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Suffolk County Policies and Procedures Governing Vehicles Subject to Liens Post-Seizure

In order to comply with the requirements of law, to ensure the protection of the Due Process and Property rights of all persons having an interest in any vehicle subject to a lien which is seized by the County of Suffolk or the Suffolk County Police Department, pursuant to Chapters 420 and/or 818 of the Suffolk County Code, and to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, the County of Suffolk (the “County”) hereby establishes the following procedures governing the post-seizure release of motor vehicles subject to liens:

  1. Upon seizing or taking possession of any motor vehicle pursuant to Chapters 420 and or 818 of the Suffolk County Code, the County shall, within five (5) business days of the time it takes possession of the vehicle, provide written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of both the owner of the seized vehicle and any lienholder on file with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (the “NYS DMV”), at the address provided to the County by NYS DMV, that a hearing (the “Krimstock Hearing”) will be held to determine (i) whether the vehicle should be retained in order to permit the County to commence an action for forfeiture of said vehicle and, (ii) whether the retention of the vehicle prior to the commencement of the forfeiture action is required in order to preserve the collateral.
  2. If the owner appears at the Krimstock Hearing, the County may release the vehicle to the owner at the County’s discretion and under such terms and conditions as the County and the hearing officer deem just and proper.
  3. If the vehicle is not returned to the owner, the County will release the vehicle to the lienholder provided that the lienholder produces a copy of the finance agreement establishing its right to possession and confirms, in writing, that the account is in default and that, therefore, the lienholder has a present right of possession.

Under appropriate circumstances, the County may condition release of a seized vehicle to a lienholder upon the lienholder executing an agreement to provide the County with any surplus proceeds over and above the lienholder’s costs and satisfaction of its lien after auction of such vehicle.

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901