Impoundment and Seizure Violations
Below is a list of violations that may result in the impoundment or seizure of a motor vehicle:
- Possession of unlawful firearms in motor vehicle.
- Possession of drugs in motor vehicle.
- Driving while driver’s license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof.
- Fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer.
- Reckless driving, aggravated reckless driving or drag racing.
- other Criminal activity.
Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a motor vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment, the police officer shall provide for the towing of the vehicle to a facility controlled by the Village or its agents. Before or at the time the vehicle is towed, the police officer shall notify any person identifying himself or herself as the owner of the vehicle or any person who is found to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, of the fact of the seizure and of the vehicle owner's right to request a vehicle impoundment hearing to be conducted under this chapter.
Vehicle Impoundment Hearing
(a) All vehicle impoundment hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted by a hearing officer appointed under the provisions of Section 412.03(c) of this Traffic Code.
(b) Whenever the owner of record of a vehicle seized pursuant to this chapter makes a request of the Police Department in person and in writing for a vehicle impoundment hearing after seizure, the hearing officer shall conduct the hearing within twenty-four hours after the seizure, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing. The formal rules of evidence will not apply at the hearing, and hearsay evidence shall be admissible. If, after the hearing, the hearing officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment, the hearing officer shall order the continued impoundment of the vehicle as provided herein unless the owner of the vehicle posts a cash bond in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00), plus any applicable towing and storage fees.
(c) Unless a hearing has been held pursuant to subsection (b) hereof, within ten days after a vehicle is seized and impounded, the Village shall notify the owner of record, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the date, time and location of a hearing that will be conducted pursuant to this subsection. The hearing shall be scheduled and held, unless continued by order of the hearing officer, no later than thirty days after the vehicle was seized. All interested persons shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the hearing. If, after the hearing, the hearing officer determines by a preponderance of the evidence that none of the exceptions described applies, the hearing officer shall enter an order finding the owner of record of the vehicle civilly liable to the Village for an administrative penalty in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00). If the owner of record fails to appear at the hearing, the hearing officer shall enter a default order in favor of the Village requiring the payment to the Village of an administrative penalty in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00). If the hearing officer finds that no such violation has occurred, the hearing officer shall order the immediate return of the owner's vehicle or cash bond.
Vehicle Impoundment Judgement
(a) If an administrative penalty is imposed, such penalty shall constitute a debt due and owing to the Village. If a cash bond has been posted the bond shall be applied to the penalty. If a vehicle has been impounded when such penalty is imposed, the Village may seek to obtain a judgment on the debt and enforce such judgment against the vehicle as provided by law. Except as provided otherwise in this chapter, a vehicle shall continue to be impounded until (1) the penalty, plus any applicable towing and storage fees, is paid to the Village, in which case possession of the vehicle shall be given to the person who is legally entitled to possess the vehicle; or (2) the vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of to satisfy a judgment or enforce a lien as provided by law.
(b) If the administrative penalty and applicable fees are not paid within thirty days after an administrative penalty is imposed against an owner of record who defaults by failing to appear at the hearing, the vehicle shall be deemed unclaimed and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of unclaimed vehicles. In all other cases, if the administrative penalty and applicable fees are not paid within thirty days after the expiration of time during which administrative review of the hearing officer's determination may be sought, or within thirty days after an action seeking administrative review has been resolved in favor of the Village, whichever is applicable, the vehicle shall be deemed unclaimed and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of unclaimed vehicles under Section 4-208 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code, 625 I.L.C.S. 5/4-208.