Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hamilton 4-3-1989 by Ord. No. 989-89; amended in its entirety 5-16-2005 by Ord. No. 1528-2005. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Junkyards — See Ch. 199.
Storage of vehicles — See § 258-20.

§ 288-1 Findings.

It is hereby determined and declared that the abandonment or outside storage of any motor vehicles not currently in use for transportation, whether or not currently licensed or registered, on any public or private property within the Township of Hamilton, is contrary and harmful to the public welfare. Such articles so abandoned or stored can create an attractive nuisance. Some such vehicles so abandoned or stored outside deteriorate, causing a deleterious effect on the environment and possible contamination of groundwater. Such articles are unsightly and as such are detrimental to and depreciate the value of property in the neighborhood and effect the entire Township and, further, that said abandoned vehicles constitute a danger to the public health and safety.

§ 288-2 Definitions.

Except where the provisions of this chapter are in conflict with Ordinance 247-61 and Ordinance 358-68,[1] the following terms, phrases and words used in and for the purpose of this chapter shall be deemed to have the following meanings:
ABANDONED ON PRIVATE LAND
Any motor vehicle as set forth below:
A. 
Any motor vehicles registered at the address upon which they are located wherein any of more than two vehicles have expired inspection stickers or are without valid license plates for 30 days or more.
B. 
Any motor vehicles not registered at the address upon which they are located wherein:
(1) 
Any of more than two vehicles have expired inspection stickers or are without valid license plates for seven days or more.
(2) 
Is found to be mechanically inoperative and is allowed to remain inoperative for seven days. Said period of time may be extended for good cause by the Police Department.
(3) 
Is without one or more tires for seven days.
(4) 
Any motor vehicle that has been reported as abandoned by the property owner or resident.
ABANDONED ON PUBLIC LAND
Any motor vehicle which:
A. 
Is parked for 48 hours with an expired sticker or without valid license plates.
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 of traffic and the driver or person owning or in charge thereof neglects or refuses to move same to a place where it shall not obstruct traffic.
D. 
Is found to be mechanically inoperative and is allowed to remain inoperative for a period of seven days. (Said period of time may be extended, for good cause, by the Police Department.)
E. 
Is found without one or more tires for 24 hours.
IMPOUND, IMPOUNDMENT or PLACE OF IMPOUNDMENT
The sequestration of the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body at a place of storage.
JUNE 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
Any motor vehicle, omnibus, road tractor, trailer, truck, truck-tractor or other vehicle, including watercraft, and shall have the meaning as ascribed to the foregoing words as contained and defined in N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 et seq.
PERSON
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.
PLACE OF STORAGE
A junkyard or other approved storage area, but any such junkyard or other storage area is subject to any and all provisions contained in this chapter, specially § 288-3, and any and all other ordinances of the Township of Hamilton.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Police Department of the Township of Hamilton.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 199, Junkyards.

§ 288-3 Abandonment; storage.

A. 
Abandonment prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or suffer to permit the abandoning of any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body out-of-doors upon any public or private lands in the Township of Hamilton or on any public street or between the right-of-way therein.
B. 
Storage prohibition. 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 Hamilton.
C. 
Presumption. If any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body 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.
D. 
Storage permitted. Nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storage of any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body in a totally enclosed garage, barn or other building, or so located upon the premises as not to be readily visible from any public place or from any surrounding private property.

§ 288-4 Enforcement.

A. 
Public property regulations. Whenever any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body is found abandoned on any public street, highway or public property, an emergency condition is herewith declared to exist, and any officer of the Township of Hamilton Police Department or the Environmental Officer is hereby authorized to immediately remove, secure the removal of and/or impound the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body without the necessity of notice prior to said impoundment. The Township or afore-said persons shall use diligent efforts to identify and locate the owner of the impounded motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body and notify the owner in accordance with § 288-4C below.
B. 
Private land regulations. Whenever any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body is found on any private land in violation of the provisions of this chapter or if probable cause exists that a violation of this chapter exists, then any officer of the Township of Hamilton Police Department or the Environmental Enforcement Officer shall cause the owner of the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body, if he/she can be found, or the owner or tenant of the private lands upon which the violation is occurring, to be given written notice that said violation exists and must be abated within five days; said notice shall be given by registered mail or courier, sent to the last known address of the owner of the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body and/or the owner or tenant of the property. In the event that at the expiration of five days the violation of the provisions of this chapter still exists, any member of the Township of Hamilton Police Department or the Environmental Enforcement Officer is authorized to proceed in accordance with the law to issue a summons to the owner of the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body, if he/she can be found, or the owner or tenant of the private lands upon which the violation is occurring.
(1) 
Exclusions. Nothing heretofore mentioned shall be deemed to prevent any of the following activities from being conducted on private lands under the conditions or by the people referred to:
(a) 
One motor vehicle, within the definition set forth above, which does not possess the current year's registration, may be maintained on a single parcel of land.
(b) 
Any person may maintain motor vehicles altered for drag or stock car racing as long as said motor vehicles are maintained on registered trailers.
(c) 
Motor vehicles being held for sale or resale in a commercial zone by businesses properly registered and meeting all required municipal regulations are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(d) 
Owners of a motor vehicle which would otherwise come under the provisions of this chapter who are in the military service stationed outside of the State of New Jersey shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in Subsection B(1)(a) above, but shall not exceed two motor vehicles which do not possess the current year's registration.
(e) 
Owners of antique motor vehicles, which are classified as such under state statutes, are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
Exempt certificates. Any person who possesses, owns or maintains a motor vehicle covered under any one of the exclusions referred to above shall obtain from the Chief of Police an exempt certificate, which shall indicate that the motor vehicle in question comes under one of the exclusions referred to in Subsection B(1) above. Said exempt certificate shall be valid for two years from the date of issuance. All owners or exempt certificates shall display the exempt certificates on the windshield or other prominent place on the motor vehicle in question so that it is readily observable by the enforcement officers under this chapter. Exempt certificate holders may be required at any time to validate their exemption to maintain their exempt status. No fees shall be charged for the issuance of an exempt certificate.
C. 
Notice of impoundment. Notice of impoundment of any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body shall be given to the owner of said motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body or to the owner or tenant of lands upon which a violation is occurring pursuant to § 288-4A and § 288-5C herein, in writing, by registered mail, at the last known address of the party to be served, and shall contain the following:
(1) 
The time and place of impoundment.
(2) 
The reason for impoundment.
(3) 
The amount and nature of penalties and costs that may be entered against him/her.
(4) 
A statement that a sale of the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body will occur after 60 days if the motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body is not reclaimed.

§ 288-5 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge, and each day the violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.
B. 
A continuance of a violation or a noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a nuisance, and the Township of Hamilton 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.
C. 
Upon violation of the provisions of this chapter, and in addition to such other penalties as may be prescribed, any motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body found in violation of this chapter may be impounded and sold at a public auction. The Township shall use diligent efforts to identify and locate the owner of the impounded motor vehicle, junk automobile or junk automobile body and notify the owner in accordance with § 288-4C above. All fines and penalties as may be levied in accordance with this chapter as well as costs of removal, impoundment and sale not paid for out of the proceeds of said sale shall become a lien in accordance with law upon the property of any person who violates the provisions of this chapter and be collected in the manner ascribed and established for the collection of liens.