2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 39 - Motor Vehicles And Traffic Regulation
Section 39:3C-34 - Additional Fines, Impoundment.

NJ Rev Stat § 39:3C-34 (2016) What's This?

39:3C-34 Additional fines, impoundment.

34. a. In addition to the fines set forth in section 33 of P.L.2009, c.275 (C.39:3C-33), any vehicle or off-road vehicle operated on public lands in violation of P.L.1973, c.307 (C.39:3C-1 et seq.), may be impounded by the law enforcing agency and held until the payment of the fee required pursuant to subsection b. or c. of this section, as appropriate.

The prosecutor may waive the requirements of subsections b. and c. of this section for the owner of the vehicle or off-road vehicle if the owner is not a defendant in the case and did not know, or reasonably could not have known, that the vehicle or off-road vehicle would be used in violation of P.L.1973, c.307 (C.39:3C-1 et seq.), or any law, or rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, concerning the operation of vehicles or off-road vehicles on public lands.

b. (1) For a first offense, the vehicle or off-road vehicle may be impounded for not less than 48 hours and shall be released to the registered owner upon proof of registration and insurance as applicable to the type of vehicle or off-road vehicle and payment of a fee of $500 to the Department of Environmental Protection, plus reasonable towing and storage costs.

(2)For a second offense, the vehicle or off-road vehicle may be impounded for not less than 96 hours and shall be released to the registered owner upon proof of registration and insurance as applicable to the type of vehicle or off-road vehicle and payment of a fee of $750 to the Department of Environmental Protection, plus reasonable towing and storage costs.

(3)For a third or subsequent offense, the vehicle or off-road vehicle impounded may be forfeited and sold at auction and the registered owner shall be responsible for payment of a fee of $1,000 to the Department of Environmental Protection, plus reasonable towing and storage costs.

c. (1) If the owner fails to claim the impounded vehicle or off-road vehicle, and the fee required pursuant to subsection b. of this section has not been paid, by noon of the 30th day following the date of conviction, the vehicle or off-road vehicle may be sold at auction. Notice of the sale shall be given by the impounding entity by certified mail to the owner of the vehicle or off-road vehicle, if the owner's name and address are known, and to the holder of any security interest filed with the chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, and by publication in a form prescribed by the chief administrator by one insertion, at least five days before the date of the sale, in one or more newspapers published in the State and circulating in the municipality in which the vehicle or off-road vehicle is impounded.

(2)At any time prior to the sale, the owner or other person entitled to the vehicle or off-road vehicle may reclaim possession upon (a) showing proof of registration and insurance as applicable to the vehicle or off-road vehicle, (b) payment of the required fee, (c) payment of reasonable towing and storage costs, and (d) payment of all outstanding fees and costs associated with the impoundment.

The owner-lessor of an impounded vehicle or off-road vehicle shall be entitled to reclaim possession and the lessee shall be liable for all outstanding fines and restitution and fees and costs associated with the impoundment, towing and storage of the vehicle or off-road vehicle.

d.Any proceeds obtained from the sale of a vehicle or off-road vehicle at public auction pursuant to subsection c. of this section in excess of the amount owed to the impounding entity for the reasonable costs of towing and storage and any fees or other costs associated with the impoundment of the vehicle or off-road vehicle shall be returned to the owner of that vehicle or off-road vehicle, if the owner's name and address are known. If the owner's name and address are unknown or such person or entity cannot be located, the net proceeds shall be administered in accordance with the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act," R.S.46:30B-1 et seq.

e. (1) Whenever a vehicle or off-road vehicle is subject to forfeiture pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection b. of this section, the forfeiture may be enforced by a civil action, instituted within 90 days of the impoundment and commenced by the State against the property sought to be forfeited. The complaint for forfeiture shall be verified on oath or affirmation. It shall describe with reasonable accuracy the vehicle or off-road vehicle that is subject to the forfeiture action. The complaint shall contain all allegations setting forth the reason for forfeiture.

(2)Notice of the action shall be given to any person known to have a property interest in the vehicle or off-road vehicle and the notice requirements of the Rules of Court for an in rem action shall be followed. The claimant of the vehicle or off-road vehicle that is subject to action under this subsection shall file and serve the claim in the form of an answer in accordance with the Rules of Court. The answer shall be verified on oath or affirmation and state the interest in the property by virtue of which the claimant demands its restitution and the right to defend the action. If the claim is made on behalf of the person entitled to possession by an agent or attorney, it shall state that the agent or attorney is duly authorized to make the claim. If no answer is filed and served within the applicable time, the property seized shall be disposed of pursuant to N.J.S.2C:64-6 and N.J.S.2C:64-7.

L.2009, c.275,s.34.


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