What are my options for an abandoned vehicle on my property

11/14/2007 - Abandoned Property - State: MI #12228

Full Question:

I am half owner of a home and sole owner of the land on which it sits. I recently helped to evict a person who was staying there (off and on--no consecutive days). He called the state police who informed him he has squatters rights. My daughter (who is the other owner of the home) has started an eviction process and a PPO. We removed all his belongings and he has found other living quarters. He however has a vehicle of a questionable nature in my garage. Is there squatters rights in this case? Can he come into the home at his leisure to look for other property as he has threatened to do? What are my options as far as the questionable vehicle goes? The eviction and PPO are being processed.

Answer:

The following is a MI statute:

257.252a Abandoned vehicle; presumption of responsibility; violation; penalty; "abandoned vehicle" defined; duties of police agency; contest by owner; hearing; request; fee; towing and storage charges; obtaining release of vehicle; public sale; inability to determine ownership of abandoned vehicle; entry into law enforcement information network.

Sec. 252a.

(1) A person shall not abandon a vehicle in this state. It is presumed that the last titled owner of the vehicle is responsible for abandoning the vehicle unless the person provides a record of sale as that term is defined in section 240. A person who violates this subsection and who fails to redeem the vehicle before disposition of the vehicle under section 252g is responsible for a civil infraction and shall be ordered to pay a civil fine of $50.00.
(2) As used in this section and sections 252a through 252l, "abandoned vehicle" means either of the following:
(a) A vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the owner.
(b) A vehicle that has remained on public property for a period of not less than 48 hours, or on a state trunk line highway as described in section 1 of 1951 PA 51, MCL 247.651, as follows:
(i) If a valid registration plate is affixed to the vehicle, for a period of not less than 18 hours.
(ii) If a valid registration plate is not affixed to the vehicle.
(3) If a vehicle has remained on public property for the period of time described in subsection (2)(b) so that it qualifies as abandoned, a police agency having jurisdiction over the vehicle or the agency's designee shall determine whether the vehicle has been reported stolen and may affix a written notice to the vehicle. The written notice shall contain the following information:
(a) The date and time the notice was affixed.
(b) The name and address of the police agency taking the action.
(c) The name and badge number of the police officer affixing the notice.
(d) The date and time the vehicle may be taken into custody and stored at the owner's expense or scrapped if the vehicle is not removed.
(e) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if available.
(4) If the vehicle is an abandoned vehicle, the police agency or the agency's designee may have the towing agency take the vehicle into custody.
(5) A police agency that has received a vehicle taken into custody as abandoned shall do all of the following:
(a) Recheck to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen.
(b) Within 24 hours after the vehicle is taken into custody, enter the vehicle as abandoned into the law enforcement information network, and notify the secretary of state through the law enforcement information network that the vehicle has been taken into custody as abandoned. Each notification shall contain the following information:
(i) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, if available.
(ii) The address or approximate location from which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(iii) The date on which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(iv) The name and address of the police agency that had the vehicle taken into custody.
(v) The name and business address of the custodian of the vehicle.
(vi) The name of the court that has jurisdiction over the case.
(c) Within 7 days after receiving notice under subdivision (b) that the vehicle has been taken into custody, the secretary of state shall do both of the following:
(i) Send to the last titled owner and secured party, as shown by the records of the secretary of state as described in section 221 or 237, by first-class mail or personal service, notice that the vehicle is considered abandoned. The form for the notice shall be furnished by the secretary of state. Each notice form shall contain the following information:
(A) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle if available.
(B) The address or approximate location from which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(C) The date on which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(D) The name and address of the police agency that had the vehicle taken into custody.
(E) The name and business address of the custodian of the vehicle.
(F) The procedure to redeem the vehicle.
(G) The procedure to contest the fact that the vehicle is considered abandoned or the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees.
(H) A form petition that the owner may file in person or by mail with the specified court that requests a hearing on the police agency's action.
(I) A warning that the failure to redeem the vehicle or to request a hearing within 20 days after the date of the notice may result in the sale of the vehicle and the termination of all rights of the owner and the secured party to the vehicle or the proceeds of the sale.
(ii) Enter the information described in subparagraph (i) on a website maintained by the department for public use in locating vehicles that are removed under this section as abandoned. The department shall maintain the data on the website for 1 year or until the vehicle is disposed of under this act, whichever occurs first.
(6) The owner may contest the fact that the vehicle is considered abandoned or the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees by requesting a hearing. A request for a hearing shall be made by filing a petition with the court specified in the notice described in subsection (5)(c) within 20 days after the date of the notice. If the owner requests a hearing, the matter shall be resolved after a hearing conducted under sections 252e and 252f. An owner who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by posting a towing and storage bond in an amount equal to the $40.00 plus the accrued towing and storage fees with the court. The owner of a vehicle who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by paying a fee of $40.00 to the court and the accrued towing and storage fees instead of posting the towing and storage bond.
(7) If the owner does not request a hearing under subsection (6), he or she may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying a fee of $40.00 and the accrued towing and storage fees to the custodian of the vehicle. The custodian of the vehicle shall forward $25.00 of the fee to the secretary of state within 30 days after receipt in a manner prescribed by the secretary of state, who shall deposit the fee into the abandoned vehicle fund created in section 252h.
(8) If the owner does not redeem the vehicle or request a hearing within 20 days after the date of the notice described in subsection (5)(c), the secured party may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying a $40.00 fee plus the accrued charges to the custodian of the vehicle. The custodian of the vehicle shall forward $25.00 of the fee to the secretary of state, who shall deposit the fee into the abandoned vehicle fund created in section 252h.
(9) If a vehicle has remained on private property without the consent of the property owner, the owner of the private property may have the vehicle taken into custody as an abandoned vehicle by contacting a local towing agency.
(10) Before removing the vehicle from private property, the towing agency shall notify a police agency having jurisdiction over the vehicle that the vehicle is being removed. The police agency shall determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen and have the vehicle entered into the law enforcement information network as an abandoned vehicle.
(11) Within 24 hours after taking the abandoned vehicle into custody, the police agency shall notify the secretary of state through the law enforcement information network that the vehicle has been taken into custody as abandoned. Each notification shall contain the following information:
(a) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle if available.
(b) The address or approximate location from which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(c) The date on which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(d) The name and address of the police agency that had the vehicle taken into custody.
(e) The name and business address of the custodian of the vehicle.
(f) The name of the court that has jurisdiction over the case.
(12) Within 7 days after being notified under subsection (11), the secretary of state shall do both of the following:
(a) Send to the owner and secured party, as shown by the records of the secretary of state, by first-class mail or personal service, notice that the vehicle is considered abandoned. The form for the notice shall be furnished by the secretary of state. Each notice form shall contain the following information:
(i) The year, make, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle if available.
(ii) The location from which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(iii) The date on which the vehicle was taken into custody.
(iv) The name of the towing agency that had the vehicle taken into custody.
(v) The business address of the custodian of the vehicle.
(vi) The procedure to redeem the vehicle.
(vii) The procedure to contest the fact that the vehicle is considered abandoned or the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees.
(viii) A form petition that the owner may file in person or by mail with the specified court that requests a hearing on the custodian's action.
(ix) A warning that the failure to redeem the vehicle or to request a hearing within 20 days after the date of the notice may result in the sale of the vehicle and the termination of all rights of the owner and the secured party to the vehicle or the proceeds of the sale.
(b) Enter the information described in subdivision (a) on a website maintained by the department for public use in locating vehicles that are removed under this section as abandoned.
(13) The owner may contest the fact that the vehicle is abandoned or, unless the towing fees and daily storage fees are established by contract with the local governmental unit or local law enforcement agency and comply with section 252i, the reasonableness of the towing fees and daily storage fees by requesting a hearing. A request for a hearing shall be made by filing a petition with the court specified in the notice within 20 days after the date of the notice. If the owner requests a hearing, the matter shall be resolved after a hearing conducted under section 252f. An owner who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by posting with the court a towing and storage bond in an amount equal to $40.00 plus the accrued towing and storage fees. The owner of a vehicle who requests a hearing may obtain release of the vehicle by paying a fee of $40.00 to the court plus the towing and storage fees instead of posting the towing and storage bond.
(14) If the owner does not request a hearing, he or she may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying a fee of $40.00 plus the accrued charges to the custodian of the vehicle. The custodian shall forward $25.00 of the fee collected under this subsection to the secretary of state within 30 days after receipt in a manner prescribed by the secretary of state, who shall deposit the fee into the abandoned vehicle fund created in section 252h.
(15) If the owner does not redeem the vehicle or request a hearing within 20 days after the date of the notice, the secured party may obtain the release of the vehicle by paying a fee of $40.00 and the accrued towing and storage fees to the custodian of the vehicle. The custodian shall forward $25.00 of the fee collected under this subsection to the secretary of state within 30 days after receipt in a manner prescribed by the secretary of state, who shall deposit the fee into the abandoned vehicle fund created in section 252h.
(16) Not less than 20 days after the disposition of the hearing described in subsection (6) or, if a hearing is not requested, not less than 20 days after the date of the notice, the police agency if the abandoned vehicle is found on public property, or the custodian of the vehicle if the vehicle is found on private property, shall offer the vehicle for sale at a public sale under section 252g.
(17) If the ownership of a vehicle that is considered abandoned under this section cannot be determined either because of the condition of the vehicle identification numbers or because a check with the records of the secretary of state as described in section 221 or 237 does not reveal ownership, the police agency may sell the vehicle at public sale as provided in section 252g not less than 30 days after public notice of the sale has been published.
(18) The secretary of state shall release a vehicle for disposition under section 252b or 252g within 45 days after the vehicle is entered into the law enforcement information network as an abandoned vehicle.


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11/14/2007 - Category: Abandoned Property - State: MI #12228

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