The department shall set a time for the hearing within 72 hours of the receipt of the request and shall provide notice of the hearing to the person requesting the hearing and to the owner(s) of the vehicle, and any lessors or security interest holders shown in the department records. The 72 hour period of time does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.
Actions taken by department, including conducting the hearing, are not subject to ORS chapter 183; and are therefore, not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act and the hearings are not conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
The department District Manager for the district within which the tow occurred is hereby designated to act as the department’s hearings officer. In the event the District Manager is unable or unavailable to conduct the hearing, a department employee shall be designated by the District Manager to act as hearings officer.
The hearing shall be conducted via telephone unless the person requesting the hearing requests other accommodations with justification for the request in which case the hearing shall be held at the District Manager’s or the designee’s office.
If the District Manager, or designee, determines the towing of the vehicle was invalid, the vehicle shall be immediately released upon payment by the department of the towing and storage fees, which shall occur as quickly as reasonably possible. The person to whom the vehicle is released is not liable for any towing or storage charges. If the towing and storage fee has already been paid, the department shall reimburse the person who paid the fee for the charges upon presentation of satisfactory proof of payment.
If the District Manager, or designee, determines the custody and towing of the vehicle was valid, the department shall order the vehicle to be held in custody until the costs of the hearing and all towing and storage costs are paid by the party claiming the vehicle.
If the person requesting the hearing contests the reasonableness of the charges for towing and storage, the District Manager, or designee, shall consider such request only when the department has used its own personnel, equipment and facilities for the towing and storage of vehicles and shall provide a determination concerning the reasonableness of the department’s charges in the written statement of the results of the hearing.
The department shall only conduct one hearing for each vehicle custody and tow even if the person requesting the hearing, or any other interested party or witness fails to appear at the scheduled hearing unless the person provides reasons satisfactory to the District Manager or designee for such failure to appear.