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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Towed motor vehicles
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
§ 399-x. Towed motor vehicles. 1. Definitions. a. For the purposes of
this section, a "commercial tower" shall be defined as any person, firm,
partnership, corporation or association that engages in commercial
towing, as defined in section one hundred seven-b of the vehicle and
traffic law, whether by contract or other agreement.

b. For the purposes of this section, a "storage lot operator" shall
mean any person, firm, partnership, corporation or association that
engages, whether by contract or other agreement, in the storage of motor
vehicles removed by a commercial tower.

c. For the purposes of this section, a "towed motor vehicle" shall be
defined as any motor vehicle removed by a commercial tower without the
prior consent or authorization of such motor vehicle owner.

2. Requirements. Each and every commercial tower or storage lot
operator, which requires the payment by an owner of a towed motor
vehicle of all or part of the towing and/or storage charges associated
with the towing and/or storage of such owner's motor vehicle as a
precondition to the release of such motor vehicle to such owner or his
or her authorized representative, and which accepts credit cards or
debit cards, as those terms are defined in section five hundred eleven
of this chapter as forms of payment in the ordinary course of business,
must accept each of these forms of payment for such towing and/or
storage charges.

3. Penalties. (a) Whenever there shall be a violation of this section,
an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the
people of the state of New York to a court or justice having
jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of
not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such
violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or
justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an
injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and
restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any
person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such
proceeding the court may make allowances to the attorney general as
provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three
hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct
restitution. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of this
section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not less
than fifty dollars and not more than one thousand dollars for each such
violation. In connection with any such proposed application, the
attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of
the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil
practice law and rules.

(b) The provisions of this section may be enforced concurrently by the
town attorney, city corporation counsel, or other lawful designee of a
municipality or local government, and all moneys collected thereunder
shall be retained by such municipality or local government.

4. Applicability. The provisions of this section shall not apply to
commercial towers or storage lot operators operating wholly within
cities having a population of one million or more.