§ 6.30.570. Vehicles with five or more outstanding notice of infractions—Impoundment procedures  


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  • (a) Except as provided in section 6.30.610, whenever any vehicle has five or more notices of infraction within two years which have not been responded to by the registered owner and/or operator of such vehicles, after being warned that repeated violations may result in the impounding or immobilizing the vehicle, and an immobilizer is placed on the vehicle, a notice to immobilize shall be affixed thereto and the registered owner, or the owner's agent, must be afforded a hearing before a hearing officer designated by the city on the following day, Saturdays, Sundays and city holidays excepted.

    (b) The notice to immobilize must state among other things:

    (1) That the vehicle has been immobilized for having five or more notices of infraction which have not been responded to by the registered owner and/or operator of such vehicle, after being warned that repeated violations may result in the impounded or immobilizing the vehicle;

    (2) That it is a misdemeanor for any unauthorized person to deface, injure, tamper with, open, break, destroy or remove the immobilizer, impair the usefulness thereof or attempt to do any of those acts;

    (3) That the registered owner of the vehicle is afforded a hearing before a hearing officer on the following day to determine whether there was probable cause to immobilize the vehicle and why the vehicle should not be impounded; and

    (4) That if the registered owner or owner's agent does not appear at the scheduled hearing, an order to impound the vehicle shall be issued.

    (c) (1) The hearing proceedings shall be conducted in an informal manner and shall not be bound by the formal rules of evidence or procedure. The owner or owner's agent shall be accorded the essential elements of due process of law, including notice, and an opportunity to be heard and defend the owner's position.

    (2) The hearing officer shall determine whether the city had probable cause pursuant to subsection (3) of section 6.30.530 to immobilize the vehicle in question.

    (3) At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall prepare a written decision and a copy of such decision shall be provided to the person requesting the hearing. The decision of the hearing officer may be appealed to the Reno Municipal Court as set forth in section 6.30.090 of this chapter. Failure of the registered owner or the owner's agent to request or attend such a scheduled post-seizure hearing shall be deemed a waiver of the right to such hearing.

    (4) The hearing officer shall determine whether there was probable cause to immobilize the vehicle and, in appropriate cases, whether fees and charges should be reduced in the interest of justice. In the event that the hearing officer determines that the vehicle should be released without fees or with a reduction in fees, the hearing officer shall prepare and date a written waiver of such fees. Copies of the waiver shall be furnished the vehicle owner or vehicle owner's agent and the police department. The vehicle shall then be released to the owner or the owner's agent for fees paid to recover the vehicle from impound. If the hearing officer determines the immobilization was justified pursuant to subsection (3) of section 6.30.530, the owner or his agent shall be responsible for costs of removal fees of $50.00, plus civil fines, in connection with the notices of infraction.

    (d) In the event the registered owner or his/her agent does not appear, or does not pay the removal fee and refuses to pay the civil fines, the hearing officer shall enter an order to impound the vehicle. In hardship cases, the hearing officer may allow the fines to be paid in installments.

(Ord. No. 4054, § 1, 2-12-91; Ord. No. 6194, § 1, 7-6-11)