a. Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the owner and operator shall be jointly liable for parking offenses, unless the owner can show that the vehicle was used without his consent, express or implied. An owner who pays any fine, penalty, civil judgment, costs or administrative fees in connection with a parking offense shall have the right to recover that sum from the operator in a court of competent jurisdiction.
b. (1) The owner of a motor vehicle who has leased the motor vehicle shall not be liable for a parking offense when the motor vehicle is under the control or in the possession of the lessee if, upon notice of a parking offense, the owner of a motor vehicle which was leased at the time of the offense notifies the clerk of the court where the case is pending, by a notarized statement of the name and address of the lessee. The notarized statement shall be in a form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts.
(2) After providing the name and address of the lessee, the owner shall not be required to attend a hearing on the offense, unless notified that the offense may have been caused by mechanical failure of the vehicle which resulted from the owner's failure to maintain the vehicle.
(3) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a parking offense which was caused by mechanical failure of the vehicle which resulted from the owner's failure to maintain the vehicle.
The lessee of the motor vehicle who intends to claim the offense resulted from the owner's failure to maintain the vehicle shall notify the clerk of the court where the case is pending and the owner of the vehicle of this claim within five days after receiving notice of the offense or at least seven days prior to the date the case will be heard by the court, whichever is later.
(4) If the owner of the vehicle fails to comply with the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court hearing the violation may take any action which the interests of justice require, including finding the owner of the motor vehicle liable for the parking offense.
L. 1985, c. 14, s. 4.