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Section: Partial unconstitutionality

Statute: 12:7C-10

4. If the owner of the vessel fails to claim the impounded vessel and pay the reasonable costs of removal and storage by midnight of the 30th day following impoundment, it shall be prima facie evidence of abandonment and shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the vessel is abandoned. A landowner, his lessee, or his agent, or a municipality or harbor commission, in the case of a municipal waterway, may institute proceedings to acquire title to any abandoned vessel on his land or the water immediately adjacent thereto in the case of a landowner, his lessee, or his agent, or which has become abandoned in a municipal waterway, in the case of a municipality or harbor commission. The acquisition of title divests any other person and any other legal entity, including lienholders, of any interest in the vessel. At any time prior to the final acquisition of title by the landowner, his lessee, his agent, or a municipality or harbor commission, the owner or a lessor or holder of a lien on the vessel may reclaim possession of it upon payment of the reasonable costs of removal and storage of the vessel and any outstanding penalties and court costs assessed against him; provided, however, that if it is a lessor or the holder of a lien who is reclaiming the vessel, he may reclaim the vessel without payment for the storage but shall pay the costs of removal. In such cases, the owner of the vessel shall be liable for all outstanding costs, fines and penalties, and the municipality shall have a lien against the property and income of that violator for the total amount of those outstanding costs, fines, and penalties if the vessel has been abandoned in a municipal waterway or on municipally-owned land. L.1975, c.369, s.4; amended 2008, c.52, s.7.

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