V C Section 9801 Certificate Requesting Judgment or Civil Action and Seizure and Sale Hearings

Certificate Requesting Judgment or Civil Action and Seizure and Sale: Hearings

9801.  (a) (1) When the payment required for the registration or transfer of a vehicle is delinquent pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 9800, the department may collect the amount of the lien on the vehicle plus costs, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250), by the filing of a certificate requesting judgment pursuant to Section 9805, or by appropriate civil action and by the seizure and sale of the vehicle or any other vehicle owned by the owner of the unregistered vehicle.

(2) In the case of a leased vehicle, the authority provided in paragraph (1) to seize and sell the vehicle or any other vehicle owned by the owner of that vehicle shall not apply to a lien for any delinquency for which only the lessee is liable pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 10879 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(b) At least 10 days before the seizure, notice of the lien and of the intent to seize and sell the vehicle shall be given by the department to the registered and legal owners, and to any other person known to be claiming an interest in the vehicle, by registered mail addressed to those persons at the last known addresses appearing on the records of the department.

(c) Any person receiving the notice of the lien and the intent to seize and sell the vehicle may request a hearing to contest the existence or amount of the lien. If no hearing is requested, the vehicle shall be seized and sold.

(d) If a hearing is requested, 10 days' notice shall be given of the time and place of the hearing, which shall be held within the county of residence of the person requesting the hearing or of the registered owner. The hearing shall be conducted by a referee who shall submit findings and recommendations to the director or his or her authorized representative, who shall decide the matter. The decision shall be effective on notice thereof to the interested parties. However, the director or his or her authorized representative may rescind the decision and reconsider the matter for good cause shown at any time within three years after the date the disputed fee or tax first became due, or within one year from the hearing, whichever is later.

(e) At any time before seizure or sale, any registered owner, legal owner, or person claiming an interest in the vehicle may pay the department the amount of the lien, plus costs. In that event, the seizure or sale shall not be held and the vehicle, if seized, shall be returned by the department to the person entitled to its possession. This payment shall not constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.

(f) When the department or an authorized agent has reasonable cause to believe that the lien may be jeopardized within the 10-day notice-of-intent period, the vehicle may be seized without prior notice to the registered or legal owner, upon obtaining authorization for the seizure from the Registrar of Vehicles or authorized representative. In all those cases, a notice of the lien and the intent to sell the vehicle shall be given by the department to the legal and registered owner, and to any other person known to be claiming an interest in the vehicle, within 48 hours after seizure excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays specified in Section 6700 of the Government Code. Any hearing to contest the lien and the seizure shall be requested within 10 days following transmittal of that notice.

(g) When a lien exists against one or more vehicles owned by the same person or persons, the department may seize and sell a sufficient number of the vehicles to pay the lien, plus costs, on one or more of the vehicles in accordance with subdivision (a).

(h) The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall assist with the seizure and impounding of the vehicle. Any municipality or county law enforcement agency may assist with the seizure and impounding of the vehicle.

(i) Any property found by the department in any vehicle seized under the provisions of this article shall be handled by the department in the same manner as is provided in Sections 2414 and 2415.

Amended Ch. 676, Stats. 1990. Effective January 1, 1991.
Amended Ch. 1199, Stats. 1992. Effective September 30, 1992.
Amended Ch. 1211, Stats. 1994. Effective September 30, 1994.