2019 Wyoming Statutes
Title 31 - Motor Vehicles
Chapter 13 - Abandoned Vehicles
Section 31-13-112 - Release of Liability for Removal and Storage Of, and for Lost or Damaged Items In, Abandoned Vehicles; Disposition of Personal Property Within a Vehicle; Optional Court Action.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 31-13-112 (2019)

31-13-112. Release of liability for removal and storage of, and for lost or damaged items in, abandoned vehicles; disposition of personal property within a vehicle; optional court action.

(a) A person who removes or stores a vehicle under this act or otherwise at the request of a police officer, shall not incur any civil liability for the removal or storage except for failure to exercise reasonable care in the performance of the removal or storage.

(b) If any vehicle is removed from any highway, or public or private property as provided herein, the owner of the vehicle may not institute in any state court a suit in law or equity against any police officer or his agents for the recovery of the value of any item in or on the vehicle that may be lost, stolen or damaged resulting therefrom.

(c) A person who has custody of a vehicle removed or stored or otherwise at the request of a police officer shall release the personal property within the vehicle to the owner of the vehicle or a person acting as agent for the owner during regular office hours upon presentation of proper identification. No charge may be assessed against the owner or agent for the removal or release of the personal property.

(d) A vehicle defined as abandoned under W.S. 31-13-101(a)(x)(D), including vehicles left unattended or unclaimed at an establishment for towing and recovery services, may be disposed of as are other abandoned vehicles.

(e) A property owner or person in lawful control of the property upon which a vehicle is abandoned or any sheriff who is authorized to sell an abandoned vehicle pursuant to this act may in lieu of selling the vehicle, file or cause to be filed by the county attorney if a sheriff, an action in the county where the vehicle is impounded in the circuit court. The action shall be in rem and against the vehicle, vehicle owner, and all known and unknown parties with an interest in the vehicle. The defendants in the action shall be served as provided in the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure. Judgment in the civil action is limited to the value of the vehicle as determined by its sale price at the sale conducted by the sheriff after judgment is entered. All expenses incident to the removal, preservation, custody, sale and storage of the vehicle shall be paid. Except as otherwise provided in W.S. 31-13-111(f), any remaining proceeds:

(i) Shall be distributed pursuant to W.S. 31-13-111 if a vehicle is impounded by a police officer pursuant to W.S. 31-13-104; or

(ii) May be retained by the property owner or person in lawful control of the property upon which a vehicle is abandoned who files an action pursuant to this subsection.

(f) After any vehicle has been sold under subsection (e) of this section, the former owner, any lienholder or person entitled to possession of the vehicle has no further right, title, claim or interest in or to the vehicle or its contents, and all liens, encumbrances and security interests are extinguished.

(g) Repealed by Laws 2016, ch. 109, § 3.

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