20-162.1. Prima facie rule of evidence for enforcement of parking regulations.

(a) Whenever evidence shall be presented in any court of the fact that any automobile, truck, or other vehicle was found upon any street, alley or other public place contrary to and in violation of the provisions of any statute or of any municipal or Department of Transportation ordinance limiting the time during which any such vehicle may be parked or prohibiting or otherwise regulating the parking of any such vehicle, it shall be prima facie evidence in any court in the State of North Carolina that such vehicle was parked and left upon such street, alley or public way or place by the person, firm or corporation in whose name such vehicle is then registered and licensed according to the records of the department or agency of the State of North Carolina, by whatever name designated, which is empowered to register such vehicles and to issue licenses for their operation upon the streets and highways of this State; provided, that no evidence tendered or presented under the authorization contained in this section shall be admissible or competent in any respect in any court or tribunal, except in cases concerned solely with violation of statutes or ordinances limiting, prohibiting or otherwise regulating the parking of automobiles or other vehicles upon public streets, highways, or other public places.

Any person found responsible for an infraction pursuant to this section shall be subject to a penalty of not more than five dollars ($5.00).

(b) The prima facie rule of evidence established by subsection (a) shall not apply to the registered owner of a leased or rented vehicle parked in violation of law when the owner can furnish sworn evidence that the vehicle was, at the time of the parking violation, leased or rented, to another person or company. In those instances, the owner of the vehicle shall furnish sworn evidence to the courts within 30 days after notification of the violation in accordance with this subsection.

If the notification is given to the owner of the vehicle within 90 days after the date of the violation, the owner shall include in the sworn evidence the name and address of the person or company that leased or rented the vehicle. If notification is given to the owner of the vehicle after 90 days have elapsed from the date of the violation, the owner is not required to include the name or address of the lessee or renter of the vehicle in the sworn evidence. (1953, c. 879, ss. 1, 11/2; c. 978; 1955, c. 566, s. 1; 1983, c. 753; 1985, c. 764, s. 32; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 852, s. 17; 1987, c. 736, s. 1; 1989, c. 243, s. 2; 2001-259, s. 1.)