Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 7243

Public Act No. 17-104

AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL MOBILE EQUIPMENT LIENS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 49-61 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) The owner of any personal property which is held by one who claims to be a bailee for hire of that personal property and to have a lien in consequence thereof, or anyone having a legal or equitable interest in that property, may apply in writing to any judge of the Superior Court, within whose jurisdiction that personal property is held or the lienor resides, to dissolve the lien upon the substitution of a bond with surety.

(b) If the property is a motor vehicle and if no application that the lien be dissolved upon such substitution of a bond is made within thirty days of the date of the completion of the work upon the property by the bailor for hire, the bailee shall immediately send a written notice to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, stating the vehicle identification number thereof, the date the motor vehicle was left with such bailee, the date the work was completed, the amount for which a lien is claimed, the registration thereof if any number plates are on the motor vehicle and the name of the owner or person who authorized the work to be done, and shall enclose a fee of five dollars. Such notice shall be placed on file by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and be open to public inspection. Except for the thirty-day period immediately following completion of the work on such motor vehicle, the commissioner may limit the number of days that a bailee may charge for the storage of the motor vehicle prior to the time that the bailee files such notice with the commissioner unless the bailee provides evidence to the commissioner sufficient to show that the storage charges accrued as a result of the bailee's reliance upon statements or representations made by the bailor or as the result of the bailee's good faith efforts to negotiate the return of such motor vehicle to the bailor. If the motor vehicle is subject to a security interest, the commissioner, within ten days of receipt of such notice, shall send the bailee the name and address of any lienholder as recorded on the certificate of title. Within ten days of receipt of such information relative to any lienholder, the bailee shall mail written notice to each lienholder by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that the motor vehicle is being held by such bailee and has a lien upon it for repair and storage charges. Any sale under the provisions of this section shall be void unless the notice required in this section has been given to said commissioner, if the property is a motor vehicle.

(c) If the property is special mobile equipment, as defined in section 14-165, and if no application that the lien be dissolved upon such substitution of a bond is made within thirty days of the date of the completion of the work upon the property by the bailor for hire, the bailee shall immediately send a written notice to the bailor by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating the identification number of such equipment, the date the special mobile equipment was left with such bailee, the date the work was completed, the amount for which a lien is claimed and the name of the owner or person who authorized the work to be done. Additionally, the bailee shall conduct a search for lienholders under article 9 of title 42a. If the special mobile equipment is subject to a security interest, the bailee shall mail written notice to each lienholder by certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that the special mobile equipment is being held by such bailee and has a lien upon it for repair and storage charges. Any sale under the provisions of this section shall be void unless the notice required in this section has been given, if the property is special mobile equipment.

[(c)] (d) If no application for such dissolution of the lien has been made by the bailor for hire within three months from the date of completion of the work upon the property, or if the property has not been replevied, the bailee may sell the property at public auction for cash at his place of business and apply the proceeds of the sale, first toward the payment of the debt or obligation owing to him and second toward the payment of any balance due on any conditional bill of sale held on the property.

[(d)] (e) The sale shall be advertised, in a newspaper published or having a circulation in the town where the bailee's place of business is situated, three times, commencing at least ten days before the sale and, if the last usual place of abode of the bailor is known to or may reasonably be ascertained by the bailee, notice of the time and place of sale shall be given by mailing the notice to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least ten days before the time of the sale, and similar notice shall be given to any officer who has placed an attachment on the property and, if the property is a motor vehicle or special mobile equipment, as defined in section 14-165, any lienholder.

[(e)] (f) The proceeds of such sale, after the payment of the amount owing to the bailee and all expense connected with the sale and of any balance due on any conditional bill of sale, shall be paid to any officer who has placed an attachment on the property and be held by that officer in the same manner as though such moneys had been originally attached. If there has been no attachment, the balance shall be paid to the owner of the property or his legal representatives, if called for or claimed by him or them at any time within one year from the date of the sale, and, if the balance is not claimed or called for as aforesaid within said period, it shall escheat to the state.

Approved July 6, 2017