2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 39 - Motor Vehicles And Traffic Regulation
Section 39:10A-1 - Public Auction Of Abandoned Motor Vehicles; Notices Required.
39:10A-1 Public auction of abandoned motor vehicles; notices required.
1. a. When the State or any county, county park commission, municipality or any authority created by any thereof, hereinafter referred to as a "public agency," shall have taken possession of a motor vehicle found abandoned, such taking of possession shall be reported immediately to
(1)The Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form prescribed by the administrator, for verification of ownership and
(2)The National Insurance Crime Bureau.
(3)Upon receipt of verification of ownership of the vehicle from the administrator, the public agency shall within three business days provide notice of possession of the vehicle to the owner of record and the holder of any security interest filed with the administrator by telephone, mail, facsimile or electronically. The public agency may assess the person claiming the vehicle, be it the owner of record or the holder of any security interest, for the actual costs of providing the notice required under this paragraph.
(4)The public agency shall also within three business days notify the person storing the abandoned motor vehicle. The notice shall be given in the same manner as in the case of notification of the owner of record and the security interest holder and shall include the name and address of the owner of record and the holder of any security interest in the stored motor vehicle.
(5)Upon receipt of the notice required by paragraph (4) of this subsection, the person storing the abandoned motor vehicle shall provide notice to the owner of record and to any security interest holder.
(a)The notice shall be by first class mail, with a certificate of mailing, and shall include a schedule of the costs imposed for storing the motor vehicle and instructions explaining how the owner of record or the security interest holder may claim the stored motor vehicle.
(b)Except as provided in subparagraph (c) of this paragraph, if the person storing the motor vehicle fails to provide this notice to the owner of record and to the security interest holder within 30 days of the date on which the storer of the vehicle received the notice required under paragraph (4) from the public agency, the maximum amount that person may charge the owner of record or the security interest holder for storing that motor vehicle shall be $750, provided that the owner of record or security interest holder submits a proper claim for the vehicle not later than the 30th day following the date the notice is delivered from the public agency to the person storing the motor vehicle.
(c)When a vehicle is abandoned due to the death or incapacitation of the driver or any passenger, the person storing the vehicle shall charge the owner of record or the security interest holder no more than $100 for the first 72 hours after the vehicle is placed on the premises.
(d)If the owner of record or security interest holder fails to submit a proper claim for the vehicle on or before that 30th day, the person storing the motor vehicle may charge the security interest holder reasonable costs for the removal and storage of the motor vehicle. If the notice is properly provided by the person storing the motor vehicle, that person may charge the owner of record or the security interest holder reasonable costs for the removal and storage of the motor vehicle from the date the person removed and stored the motor vehicle.
(e)The public agency may assess the person storing the abandoned motor vehicle, and the person storing the abandoned motor vehicle may assess the security interest holder, for the actual costs of providing the notices required under paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection.
b.When such motor vehicle which has been ascertained not to be stolen and to be one which can be certified for a junk title certificate under section 3 of P.L.1964, c.81 (C.39:10A-3) shall have remained unclaimed by the owner or other person having a legal right thereto for a period of 15 business days, even if at that time the owner has not been identified as a result of efforts to make identification by the public agency or the Motor Vehicle Commission, the same may be sold at auction in a public place. If the certified motor vehicle is sold at auction prior to identification of the owner, the public agency shall document the condition of the motor vehicle in writing and with photographs prior to the sale; document the amount obtained from the sale of the motor vehicle; and notify the owner, if his name and address are identified after the sale, of the actions taken by the public agency to dispose of the motor vehicle.
c.When a motor vehicle which cannot be certified for a junk title certificate under section 3 of P.L.1964, c.81 (C.39:10A-3) remains unclaimed by the owner or other person having a legal right thereto for a period of 20 business days, the motor vehicle may be sold at auction in a public place, but shall be sold no later than 90 business days after the public agency takes possession of the vehicle.
d.The public agency shall give notice of a sale conducted pursuant to subsection b. or c. of this section, by certified mail, to the owner, if his name and address be known and to the holder of any security interest filed with the administrator, and by publication in a form to be prescribed by the administrator by one insertion, at least five days before the date of the sale, in one or more newspapers published in this State and circulating in the municipality in which such motor vehicle is held.
L.1964, c.81, s.1; amended 1986, c.173; 1987, c.127, s.5; 1989, c.66; 2006, c.91; 2008, c.107, s.2; 2015, c.95, s.8.
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