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May 26, 2010 For Immediate Release
ANTONOVICH CALLS FOR REPORT ON VEHICLE FORFEITURE ORDINANCE TO STOP ILLEGAL DUMPING
LOS ANGELES COUNTY -- “Posing a danger to public health and safety, Illegal dumping continues to be a significant problem in Los Angeles County -- decreasing property values, lowering the quality of life and contributing to urban blight,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich who introduced a motion yesterday that asked for a report on the legal standing of the County’s illegal dumping ordinance. “Vehicle seizure for those used in this crime is a valuable tool to deter potential dumpers.”
In July, 2004, this Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance granting law enforcement the authority to utilize the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles used in illegal dumping.
However, the California Supreme Court in O’Connell vs. City of Stockton has cast doubt on the enforceability of the ordinance. The Court found that where local law conflicts with state law, state law would prevail.
More recently, however, the Governor signed into law Vehicle Code Section 22659.5 which took effect in January 2010 and provides local governments, through adoption of local ordinance, the authority to impound vehicles used in the course of illegal dumping under certain circumstances.
Supervisor Antonovich’s motion, unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors, directs County Counsel to work with the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office and the Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force to review the new Vehicle Code and its applicability to Los Angeles County with a report back in four weeks.