot cash bidder.

D. The owner of the vehicle, upon presenting satisfactory proof of ownership, may redeem an abandoned vehicle prior to the time of sale after paying the borough towing and storage costs and a pro rata share of the cost of the notice and other costs of impoundment and sale.

E. A certificate of sale shall be issued for all vehicles sold at the auction. The certificate shall stipulate that the vehicle must be titled with the Department of Public Safety before the vehicle is released to the purchaser. Upon a showing that certificate of title has been obtained the vehicle will be released to the purchaser. If no such showing has been made within a 20-day period the purchase price will be returned and the vehicle may be disposed of pursuant to this section. (Ord. 2001-71 § 6, 2001; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1982. 2004 Code § 8.14.050.)

10.04.070 Waiver of claims for damages.

A. An owner of an abandoned vehicle, by the act of abandonment, waives any claims he may have for damage to or loss of his vehicle which may result from actions taken pursuant to this chapter. Such damage or loss includes but is not limited to accidental damage or destruction occasioned by removal transport and storage, and acts of third parties.

B. Should a vehicle purchased at auction pursuant to FNSBC 10.04.060 be damaged or destroyed prior to release, the purchaser’s remedy is limited to a return of the purchase price. (Ord. 2001-71 § 7, 2001; Ord. 82-41 § 2, 1983. 2004 Code § 8.14.060.)