Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 577
Public Safety Offenses
Section 577.080

August 28, 2013


Abandoning motor vehicle--last owner of record deemed the owner of abandoned motor vehicle, procedures--penalty--civil liability.

577.080. 1. A person commits the crime of abandoning a motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer if he abandons any motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer on the right-of-way of any public road or state highway or on or in any of the waters in this state or on the banks of any stream, or on any land or water owned, operated or leased by the state, any board, department, agency or commission thereof, or any political subdivision thereof or on any land or water owned, operated or leased by the federal government or on any private real property owned by another without his consent.

2. For purposes of this section, the last owner of record of a motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer found abandoned and not shown to be transferred pursuant to sections 301.196 and 301.197 shall be deemed prima facie to have been the owner of such motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer at the time it was abandoned and to have been the person who abandoned the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer or caused or procured its abandonment. The registered owner of the abandoned motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer shall not be subject to the penalties provided by this section if the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer was in the care, custody, or control of another person at the time of the violation. In such instance, the owner shall submit such evidence in an affidavit permitted by the court setting forth the name, address, and other pertinent information of the person who leased, rented, or otherwise had care, custody, or control of the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer at the time of the alleged violation. The affidavit submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be admissible in a court proceeding adjudicating the alleged violation and shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the person identified in the affidavit was in actual control of the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer. In such case, the court has the authority to terminate the prosecution of the summons issued to the owner and issue a summons to the person identified in the affidavit as the operator. If the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer is alleged to have been stolen, the owner of the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer shall submit proof that a police report was filed in a timely manner indicating that the vehicle or vessel was stolen at the time of the alleged violation.

3. Abandoning a motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer is a class A misdemeanor.

4. Any person convicted pursuant to this section shall be civilly liable for all reasonable towing, storage, and administrative costs associated with the abandonment of the motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer. Any reasonable towing, storage, and administrative costs in excess of the value of the abandoned motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer that exist at the time the motor vehicle or vessel is transferred pursuant to section 304.156 shall remain the liability of the person convicted pursuant to this section so long as the towing company, as defined in chapter 304, provided the title owner and lienholders, as ascertained by the department of revenue records, a notice within the time frame and in the form as described in subsection 1 of section 304.156.

(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 2004 S.B. 1233, et al., A.L. 2008 H.B. 1715)


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