Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 42
Abandoned Motor Vehicles

R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-42-4

§ 31-42-4. Auction of abandoned motor vehicles.

(a) If an abandoned motor vehicle has not been reclaimed as provided for in § 31-42-3, the police department shall sell the abandoned motor vehicle at a public auction. The purchaser of the motor vehicle shall take title to the motor vehicle free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership, shall receive a sales receipt and bill of sale from the police department, and shall be entitled to register the purchased vehicle. The sales receipt at a sale shall be sufficient title only for purposes of transferring the vehicle to a demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling, and, in that case no further registration of the vehicle shall be necessary.

(b) From the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, the police department shall reimburse itself for the expenses of the auction, the costs of towing, preserving, and storing the vehicle which resulted from placing the abandoned motor vehicle in custody, and all notices and publication costs incurred pursuant to § 31-42-3. Any remainder from the proceeds of a sale shall be held for the owner of the vehicle or entitled lienholder for ninety (90) days, and then shall be deposited in a special abandoned motor vehicle fund which shall remain available for the payment of auction, towing, preserving, storage, and all notice and publication costs which result from placing other abandoned vehicles in custody, whenever the proceeds from a sale of the other abandoned motor vehicles are insufficient to meet these expenses and costs.

(c) Whenever the chief finance officer of the city or town finds that moneys in the abandoned motor vehicle fund are in excess of reserves likely to be needed, he or she may transfer the excess to the general fund. But in the event there are additional claims against the abandoned motor vehicle fund, if the abandoned motor vehicle fund is temporarily exhausted, these claims shall be met from the general fund to the limit of any transfers previously made to it pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 1971, ch. 234, § 1.