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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Concurrent Resolution 41 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 41

(By Senators Unger, Jenkins, Barnes, D. Facemire, Fanning, Plymale, Stollings and White)


[Originating in the Committee on Transportation and

Infrastructure; reported March 24, 2009.]

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study issues related to regulating the towing by common carriers of motor vehicles from private property without the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicles.

Whereas, There have been numerous complaints in recent years that towing companies, especially in the Morgantown, West Virginia, area, have towed motor vehicles from private real property without the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle and without the established consent of the owner or lessee of, or other person responsible for, the private real property upon which the motor vehicle was located at the time of the tow; and
Whereas, Bills have been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature in each of the last few years related to regulating the towing by common carriers of motor vehicles from private real property without the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicles, but with the prior written consent of the owner or lessee, or the agent or designee of the owner or lessee, of the private real property upon which the motor vehicle is located at the time of the tow; and
Whereas, None of these bills have passed both houses of the Legislature, for various reasons, including asserted conflicts with applicable federal legislation, such as 42 U. S. C. § 14501(c), and the asserted preference of allowing the West Virginia Public Service Commission to have some flexibility with respect to certain aspects of this area of the law; and
Whereas, This continuing unresolved and significant problem should be carefully studied to facilitate the enactment of appropriate legislation addressing the problem; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study issues related to regulating the towing by common carriers of motor vehicles from private property without the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicles; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to seek the input of the West Virginia Public Service Commission, any towing association(s) or individual towing companies and any other interested and informed persons selected by that Committee to study the issue of regulating the towing by common carriers of motor vehicles from private real property without the consent of the owner or operator of the motor vehicles, but with the prior written consent, filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission, of the owner or lessee, or the agent or designee of the owner or lessee, of the private real property upon which the motor vehicle is located at the time of the tow; and, be it
Further Resolved, That this study should include whether the towing companies should be required in this situation to give immediate written notification to the local law-enforcement authorities of the private real property from which the motor vehicle was towed, the make, model and license number of the vehicle and the address of the location where the vehicle has been towed and is stored; and, be it
Further Resolved, That this study should also include consideration of whether towing companies should be required to accept debit or credit card payments for the towing services in this situation, unless the towing company lacks the equipment necessary to process those types of payments, and whether the towing companies in this situation should be prohibited from charging storage fees for the initial, for example, 24 hours of storage of the towed motor vehicle; and, be it
Further Resolved, That this study should also include consideration of whether an exception from all or most of the recommended legislation on point should be created for repossession of motor vehicles on behalf of a financial institution pursuant to a loan or lease obligation listing the vehicle as collateral; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2010, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
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