28-3514. Hearings; notice of immobilization or storage; definition

A. If a peace officer removes and either immobilizes or impounds a vehicle pursuant to section 28-3511, the immobilizing or impounding agency may provide the owner, the spouse of the owner and any other person providing indicia of ownership or other interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment with the opportunity for an immobilization or poststorage hearing to determine the validity of the immobilization or storage or consider any mitigating circumstances relating to the immobilization or storage or release of the vehicle before the end of the thirty day immobilization or impoundment period.  If the immobilizing or impounding agency provides the opportunity for an immobilization or poststorage hearing, the immobilizing or impounding agency shall conduct the hearing in accordance with any of the following:

1. In the immobilizing or impounding agency's jurisdiction.

2. Telephonically.

3. Pursuant to procedures prescribed by the immobilizing or impounding agency to transfer the authority to conduct the immobilization or poststorage hearing to a law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction in which the owner, the spouse of the owner, the owner's agent or any person identified in the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment resides.

B. If the immobilizing or impounding agency does not provide an opportunity for an immobilization or poststorage hearing, a justice court shall conduct the immobilization or poststorage hearing. If an immobilization or poststorage hearing is conducted by a justice court, the immobilizing or impounding agency shall appear and show evidence. Immobilization or poststorage hearings conducted by a justice court shall be considered as civil filings for the purposes of judicial productivity credits.

C. Within three business days after immobilization or impoundment, excluding weekends and holidays, the immobilizing or impounding agency shall send a notice of storage by first class mail to each person, other than the owner, identified on the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle or who has provided the department with indicia of ownership or other interest in the vehicle that exists immediately before the immobilization or impoundment.  Service of notice of immobilization or storage is complete on mailing.  If within three business days after immobilization or impoundment, excluding weekends and holidays, the immobilizing or impounding agency fails to notify a person, other than the owner, identified on the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment, the immobilizing agency or the person in possession of the vehicle shall not charge any administrative fees or more than fifteen days' immobilization or impoundment when the person redeems the impounded vehicle or has the immobilization device removed from the vehicle.

D. Within three business days after immobilization or impoundment, excluding weekends and holidays, the immobilizing or impounding agency shall mail or personally deliver notice of immobilization or storage to the owner of the vehicle.

E. The notice of immobilization or storage shall include all of the following information:

1. A statement that the vehicle was immobilized or impounded.

2. The name, address and telephone number of the immobilizing or impounding agency providing the notice.

3. The name, address and telephone number of the immobilizing or impounding agency or justice court that will provide the immobilization or poststorage hearing.

4. The location of the place of storage and a description of the vehicle, including, if available, the manufacturer, model, license plate number and mileage of the vehicle.

5. A statement that in order to receive an immobilization or poststorage hearing the owner, the spouse of the owner, the owner's agent or the person identified in the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment, within ten days after the date on the notice, shall request an immobilization or poststorage hearing by contacting the immobilizing or impounding agency in person or in writing or by filing a request with the justice court if the impounding agency does not provide for a hearing and paying a fee equal to the fee established pursuant to section 22-281 for a small claims answer.

6. A statement that if the immobilizing or impounding agency does not provide the opportunity for an immobilization or poststorage hearing, the owner, the spouse of the owner, the owner's agent or any person identified in the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle or a person who has provided the department with indicia of ownership or other interest in the vehicle that exists immediately before the immobilization or impoundment may request that the immobilization or poststorage hearing be conducted by a justice court in the immobilizing or impounding agency's jurisdiction or the jurisdiction in which the owner, the spouse of the owner, the owner's agent or the person identified in the department's record as having an interest in the vehicle immediately before the immobilization or impoundment resides.

F. The immobilization or poststorage hearing shall be conducted by the immobilizing or impounding agency or justice court within five business days, excluding weekends and holidays, after receipt of the request.

G. Failure of the owner, the spouse of the owner or other person or the other person's agent to request an immobilization or poststorage hearing within ten days after the date on the notice prescribed in subsection E of this section or to attend a scheduled hearing satisfies the immobilization or poststorage hearing requirement.

H. The immobilizing or impounding agency employing the person who directed the immobilization or storage is responsible for the costs incurred for immobilization, towing and storage if it is determined in the immobilization or poststorage hearing that reasonable grounds for the immobilization or impoundment and storage are not established.

I. In compliance with the requirements of this section, the vehicle owner, the vehicle owner's spouse or another person who has an interest in the vehicle or who has provided the department with indicia of ownership or other interest in the vehicle that exists immediately before the immobilization or impoundment shall have an opportunity for a single poststorage hearing for the release of the vehicle by either the immobilizing or impounding agency or a justice court but not both.

J. For the purposes of this section, "indicia of ownership" includes a certificate of title, a manufacturer-issued certificate or a statement of origin or other similar document.