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      RS 32:476     


§476.  Abandoned motor vehicles; sale by municipalities and parochial authorities; procedure

A.  Whenever any motor vehicle belonging to a known or unknown person has been seized or is otherwise held by any municipality or any parochial authority for illegal parking, stationing, or abandoning of such motor vehicle on the public streets, ways, roads, and highways within the state, and the same has not been claimed for a period of three months or more, then the motor vehicle shall be considered as having been abandoned to the municipality or parochial authority and the municipality or parochial authority may dispose of such motor vehicle and collect the costs and charges of removing and storing said vehicle in the following manner:

(1)  The municipality or parochial authority shall send a registered or certified letter, return receipt requested, to the owner of said vehicle, within ten days of the date the vehicle was seized.  Said governing authority shall send a second letter to the vehicle owner upon the expiration of the three-month period provided for in this Section.  Any such letter shall be sent to the owner of the vehicle at his last known address informing him that the municipality or parochial authority is holding said vehicle.  The owner shall also be informed in such letter that the vehicle shall be sold to the highest bidder unless said owner, on or before the date of sale, claims the vehicle and pays to the municipality or parochial authority all costs and charges imposed by the municipality or parochial authority for the removal and detention of the vehicle.  A copy of the letters shall also be sent to any person or firm known to be the holder of a mortgage on said vehicle.

(2)  Before the sale of any such vehicles, the municipality or parochial authority shall have them appraised by a competent appraiser and shall publish a notice of the proposed sale of said vehicle or vehicles in the official journal of the municipality or parish not less than three times within a ten-day period prior to the date of said sale.  The published notice shall contain a complete list of the vehicles to be sold, the date and place of said sale, and notification that said vehicles will be sold either individually or in globo to the highest bidder therefor, all in the discretion of the municipality or parochial authority.

(3)  All funds received from the sale of a motor vehicle under the provisions hereof shall be set aside and placed in a separate account established therefor by the municipality or parochial authority.  If, within one year following the date of the sale, the owner or lienholders of any of said vehicles shall present sufficient proof to the municipality or parochial authority of his ownership or lien, the said owner or lienholder shall be entitled to the amount received for his individual vehicle less his pro rata share of the costs and expenses of the sale, as well as all charges and costs due and owing for removal and storage of said vehicle.  Any funds not claimed within one year following the date of sale shall be deposited to the general fund of the municipality or parish.

B.  Parishes and municipalities are authorized to adopt local ordinances defining derelict or junk vehicles and adopting procedures for the towing away and selling of the same and shall not be required to comply with Subsection A hereof as to derelict or junk vehicles.

Added by Acts 1962, No. 389, §§1, 2.  Amended by Acts 1964, No. 157; Acts 1972, No. 343, §1; Acts 1992, No. 1040, §1.

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