Chapter 10.08


10.08.010    Authorized when.

10.08.020    Hearing.

10.08.010 Authorized when.

Any regularly employed and salaried officer of the police department of this city may remove or cause to be removed:

A. Any vehicle that has been parked or left standing upon a street or highway for one hundred twenty or more consecutive hours;

B. Any vehicle which is parked or left standing upon a street or highway between the hours of seven a.m. and seven p.m. when such parking or standing is prohibited by ordinance or resolution of this city and signs are posted giving notice of such removal;

C. Any vehicle which is parked or left standing upon a street or highway where the use of such street or highway or a portion thereof is necessary for the cleaning, repair or construction of the street or highway or for the installation of underground utilities or where the use of the street or highway or any portion thereof is authorized for a purpose other than the normal flow of traffic or where the use of the street or highway or any portion thereof is necessary for the movement of equipment, articles or structures of unusual size, and the parking of such vehicles would prohibit or interfere with such use or movement; provided, that signs giving notice that such vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least twenty-four hours prior to the removal. (Ord. 204 § 2.9, 1963)

10.08.020 Hearing.

With regard to the hearing contemplated by Vehicle Code Section 22852, the following rules shall control the hearing:

A. The city manager shall designate, either by permanent designation or on a hearing-by-hearing basis, the hearing officer and the time and place of hearing. In the absence of the city manager, such designation will be made by the acting city manager. In the absence of both, the designation will be made by the chief of police.

B. Any police officers of the city or any other officer of the city who took part in the decision to originally tow the vehicle may not be hearing officer.

C. Hearings need not be conducted according to the technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses.

D. The hearing officer has the power to administer oaths and affirmations by witnesses. However, his or her failure to do so shall not necessarily prevent a witness’s testimony from being considered by him or her.

E. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the type of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objections in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in this state.

F. Irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.

G. The decision of the hearing officer may be made orally provided that within three days thereafter a short written summary of the basis for his or her decision shall be mailed to the appealing person at the address designated by such appealing person. If no such designation has been made, the written summary will be sent to the address of the owner of the vehicle as shown by Department of Motor Vehicle records.

H. The appealing person shall not have the burden of proof at any such hearing and the city shall only have the burden of going forward with evidence.

I. Where convenient, the officer or employee who directed the towing shall be present. If that is not reasonably convenient, that person may submit a written report under penalty of perjury which may be used as evidence in the hearing. The report should set forth the reasons it was not convenient for the officer or the person making the report to be pre sent at the hearing. The hearing officer shall decide two issues which are as follows:

1. Was the vehicle properly towed according to the laws of the state and the municipal ordinances of the city, and

2. Are the fees which the appellant must pay in order to obtain possession of the vehicle reasonable. In deciding this question, any towing charges or parking charges which are riot in excess of maximum charges set forth on that subject by resolution of the city council shall be deemed reasonable, and the hearing officer may use his or her own experience and sense of fairness in determining the reasonableness of the towing charges. The hearing officer may also, on his or her own accord, make inquiry of the towing company as to the amount of those charges.

J. A tape recording should be made of the hearing, but failure to do so will not invalidate the results of the hearing.

K. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final. (Ord. 461 § 2, 1979)