CHAPTER 247

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 792

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 69, TITLE 21, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REMOVAL OF MOTOR VEHICLES, TRAILERS AND MOPEDS FROM PUBLIC HIGHWAYS BY POLICE; AND PROVIDING A SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §6901 of Chapter 69, Title 21, Delaware Code by inserting between the word "remove" and the word "or" as the same appears in second line of said section the word", store" and further inserting between the word "removed" and the word "from" on the second line of said section the word ", stored".

Section 2. Amend Chapter 69, Title 21, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section to be designated as section 6902 to read as follows:

"§6902. Notification to Owner of Removal of Vehicle; Disposal of a Removed Vehicle

(a) Anyone rendering services under this Chapter or Chapter 44 of Title 21 has the right to detain the vehicle or motor vehicle rendered services to, about or for, to secure the payment of such services and shall have a lien upon said vehicle or motor vehicle.

(b) The lienor shall, by certified mail, return receipt requested, notify the lienee of the towing charges and, if compensation for storage is claimed, the per diem rate of storage charges, and a statement that the lienee must pay such charges on or before the date mentioned in the notice, said date not to be less than fifteen (15) days from service thereof. Notice shall be sent to last known address of the lienee and secured party. If the identity of the last registered owner or secured party cannot be determined with reasonable certainty, the contents of the notice set forth in this subsection shall be published one time in the newspaper of general circulation in the area where the vehicle was removed. The notice may contain multiple listings of removed vehicles. Notice by publication locally shall be the responsiblity of the lienor. The notice shall have the same effect as notice sent by certified mail.

(c) The lienor may after the expiration of fifteen (15) days from date of notification request the Division of Motor

Vehicles to schedule a hearing to determine the intentions of the registered owner and/or secured party as to the disposition of said vehicle.

(1) Upon receiving such request the Division of Motor Vehicles shall by certified mail, notify the owner of record if known and each secured party as shown on the records of the Division of Motor Vehicles of the date and time of the hearing and his right to be present and contest said proposed disposition of such vehicle.

(2) The hearing officer of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall notify the lienor and the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit of the date and time of the hearing.

(3) If identity of the last registered owner and of all secured parties cannot be determined with reasonable certainty the Division of Motor Vehicles shall notify the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit.

(4) The non-appearance of the owner and/or secured party at the scheduled hearing is:

(i) a waiver by him of all rights, title, interest in the vehicle; and

(ii) a consent to dispose of the vehicle.

(5) The hearing officer shall determine the disposition

of the vehicle if there is no objection at the hearing and shall

certify that all applicable regulations of the Division have been met. The owner and/or secured party shall have fifteen (15) days from the date of the hearing with the Division of Motor Vehicles to appeal such dispostion of said vehicle to the Director of Motor Vehicles. If after fifteen (15) days the owner and/or secured party has not filed an appeal to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of

Motor Vehicles shall issue a salvage certificate of title to the lienor.

(6) If, however, the owner and/or secured party objects to the disposition of the vehicle at the hearing, further proceedings by the Division of Motor Vehicles shall cease and all

parties will be notified of their right to file with a Court of proper jurisdiction to seek judicial disposition."

Section 2. The sum of $4,544 is hereby appropriated to the Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, for the

purpose of implementing the provisions of this Chapter for the remainder of fiscal year 1978 to be expended in the following manner:

Salaries of employees (2) $3,862

F.I.C.A. 234

Pensions 448

TOTAL $4,544

Section 3. This Act is a supplementary appropriation and the funds hereby appropriated shall be paid from the General Fund of the State Treasury from moneys not otherwise appropriated.

Section 4. The funds herein appropriated shall be expended only in the manner set forth herein and any funds appropriated but unexpended by June 30, 1978, shall revert to the General Fund.

Approved April 8, 1978.