Usa Alabama

USA Statutes : alabama
Title : Title 32 MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC.
Chapter : Chapter 13 ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES.
Section 32-13-1

Section 32-13-1
'Abandoned motor vehicle' defined; posted notice.

For the purposes of this chapter, an 'abandoned motor vehicle' shall mean a motor vehicle as defined in Section 32-8-2:

(1) Which has been left by the owner, or some person acting for the owner, with an automobile dealer, repairman or wrecker service for repair or for some other reason and has not been called for by the owner or other person within a period of 60 days after the time agreed upon and within 60 days after the vehicle is turned over to a dealer, repairman or wrecker service when no time is agreed upon, or within 60 days after the completion of necessary repairs.

(2) Which is left unattended on a public street, road, or highway or other public property for a period of at least seven days; or left unattended continuously for at least seven days in a business district or a residence district; or if left unattended in a business district that has at least one posted notice in an open and conspicuous place indicating that there is a time limitation on the length of time a motor vehicle may remain parked in the district and the motor vehicle remains unattended for a period of time in excess of that posted on the notice; or left unattended in a business district or residence district that has at least one posted notice indicating that only authorized motor vehicles may park in that district and the owner of the motor vehicle or his or her agent has not received the required authority prior to leaving the motor vehicle unattended; or left unattended on a private road or driveway without the express or implied permission of the owner or lessee of the driveway or their agent. A posted notice when required by this chapter shall meet the following specifications:

a. The notice shall be prominently placed at each driveway access or curb cut allowing vehicular access to the property, within five feet from the public right-of-way line. If there are no curbs or access barriers, the signs must be posted not less than one sign each 25 feet of lot frontage.

b. The notice shall clearly indicate, in not less than two inch high light-reflective letters on a contrasting background, that unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at the owner's expense. The words 'tow away zone' shall be included on the sign in not less than four inch high letters.

c. The notice shall also provide the name and current telephone number of the person or firm towing or removing the vehicles, if the property owner, lessor, or person in control of the property has a written contract with a wrecker service.

d. The sign structure containing the required notices shall be permanently installed with the bottom of the sign not less than four feet above ground level, and be continuously maintained on the property for not less than 24 hours prior to the towing or removal of any vehicles.

(3) Which has been lawfully towed onto the property of another at the written request of a law-enforcement officer and left there for a period of not less than 60 days without anyone having made claim thereto.

(4) Which has been abandoned, has an expired license plate, or is inoperable in a parking area on private property maintained by the property owner or his or her agent for use by his or her tenants, residents, or their guests. A vehicle shall be defined as abandoned or inoperable under this subdivision if it has an expired license plate or has remained in the same parking lot for a period of 30 days or more. To bring a vehicle within the provisions of this subdivision, the property owner or his or her agent shall post a dated notice in a conspicuous place on the vehicle in question stating:

a. That the vehicle has been determined to be abandoned or inoperable and will be removed at the direction of the property owner or his or her agent upon the expiration of seven days from the date of the notice.

b. The name and address of the last registered owner of the vehicle in question and the name and address of the property owner or his or her agent and a daytime phone number for the person giving the notice.

A copy of the notice shall be mailed by regular mail to the last known address of the registered owner, if ascertainable, on the date of posting or not later than the next business day. Calculation of the seven-day notice period shall commence on the date of posting of the notice on the vehicle.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §1; Acts 1989, No. 89-758, p. 1534, §1; Act 98-609, p. 1339, §1; Act 2003-402, §1.)Section 32-13-2

Section 32-13-2
Peace officer's responsibility; lien on vehicles removed; removal by property owner, etc.; notice of removal.

(a) Any peace officer who finds a motor vehicle which has been left unattended on a public street, road, or highway or other property for a period of at least seven days, shall be authorized to cause the motor vehicle to be removed to the nearest garage or other place of safety.

(b) Any peace officer who pursuant to this section causes any motor vehicle to be removed to a garage or other place of safety shall be liable for gross negligence only and any person removing the vehicle or other property at the direction of a peace officer in accordance with this section shall have a lien on the motor vehicle for a reasonable fee for the removal and for the storage of the motor vehicle.

(c) Any peace officer who under this section causes the removal of any motor vehicle to a garage or other place of safety shall within five days give written notice of the removal, which notice shall include a complete description of the motor vehicle serial number and license number thereof, provided the information is available, to both the Secretary of State, State of Alabama, and the Department of Public Safety, State of Alabama.

(d) The owner or lessee of real property or their agent upon which an abandoned motor vehicle as defined in Section 32-13-1 has become abandoned shall be authorized to cause the abandoned motor vehicle to be removed to a secure place. Any owner or lessee of the real property or their agent who shall cause the abandoned motor vehicle to be removed from their real property shall, within 24 hours of the removal, give written notice to the county or municipal law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the abandoned motor vehicle was situated. Any person or corporation removing the vehicle or other property at the direction of the owner or lessee of real property or their agent in accordance with this section have a lien on the motor vehicle for a reasonable fee for the removal and for storage of the motor vehicle.

(e) The owner or lessee or agent of the real property owner, lien holder, and the towing agent or wrecker service employed shall be liable to the owner or party in possession of the vehicle only for gross negligence under this section.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §2; Acts 1989, No. 89-758, p. 1534, §2; Act 98-609, p. 1339, §1.)Section 32-13-3

Section 32-13-3
Authority to sell; notice; issuance of clear bill of sale.

(a)(1) Any automobile dealer, wrecker service or repair service owner, or any person or firm on whose property a motor vehicle is lawfully towed at the written request of a law-enforcement officer, or the owner or lessee of real property, or his or her agent upon which an abandoned motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (1) or (3) of Section 32-13-1 has become abandoned, and who has the abandoned motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (1) or (3) of Section 32-13-1 on his or her property, may sell the vehicle at public auction.

(2) Any person or firm on whose property an abandoned motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (2) of Section 32-13-1 has been lawfully towed, or the owner or lessee of real property or his or her agent upon which an abandoned motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (2) of Section 32-13-1 has become abandoned, and who has the abandoned motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (2) of Section 32-13-1 on his or her property, except vehicles which have been claimed within seven days after being towed, and who has notified or attempted to notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner or lienholders of record, if any, after the abandoned motor vehicle was lawfully towed onto his or her property, may, 60 days after the abandoned vehicle was lawfully towed, sell the vehicle at public auction. In addition, if notice was not given or attempted to be given as provided herein to the owner or lienholders, no additional storage charges may be added after 30 days.

(3) The person or entity giving notice under this section shall obtain from the Department of Revenue in writing, a statement, form, or document listing the name and address of the current owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record for the vehicle or a statement, form, or document that the department has no information of record concerning the current owners, secured parties, or lienholders of the vehicle. The actual cost of giving notification, not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25), plus the actual cost of the records request, which shall be properly documented to the owner, secured parties, or lienholders of record, if any, shall be paid by the person or entity holding the vehicle, but shall be paid by the owner or lienholders on or before claiming the vehicle. The return of a certified letter unclaimed shall be proof of an attempt to give notice as required by this subsection.

(b) Notice of the date and place of the sale and a description of the vehicle to be sold shall be given by a newspaper publication at least 10 days before the date of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the sale is to be held. In counties in which no newspaper is published, notice shall be given by posting such notice in a conspicuous place at the courthouse.

(c) Upon payment of the sales price and upon filing with the register or clerk of the circuit court of the report of sale and other information required by Section 32-13-6, the purchaser shall be entitled to and the person making the sale shall issue a bill of sale to the abandoned motor vehicle, free and clear of all liens, security interests, and encumbrances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the person making the sale failed to provide notice, or did not attempt to provide notice to the owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record of the vehicle in the manner required herein, then the sale of the abandoned vehicle shall be void and the owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record shall retain their ownership, security interests, and liens in the vehicle.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §3; Acts 1983, No. 83-494, p. 691, §1; Acts 1989, No. 89-758, p. 1534, §3; Act 98-256, p. 423, §1; Act 2003-402, §1.)Section 32-13-4

Section 32-13-4
Notice of sale; hearing; appeal.

(a) Any automobile dealer, wrecker service, or repair service owner, or any person or firm on whose property a motor vehicle is lawfully towed at the written request of a law-enforcement officer, or the owner or lessee of real property or his or her agent upon which an abandoned motor vehicle as defined in Section 32-13-1 has become abandoned, shall give written notice to the owner, secured parties of record, and known lienholders, if any, at least 30 days prior to the date of the sale of the motor vehicle advising of (1) the complete description of the vehicle and the date and place the vehicle was found or taken into possession, (2) the approximate amount owed for the cost of repair, towing, and storage, (3) the location of storage of the vehicle, (4) the time and place that a sale of the vehicle will be held, (5) the right of the owner, secured parties or lienholders to contest the right to sell such vehicle by the filing within 10 days before the date of the sale of the vehicle of an application for hearing to be conducted before the judge of the district court or circuit court of the county in which the sale is to be held. The application for hearing shall be on such a form as may be prescribed by the Administrative Office of Courts. The notice required by this section shall be deemed to be given when sent by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the owner, secured party of record, and known lienholder shown on any public filing evidencing such ownership, security interest, or lien; or, if none, to any such address ascertained by reasonable effort. The person or entity giving notice under this section shall obtain from the Department of Revenue in writing, a statement, form, or document listing the name and address of the current owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record for the vehicle or a statement, form, or document that the department has no information of record concerning the current owners, secured parties, or lienholders of the vehicle.

(b) If the name and address of the owner, secured parties or lienholders of the vehicle are unknown or cannot be reasonably ascertained, then the notice required herein shall be given by publication once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the sale is to be held. In counties in which no newspaper is published, notice shall be given by posting such notice in a conspicuous place at the courthouse. The first publication or posting, as the case may be, shall be at least 30 days before the date of sale.

(c) If no application for hearing is made by the owner, secured parties, or lienholders, the vehicle may be sold at the time and place designated in the notice of sale. If application for hearing is made by the owner, secured parties, or lienholders, then all such persons shall be joined as parties and the judge of the district court or circuit court shall conduct a hearing to determine if the vehicle is an abandoned vehicle as defined by this chapter and should be sold in the manner prescribed herein. The vehicle shall not be sold pending the decision by the district or circuit court judge. If the judge shall determine that the vehicle is abandoned and should be sold, the vehicle may be sold after notice of the date and place of the sale is given by newspaper publication as prescribed in Section 32-13-3. If the hearing is conducted by the judge of the district court, any person aggrieved by the decision rendered by the judge of the district court may appeal to the circuit court of the judicial circuit wherein the hearing was held by filing notice of appeal in the time and in the manner prescribed by law.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §4; Acts 1983, No. 83-494, p. 691, §1; Acts 1989, No. 89-758, p. 1534, §3; Act 2003-402, §1.)Section 32-13-5

Section 32-13-5
Rejection of bids.

The person making the sale shall have the right to reject any and all bids if the amount bid be unreasonably low, and shall have the right to continue the sale from time to time if no bidders are present.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §5.)Section 32-13-6

Section 32-13-6
Deductions from proceeds; report of sale.

(a) The person making the sale shall deduct from the proceeds of such sale the reasonable cost of repair, towing and storage and all expenses incurred in connection with such sale, and pay the balance remaining to the register of the circuit court of the county in which such sale is made; provided, that such costs shall in no event exceed the customary charges for like services in the community where the sale is made.

(b) The person making such sale shall promptly file with the register or clerk of the circuit court of the county in which such sale is made and shall furnish to the buyer a report of the sale within 10 days from the date of purchase, showing the date such abandoned motor vehicle first came into his or her possession or was abandoned on his or her premises, the name and address of the owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record that had an interest in the vehicle, the date on which the certified mail as required by subsection (a) of Section 32-13-4 was sent to the owner, secured party, or lienholder of record of the intended sale, the time and place of the sale, the amount for which the abandoned motor vehicle was sold, the amounts deducted from the sale price for repair, towing, and storage expenses, and the amount paid to the register or clerk of the circuit court. If the owners, secured parties, and lienholders of record are not known and could not be ascertained by reasonable effort, the report of the sale shall also include the name of the newspaper in which the notice of the sale was published as provided in subsection (b) of Section 32-13-4, the dates of publication, and the cost of publication. The person making the sale shall also attach to the report either: a. A copy of the statement, form, or document from the Department of Revenue identifying the current owners, secured parties, or lienholders of record of the vehicle, and a copy of the certified mail return receipt proving that notice of the sale was given, or was attempted to be given, to the owners, secured parties, or lienholders of record as required by subsection (a) of Section 32-13-4, or b. a copy of the statement, form, or document from the Department of Revenue indicating that the department has no record of the current owners, secured parties, or lienholders of record for the vehicle. The clerk or register shall not approve a report of sale, and the Department of Revenue shall not issue a title for the vehicle, unless a statement, form, or document from the department identifying the current owners, secured parties, or lienholders of record for the vehicle or stating that the department has no information of record and a notarized affidavit from the seller attesting to the fact that the seller gave notice, or attempted to give notice, as required by Section 32-13-4, are submitted to the clerk or register by the person making the sale. Such report shall contain a statement by the person making such sale, certifying to the correctness of such report under oath.

(c) The clerk or register of the circuit court receiving the report of sale shall deduct from the funds paid with such report a fee of thirty-five dollars ($35) in accordance with Section 12-19-76, except that if the funds paid are equal to or less than thirty-five dollars ($35), no fee is due.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §6; Act 2003-402, §1.)Section 32-13-7

Section 32-13-7
Disposition of proceeds.

The register or clerk of the circuit court shall retain the remaining balance of the proceeds of such sale for a period of 12 months, and if no claim has been filed against such proceeds by the owner of the abandoned motor vehicle or any interested party, then he shall pay such remaining balance as follows:

(1) If the abandoned motor vehicle came into the possession of the person making such sale other than at the request of a peace officer, the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally and paid to the general fund of the county in which the sale was made, to the general fund of the municipality, if any, in which the sale was made and to the General Fund of the State of Alabama.

(2) If the abandoned motor vehicle came into the possession of the person making such sale at the written request of a police officer of a municipality, the proceeds of sale shall be divided equally and paid to the general fund of the municipality if any, in which the sale was made and to the General Fund of the State of Alabama.

(3) If the abandoned motor vehicle came into the possession of the person making such sale at the written request of a county sheriff, the proceeds of sale shall be divided equally and paid to the general fund of the county in which the sale was made, and to the General Fund of the State of Alabama.

(4) If the abandoned motor vehicle came into the possession of the person making such sale at the written request of a state trooper or employee of the State of Alabama, the proceeds of sale shall be paid to the General Fund of the State of Alabama.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §7.)Section 32-13-8

Section 32-13-8
Chapter cumulative; power of municipality not restricted.

This chapter is cumulative and shall not be construed as limiting or restricting any power or authority any municipality may now have or possess under any other provision of law.



(Acts 1971, No. 1154, p. 1999, §8.)

USA Statutes : alabama