[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Adams County 11-11-1976 by Ord. No. 10-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Any Deputy Sheriff, County traffic patrolman, state traffic officer, or conservation warden who discovers any vehicle on any public highway or private or public property located within Adams County, Wisconsin, which said officer deems to have been abandoned shall cause said vehicle to be removed to a suitable place of impoundment within the County. It shall be the responsibility of the Sheriff of Adams County, Wisconsin, to establish such a suitable place of impoundment. Any vehicle left unattended on or along a public highway or on private property without the consent of the owner thereof, and such vehicle shall remain so unattended for a period of 72 hours or more, shall be deemed abandoned and shall be deemed to constitute a public nuisance. In no event shall any abandoned vehicle be removed from private property under authority of this chapter without the written complaint and consent of the owner of the property where the abandoned vehicle is located. Any vehicle found along a public highway may be impounded or towed away without waiting 72 hours if, in the discretion of the law enforcement official involved, the vehicle constitutes a traffic hazard.
The owner of any abandoned vehicle, except a stolen vehicle, is responsible for the abandonment and all costs of impounding and disposing of said vehicle. Costs not recovered from the sale of the vehicle may be recovered through a civil action by Adams County against the owner.
Any abandoned vehicle which is determined by the Adams County Sheriff to have a value in excess of $100 shall be retained in storage for a period of 10 days after certified mail notice has been sent to the owner and lienholder of record to permit reclamation of the vehicle after payment of accrued charges. After the 10 days have expired, the Sheriff may dispose of the vehicle in any manner in which he deems appropriate; provided, however, that the Sheriff shall be duty bound to obtain the maximum proceeds reasonable available from the disposal of said vehicle. In no case shall the Sheriff dispose of said vehicle for less than the values of said vehicle determined in accordance with Subsection C below.
Any abandoned vehicle which is determined by the Sheriff to have a value of less than $100 may be disposed of by the Sheriff immediately upon his determination that said vehicle is not reported stolen. The Sheriff shall have the responsibility of obtaining the maximum proceeds reasonable available for the disposal of said vehicle, as set forth in Subsection A above.
Prior to disposing of any vehicle under the provisions of this chapter, the Sheriff shall make a reasonable effort to determine the value of said vehicle. As a minimum, the Sheriff shall obtain and keep on file, on forms provided by the Sheriff, evidence of the value of the vehicle in question as obtained from:
The proceeds obtained from the disposal of said vehicle, as hereinabove described, shall be distributed by the Sheriff as follows:
Charges accrued by the County in towing and storing said abandoned vehicle.
The balance of said proceeds, if any, to lienholders of record, in accordance with priority and extent of lien.
Within five days of the sale or disposal of a vehicle as provided herein, the Sheriff shall advise the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, of the sale or disposition of said vehicle, in accordance with the provisions of § 342.40(3)(e), Wis. Stats.