[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Hillside 12-21-1971 as Ch. VI, Sec. 6-6, of the 1971 Code; amended in its entirety by the Township Council 10-29-2002. 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 street or on any public or private lands within the Township of Hillside is contrary and inimical to the public welfare in that such vehicles 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 deteriorate and are 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.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck, truck-trailer or vehicle which is found without the current year's registration or identification markers as required by law for a period of five continuous days, or which 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, or which is found to be mechanically inoperative and is allowed to remain inoperative for a period of 48 hours (said period of time may be extended for good cause by the Police Department).
- JUNK AUTOMOBILE OR JUNK AUTOMOBILE BODY
- Any automobile which is no longer in actual use a motor vehicle, 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.
- Any individual, firm, partnership or corporation being the owner or having any legal right in, of or to the motor vehicle or other vehicle as herein defined.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Police Department of the Township of Hillside.
- TRAILER, TRUCK, TRUCK-TRAILER, VEHICLE, MOTOR VEHICLE, OMNIBUS OR ROAD TRACTOR
- As defined in N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq. of the Revised Statutes of the State of New Jersey.
It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or suffer or permit the abandoning of any vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck or truck-trailer or other vehicle as defined herein out-of-doors upon any public or private lands in the Township of Hillside or on any public street or between the right-of-way therein. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storage of any such vehicle in a carport, enclosed garage, barn or other building.
This chapter shall not apply to lawfully operated junkyards nor to motor vehicles located or stored in garages or other buildings, nor to motor vehicles being held for sale, resale, repair or maintenance if at a regular place of business where such commercial activity is permitted, nor to vehicles used for agricultural, business or property maintenance purposes, which vehicles are not required to be registered because they remain and are used solely on private property.
The Police Chief or any member of the Police Department designated by him shall remove or have removed any vehicle left at any place within the Township, including private property, which reasonably appears to be in violation of this section or lost, stolen or unclaimed. A police officer may treat a vehicle as abandoned when:
Such vehicle is parked without identification markers as prohibited by the laws of the State of New Jersey.
The vehicle, in the judgment of the police officer, is so disabled as to constitute an obstruction to traffic and the driver or person owning or in charge of it willfully neglects or refuses to move the vehicle to a place where it shall not obstruct traffic.
The police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the vehicle has been abandoned.
Continuous parking of a vehicle on a public highway or in any municipal parking lot or area for a period of at least 48 hours shall be deemed sufficient evidence of abandonment.
A police officer who impounds a vehicle may move or cause the removal of such vehicle to a garage or place designated by the Police Chief or police officer in charge of the Police Department as a garage or place for the impounding of such vehicles, provided that the garage or place so designated has first furnished satisfactory proof of competency, including possession and availability of proper equipment, experience in its use and personnel and financial responsibility, including the furnishing of adequate surety bonds in a minimum amount as per contractual provisions between the Township of Hillside and the towing contractor, protecting both the Township of Hillside and the owner of the vehicle impounded against any and all damages and loss due to the acts of the garage, its agents and employees and all loss and damage to the vehicle while in possession of the garage.
A vehicle impounded shall be retained and impounded at the garage or designated place until the person owning it pays the cost of the taking and removal in accordance with the contractual provisions between the Township of Hillside and the towing contractor.
After a vehicle is removed, the Police Chief or his designate shall notify the registered and legal owner within 10 days, in writing, by personal service or certified mail at his last known address of the removal of the vehicle, the reason therefor and its location.
After the vehicle has been impounded in accordance with this chapter for one month and the owner is unknown and cannot be found or refuses to receive it, the Police Chief or officer in charge of the Police Department may proceed to sell the vehicle in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, specifically N.J.S.A. 39:10A-1.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days; and/or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.