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Introduced Version Senate Bill 24 History

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sb24 intr
Senate Bill No. 24

(By Senator Deem)

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[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §17-24A-1 and §17-24A-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to abandoned motor vehicles; definitions; exceptions; and penalties.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §17-24A-1 and §17-24A-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 24A. DISPOSAL OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES, JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLES, AND ABANDONED OR INOPERATIVE HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES.

§17-24A-1. Definitions.
Unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning, as used in this article:
(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Division of Highways or his or her designee.
(2) "Abandoned household appliance" means a refrigerator, freezer, range, stove, automatic dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, trash compactor, television set, radio, air conditioning unit, commode, bed springs, mattress or other furniture, fixtures or appliances to which no person claims ownership and which is not in an enclosed building, a licensed salvage yard or the actual possession of a demolisher.
(3) "Abandon a motor vehicle" or "abandons a motor vehicle" means to place, locate or leave an unlicensed or inoperable motor vehicle or major part thereof in a place not enclosed by a building by an owner who is entitled to the possession thereof.
(3) (4) "Abandoned motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle, or major part thereof, which is inoperative inoperable and which has been abandoned on public property for any period of time over five days, other than in an enclosed building or in a licensed salvage yard or at the business establishment of a demolisher; or any motor vehicle, or major part thereof, which has remained on private property without consent of the owner or person in control of the property for any period of time over five days; or any motor vehicle, or major part thereof, which is either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, is not in an enclosed building and which has remained on private property for more than thirty days; or any motor vehicle, or major part thereof, which is unattended, discarded, deserted and unlicensed and is not in an enclosed building, a licensed salvage yard or the actual possession of a demolisher: Provided, That a motor vehicle, or major part thereof, shall not be considered an abandoned motor vehicle if: (a) The owner of the motor vehicle is storing the motor vehicle on the owner's property; (b) the motor vehicle is being stored for the purpose of using its parts on other motor vehicles owned by the owner; (c) the owner owns other motor vehicles similar to the motor vehicle being stored; and or (d) the owner is a business licensed to do business in the state of West Virginia and not in the primary business of offering motor vehicles or parts thereof for sale.
(4) (5) "Demolisher" means any person licensed by the Commissioner of the Division of Highways whose business, to any extent or degree, is to convert a motor vehicle or any part thereof or an inoperative household appliance into processed scrap or scrap metal or into saleable parts or otherwise to wreck or dismantle vehicles or appliances.
(5) (6) "Enclosed building" means a structure surrounded by walls or one continuous wall and having a roof enclosing the entire structure and includes a permanent appendage thereto.
(6) (7) "Enforcement Agency" means any of the following or any combination of the following:
(a) Public law-enforcement officers of this State, including conservation officers;
(b) Public law-enforcement officers of any county, city or town within this State; and
(c) The Commissioner of the Division of Highways, his or her duly authorized agents and employees.
(7) (8) "Inoperative household appliance" means a refrigerator, freezer, range, stove, automatic dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, trash compactor, television set, radio, air conditioning unit, commode, bed springs, mattress or other furniture, fixture or appliance which by reason of mechanical or physical defects can no longer be used for its intended purpose and which is either not serving a functional purpose or use or is not in an enclosed building, a licensed salvage yard or the actual possession of a demolisher.
(8) (9) "Junked motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle, or any part thereof which: (a) Is discarded, wrecked, ruined, scrapped or dismantled; (b) cannot pass the State inspection required by article sixteen, chapter seventeen-c of this code; and (c) is either not serving a functional purpose or use or is not in an enclosed building, a licensed salvage yard or the actual possession of a demolisher: Provided, That a motor vehicle, or major part thereof, shall not be considered a junked motor vehicle if: (a) The owner of the motor vehicle is storing the motor vehicle on the owner's property; (b) the motor vehicle is being stored for the purpose of using its parts on other motor vehicles owned by the owner; (c) the owner owns other motor vehicles similar to the motor vehicle being stored; and or (d) the owner is a business licensed to do business in the State of West Virginia and not in the primary business of offering motor vehicles or parts thereof for sale. (9) (10) "Licensed salvage yard" means a salvage yard licensed under article twenty-three of this chapter.
(10) (11) "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle which is or was self-propelled, including, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
(11) "Person" means a natural person, corporation, firm, partnership, association or society and the plural as well as the singular.
§17-24A-2. Abandonment of motor vehicle prohibited; inoperative household appliances prohibited in certain places; penalty.

(a) No person shall, within this State, abandon a motor vehicle or major part thereof upon the right-of-way of any public highway, upon any other public property or upon any private property, without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property, or upon property owned or controlled by that person unless it be at a licensed salvage yard or at the business establishment of a demolisher or a business licensed to do business in the State of West Virginia and not in the primary business of offering motor vehicles or parts thereof for sale. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced and fined as set forth below.
(b) No person shall, within this State, place or abandon any inoperative household appliance upon the right-of-way of any public highway or upon any other public property; nor shall any person, within this State, place or abandon any inoperative household appliance upon any private property unless it be at a licensed salvage yard, solid waste facility, other business authorized to accept such solid waste or at the business establishment of a demolisher. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced and fined as set forth below.
(c) Any person who is guilty of a misdemeanor as described in this section and the abandoned motor vehicle, junked motor vehicle, or inoperative household appliance does not exceed one hundred pounds in weight or twenty-seven cubic feet in size is subject to a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or, in the discretion of the court, sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any public highway, road, street, alley or any other public park or public property or waters of the State, as designated by the court, for not less than eight nor more than sixteen hours, or both.
(d) Any person who is guilty of a misdemeanor as described in this section and the abandoned motor vehicle, junked motor vehicle or inoperative household appliance is greater than one hundred pounds in weight or twenty-seven cubic feet in size, but less than five hundred pounds in weight or two hundred sixteen cubic feet, is subject to a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars or, in the discretion of the court, may be sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any public highway, road, street, alley or any other public park or public property or waters of the State, as designated by the court, for not less than sixteen nor more than thirty-two hours, or both.
(e) Any person who is guilty of a misdemeanor as described in this section and the abandoned motor vehicle, junked motor vehicle or inoperative household appliance is greater than five hundred pounds in weight or two hundred sixteen cubic feet in size is subject to a fine not less than twenty-five hundred dollars or not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or confinement in a county or regional jail for not more than one year, or both. In addition, the violator may be guilty of creating or contributing to an open dump as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code and subject to the enforcement provisions of section fifteen of said article.
(f) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this section is subject to double the authorized range of fines and community service for the subsection violated.
(g) The sentence of litter cleanup shall be verified by conservation officers from the Division of Natural Resources or environmental inspectors from the Department of Environmental Protection. Any defendant receiving the sentence of litter cleanup shall provide within a time to be set by the court written acknowledgment from a conservation officer or environmental inspector that the sentence has been completed and the litter has been disposed of lawfully.
(h) Any person who has been found by the court to have willfully failed to comply with the terms of a litter cleanup sentence imposed by the court pursuant to this section is subject to, at the discretion of the court, double the amount of the original fines and community service penalties.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a misdemeanor offense to abandon a motor vehicle which is unlicensed or inoperable or both, upon any private property for a period of more than thirty days, unless the vehicle is in an enclosed building, with certain exceptions.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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