Destroyed, Totaled, Abandoned, Low-Value and Stolen Vehicles
Hearing to contest validity of custody and towing
(1)If the authority proposing to tow a vehicle under ORS 819.110 (Custody, towing and sale or disposal of abandoned vehicle) receives a request for hearing before the vehicle is taken into custody and towed, the vehicle may not be towed unless the vehicle constitutes a hazard.
(2)A request for hearing shall be in writing and shall state grounds upon which the person requesting the hearing believes that the custody and towing of the vehicle is not justified.
(3)Upon receipt of a request for a hearing under this section, the appropriate authority 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 owners of the vehicle and any lessors or security interest holders shown in the records of the Department of Transportation, if not the same as the person requesting the hearing. The 72-hour period in this subsection does not include holidays, Saturdays or Sundays.
(4)If the appropriate authority finds, after hearing and by substantial evidence on the record, that the custody and towing of a vehicle was:
(a)Invalid, the appropriate authority shall order the immediate release of the vehicle to the owner or person with right of possession. If the vehicle is released under this paragraph, the person to whom the vehicle is released is not liable for any towing or storage charges. If the person has already paid the towing and storage charges on the vehicle, the authority responsible for taking the vehicle into custody and towing the vehicle shall reimburse the person for the charges. New storage costs on the vehicle will not start to accrue, however, until more than 24 hours after the time the vehicle is officially released to the person under this paragraph.
(b)Valid, the appropriate authority 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 vehicle has not yet been towed, the appropriate authority shall order that the vehicle be towed.
(5)A person who fails to appear at a hearing under this section is not entitled to another hearing unless the person provides reasons satisfactory to the appropriate authority for the person’s failure to appear.
(6)An appropriate authority is only required to provide one hearing under this section for each time the appropriate authority takes a vehicle into custody and tows the vehicle or proposes to do so.
(7)A hearing under this section may be used to determine the reasonableness of the charge for towing and storage of the vehicle. Towing and storage charges set by law, ordinance or rule or that comply with law, ordinance or rule are reasonable for purposes of this subsection.
(8)An authority shall provide a written statement of the results of a hearing held under this section to the person requesting the hearing.
(9)Hearings held under this section may be informal in nature, but the presentation of evidence in a hearing shall be consistent with the presentation of evidence required for contested cases under ORS 183.450 (Evidence in contested cases).
(10)The hearings officer at a hearing under this section may be an officer, official or employee of the appropriate authority but shall not have participated in any determination or investigation related to taking into custody and towing the vehicle that is the subject of the hearing.
(11)The determination of a hearings officer at a hearing under this section is final and is not subject to appeal. [1983 c.338 §425; 1985 c.16 §224; 1985 c.316 §5; 2009 c.371 §14]
Atty. Gen. Opinions
Under Former Similar Statute
Due process requirements of procedures for removal by State Police of abandoned and illegally parked vehicles from right of way of state or interstate highway or from state property, (1981) Vol 41, p 474