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      RS 32:783     


§783. Used Motor Vehicle Commission; appointment and qualification; terms of office; powers and duties

            A. There is hereby created the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission within the office of the governor to be composed of ten members all appointed by the governor with the confirmation of the Senate. Five members shall be licensed used motor vehicle dealers, one selected from each public service commission district. One member shall be a licensed automotive dismantler or parts recycler, three members shall be consumers selected from the state at large, and one member shall be a person licensed to conduct used motor vehicle auctions or salvage pool auctions. The chairman shall be designated by the governor.

            B.(1) The terms of the chairman and commissioners shall be coterminous with that of the governor making the appointment and until his successor is appointed and is qualified. The term of office of any member shall automatically expire if the member moves out of the public service commission district from which he was appointed. In the event of death, resignation, removal, or automatic expiration of term of any person serving on the commission, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the manner of original appointment.

            (2) The commission shall meet at Baton Rouge and complete its organization immediately after the entire membership has been appointed and qualified.

            (3) The chairman and each member of the commission shall take and subscribe to the oath of office required of public officers.

            C.(1) The chairman and members of the commission shall receive seventy-five dollars for each and every day actually and necessarily spent in attending the meetings of the commission, including any commission committee meetings, and shall be reimbursed for subsistence and traveling expenses incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder as provided by the commissioner of the division of administration.

            (2) Such meeting payments shall not exceed the sum of eighteen hundred dollars per annum to any one person.

            D.(1) The commission shall appoint a qualified person to serve as executive director who shall have had sufficient management and organizational experience in the automotive industry to direct the functions of the commission. The commission shall fix his salary and shall define and prescribe his duties.

            (2) The executive director shall be in charge of the commission's office and shall devote such time as necessary to fulfill the duties thereof, and before entering upon his duties he shall take and subscribe to the oath of office.

            (3) The commission may employ such clerical, technical, legal, and other help and incur such expenses as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its duties under this Chapter.

            (4) The commission shall maintain its office and transact its business in Baton Rouge and is authorized to adopt and use a seal.

            E.(1) The commission is hereby vested with the powers and duties necessary and proper to enable it to fully and effectively carry out and enforce the provisions and objectives of this Chapter and is hereby authorized and empowered to make and enforce all reasonable rules and regulations and to adopt and prescribe all forms necessary to accomplish said purpose. The enumeration of any power or authority herein shall not be construed to deny, impair, disparage, or limit any others necessary to the attainment thereof. All rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Oversight review shall be conducted by the House Committee on Commerce and the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works.

            (2) The commission shall have the full power and authority to purchase, acquire, develop, expand, sell, lease, maintain, mortgage, borrow funds, or otherwise contract with respect to immovable property and improvements thereon as it may deem necessary or appropriate to accomplish the provisions of this Chapter. Additionally, the commission shall have the authority to borrow funds with the approval of the State Bond Commission and to expend funds of the commission for the acquisition of immovable property and improvements thereon. In the event that the commission sells immovable property and improvements thereon, the revenue derived from the sale shall be retained by the commission and shall not be subject to reversion to the state general fund.

            F. The commission's powers and duties shall include but are not limited to the following:

            (1) Licensing used motor vehicle dealers and salespersons, motor vehicle crushers, dealers of used parts and accessories, and dismantlers and parts recyclers.

            (2) Inspecting used motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle crushers, dealers of used parts and accessories locations, and dismantlers and parts recyclers locations to ensure that they are in an approved location, meet local zoning or other municipal requirements, and have sufficient facilities which shall include but not be limited to a business sign, a listed and usable telephone number, and a sales office.

            (3) Repealed by Acts 2018, No. 435, §2.

            (4) Working with consumers and dealers to hear complaints on used vehicles and parts and to establish a Used Car Consumer Action Panel to hear complaints on a condition of sale, implied and written warranties, and service complaints.

            (5) Requiring all dismantlers, motor vehicle crushers, dealers of used parts and accessories, recyclers, and dealers to maintain their records for a period of three years and to keep their records, vehicles, and places of business open to inspection by any peace officer or agent of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or of the commission during reasonable hours. Such records shall include bills of sale, financing or mortgage records, and monthly sales reports.

            (6) Holding and conducting hearings on violations of this Chapter, mandatory repurchase disputes, imposing civil penalties, cease and desist orders, and revocation or suspension of licenses.

            (7) Repealed by Acts 2009, No. 403, §2, effective July 7, 2009.

            (8)(a) Taking possession of certificates of title and further distributing those titles to the rightful owners pursuant to R.S. 32:705 from:

            (i) A used motor vehicle dealer who has failed or refused to provide a certificate of title to his customer or to the rightful owners pursuant to R.S. 32:705.

            (ii) A floor plan financier or other similar holder of a security interest relative to a used motor vehicle who has failed or refused to provide a certificate of title to a bona fide retail purchaser in actual good faith in accordance with R.S. 32:710(D).

            (b)(i) The executive director of the commission is empowered to take any and all actions necessary to obtain and deliver a certificate of title to a retail purchaser in actual good faith including instituting or participating in any legal action to obtain a certificate of title and endorsing a certificate of title on behalf of any used motor vehicle dealer who either refuses or is unavailable to sign or endorse the certificate of title.

            (ii) If the commission institutes or participates in legal action to obtain a certificate of title for delivery to a retail purchaser in actual good faith, the commission is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and court costs to be paid by the individual or entity responsible for delivery of the certificate of title.

            (9) Issuing, serving, and enforcing a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum pursuant to any hearing or lawful investigation into the suspected misconduct of any licensee.

            (10) Having the sole and exclusive authority to administer all claims made against the bond required by R.S. 32:791(G), including the denial or rejection of any claim.

            (a) The executive director of the commission is authorized to take any action necessary to administer claims against any bond, including instituting or intervening in a legal action to obtain payment of a claim or to prevent payment of an unauthorized claim.

            (b) If the commission institutes or intervenes in any legal action as authorized by Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph and prevails, the court shall award the commission reasonable attorney fees and court costs to be paid by the licensee, surety, or both.

            G. All fees and charges under the provisions of this Chapter shall be collected and received by the executive director of the commission and shall be disbursed by him at the direction of the commission in administering and enforcing the provisions of this Chapter.

            H. Repealed by Acts 2012, No. 834, §13, eff. July 1, 2012.

            I. The commission shall, in addition to the powers herein conferred, be constituted a body politic or political corporation, invested with the powers inherent in corporations. It may sue and be sued under the style of the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission, and all process against the corporation shall be served on the chairman or executive director, and all suits on behalf of the commission shall be brought by the chairman or his designee. The domicile for the purpose of being sued shall be in East Baton Rouge Parish. Service of process shall be made upon the chairman or upon the executive director of the commission in person. No member of the board shall be held liable as an individual in any suit against the board.

            Acts 2006, No. 440, §1; Acts 2007, No. 446, §1; Acts 2009, No. 403, §§1, 2, eff. July 7, 2009; Acts 2010, No. 987, §1; Acts 2012, No. 834, §§5, 13, eff. July 1, 2012; Acts 2016, No. 288, §1; Acts 2018, No. 435, §§1, 2, eff. May 23, 2018.

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