A person entitled to lawful possession of a vehicle impounded under ORS 809.720 (Impoundment for specified offenses) may request a hearing to contest the validity of the impoundment. A request must be made within five calendar days after the date that notice of the impoundment is mailed, as evidenced by the postmark, not including Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. The request shall be made to a person designated by the impounding police agency to receive such requests.
When a timely request for a hearing is made, a hearing shall be held before a hearings officer designated by the impounding police agency. The hearing shall be set for four calendar days after the request is received, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, but may be postponed at the request of the person asking for the hearing.
If the hearings officer finds that the impoundment of the vehicle was proper, the hearings officer shall enter an order supporting the removal and shall find that the owner or person entitled to possession of the vehicle is liable for usual and customary towing and storage costs. The hearings officer may also find the owner or person entitled to possession of the vehicle liable for costs of the hearing.
If the hearings officer finds that impoundment of the vehicle was improper, the hearings officer shall order the vehicle released to the person entitled to possession and shall enter a finding that the owner or person entitled to possession of the vehicle is not liable for any towing or storage costs resulting from the impoundment. If there is a lien on the vehicle for towing and storage charges, the hearings officer shall order it paid by the impounding police agency.
A police agency may contract with another agency or entity to conduct hearings under this section. [Formerly 806.016; 1997 c.514 §4; 1999 c.1051 §284a; 2001 c.748 §3]