City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Home
Title 16A
Chapter 16A.07
Section 16A.07.060
 

Title 16A Transportation

Chapter 16A.07 General Provisions, Administration, and Enforcement

Section 16A.07.060 Vehicle Immobilization and Impoundment
  1. Definitions
    1. “Impound” means to take and hold a vehicle in legal custody.
    1. “Immobilization device” means a device which immobilizes the vehicle by either clamping and locking to a wheel impeding movement of the vehicle, or by attaching to the vehicle's windshield in such a manner to obscure the view of the driver, thereby preventing legal operation of the vehicle.
    1. “Public impound” means that the vehicle has been impounded at the direction of a law enforcement officer or by a public official having jurisdiction over the public property upon which the vehicle was located.
    1. “Public Property” means any street, road, public highway or other publicly owned property.
    1. “Scofflaw” means a vehicle which has been issued four (4) or more parking tickets which remain unpaid more than forty-five (45) days after the issuance of the ticket.
    1. "Unauthorized vehicle", for purposes of this section, means a vehicle that is subject to impoundment after being left unattended in one of the following circumstances:
      1. Constituting an accident or a traffic hazard as defined in RCW 46.55.113;
      1. On a highway and tagged as described in RCW 46.55.085;
      1. In a publicly owned or controlled parking facility, properly posted under RCW 46.55.070; or,
      1. In violation of any of the restrictions subject to vehicle impoundment under SMC 16A.07.070 or SMC 16A.07.080.
  1. If a vehicle is in violation of the time restrictions of RCW 46.55.010(14) as set forth in subsections (6)(a) or (6)(c) above, it may be immediately impounded by a registered tow truck operator at the direction of a law enforcement officer or other public official with jurisdiction if the vehicle is on public property. Vehicles in violation of (6)(b) above may be impounded within twenty-four (24) hours.
  1. If a vehicle is in violation of any of the restrictions subject to vehicle impoundment set forth in section (6)(d) above, it may be impounded by a registered tow truck operator at the direction of a law enforcement officer or other public official with jurisdiction if the vehicle is on public property.
  1. In addition to law enforcement officers, the Parking Manager, or his or her designee, is a public official with jurisdiction over the public property and with authority to authorize impoundment of unauthorized vehicles on public property.
  1. The impoundment of unauthorized vehicles on public property under this section shall incorporate all procedures related to vehicle impoundment as set forth in Chapter 46.55 RCW. Chapter 46.55 RCW, as now enacted or hereinafter amended, is hereby adopted by reference as if fully set forth herein.
  1. Scofflaw List.

As frequently as practicable, Parking Services, working in conjunction with Spokane Municipal Court and the collection agency contracted by the City or Spokane Municipal Court, shall prepare, maintain, and update a scofflaw list.

    1. Civil Penalties to Cover Administrative Costs.

There is imposed upon the owner of every vehicle on the scofflaw list a civil penalty of the amount specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)) to cover costs of administering the scofflaw list. There is also imposed upon the owner of every vehicle on the scofflaw list that is immobilized or impounded hereunder a civil penalty of the amount specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)) to cover the additional administrative costs of immobilization and/or impoundment.

    1. Notice.
      1. The City’s contracted collection agency shall give notice by first class mail to the last known registered owner of the vehicle, as disclosed by the vehicle license plate number and as provided by the Washington State Department of Licensing or equivalent vehicle licensing agency of the state in which the vehicle is registered for each vehicle on the scofflaw list, stating that the vehicle is on the scofflaw list; and
        1. the date and the nature of each ticket overdue and the amount due on each;
        1. that a scofflaw list fee in the amount specified in subsection 1 of this section has been imposed to cover administrative costs;
        1. the total amount currently due;
        1. a specific deadline for response, no less than ten (10) days after the date of mailing;
        1. that the owner shall, by said deadline, respond to the notice. Response shall be by paying the total amount due, scheduling a hearing with the Spokane Municipal Court, or by arranging a payment schedule with the City’s contracted collection agency for payment of the total amount due; and
        1. that if the vehicle owner fails to respond within the prescribed time period, the listed vehicle will be subject to immediate immobilization or impoundment pursuant to the procedures in SMC 16A.07.060(F), payment of the civil penalties imposed in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)) and payment of the costs of immobilization, towing and storage.
      1. The notice required by this subsection is sufficient if mailed to the address provided by the Washington State Department of Licensing; provided, however, that if the City’s contracted collection agency, after exercising due diligence, to discover any mailing address, then notice is sufficient if it is posted on the vehicle, or personally served on the vehicle owner or driver, or provided by any other means reasonably calculated to provides notice to vehicle owner or driver.
      1. If the vehicle owner or an agent of the owner pays the fines and fees, including the amount(s) specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)), and all towing and storage charges, if any, schedules a hearing with the Spokane Municipal Court, or arranges a payment plan through the City’s contracted collection agency, parking services shall remove the vehicle from the scofflaw list. If any parking ticket not included on the scofflaw list for which the owner is liable becomes overdue before the owner or agent appears to pay or sets a hearing with the Spokane Municipal Court, such subsequent tickets shall also be paid before the vehicle is removed from the scofflaw list.
      1. The owner of a vehicle that is subject to the procedures of this section and in SMC 16A.07.060(F)(3) and (4), is entitled to a hearing in the Spokane Municipal Court pursuant to RCW 46.55.120 (2)(b) to contest the validity of the immobilization, impoundment or the amount of towing and storage charges. Any request for a hearing and the resolution thereof shall be as set forth in RCW 46.55.120 (3), which are hereby adopted by reference as now exist or hereafter may be amended.
      1. Failure to appear for a scheduled hearing or to remain current and in good standing on any arranged payment plan with the City’s contracted collection agency, will result in the vehicle returning to the scofflaw list and being eligible for immediate immobilization.
    1. Immobilization.
      1. If the owner of a vehicle to whom notice has been sent pursuant to SMC 16A.07.060(F)(2) fails to respond to the notice within the deadline therein specified by paying all fines, fees, towing, storage and administrative charges then due, including but not limited to the amount(s) specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)), the vehicle can be removed from the scofflaw list under SMC 16A.07.060(F)(2)(c) and may be immobilized by installing an immobilization device on the vehicle.
      1. The person installing the immobilization device shall leave under the windshield wiper or otherwise attach to such vehicle a notice advising the owner that:
        1. the vehicle has been immobilized by the City of Spokane for failure to pay four or more uncontested parking tickets within forty-five (45) days of their issuance,
        1. that release of the immobilization device may be obtained by paying the fines, fees and civil penalties due,
        1. that unless such payments are made within two (2) business days of the date of the notice, the vehicle will be impounded, and
        1. that it is unlawful for any person to remove or attempt to remove the immobilization device, to damage the immobilization device, or to move the vehicle with the immobilization device attached.
      1. No parking restriction otherwise applicable to the vehicle applies while the vehicle is immobilized by an immobilization device installed under the provisions of this section.
      1. Before the vehicle may be released from immobilization, the vehicle owner or an agent of the owner shall pay all fines and fees then due, including but not limited to the amounts specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)).

Upon such payment, the vehicle shall be removed from the scofflaw list, and the immobilization device shall promptly be removed from the vehicle. If any parking ticket not included on the scofflaw list for which the owner is liable becomes overdue before the owner or agent pays, the subsequent tickets shall also be paid before the vehicle may be removed from the scofflaw list or released from immobilization.

    1. Impoundment.
      1. The following vehicles may be impounded:
        1. A vehicle that was issued eight (8) or more parking tickets that are unpaid forty-five (45) or more days after the date of their issuance, where the registered owner of the vehicle was sent a notice pursuant to SMC 16A.07.060(F) and the owner fails to respond to the notice within the deadline therein specified by paying all fines, fees, towing, storage and administrative charges the vehicle can be removed from the scofflaw list under SMC 16A.07.060(F)(2)(c); or
        1. A vehicle that was immobilized pursuant to SMC 16A.07.060(D) and the vehicle's owner failed to pay all fines, fees, and administrative charges within two (2) business days of the date the vehicle was immobilized such that the vehicle can be removed from the scofflaw list under SMC 16A.07.060(F)(2)(c); or
      1. The uniform impound authorization and inventory form provided for by administrative rule by the Washington state patrol pursuant to RCW 46.55.075 shall be used when applicable.

If a vehicle has been impounded pursuant to SMC 16A.07.060(F)(4), before the vehicle may be released from impound, the vehicle owner or an agent of the owner shall pay all fines and fees then owing, including but not limited to the amounts specified in the City of Spokane Parking Fee Schedule (SMC 08.02.083(A)); and all towing and vehicle storage charges. Upon such payment, the vehicle shall be removed from the scofflaw list. If any parking ticket not included on the scofflaw list for which the owner is liable becomes overdue before the owner or agent pays, such subsequent tickets shall also be paid before the vehicle may be removed from the scofflaw list or released from impoundment.

Date Passed: Monday, May 17, 2021

Effective Date: Monday, June 28, 2021

ORD C36047 Section 12