Bill will streamline process of acquiring title to abandoned vessels

TRENTON – The Assembly Transportation Committee released bill A4177, which streamlines the process of entities to acquire the titles of abandoned vessels on their property.

The major change will be instead of requiring the entities… municipalities, commissions, individuals, etc. – to go before a court to seek a title transfer, they could go directly to the Motor Vehicle Commission, which will more likely than not be a faster process.

The bill also increases from seven days to 30 days the period of time after which “a vessel that has remained moored, grounded, docked, or otherwise attached or fastened to or upon any public land or waterway or any private property may be impounded.”

In addition, the owner of an impounded vessel is responsible for the cost of the transportation, disposal, and other incidental costs, according to the bill.

Assemblyman Matthew Milam, (D-1), Cape May Court House, described the bill as “a more expedited measure” that will give municipalities the authority over these vessels.

The Marine Trades Association, which testified before the committee, supported the bill. Melissa Danko, speaking on behalf of the association, said there has been “a significant increase in abandoned boats,” largely due to the economic downturn. She said that if the law remained unchanged, there would continue to be significant delays, largely because of court orders.

Bill will streamline process of acquiring title to abandoned vessels