20-219.3.  Removal of unauthorized vehicles from gasoline service station premises.

(a)        No motor vehicle shall be left for more than 48 hours upon the premises of any gasoline service station without the consent of the owner or operator of the service station.

(b)        The registered owner of any motor vehicle left unattended upon the premises of a service station in violation of subsection (a) shall be given notice by the owner or operator of said station of said violation. The notice given shall be by certified mail return receipt requested addressed to the registered owner of the motor vehicle.

(c)        Upon the expiration of 10 days from the return of the receipt showing that the notice was received by the addressee, such vehicle left on the premises of a service station in violation of this section may be removed from the station premises to a place of storage and the registered owner of such vehicle shall become liable for the reasonable removal and storage charges and the vehicle subject to the storage lien created by G.S. 44A-1 et seq.  Any person who removes a vehicle pursuant to this section shall not be held liable for damages for the removal of the vehicle to the owner, lienholder or other person legally entitled to the possession of the vehicle removed; however, any person who intentionally or negligently damages a vehicle in the removal of such vehicle, or intentionally or negligently inflicts injury upon any person in the removal of such vehicle, may be held liable for damages.

(d)       In the alternative, the station owner or operator may charge for storage, assert a lien, and dispose of the vehicle under the terms of G.S. 44A-4(b) through (g). The proceeds from the sale of the vehicle shall be disbursed as provided in G.S. 44A-5. (1971, c. 1220; 1973, c. 1330, s. 36; 1989, c. 644, s. 2.)