City of Mendota, IL
La Salle County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Mendota by Ord. No. 10-19-09; amended in its entirety by Ord. No. 11-16-09 (Ch. 99 of the 1998 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Offenses — See Ch. 210.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 305.

§ 310-1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
MOTOR VEHICLE
Every vehicle which is self-propelled, including, but not limited to, all automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and motor scooters.
OWNERS OF RECORD
The record title holders of the vehicle.
TO ENGAGE IN CONDUCT KNOWINGLY
A person "engages in conduct knowingly" if, when a person engages in conduct, the person is aware of a high probability that he or she is doing so.

§ 310-2 Conduct prohibited.

A. 
Class 1 offenses leading to seizure and impoundment. A motor vehicle used in violation of the statutes hereafter set forth shall be subject to seizure and impoundment under this section and shall be defined as a Class 1 offense:
(1) 
625 ILCS 5/11-204 (Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer).
(2) 
625 ILCS 5/11-204.1 (Aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer).
(3) 
625 ILCS 5/11-401(a) (Leaving the scene of an accident-death or injury) or (b) (Leaving the scene-failure to report-felony).
(4) 
625 ILCS 5/11-402(a) (Leaving the scene of an accident-vehicle damage).
(5) 
625 ILCS 5/11-403 (Failure to give aid or information).
(6) 
625 ILCS 5/11-404 (Failure to give information after striking unattended vehicle or other property).
(7) 
625 ILCS 5/11-407 (Failure to report accident to police authority).
(8) 
625 ILCS 5/11-501 (DUI).
(9) 
625 ILCS 5/11-503 (Reckless driving).
(10) 
625 ILCS 5/6-303 (Driving with a Suspended or revoked driver's license).
(11) 
625 ILCS 5/6-101 (Driving with no valid license, but not in cases where the driver has a valid driver's license but the driver does not have the license on his or her person or if expired license under a year).
(12) 
625 ILCS 5/3-702 (Suspended or revoked registration plate).
(13) 
625 ILCS 5/3-708 (Registration suspended for no insurance).
B. 
Class 2 offenses leading to seizure and impoundment. A motor vehicle used in violation of the statutes hereafter set forth shall be subject to seizure and impoundment under this section and shall be defined as a Class 2 offense:
(1) 
Any felony for which seizure is authorized under the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961, 5/36-1 (720 ILCS 5/36-1).
(2) 
Any violation of Article IV of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act (720 ILCS 570, Article IV).
(3) 
Any violation of the Illinois Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550).

§ 310-3 Seizure and impoundment.

Whenever a police officer has probable cause to believe that a vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment pursuant to this chapter, the police officer shall provide for the towing of the vehicle to a facility controlled by the City or its agents. This section shall not apply if the vehicle was used in the violation of § 310-2 was stolen at the time of the alleged violation and the theft was reported to the appropriate police authorities within 72 hours after the theft was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.

§ 310-4 Notice of seizure.

Within 72 hours after the vehicle is seized and impounded, the Police Department shall notify the owners of record, or the person who is found to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, of the fact of the seizure, the penalty assessed, and his or her right to request a vehicle impoundment hearing under this chapter. All notices sent to the City or the owner of record pursuant to this section shall be provided by certified mail.

§ 310-5 Request for hearing.

A request for a hearing must be made in writing within 14 days of the seizure and impoundment of any vehicle. When a formal request for a hearing is made, a bond of $250 for a Class 1 vehicle offense and bond of $500 for a Class 2 vehicle offense must be made for the vehicle to be released. The request for a hearing must be made in writing to the Mendota Police Department. A request for a hearing may be made either by the owners of record or the person found to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.

§ 310-6 Failure to request hearing; release of vehicles.

If a request for a hearing is not made within 14 days of the seizure and impoundment, the vehicle shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of in a manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles. The vehicle shall not be released to the owners of record or to the person found to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation until the penalty of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) is paid to the City, and only after the applicable towing and storage fees have been paid to the towing agent.

§ 310-7 Hearing.

Upon receiving a written request for a hearing and posting of bond, a hearing shall be held as soon as possible in the Circuit Court of LaSalle County at the regularly scheduled Mendota court date. 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.

§ 310-8 Waiver of hearing; violations and penalties.

A. 
The owner of the motor vehicle, or the person in control, may waive his right to a hearing under this chapter by agreeing and stipulating in writing that the seized motor vehicle was being used in violation of this chapter. Once the stipulation is signed and penalty is paid, the seized vehicle will be released after any applicable towing and storage fees are paid to the towing agent.
B. 
If, after a hearing, the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation for which a penalty is applicable under this chapter has occurred, the judge shall enter an order finding the operator of the vehicle guilty of violating this chapter and shall be liable to the City for a penalty of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense), and also liable to the agent for any applicable towing and storage fees. If the operator of the vehicle fails to appear at the hearing, the judge may enter a default order in favor of the City requiring payment to the City of a penalty in the amount of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) as well as payment to the towing agent of any applicable towing and storage fees. If the judge finds that no such violation occurred, the judge shall order the immediate return of the vehicle to the owner of record.

§ 310-9 Disposition of impounded vehicles.

A penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter shall constitute a debt due and owing the City. A vehicle impounded pursuant to this chapter shall remain impounded until:
A. 
The penalty of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) is paid to the City and all applicable towing and storage fees are paid to the towing agent, in which case the owner of record shall be given possession of the vehicle;
B. 
A bond in the amount of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) is posted with the City Police Department and all the applicable towing and storage fees are paid to the agent, at which time the vehicle will be released to the owner of record; or
C. 
The vehicle is deemed abandoned pursuant to § 310-11, in which case the vehicle shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles.

§ 310-10 Posting or forfeiture of bond.

If a bond in the amount of $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) is posted with the City Police Department, the impounded vehicle shall be released to the owner of record. If a $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) penalty is imposed for violation of this chapter, the $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) bond will be forfeited to the City; however, in the event a violation of this chapter is not proved by a preponderance of the evidence, the $250 (Class 1 offense) or $500 (Class 2 offense) bond will be returned to the person posting the bond. All bond money will be held by the Circuit Court Clerk of LaSalle County until the Circuit Court issues a decision on whether the administrative penalty is due.

§ 310-11 Failure to pay penalty.

If the penalty and applicable towing and storage fees are not paid within 80 days after a penalty is imposed pursuant to this chapter, the vehicle shall be deemed abandoned and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of abandoned vehicles.

§ 310-12 Disposition of funds collected.

All penalties collected and retained by the City for a violation of this section shall be deposited with the City Treasurer. The funds will be directed to the Police Department for equipment and operational usage.