§ 31-42-5. Garage keepers and abandoned motor vehicles.
(a) Any motor vehicle left for more than ten (10) days in a garage operated for commercial purposes after notice by registered mail, return receipt requested to the owner to pick up the vehicle, or for more than ten (10) days after the period when, pursuant to contract, the vehicle was to remain on the premises, and any motor vehicle left for more than ten (10) days in the garage by someone other than the registered owner or left by a person authorized to have possession of the motor vehicle, shall be deemed an abandoned vehicle and shall be reported by the garage keeper to the police department. Any garage keeper who fails to report the possession of the vehicle within ten (10) days after it becomes abandoned within the meaning of this section shall no longer have any claim for storage of the vehicle.
(b) All abandoned vehicles left in garages may be taken into custody by the police department and sold in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter unless the motor vehicle is reclaimed and the garage keeper is paid. The proceeds of the sale shall be first applied to the garage keepers' charges for storage and any surplus proceeds shall be distributed in accordance with § 31-42-4. Except for the termination of a claim for storage for failure to report an abandoned motor vehicle, nothing in this section shall be construed to impair any lien of a garage keeper under the laws of this state, or the right of a lienholder to foreclose.
(c) For the purposes of this section, "garage keeper" means any operator of a parking place establishment or motor vehicle storage facility.
(P.L. 1971, ch. 234, § 1.)