Article VII: Abandoned Vehicles
24-7-1 DEFINITIONS. For the purpose of this Code, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed to them as follows:
“ABANDONED VEHICLE” shall mean all motor vehicles or other vehicles in a state of disrepair, rendering the vehicle incapable of being driven in its condition; or any motor vehicle or other vehicle that has not been moved or used for 7 consecutive days or more and is apparently deserted.
“ANTIQUE VEHICLE” means any motor vehicle or other vehicle 25 years of age or older.
“COMPONENT PART” means any part of a vehicle, other than a tire, having a manufacturer’s identification number or an identification number issued by the Secretary of State.
“DERELICT VEHICLE” means any inoperable, unregistered, discarded motor vehicle, regardless of title, having lost its character as a substantial property and left unattended without justification on the owner’s land contrary to the public policy expressed in this Code.
“HIGHWAY” means any street, alley or public way within this municipality.
“REMOVE” means to remove, deface, cover, or destroy.
“VEHICLE” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a street or highway, whether subject to or exempt form registration, excepting, however, bicycles, snowmobiles and devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. (Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 95½; P 4-201)
(A) Highway. The abandonment of a motor vehicle or other vehicle or part thereof on any highway in this municipality is unlawful and subject to penalties as set forth herein.
(B) Private Property. The abandonment of a motor vehicle or other vehicles or any part thereof on private or public property, other than a highway, in view of the general public anywhere in this municipality is unlawful, except on property of the owner or bailee of such abandoned vehicle.
(C) Owner’s Property. A motor vehicle or other vehicle or any part thereof so abandoned on private property shall be authorized for removal by or upon the order of the Police Department of the municipality after waiting a period of 7 days or more. (Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 951/2; P 4-201)
24-7-3 POSSESSION OF VEHICLE BY OTHER PARTY; TOWING. When an abandoned, lost, stolen or unclaimed motor vehicle or other vehicle comes into the temporary possession or custody of a person in this municipality, not the owner of the vehicle, such person shall immediately notify the Police Department when the vehicle is within the corporate limits of the municipality. Upon receipt of such notification, the Police Department or designated representative shall authorize a towing service to remove and take possession of the abandoned, lost, stolen or unclaimed motor vehicle or other vehicle. The towing service will safely keep the towed vehicle and its contents, maintain a record of the tow until the vehicle is claimed by the owner of any other person legally entitled to possession thereof or until it is disposed of as provided in this Chapter.
24-7-4 REMOVAL OF MOTOR VEHICLE OR OTHER VEHICLES – TOWING OR HAULING AWAY.
(A) When a vehicle is abandoned or left unattended on a toll highway, interstate highway or expressway for 2 hours or more, its removal by a towing service may be authorized by the Police Department.
(B) When a vehicle is abandoned or left unattended on a highway in an urban district 10 hours or more, its removal by a towing service may be authorized by the Police Department of the municipality.
(C) When a vehicle is abandoned or left unattended on a highway other than a toll highway, interstate highway or expressway outside of an urban district for 24 hours or more, its removal by a towing service may be authorized by the Police Department of the municipality.
(D) When an abandoned, unattended, wrecked, burned or partially dismantled vehicle is creating a traffic hazard because of its position in relation to the highway or its physical appearance is causing the impeding of traffic, its immediate removal from the highway or private property adjacent to the highway by a towing service may be authorized by the Police Department of the municipality.
(E) When a vehicle removal from either public or private property is authorized by the Police Department, the owner of the vehicle will be responsible for all towing and storage costs.
24-7-5 POLICE RESPONSIBILITIES. When a motor vehicle or other vehicle is authorized to be towed away as provided herein, the Police Department shall keep and maintain a record of the vehicle towed, listing by color, year of manufacture, manufacturer’s trade name, manufacturer’s series name, body style, Vehicle Identification Number and license plate year and number displayed on the vehicle. The record shall also include the date and hour of tow, location towed from, location towed to, reason for towing and the name of the officer authorizing the tow.
24-7-6 UNKNOWN OWNER. When the Police Department does not know the identity of the registered owner or other legally entitled person, they will cause the motor vehicle registration records of the State of Illinois to be searched by a directed communication to the Secretary of State for the purpose of obtaining the required ownership information.
The Police Department authorizing the impoundment will cause the stolen motor vehicle files of the Illinois State Police to be searched by a directed communication to the Illinois State Police for stolen or wanted information of the vehicle. The information determined from these record searches will be used by the Police Department in sending notification by certified mail to the owner or legally entitled person, advising where the vehicle is held, requesting a disposition to be made and setting forth public sale information.
24-7-7 STATE POLICE INFORMATION. When the registered owner or other person legally entitled to the possession of a motor vehicle cannot be identified from the registration files of this State or from the registration files of a foreign state, if applicable, the Police Department shall notify the Illinois State Police for the purpose of identifying the vehicle’s owner or other person legally entitled to the possession of the vehicle. The information obtained by the Illinois State Police will be immediately forwarded to the Police Department having custody of the vehicle for notification of owner.
24-7-8 NOTIFICATION; NEW CAR; MAIL. Whenever an abandoned, lost, stolen, or unclaimed motor vehicle or other vehicle 4 years of age or newer remains unclaimed by the registered owner or other person legally entitled to its possession for a period of 30 days after notice has been given as provided herein, the Police Department having possession of the vehicle shall cause it to be sold at public sale to the highest bidder. Notice of the time and place of the sale shall be posted in a conspicuous place for at least 10 days prior to the sale on the premises where the vehicle has been impounded. At least 10 days prior to the sale, the Police Department shall cause a notice of the time and place to be sent by certified mail to the registered owner or other person known by the Police Department or towing service to be legally entitled to the possession of the vehicle. Such notice shall contain a complete description of the vehicle to be sold and what steps must be taken y any legally entitled person to reclaim the vehicle.
In those instances where the certified notification specified herein has been returned by the postal authorities to the Police Department due to the addressee having moved or being unknown at he address obtained from the registration records of this State, the sending of a second certified notice will not be required.
24-7-9 PUBLIC SALE; RECLAMATION. Any time before a motor vehicle or other vehicle is sold at public sale or disposed of as provided in Section 24-7-8, the owner or other person legally entitled to its possession may reclaim the vehicle by presenting to the Police Department proof of ownership, or proof of the right to possession of the vehicle. No vehicle shall be released to the owner or other person under this section until all towing and storage charges have been paid.
24-7-10 NOTIFICATION “FOR SALE”.
(A) New Car. When the identity of the registered owner or other person legally entitled to the possession of an abandoned, lost, or unclaimed vehicle of 7 years of age or newer cannot be determined by any means provided for in this Chapter, the vehicle may be sold as provided herein, or disposed of in the manner authorized by this Chapter without notice to the registered owner of other person legally entitled to the possession of the vehicle.
(B) Old Car. When an abandoned vehicle of more than 7 years of age is impounded as specified by this Chapter, it will be kept in custody for a minimum of 10 days for the purpose of determining ownership, the contacting of the registered owner by the U.S. Mail, public service, or in person for a determination of disposition; and an examination of the Illinois State Police stolen motor vehicle files for theft and wanted information. At the expiration of the 10 day period, without the benefit of disposition information being received from the registered owner, the police will authorize the disposal of the vehicle as junk. An exception to the first paragraph is provided for if, in the opinion of the police officer processing the vehicle, it have a value of $500.00 or more and can be restored to safe operating condition. In this event, the agency may authorize its purchase as salvage and the Secretary of State may issue a salvage certificate if the vehicle is bonded in the manner as provided for certificates of title under Chapter 95 1/2, Section 3-100 of the Illinois Revised Statutes.
(C) Antique Vehicle. A motor vehicle or other vehicle classified as an antique vehicle may, however, be sold to a person desiring to restore such vehicle.
24-7-11 POLICE RECORD FOR DISPOSED VEHICLE. When a motor vehicle or other vehicle in the custody of the Police Department is reclaimed by the registered owner or other legally entitled person or when the vehicle is old at public sale or otherwise disposed of as provided in this Chapter, a report of the transaction will be maintained by the Police Department for a period of one (1) year from the date of the sale of disposal.
24-7-12 PUBLIC SALE PROCEEDS. When a vehicle located within the corporate limits of this municipality is authorized to be towed away by the Police Department and disposed of as set forth in this Chapter, the proceeds of the public sale or disposition, after the deduction of towing, storage and processing charges shall be deposited in the municipal treasury.
24-7-13 LIABILITY OF VILLAGE. Any police officer, towing service owner, operator or employee shall not be held to answer or be liable for damages in any action brought by the registered owner, former registered owner, or his legal representative, or any other person legally entitled to the possession of a motor vehicle or other vehicle when the vehicle was processed and sold or disposed of as provided by this Chapter.
(Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 24; S 11-40-3 and Ch. 95 ½; S 4-201, et. seq., as amended)