Vehicles impounded by the city shall be redeemed only under the following circumstances:
A. Only the registered owner, a person authorized by the registered owner, or one who has purchased the vehicle from the registered owner, who produces proof of ownership or authorization and signs a receipt therefor, may redeem an impounded vehicle. A person redeeming a vehicle impounded pursuant to MMC 10.06.020 must prior to redemption establish that he or she has a valid driver’s license and is in compliance with RCW 46.30.020. A vehicle impounded pursuant to MMC 10.06.020(C) through (G) can be released only pursuant to a written order from the court.
B. Any person so redeeming a vehicle impounded by the city shall pay the towing contractor for costs of impoundment removal, towing and storage prior to redeeming such vehicle, except as provided for by subsection (C) of this section. Such towing contractor shall accept payment as provided in RCW 46.55.120(1)(b) as now or hereafter amended. If the vehicle was impounded pursuant to MMC 10.06.020 and was being operated by the registered owner when it was impounded, it may not be released to any person until all penalties, fines or forfeitures owed by the registered owner have been satisfied.
C. The Evergreen district court is authorized to release a vehicle impounded pursuant to MMC 10.06.020(C) through (G) prior to the expiration of any period of impoundment upon petition of the spouse of the driver based on economic or personal hardship to such spouse resulting from the unavailability of the vehicle and after consideration of the threat to public safety that may result from release of the vehicle including, but not limited to, the driver’s criminal history, driving record, license status, and access to the vehicle. If such release is authorized, the person redeeming the vehicle still must satisfy the requirements of subsections (A) and (B) of this section.
D. Any person seeking to redeem a vehicle impounded as a result of a parking or traffic citation has a right to a hearing at Evergreen District Court to contest the validity of an impoundment or the amount of removal, towing, and storage charges if such request for hearing is in writing, in a form approved by the Evergreen District Court and signed by such person, and is received by the Evergreen District Court within ten days (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of the date the notice was given to such person by the registered tow truck operator pursuant to RCW 46.55.120(2)(a). Such hearing shall be provided as follows:
1. If all of the requirements to redeem the vehicle, including expiration of any period of impoundment under MMC 10.06.020, have been satisfied, then the impounded vehicle shall be released immediately and a hearing as provided for in MMC 10.06.040 shall be held within ninety days of the written request for hearing.
2. If not all of the requirements to redeem the vehicle, including expiration of any period of impoundment under MMC 10.06.020, have been satisfied, then the impounded vehicle shall not be released until after the hearing provided pursuant to MMC 10.06.040, which shall be held within two business days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of the written request to the court for hearing.
3. Any person seeking a hearing who has failed to request such hearing within the time specified in this section may petition the Evergreen District Court for an extension of time to file a request for hearing. Such extension shall only be granted upon the demonstration of good cause as to the reason(s) the request for hearing was not timely filed. For the purpose of this section, good cause shall be defined as circumstances beyond the control of the person seeking the hearing that prevented such person from filing a timely request for hearing. In the event such extension is granted, the person receiving such extension shall be granted a hearing in accordance with this chapter.
4. If a person fails to file a timely request for hearing and no extension to file such a request has been granted, the right to a hearing is waived, the impoundment and the associated costs of impoundment are deemed to be proper, and the city shall not be liable for removal, towing and storage charges arising from the impoundment. (Ord. 1152, 1999)