Prior to the adoption of Ord. 19250 on 10/02/2006, Section 14-306 read as follows.

    (a)     Impoundment:

    (1)    Intent and purpose. This section is enacted as an enforcement procedure for protection of the public peace, safety and welfare, and the safeguarding of property, and shall be used generally for the prevention and removal of traffic hazards, prevention and abatement of public nuisances arising from traffic law violations, and for the protection of the public rights in the use of city streets and thoroughfares.

    (2)    Authority. Any vehicle having against it five (5) or more unpaid summonses or other process issued within an eighteen-month period, charging that the vehicle was parked, stopped or standing in violation of any ordinance is a public nuisance. Police officers and parking enforcement officers are authorized to impound such vehicle by means of a mechanical boot, or to have the vehicle towed at the owner's expense.

    (3)    Procedure. Impoundment shall constitute either impoundment by means of a mechanical boot or by towing to a place of impoundment. A "mechanical boot" is hereby defined to be a device consisting of metal clamps or jaws, screws and a padlocking device, which, when attached to a wheel of the motor vehicle, prevents that vehicle from being driven. A mechanical boot shall also include any other device, including the patented "Denver boot," which can be used by attachment to a wheel of a motor vehicle to prevent it from being driven.

        a.    Impoundment by means of a mechanical boot shall be limited as follows:

        1.    Impoundment shall not exceed twenty-four (24) hours, except that a police officer of the city may extend or reduce the period because of safety or traffic considerations.

        2.    No vehicle shall be impounded unless such vehicle is found on a public street or public lot, and has accumulated five (5) or more unpaid summonses or other processes for the parking provisions of this chapter.

        3.    No vehicle shall be impounded within the traveled portion of any street or portion of any street or sidewalk when the impoundment in such place would create a hazard to the traffic or the public.

        4.    Upon the lapse of the time period enumerated herein and the failure of the registered owner or admitted operator to pay or bond the outstanding summonses or other processes as herein provided, the city shall tow or cause said vehicle to be towed to a place of impoundment.

            5.    The registered owner or admitted operator of such vehicle may secure removal of the mechanical boot within the twenty-four-hour period either by payment and satisfaction of all outstanding parking fines and all fees associated with the impoundment of the vehicle or by appearing at the traffic violations bureau, posting bond for such fines and fees and requesting a date to appear before the municipal court with respect to such charges.

    b.    No vehicle shall be impounded under the provisions of this subsection unless the vehicle is on a public street or in a public lot.

    (4)    Entrance into impounded vehicles. If it is necessary to enter a locked or unlocked vehicle in order to impound such vehicle such entrance must be made in the presence of a commissioned police officer of the city. The police officer shall conduct a search of such vehicle as he deems necessary to protect the contents therein; provided, however, such search need not be a complete inventory.

    (b)     Notice to Owner--Contents of notice attached to vehicle. Whenever the police department has impounded, by means of a mechanical boot, a vehicle described above, a notice shall be placed on the windshield of such impounded vehicle indicating the time and date such immobilization device was placed on the automobile, along with a brief description of the provisions of subsection (a)(3)a.5. hereof relating to the means of securing removal of such mechanical boot within the twenty-four-hour period.

    (c)     Owner Responsibility. The registered owner of a vehicle having against it five (5) or more outstanding summonses shall be presumed to be the owner at the time the summonses were in fact issued and shall be severally responsible for the offenses and the impoundment, except where the use of the vehicle was secured by the operator without the owner's consent.

    (d)     Responsibility for Vehicle Safety, Records and Reports. It shall be the duty of the police department to apply and remove the mechanical boot and to safely keep any such impounded vehicle until such vehicle shall have been repossessed by the owner or person legally entitled to possession thereof or otherwise disposed of as provided in this ordinance.

    (e)     Release of Vehicle. Vehicles impounded pursuant to this section will be released to their lawful owner (or person entitled to possession) upon showing adequate evidence of a right to its possession and paying the payment of all accrued fines and costs for each outstanding unpaid summons, or depositing of the collateral required for his appearance in the municipal court of the city to answer for each violation for which there is an outstanding or otherwise unsettled traffic violation notice or warrant and, in addition thereto, the charges for impoundment and storage. The release should be signed by an authorized officer. All charges relating to the impoundment of vehicles by means of mechanical boot shall be as established by ordinance.

    (f)     Sale of Impounded Vehicles: Vehicles physically impounded by a private towing business may be sold pursuant to the procedure set out by state law.

    A parking ticket may be contested by submitting a written statement to the municipal court identifying the ticket and stating the reason that the alleged violation should not be prosecuted. The statement shall contain the name and address of the person contesting the ticket.  A separate statement shall be required for each ticket being contested.  A written response shall be mailed to the person contesting the ticket within ten (10) business days of receiving the statement contesting the parking ticket.  The response shall state whether the prosecutor intends to initiate prosecution for the alleged violation if the ticket is not paid.

State law reference - RSMo. § 304.155-304.158

(Code 1964, §§ 12.780, 12.790, 12.795, 12.800, 12.805, 12.810; Ord. No. 16077, § 1, 7-6-99)