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AB-2319 Tow truck operators: liens: exceptions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/02/2020 09:00 PM
AB2319:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 02, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2319


Introduced by Assembly Member Berman

February 14, 2020


An act to amend Section 5602 of the Vehicle 3068.2 of the Civil Code, relating to vehicles. liens.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2319, as amended, Berman. Vehicles: sale or transfer. Tow truck operators: liens: exceptions.
Existing law grants a tow truck operator a lien dependent on possession on a vehicle that has been removed for various costs. A tow truck operator may also have a deficiency claim against the registered owner of the vehicle if a subsequent lien sale of the vehicle does not equal specified towing, storage, and related charges. Existing law excepts from liability for this deficiency a registered owner of a vehicle who has sold or transferred the vehicle prior to the vehicle’s removal and who was not responsible for creating the circumstances leading to its removal if the owner has executed a certain notice and submitted it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
This bill would revise the circumstances pursuant to which a registered owner who has sold or transferred a vehicle that has been removed is excepted from the above-described deficiency liability. The bill would authorize a registered owner to utilize other methods identified in the Vehicle Code as sufficient for this purpose, including having made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership.

Existing law provides that an owner of a motor vehicle who has made a bona fide sale or transfer and delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is not the owner of the vehicle so as to be subject to civil or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle by another, if specified conditions are met.

This bill would add to the circumstances under which the seller of the vehicle would not be subject to civil or criminal liability the removal and disposition of the vehicle, a lien not satisfied by the sale of the vehicle, court costs if a judgment is entered in favor of the lienholder, or any costs related to a lien sale pursuant to a specified provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3068.2 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

3068.2.
 (a) A tow truck operator who has a lien on a vehicle pursuant to Section 3068.1 has a deficiency claim against the registered owner of the vehicle if the vehicle is not leased or leased with a driver for an amount equal to the towing and storage charges, not to exceed 120 days of storage, and the lien sale processing fee pursuant to Section 3074, less the amount received from the sale of the vehicle.
(b) A tow truck operator who has a lien on a vehicle pursuant to Section 3068.1 has a deficiency claim against the lessee of the vehicle if the vehicle is leased without a driver for an amount equal to the towing and storage charge, not to exceed 120 days of storage, and the lien sale processing fee described in Section 3074, less the amount received from the sale of the vehicle.
(c) Storage costs incurred after the sale shall not be included in calculating the amount received from the sale of the vehicle.
(d) A registered owner who has sold or transferred his or her the owner’s vehicle prior to the vehicle’s removal and who was not responsible for creating the circumstances leading to the removal of the vehicle is not liable for any deficiency under this section if that registered owner executes a notice pursuant to Section 5900 of the Vehicle Code and submits the notice to the Department of Motor Vehicles. has fulfilled the requirements of Section 5602 of the Vehicle Code. The person identified as the transferee in the notice submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles shall be liable for the amount of any deficiency only if that person received notice of the transfer and is responsible for the event leading to abandonment of the vehicle or requested the removal.
(e) Except as provided in Section 22524.5 of the Vehicle Code, if the transferee is an insurer and the transferor is its insured or his or her the transferor’s agent or representative, the insurer shall not be liable for any deficiency, unless the insurer agrees at the time of the transfer, to assume liability for the deficiency.

SECTION 1.Section 5602 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
5602.

An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is not, by reason of any of the provisions of this code, the owner of the vehicle so as to be subject to civil liability or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle thereafter by another, the removal and disposition of the vehicle, a lien not satisfied by the sale of the vehicle, court costs if a judgment is entered in favor of the lienholder, or any costs pursuant to Section 3072 of the Civil Code, when the selling or transferring owner, in addition to that delivery and that bona fide sale or transfer, has fulfilled either of the following requirements:

(a)The owner has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership as provided in this code.

(b)The owner has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either of the following documents:

(1)The notice as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4456 or Section 5900 or 5901.

(2)The appropriate documents and fees for registration of the vehicle to the new owner pursuant to the sale or transfer.