[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Southampton 11-14-1980 as L.L. No. 7-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A motor vehicle which has come into the custody of the Village of Southampton by virtue of having been towed away from a public or private place because it was improperly or illegally in such location or otherwise comes into possession of the Village of Southampton in the exercise of its municipal functions shall be deemed to be an impounded vehicle. Any such impounded vehicle shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle if it is not claimed by its owner within 10 days after it is impounded.
If such abandoned vehicle, at the time of abandonment, has no number plates affixed and is of a wholesale value, taking into consideration the condition of the vehicle, of $250 or less, title shall immediately vest in the Village of Southampton.
Except for vehicles governed by § 112-2 above, the village shall make an inquiry concerning the last owner of such vehicle as follows:
The village shall notify the last owner, if known, that the vehicle in question has been recovered as an abandoned vehicle and that, if unclaimed, it will be sold at public auction after 10 days from the date such notice was given. If the agency described in Subsection A above also notifies the village that a lien or mortgage exists, such notice shall also be sent to the lienholder or mortgagee. Notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested. Any person claiming such vehicle shall be required to pay the costs of removal and storage of such vehicle.
Ownership of such abandoned vehicles, if unclaimed, shall vest in the village 10 days from the date such notice is given, or, if the last owner cannot be ascertained, when notice of such fact is received.
The village shall determine if an abandoned vehicle is suitable for operation on the public highways. If so, the vehicle shall be sold at public auction to the highest bidder.
If the village determines that such abandoned vehicle is not suitable for operation on the public highways, it shall remove and destroy the vehicle identification number plate and sell the vehicle to a vehicle dismantler or scrap processer registered or certified pursuant to § 415-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
An abandoned vehicle without a vehicle identification number plate must be sold only to a vehicle dismantler or a scrap processor registered or certified pursuant to § 415-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York or to a vehicle dismantler or scrap processor who does not have a place of business in this state but who conforms to the laws and regulations of the state in which he has a place of business. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as preventing a local authority from applying for a replacement vehicle identification number plate.
Any proceeds from the sale of an abandoned vehicle less any expenses incurred by the village shall be held by the village without interest, for the benefit of the owner of such vehicle, for a period of five years. If not claimed within such five-year period, such proceeds shall be paid into the general fund of the village.
The last owner of such an abandoned vehicle shall be liable to the village for the costs of removal and storage of such vehicle.