(1)Within 72 hours of its receipt of a timely request for hearing, the department shall schedule a hearing. The 72 hour period shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.
(2)The department shall provide notice of the hearing to the following persons:
(a)The person requesting the hearing;
(b)The owner(s) of the vehicle; and
(c)Any lessors or security interest holders of the vehicle, as shown in the records of the Oregon Department of Transportation.
(3)Except as otherwise provided in these administrative rules, actions taken by the department or the hearing officer in conducting the hearing or issuing a written order are not subject to the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act, ORS Chapter 183 (Administrative Procedures Act).
(4)The Superintendent of the Oregon State Police shall designate officers, officials, or employees of the department to act as hearing officers under these administrative rules, except that a hearings officer shall not be an officer, official, or employee of the department who participated in any determination or investigation related to the actual or proposed taking into custody and removal of the vehicle that is the subject of the hearing. In such case, the Superintendent shall designate another officer, official, or employee of the department to act as the hearings officer.
(5)Hearings shall be conducted by telephonic means, unless the person requesting the hearing provides written justification to the department why the hearing should be conducted in person. In the event a hearing is conducted in person, the hearing shall be conducted at the Oregon State Police Headquarters located in Salem, Oregon, or at any other location designated by the hearing officer.
(6)Hearings shall be informal in nature. Hearings shall be recorded and the presentation of evidence shall be consistent with the requirements of ORS 183.450 (Evidence in contested cases).
(7)If, after the hearing and by substantial evidence on the record, the hearing officer determines that the towing of the vehicle was invalid, the hearing officer shall issue a written order stating the facts of the vehicle tow and the hearing officer’s reasoning why the vehicle tow is invalid. The hearing officer’s written order shall further order that:
(a)The department shall pay the costs of towing and storage fees as soon as reasonably possible;
(b)The department shall immediately notify the tow company responsible for towing and storing the vehicle that the department is the party responsible for the charges and fees incurred in towing and storing the vehicle;
(c)The vehicle shall be immediately released to the person having a right of possession to the vehicle upon the department notifying the towing company of the department’s liability for the towing charges and storage fees;
(d)The person to whom the vehicle is released is not liable for any towing or storage costs or fees; and
(e)If the person to whom the vehicle is to be released has already paid the towing and storage charges for the vehicle, the department shall reimburse the person for those towing and storage charges upon presentation, to the department’s satisfaction, of proof of payment of those charges.
(8)If, after the hearing and by substantial evidence on the record, the hearing officer determines that the towing of the vehicle was valid, the hearing officer shall issue a written order stating the facts of the vehicle tow and the hearing officer’s reasoning why the vehicle tow is valid. The hearing officer’s written order shall further order that the vehicle shall remain in custody until the party claiming the vehicle pays the costs of the department’s hearing, if any, as well as all towing and storage costs for the vehicle. In the event that the department has not yet taken the vehicle into custody, the hearing officer shall further order the removal of the vehicle.
(9)In the event that the department has used its own personnel, equipment and facilities for the towing and storage of a vehicle and the owner of the vehicle, a person entitled to possession of the vehicle, or a person with a recorded interest on the title of the vehicle requests a hearing to contest the reasonableness of the charges for towing and storage, the hearing officer shall make written findings and conclusion as to the reasonableness of the tow charges and storage fees in his or her written order.
(10)The hearing officer shall provide a copy of a written order to the person requesting a hearing.
(11)The department shall conduct only one hearing for each vehicle taken into custody or towed under ORS 819.110 (Custody, towing and sale or disposal of abandoned vehicle) or 819.120 (Immediate custody and towing of vehicle constituting hazard or obstruction), even if an otherwise interested party fails to appear at a scheduled hearing, unless the party failing to appear provides written good cause to the department for the interested party’s failure to appear.
Rule 257-045-0040 — Hearing Process,