2010 Arkansas Code
Title 27 - Transportation
Subtitle 4 - Motor Vehicular Traffic
Chapter 50 - Penalties And Enforcement
Subchapter 12 - Removal of Unattended or Abandoned Vehicles
§ 27-50-1208 - Possessory lien and notice to owners and lienholders.

27-50-1208. Possessory lien and notice to owners and lienholders.

(a) (1) The towing and storage firm shall have a first priority possessory lien on the vehicle and its contents for all reasonable charges for towing, recovery, and storage for which the owner is liable.

(2) (A) A possessory lien under this section attaches to not only the vehicle and its contents but also any trailer attached to the vehicle at the time it is towed and any contents of such trailer including, but not limited to, other vehicles or boats.

(B) A lien under this section shall not extend to the following items, without limitation:

(i) Personal or legal documents;

(ii) Medications;

(iii) Child-restraint seating;

(iv) Wallets or purses and the contents of such;

(v) Prescription eyeglasses;

(vi) Prosthetics;

(vii) Cell phones;

(viii) Photographs; and

(ix) Books.

(C) The items described in subdivision (a)(2)(B) of this section shall be released without charge by the towing and storage firm to the owner or operator of the motor vehicle or his or her duly authorized representative.

(b) The lien shall be perfected by:

(1) Maintaining possession;

(2) Mailing notice to the owner or owners and lienholders as shown on the data provided by the law enforcement agency involved as prescribed by this subchapter; or

(3) In the case of a vehicle removed pursuant to 27-50-1101, giving notice to the last known registered owner or owners and lienholders as provided from the records of the:

(A) Office of Motor Vehicle;

(B) Arkansas Crime Information Center; or

(C) If known, motor vehicle records of any other state where the vehicle's registration indicates the name and address of the last registered owner and the name and address of the holder of any recorded lien, if any, on the vehicle.

(c) (1) The notice shall be mandatory and by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(2) The notice shall be posted not sooner than two (2) business days but within eight (8) business days after the date that the towing and storage firm receives the vehicle.

(d) (1) If within forty-eight (48) hours the ownership and lienholder information has not been received from the law enforcement agency requesting the removal of a vehicle pursuant to this subchapter, the towing and storage firm shall obtain information concerning the last known registered owner or owners and lienholders as provided from the records of the:

(A) Office of Motor Vehicle;

(B) Arkansas Crime Information Center; or

(C) If known, motor vehicle records of any other state where the vehicle's registration indicates the name and address of the last registered owner and the name and address of the holder of any recorded lien, if any, on the vehicle.

(2) (A) For the purpose of notices required by this section, if the data records of the Office of Motor Vehicle or the office of motor vehicles for the state where the vehicle is registered, if known, do not contain any information as to the last known registered owner or owners and lienholders, notice by publication one (1) time in one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the county where the vehicle was found unattended, abandoned, or improperly parked is sufficient notice under this section.

(B) The notice by publication may contain multiple listings of vehicles, shall be published within the time requirements prescribed for notice by certified mail, and shall have the same contents required for a notice by certified mail.

(e) (1) The notice shall contain the following information:

(A) The year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle towed;

(B) The name, address, and telephone number of the storage facility;

(C) That the vehicle is in the possession of that towing and storage firm under police order, describing the general circumstances of any law enforcement or other official hold on the vehicle;

(D) That towing, storage, and administrative costs are accruing as a legal liability of the owner;

(E) That the towing and storage firm claims a first priority possessory lien on the vehicle and its contents for all such charges;

(F) That unless claimed within forty-five (45) days, the vehicle and its contents will be dismantled, destroyed, or sold at public sale to the highest bidder;

(G) That the failure to exercise the right to reclaim the vehicle and its contents within the time prescribed by this section constitutes a waiver by the owner and lienholder of all right, title, and interest in the vehicle and its contents and constitutes consent to the sale, dismantling, or destruction of the vehicle and its contents;

(H) That the owner or lienholder may retake possession at any time during business hours by appearing, proving ownership, and releasing the law enforcement or other official hold, if any, and by paying all charges or by other written arrangement between the owner or lienholder and the towing and storage firm;

(I) That should the owner consider that the original taking was not legally justified, he or she has a right for thirty (30) days to contest the original taking as described by 27-50-1207; and

(J) That the owner of the vehicle or operator or his or her authorized representative may recover without charge any item described in subdivision (a)(2)(B) of this section by providing within forty-five (45) days to the towing and storage firm proof that the claimant is the registered owner of the vehicle or has been authorized by the registered owner of the vehicle to take possession of the items.

(2) A notice to an owner of a vehicle deemed abandoned on the premises of an automobile repair facility under 27-50-1101 shall also advise that the automobile repair person holds an absolute lien on the vehicle under 18-45-201 et seq.

(f) Nothing in this section is to preclude the owner, lienholder, or agent from making alternative arrangements within the two-day to eight-day period with the towing and storage firm, waiving his or her rights to the notice requirement.

(g) When any vehicle reclaimed from the towing and storage firm by a lienholder contains contents not subject to the lienholder's interest, the lienholder shall be accountable to the owner of the contents in the same manner as the lienholder would in any other case of repossession of a vehicle, and the towing and recovery firm releasing the vehicle and its contents shall be relieved from all responsibility for the contents.

(h) (1) Any towing and storage firm that in good faith follows the procedures of this subchapter or the provisions of 27-50-1101 shall not be subject to claims of unlawful detainer or conversion for vehicles or their contents for maintaining property pursuant to the possessory lien as provided by this subchapter.

(2) Any challenge to the removal and holding of an unattended or abandoned vehicle as provided by this subchapter shall be controlled exclusively by the provisions of 27-50-1207.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit liability of the towing and storage firm for any other act or omission otherwise actionable under statutory or common law.

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