[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Grafton as Title 10, Ch. 10.48, of the 1979 Code; amended in its entirety by Ord. No. 002, Series 1999. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- MOTOR VEHICLE(S)
- Includes mobile home, moped, motor bicycle, motor bus, motorcycle, motor trucks, or motor vehicles, as defined in Ch. 340, Wis. Stats.
- NUISANCE MOTOR VEHICLE(S)
- Includes any inoperable, unlicensed, disassembled, or wrecked vehicle. Included are vehicles on any public street or highway for a period of 48 hours or more without the Village's consent. Vehicles that are located on private property for such time and under such circumstances as to cause a reasonable person to believe that they are abandoned are deemed abandoned.
It shall be unlawful for any person, party, firm or corporation to keep, place or store any "nuisance motor vehicle" upon any public thoroughfare, street or highway, or upon any private or public property within the Village in a manner inconsistent with this chapter.
Nuisance motor vehicles may be kept, placed or stored outside of a garage or enclosed structure in conjunction with an authorized and licensed auto sales, repair or salvage business. Also included are vehicles located on private property enclosed completely in a building or other storage place or if covered completely by a car cover or tarpaulin.
Authority to tow. Subject to the procedures hereinafter set forth, nuisance motor vehicles may be towed and stored by the Police Department at the cost and expense of the owner. Unclaimed towed vehicles may be disposed of by either the Police Department or towing contractors through means and procedures authorized by state law.
Notice of intent to tow on private property. The owner of a nuisance motor vehicle which is upon private property shall be notified of a violation of this chapter and provided 10 calendar days to repair, assemble, make the vehicle operable and roadworthy, and license any vehicle which was unlicensed, or transport the vehicle to a garage or enclosed structure, or place such vehicle within an authorized and licensed sales, repair or salvage business.
Notice of intent to tow on public property. The owner of a nuisance motor vehicle which is upon public property shall be notified of the ordinance violation and shall be provided with 24 hours to repair, assemble, make the vehicle operable and roadworthy and license any vehicle which was previously unlicensed, or transport the vehicle to an authorized and licensed sales, repair or salvage business.
Service of notice of intent to tow.. If the owner of a nuisance motor vehicle can be reasonably determined, notification of the ordinance violation and the intent to tow shall be made by personal service, registered or certified mail with return receipt, and in addition, a stick-on or otherwise waterproofed and fastened notice of intent to tow shall be posted on the nuisance motor vehicle in a conspicuous place. Notice shall be deemed adequate in the event that personal service or return receipt from registered or certified mail has not been returned.
Other ordinances and laws. A nuisance motor vehicle may be towed under authority of any other ordinance or law pursuant to procedures therein specified where a tow is authorized by another ordinance or law for reason other than a violation of this chapter.
Notice of tow, impoundment, and storage. When a nuisance motor vehicle is towed, and the owner and owner's address of the towed vehicle is known or reasonably ascertainable to the person who authorized the tow, said owner shall be provided notice, either personally or by regular mail, that the vehicle has been towed to either a certain towing contractor, to a certain location or to the Police Department's impound lot. The owner shall be provided with the towing contractor's phone number and advised that the vehicle should be claimed therefrom, upon payment of the appropriate towing and storage charges, as soon as possible, for daily storage charges are accumulating. This notice shall also indicate that the vehicle may be disposed of by the towing contractor or the Police Department to recoup such charges, in a manner and through a procedure authorized by state law.
Disposal of unclaimed vehicles. At any time prior to the sale of impounded motor vehicles as herein provided, any person establishing his ownership or right of possession to such vehicle may reclaim and obtain possession of the same by paying all outstanding towing and impound lot charges as set by the towing contractor or by the Chief of Police or his/her designee. All nuisance motor vehicles will be towed by contractor designated by the Chief of Police or his designee.
Penalties for violations of nuisance motor vehicle ordinance. The owner of a nuisance motor vehicle who fails, in a timely manner, to comply with this chapter shall be subject to have his nuisance motor vehicle towed and stored at his expense and shall, as hereinafter provided, be subject to a money forfeiture, which will be in addition to payment of towing and storage costs. Each day of violation of this chapter shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any vehicle towed to the Grafton Police Department for reasons other than violation of nuisance motor vehicle (i.e., emergency detention, traffic violation arrests, safekeeping) have a grace period of five days. After notification that the vehicle has been towed to the Grafton Police Department (via person, phone, or mail) and the grace period, the owner will be issued a citation for violation of this chapter. Daily storage fees will commence after the five-day grace period. The citation issued may include towing and storage costs.
All vehicles that are towed to the Grafton Police Department that were used in the commission of a crime or are evidence of a crime may be stored indefinitely. These vehicle are to be considered seized and may be released or forfeited at the discretion of the Ozaukee County District Attorney's office.