[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Masontown 9-23-1980 by Ord. No. 266, approved 9-23-1980. Sections 136-4 and 136-5 amended and § 136-7 added at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 133.
[Amended 5-9-1989, approved 5-22-1989]
The police officers of the borough shall have authority to remove and impound or to order the removal and impounding of any vehicle which shall be found wrecked, abandoned, illegally parked, parked overtime or stored in violation of any law or ordinance now or hereafter in force; provided, however, that no vehicle shall be towed away or removed if, at the time of the intended removal, the owner or person then in charge of said vehicle is present and expresses a willingness and intent to immediately remove said vehicle and removes that same. The owner shall, however, be responsible for paying a service fee charged by the approved storage garage for answering the request of the police to tow said vehicle.
Removal and impounding of vehicles under this chapter shall be done only by approved storage garages that shall be designated from time to time by the Council. Every such garage shall submit evidence to the Council that it is bonded or has acquired liability insurance in an amount satisfactory to the Council as sufficient to indemnify owners of impounded vehicles against loss or damage to their vehicles while in the custody of the garagekeeper for the purpose of towing or storage. The approved storage garage shall submit to the Council its schedule of charges for towing and storage of vehicles under this chapter, and when the schedule is approved by the Council, those charges shall be adhered to by the approved storage garage. No different schedule of charges shall be adopted without approval of the Council and no different charges shall be demanded of or collected from any person whose vehicle is removed or impounded under this chapter by any approved storage garage. The Council shall delete from its list of approved storage garages any garage that shall make any unapproved charge in connection with any vehicle removed or impounded under this chapter.
Within 12 hours after the time of removal of any vehicle under authority granted by this chapter, notice of the fact that the vehicle was removed shall be sent by the Chief of Police to the owner of record of the vehicle. The notice shall designate the place from which the vehicle was removed, the reason for its removal and impounding and the garage in which it was impounded.
[Amended 6-9-1987 by Ord. No. 1987-1, approved 6-9-1987]
The payment of any towing and storage charges authorized under this chapter shall, unless payment is made under protest, be final and conclusive and shall constitute a waiver of any right to recover the money so paid. If payment of any towing or storage charges is made under protest, the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a District Justice. Payment of towing and storage charges shall not relieve the owner or operator of any vehicle from liability for any fine or penalty for the violation of the provisions of this chapter or any other ordinance of this borough on account of which the vehicle was removed and impounded.
In the event that towing and impounding charges are paid under protest, the offender shall be entitled to a hearing before a District Justice or court of record having jurisdiction, in which case such offender shall be proceeded against and receive such notice as is provided by the Motor Vehicle Code in other cases of summary offenses and shall have the same rights as to appeal and waiver of hearing.
Editor's Note: See 75 Pa C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
If the District Justice or court of record shall find, either that the ordinance was not validly enacted pursuant to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code; that the vehicle was not parked in a location prohibited by the Motor Vehicle Code or an ordinance properly enacted pursuant thereto; that at the time the vehicle was towed away, the owner or the person for the time being in charge was present and ready and willing to remove the same; that the vehicle was parked by a person, other than the owner or someone in charge thereof, without the owner's consent, after having been stolen; or for any other reason the towing or impounding was unlawful and the defendant is acquitted, said District Justice shall forthwith certify to the Borough Treasurer the facts, and the Borough Treasurer shall, within five days, refund to the offender the amount of said towing and storage charges paid by him or in his behalf.
The Chief of Police shall keep a record of all vehicles impounded under this chapter and shall be able at all reasonable times to furnish the owners or the agents of the owners of those vehicles with information as to the place of storage of the vehicles.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $300 and costs of such proceedings or, upon default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not more than 30 days; provided, however, that if the District Justice determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay the fines and costs immediately or in a single remittance, such defendant shall be permitted to pay the fines or costs in installments and over such periods of time as the District Justice deems to be just.