Maine Revised Statutes

§3106-A. Municipal authority to manage abandoned mobile homes

1. Definitions.   As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Mobile home" has the same meaning as in Title 10, section 9091, subsection 1. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
B. "Property defect" means a condition that, in the judgment of the municipality, contributes to blight as a result of the continued lack of care, maintenance or security of a property. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
C. "Responsible party" includes the owner or owners of record for a mobile home, not including a mortgagee. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Municipal authority.   In accordance with this section, the municipal officers or their designees may regulate the care, maintenance and security of a mobile home determined to be abandoned under subsection 4 if the responsible parties fail to address the property defects after notice and an opportunity to comply, and the municipality may recover its costs from the responsible parties. The authority established by this section may not be construed to replace or supplant any municipal authority to provide for basic necessities under Title 14, section 6026-A or address dangerous buildings under Title 17, chapter 91, subchapter 4. Municipal action under this section may not be interpreted to bestow any responsibility on the municipality to safeguard or otherwise preserve or protect an abandoned mobile home. A municipality is authorized to take corrective action in accordance with this section, up to and including taking possession of and disposing of an abandoned mobile home and all related personal property.
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Notice of foreclosure; designation of representative.   When initiating a foreclosure action on a property, a foreclosing mortgagee shall notify the municipality where the property is situated and designate an in-state representative responsible for responding to municipal inquiries regarding the property. The foreclosing mortgagee shall provide the municipality where the property is located with the contact information for the mortgagee's in-state representative. For the purposes of this subsection, "contact information" means both a mailing address and a direct telephone number with a functioning voice mailbox, as well as the in-state representative's direct e-mail address when available.
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
4. Determination of abandonment.   Before a municipality may initiate corrective measures to address property defects pursuant to this section, either a court or the municipal officers must have determined that the mobile home has been abandoned according to the evidence of abandonment described in Title 14, section 6326, subsection 2, paragraph A, C, D, E, F, G or H.
A. The municipal officers shall provide notice to the responsible party and hold a hearing before making a determination that a mobile home has been abandoned. The notice of hearing must:
(1) State the scheduled date, time and location of the hearing; and
(2) Inform the responsible party that, upon a finding of abandonment, the municipality may require the responsible party to correct any property defects within 60 days of issuing a notice to correct. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
B. A hearing under paragraph A must be held not less than 7 days after receipt or publication of the notice. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
C. An order issued by the municipality determining that a mobile home is abandoned may be combined with the notice to correct set forth in subsection 5. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
5. Notice to correct.   Upon a finding of abandonment, the municipal officers may give written notice to the responsible party to correct the property defect. The municipal notice to correct under this subsection must:
A. Identify the property defect; [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
B. State the municipality's intention to take appropriate preventive or corrective measures to address the property defect; [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
C. Identify the measures the municipality will take if the responsible party has not remedied the property defect identified within 60 days of the notice to correct; [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
D. State the municipality's intention to subsequently recover the municipality's direct, legal and administrative costs from the responsible party; [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
E. Inform the responsible party of the responsible party's ability to avert the municipality's actions by remedying the property defect as identified in the notice; and [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
F. State the municipality's intention to take possession of and dispose of the mobile home and all related personal property if the responsible party has not remedied the property defect identified within 60 days of the notice to correct. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
6. Notice process.   A notice required to be given under this section is governed by the following.
A. Notice must be hand-delivered or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the responsible party. Notice is sufficient if the signed receipt is returned or the certified mail is returned as refused by the recipient. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
B. If the name or address of the responsible party cannot be determined with reasonable diligence, or notice was otherwise not successful pursuant to paragraph A, the notice must be published twice consecutively in a daily or weekly newspaper having general circulation in the municipality in which the mobile home is located. [2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
7. Costs.   A responsible party is jointly and severally liable to a municipality for its direct, legal and administrative costs incurred while remedying or attempting to remedy the property defect pursuant to this section. The responsible party shall reimburse the municipality for its costs within 30 days after demand, or a special tax may be assessed against the property in the amount of those costs and may be collected in the same manner as other state, county and municipal taxes are collected.
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
8. Appeals.   An appeal to a determination of abandonment by the municipal officers pursuant to subsection 4 is to the Superior Court pursuant to the provisions of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 80B.
§3106-A. Municipal authority to manage abandoned properties
(As enacted by PL 2015, c. 276, §1 is REALLOCATED TO TITLE 30-A, SECTION 3106-B)
[ 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
RR 2015, c. 1, §35 (RAL). 2015, c. 244, §1 (NEW). 2015, c. 276, §1 (NEW).