Hearing Examiner #: HE-09-VI-034
City Contact:Officer Howell
Hearing Date: 08/31/2009
Description: Hardship Request of Mara Stach re impound on 8/30/09
Decision Date: 09/04/2009
I. ORDERThis matter
came before the Bellingham Hearing Examiner on the Hardship Request filed by Mara L. Stach regarding the above-referenced vehicle impounded by the Bellingham Police Department on August 30, 2009. The vehicle was impounded because it was driven by Ms. Stach’s husband, Stacey R. Stach, who was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and whose driver’s license had been suspended. A 30-day hold was placed on the vehicle due to two previous convictions for driving while license suspended.
BMC 11.18.040 authorizes the Hearing Examiner to release a vehicle from a hold upon the request of a spouse due to economic or personal hardship to the spouse resulting from the unavailability of the vehicle. Ms. Stach has stated that she has limited resources and she relies on this vehicle to drive to medical appointments. The ordinance also requires consideration of the risk to public safety in releasing the vehicle from the hold. Criminal history and driving record information was submitted and reviewed. Ms. Stach states that Mr. Stach will remain in custody and that she would not allow him to drive the vehicle.
Continued impoundment of the vehicle will result in a hardship to Ms. Stach. Release of the vehicle to Ms. Stach is not likely to endanger public safety provided Ms. Stach is properly licensed and insured and Mr. Stach is not permitted to drive the vehicle, either because he remains in custody, or because Ms. Stach assumes full control of the vehicle and prevents Mr. Stach from driving it.
The above-referenced vehicle is to be released from the 30-day hold period to Mara Stach provided she produces proof of ownership of the vehicle, or written authorization to redeem the vehicle, that she has a valid drivers license, and pays all fines and fees required. A release from the Bellingham Municipal Court may also be required.
Ms. Stach’s hardship request for release of the vehicle is granted, provided Ms. Stach insures that Stacey Stach will not drive the vehicle during the hold period and while his license remains suspended or revoked.
ENTERED this 4th
day of September 2009.
Bellingham Hearing Examiner