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§ 44-1-13 - Removal of improperly parked cars or trespassing personal property; concurrent jurisdiction; procedure; automatic surveillance prohibited; penalty

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O.C.G.A.44-1-13 (2010)44-1-13.Removal of improperly parked cars or trespassing personalproperty; concurrent jurisdiction; procedure; automatic surveillanceprohibited; penalty (a)As used in this Code section, the term:(1)"Commission" means the Public Service Commission.(2)"Private property" means any parcel or space of private real property.(a.1)Anyperson or his or her authorized agent entitled to the possession of anyprivate property shall have the right to remove or cause to be removedfrom the property any vehicle or trespassing personal property thereonwhich is not authorized to be at the place where it is found and tostore or cause to be stored such vehicle or trespassing personalproperty, provided that there shall have been conspicuously posted onthe private property notice that any vehicle or trespassing personalproperty which is not authorized to be at the place where it is foundmay be removed at the expense of the owner of the vehicle or trespassingpersonal property. Such notice shall also include information as to thelocation where the vehicle or personal property can be recovered, thecost of said recovery, and information as to the form of payment;provided, however, that the owner of residential private propertycontaining not more than four residential units shall not be required tocomply with the posting requirements of this subsection. Only towingand storage firms issued permits or licenses by the local governingauthority of the jurisdiction in which they operate or by thecommission, and having a secure impoundment facility, shall be permittedto remove trespassing property and trespassing personal property at therequest of the owner or authorized agent of the private property.(b)(1)The commission shall have the authorization to regulate and controlthe towing of trespassing vehicles on private property if such towingis performed without the prior consent or authorization of the owner oroperator of the vehicle, including the authority to set just andreasonable rates, fares, and charges for services related to theremoval, storage, and required notification to owners of such towedvehicles. No storage fees shall be charged for the first 24 hour periodwhich begins at the time the vehicle is removed from the property, andno such fees shall be allowed for the removal and storage of vehiclesremoved by towing and storage firms found to be in violation of thisCode section. The commission is authorized to impose a civil penalty forany violation of this Code section in an amount not to exceed$2,500.00.(2)In accordance withsubsection (d) of this Code section, the governing authority of amunicipality may require towing and storage operators to charge lowermaximum rates on traffic moving between points within such municipalitythan those provided by the commission's maximum rate tariff and mayrequire higher public liability insurance limits and cargo insurancelimits than those required by the commission. The governing authority ofa municipality shall not provide for higher maximum costs of removal,relocation, or storage than is provided for by the commission.(c)Inall municipalities, except a consolidated city-county government,having a population of 100,000 or more according to the United Statesdecennial census of 1970 or any future such census a person entitled tothe possession of an off-street parking area or vacant lot within anarea zoned commercial by the municipality shall have the right to removeany vehicle or trespassing personal property parked thereon after theregular activity on such property is concluded for the day only ifaccess to such property from the public way is blocked by a sturdychain, cable, or rope stretched at least 18 inches above grade acrossall driveways or other ways providing access to the off-street parkingarea or vacant lot and there is conspicuously posted in the area anotice, the location of which must be approved by the municipality'spolice department, that any vehicle or trespassing personal propertyparked thereon which is not authorized to be in such area may be removedat the expense of the owner along with information as to where thevehicle or trespassing personal property may be recovered, the cost ofsaid recovery, and information regarding the form of payment.(d)(1)In addition to the regulatory jurisdiction of the commission, thegoverning authority of each municipality having towing and storage firmsoperating within its territorial boundaries may require and issue alicense or permit to engage in private trespass towing within itscorporate municipal limits pursuant to this Code section to any firmmeeting the qualifications imposed by said governing authority. The feefor the license or permit shall be set by such governing authority. Themaximum reasonable costs of removal, relocation, and storage pursuant tothe provisions of this Code section shall be compensatory, as such termis used in the public utility rate-making procedures, and shall beestablished annually by the governing authority of each municipalityhaving towing and storage firms operating within its territorialboundaries; provided, however, that no storage fees shall be charged forthe first 24 hour period which begins at the time the vehicle isremoved from the property, and no such fees shall be allowed for theremoval and storage of vehicles removed by towing and storage firmsfound to be in violation of this Code section.(2)Towingand storage firms operating within a municipality's corporate limitsshall obtain a nonconsensual towing permit from the commission and shallfile its registered agent's name and address with the commission.(e)Anyperson who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of thisCode section may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdictionfor actual damages, which shall be presumed to be not less than$100.00, together with court costs. A court shall award three timesactual damages for an intentional violation of this Code section.(f)Itshall be unlawful and punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 for any towingand storage firm, permitted or unpermitted, licensed or unlicensed, toenter into any agreement with any person in possession of privateproperty to provide automatic or systematic surveillance of suchproperty for purposes of removal and relocation of any such vehicle ortrespassing personal property except upon call by such person inpossession of such private property to such towing and storage firm foreach individual case of trespass; provided, further, that it shall beunlawful and punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 for any towing andstorage firm to pay to any private property owner or one in possessionof private property any fee or emolument, directly or indirectly, forthe right to remove a vehicle or trespassing personal property from saidprivate property.
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  • O.C.G.A. 44-1-13 (2010)
    44-1-13. Removal of improperly parked cars or trespassing personal property; concurrent jurisdiction; procedure; automatic surveillance prohibited; penalty


    (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

    (1) "Commission" means the Public Service Commission.

    (2) "Private property" means any parcel or space of private real property.

    (a.1) Any person or his or her authorized agent entitled to the possession of any private property shall have the right to remove or cause to be removed from the property any vehicle or trespassing personal property thereon which is not authorized to be at the place where it is found and to store or cause to be stored such vehicle or trespassing personal property, provided that there shall have been conspicuously posted on the private property notice that any vehicle or trespassing personal property which is not authorized to be at the place where it is found may be removed at the expense of the owner of the vehicle or trespassing personal property. Such notice shall also include information as to the location where the vehicle or personal property can be recovered, the cost of said recovery, and information as to the form of payment; provided, however, that the owner of residential private property containing not more than four residential units shall not be required to comply with the posting requirements of this subsection. Only towing and storage firms issued permits or licenses by the local governing authority of the jurisdiction in which they operate or by the commission, and having a secure impoundment facility, shall be permitted to remove trespassing property and trespassing personal property at the request of the owner or authorized agent of the private property.

    (b) (1) The commission shall have the authorization to regulate and control the towing of trespassing vehicles on private property if such towing is performed without the prior consent or authorization of the owner or operator of the vehicle, including the authority to set just and reasonable rates, fares, and charges for services related to the removal, storage, and required notification to owners of such towed vehicles. No storage fees shall be charged for the first 24 hour period which begins at the time the vehicle is removed from the property, and no such fees shall be allowed for the removal and storage of vehicles removed by towing and storage firms found to be in violation of this Code section. The commission is authorized to impose a civil penalty for any violation of this Code section in an amount not to exceed $2,500.00.

    (2) In accordance with subsection (d) of this Code section, the governing authority of a municipality may require towing and storage operators to charge lower maximum rates on traffic moving between points within such municipality than those provided by the commission's maximum rate tariff and may require higher public liability insurance limits and cargo insurance limits than those required by the commission. The governing authority of a municipality shall not provide for higher maximum costs of removal, relocation, or storage than is provided for by the commission.

    (c) In all municipalities, except a consolidated city-county government, having a population of 100,000 or more according to the United States decennial census of 1970 or any future such census a person entitled to the possession of an off-street parking area or vacant lot within an area zoned commercial by the municipality shall have the right to remove any vehicle or trespassing personal property parked thereon after the regular activity on such property is concluded for the day only if access to such property from the public way is blocked by a sturdy chain, cable, or rope stretched at least 18 inches above grade across all driveways or other ways providing access to the off-street parking area or vacant lot and there is conspicuously posted in the area a notice, the location of which must be approved by the municipality's police department, that any vehicle or trespassing personal property parked thereon which is not authorized to be in such area may be removed at the expense of the owner along with information as to where the vehicle or trespassing personal property may be recovered, the cost of said recovery, and information regarding the form of payment.

    (d) (1) In addition to the regulatory jurisdiction of the commission, the governing authority of each municipality having towing and storage firms operating within its territorial boundaries may require and issue a license or permit to engage in private trespass towing within its corporate municipal limits pursuant to this Code section to any firm meeting the qualifications imposed by said governing authority. The fee for the license or permit shall be set by such governing authority. The maximum reasonable costs of removal, relocation, and storage pursuant to the provisions of this Code section shall be compensatory, as such term is used in the public utility rate-making procedures, and shall be established annually by the governing authority of each municipality having towing and storage firms operating within its territorial boundaries; provided, however, that no storage fees shall be charged for the first 24 hour period which begins at the time the vehicle is removed from the property, and no such fees shall be allowed for the removal and storage of vehicles removed by towing and storage firms found to be in violation of this Code section.

    (2) Towing and storage firms operating within a municipality's corporate limits shall obtain a nonconsensual towing permit from the commission and shall file its registered agent's name and address with the commission.

    (e) Any person who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of this Code section may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for actual damages, which shall be presumed to be not less than $100.00, together with court costs. A court shall award three times actual damages for an intentional violation of this Code section.

    (f) It shall be unlawful and punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 for any towing and storage firm, permitted or unpermitted, licensed or unlicensed, to enter into any agreement with any person in possession of private property to provide automatic or systematic surveillance of such property for purposes of removal and relocation of any such vehicle or trespassing personal property except upon call by such person in possession of such private property to such towing and storage firm for each individual case of trespass; provided, further, that it shall be unlawful and punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 for any towing and storage firm to pay to any private property owner or one in possession of private property any fee or emolument, directly or indirectly, for the right to remove a vehicle or trespassing personal property from said private property.

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