[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Mount Laurel 11-4-1968 as Ord. No. 1968-21. Sections 146-2, 146-7, 146-8 and 146-9 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby determined and declared that the abandonment or storage out-of-doors of any motor vehicle not currently in use for transportation and not currently licensed or registered, on any public streets or on any public or private lands within the township, is contrary and inimical to the public welfare in that such articles so abandoned or stored attract or may attract persons of tender years who, being so attracted, may play in and about them and be injured in so doing, and in that such vehicles so abandoned or stored out-of-doors, exposed to the elements, deteriorate and in themselves are unsightly and, deteriorating, become more unsightly and are detrimental to and depreciate the value of properties in the neighborhood where they are located and in the township as a whole.
The following terms, phrases and words, as used in and for the purpose of this chapter shall be deemed to have the following meanings:
- ABANDONED VEHICLES
- Includes any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck, truck-tractor or vehicle which:
- A. Is parked without the current year's registration or identification markers as required by law;
- B. Has been continuously parked in any public street or on any public land for a period of 10 days;
- C. Is so disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic and the driver or person owning or in charge thereof neglects or refuses to move the same to a place where it will not obstruct traffic;
- D. Is found to be mechanically inoperative and is allowed to remain inoperative for a period of 10 days (said period of time may be extended, for good cause, by the Police Department); or
- E. Is found without one or more tires.
- JUNK AUTOMOBILE or JUNK AUTOMOBILE BODY
- Any automobile which is no longer in actual use as a motor vehicle or which is wholly unfit, without rebuilding or reconditioning, for use in highway transportation or which has been discarded for use as a motor vehicle or otherwise abandoned.
- MOTOR VEHICLE, OMNIBUS, ROAD TRACTOR, TRAILER, TRUCK, TRUCK-TRACTOR AND VEHICLE
- Are intended to have the meaning stated and defined in N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq.
- Any individual, firm, partnership or corporation being the owner of or having any legal right in or to the motor vehicle or other vehicle as herein defined.
[Amended 11-15-1976 by Ord. No. 1976-11]
It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or suffer or permit the abandoning of any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck or truck-tractor or other vehicle as defined herein out-of-doors upon any public street or between the right-of-way side lines of any public right-of-way therein or on any private property. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storage of any such vehicle in an enclosed garage, barn or other building.
No person shall place, keep or store any junk automobile or junk automobile body, as heretofore defined in this chapter, on any public or private property within the Township of Mount Laurel unless such person fully complies with the licensing and regulatory provisions of the township and with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 39:11-3.
If any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck, truck-tractor or vehicle as defined in this chapter shall be abandoned on private lands for 10 days or more, it shall be presumed that the owner or tenant in possession of said land has abandoned it there or permitted or suffered it to be abandoned there.
If a bona fide resident of the Township of Mount Laurel will be continuously absent from the township for a period in excess of 10 days on personal business, including attendance at school, service in the Armed Forces of the United States or engagement in his business occupation, said resident may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter by the Chief of Police of the township upon submission of a written request to the Chief for said exemption. The resident seeking the exemption must be prepared to present proof of his qualification for exemption under the terms of this section within 30 days of the submission of his request therefor. Any exemption referred to in this section shall be available with reference to private passenger cars not used for public hire.
Whenever any officer of the Mount Laurel Township Division of Police finds any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck, truck-tractor or vehicle which has been abandoned, kept or stored contrary to the provisions of this chapter on any public street or highway or on any public or private property, such member of the Mount Laurel Township Division of Police shall remove or secure the removal of this vehicle to such garage or place as may be designated by the Township Council of the Township of Mount Laurel as a garage and place for the impounding of such vehicles, and such vehicle shall be retained in impoundment until the person owning the same shall first pay the reasonable cost of the removal and storage which may result from such removal before regaining possession of the vehicle.
Whenever any vehicle is impounded as provided in this section, the Chief of Police or some member of the Division of Police shall notify the registered owner in writing within five days of the date of impoundment, by certified mail at the last known address of the owner, of the removal of such vehicle, the reason for its removal and the location of the vehicle.
[Amended 10-17-1983 by Ord. No. 1983-31]
Whenever any vehicle impounded by the Division of Police shall remain unclaimed for a period of 30 days, the vehicle shall be sold under the direction of the Director of Public Safety at public auction to the highest bidder. Such auction held shall take place after notice of such sale has been given at least five days prior thereto by one publication in the newspaper circulated in the township and upon the mailing of a copy of said notice to the owner of the vehicle and to any holder of a security interest filed with the Director of Motor Vehicles, by certified mail at least five days prior to the sale. The address of the owner as shown on the records of the State Division of Motor Vehicles shall be deemed sufficient for the purposes of this section.
[Amended 10-17-1983 by Ord. No. 1983-31]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge, and each day that such violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Amended 10-1-1984 by Ord. No. 1984-33]
A continuance of a violation or a noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a nuisance and the Township Council shall have the right to apply to the courts of this state for injunctive relief or other relief in addition to the penalties provided for herein.