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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XL
REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 705
LOST OR ABANDONED PROPERTY
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F.S. 705.184
705.184 Derelict or abandoned motor vehicles on the premises of public-use airports.
(1)(a) Whenever any derelict or abandoned motor vehicle is found on premises owned or controlled by the operator of a public-use airport, including airport premises leased to a third party, the director of the airport or the director’s designee may take charge of the motor vehicle and make a record of the date such motor vehicle was found.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term:
1. “Abandoned motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that has been disposed of on a public-use airport in a wrecked, inoperative, or partially dismantled condition or a motor vehicle that has remained in an idle state on the premises of a public-use airport for 45 consecutive calendar days.
2. “Derelict motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle that is not in a drivable condition.
(c) After the information relating to the abandoned or derelict motor vehicle is recorded in the airport’s records, the director or the director’s designee may cause the motor vehicle to be removed from airport premises by the airport’s wrecker or by a licensed independent wrecker company to be stored at a suitable location on or off the airport premises. If the motor vehicle is to be removed from airport premises by the airport’s wrecker, the airport must follow the procedures in subsections (2)-(8). The procedures in subsections (2)-(8) do not apply if the motor vehicle is removed from the airport premises by a licensed independent wrecker company, and the licensed wrecking company shall comply with s. 713.78.
(2) The airport director or the director’s designee shall contact the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to notify that department that the airport has possession of the abandoned or derelict motor vehicle and to determine the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, and any person who has filed a lien on the motor vehicle. Within 7 business days after receipt of the information, the director or the director’s designee shall send notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, and all persons of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle. The notice shall state the fact of possession of the motor vehicle, that charges for reasonable towing, storage, and parking fees, if any, have accrued and the amount thereof, that a lien as provided in subsection (6) will be claimed, that the lien is subject to enforcement pursuant to law, that the owner or lienholder, if any, has the right to a hearing as set forth in subsection (4), and that any motor vehicle which, at the end of 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice, has not been removed from the airport upon payment in full of all accrued charges for reasonable towing, storage, and parking fees, if any, may be disposed of as provided in s. 705.182(2)(a), (b), (d), or (e), including, but not limited to, the motor vehicle being sold free of all prior liens after 35 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are more than 5 years of age or after 50 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are 5 years of age or less.
(3) If attempts to notify the owner or lienholder pursuant to subsection (2) are not successful, the requirement of notice by mail shall be considered met and the director or the director’s designee, in accordance with subsection (5), may cause the motor vehicle to be disposed of as provided in s. 705.182(2)(a), (b), (d), or (e), including, but not limited to, the motor vehicle being sold free of all prior liens after 35 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are more than 5 years of age or after 50 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are 5 years of age or less.
(4)(a) The owner of, or any person with a lien on, a motor vehicle removed pursuant to subsection (1), may, within 10 calendar days after the time he or she has knowledge of the location of the motor vehicle, file a complaint in the county court of the county in which the motor vehicle is stored to determine if his or her property was wrongfully taken or withheld.
(b) Upon filing a complaint, an owner or lienholder may have his or her motor vehicle released upon posting with the court a cash or surety bond or other adequate security equal to the amount of the fees for towing, storage, and accrued parking, if any, to ensure the payment of such fees in the event he or she does not prevail. Upon the posting of the bond or other adequate security and the payment of any applicable fee, the clerk of the court shall issue a certificate notifying the airport of the posting of the bond or other adequate security and directing the airport to release the motor vehicle. At the time of such release, after reasonable inspection, the owner or lienholder shall give a receipt to the airport reciting any claims he or she has for loss or damage to the motor vehicle or the contents of the motor vehicle.
(5) If, after 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice, the owner or any person claiming a lien has not removed the motor vehicle from its storage location upon payment in full of all accrued charges for reasonable towing, storage, and parking fees, if any, or shown reasonable cause for the failure to do so, the airport director or the director’s designee may dispose of the motor vehicle as provided in s. 705.182(2)(a), (b), (d), or (e). If the airport elects to sell the motor vehicle pursuant to s. 705.182(2)(d), the motor vehicle may be sold free of all prior liens after 35 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are more than 5 years of age or after 50 calendar days after the time the motor vehicle is stored if any prior liens on the motor vehicle are 5 years of age or less. The sale shall be a public auction either on the Internet or at a specified physical location. If the date of the sale was not included in the notice required in subsection (2), notice of the sale, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be given to the owner of the motor vehicle and to all persons claiming a lien on the motor vehicle. Such notice shall be mailed not less than 10 calendar days before the date of the sale. In addition to the notice by mail, public notice of the time and place of the sale at auction shall be made by publishing a notice of the sale at auction one time, at least 10 calendar days prior to the date of sale, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the sale is to be held. All costs incurred by the airport for the towing, storage, and sale of the motor vehicle, as well as all accrued parking fees, if any, shall be recovered by the airport from the proceeds of the sale, and any proceeds of the sale in excess of such costs shall be retained by the airport for use by the airport in any manner authorized by law.
(6) The airport pursuant to this section or, if used, a licensed independent wrecker company pursuant to s. 713.78 shall have a lien on an abandoned or derelict motor vehicle for all reasonable towing, storage, and accrued parking fees, if any, except that no storage fee shall be charged if the motor vehicle is stored less than 6 hours. As a prerequisite to perfecting a lien under this section, the airport director or the director’s designee must serve a notice in accordance with subsection (2) on the owner of the motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, and all persons of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle. If attempts to notify the owner, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, or lienholders are not successful, the requirement of notice by mail shall be considered met. Serving of the notice does not dispense with recording the claim of lien.
(7)(a) For the purpose of perfecting its lien under this section, the airport shall record a claim of lien which shall state:
1. The name and address of the airport.
2. The name of the owner of the motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, and all persons of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle.
3. The costs incurred from reasonable towing, storage, and parking fees, if any.
4. A description of the motor vehicle sufficient for identification.
(b) The claim of lien shall be signed and sworn to or affirmed by the airport director or the director’s designee.
(c) The claim of lien shall be sufficient if it is in substantially the following form:

CLAIM OF LIEN

State of   

County of   

Before me, the undersigned notary public, personally appeared   , who was duly sworn and says that he/she is the    of    , whose address is  ; and that the following described motor vehicle:

  (Description of motor vehicle)  

owned by   , whose address is   , has accrued $   in fees for a reasonable tow, for storage, and for parking, if applicable; that the lienor served its notice to the owner, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, Florida Statutes, and all persons of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle on  ,   (year)  , by  .

  (Signature)  

Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me this   day of  ,   (year)  , by   (name of person making statement)  .

  (Signature of Notary Public)    (Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned name of Notary Public)  

Personally Known OR Produced as identification.

However, the negligent inclusion or omission of any information in this claim of lien which does not prejudice the owner does not constitute a default that operates to defeat an otherwise valid lien.

(d) The claim of lien shall be served on the owner of the motor vehicle, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, and all persons of record claiming a lien against the motor vehicle. If attempts to notify the owner, the insurance company insuring the motor vehicle notwithstanding the provisions of s. 627.736, or lienholders are not successful, the requirement of notice by mail shall be considered met. The claim of lien shall be so served before recordation.
(e) The claim of lien shall be recorded with the clerk of court in the county where the airport is located. The recording of the claim of lien shall be constructive notice to all persons of the contents and effect of such claim. The lien shall attach at the time of recordation and shall take priority as of that time.
(8) A purchaser or recipient in good faith of a motor vehicle sold or obtained under this section takes the property free of the rights of persons then holding any legal or equitable interest thereto, whether or not recorded.
History.s. 47, ch. 2010-225.