Abandoned Vehicle MOA Signed; OAG and MCOG Clarify MOA Process

January 04, 2022- Tamuning, Guam- Yesterday, Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho signed off on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA) and the Mayors’ Council of Guam (MCOG) regarding implementation of the Guam Islandwide Environmental Cleanup Program, which includes the removal of abandoned vehicles.

In prior years, the MCOG removed abandoned vehicles from properties after obtaining consent from private landowners. This year, the MCOG requested legal guidance from the OAG on the authority of mayors to remove abandoned vehicles on public roadways, which is governed by specific procedures set out by statute.

“As attorneys, we work with our clients to find solutions to problems that are within the bounds of the law,” said Attorney General Camacho. “I recognize that abandoned vehicles are both an eyesore and a public safety hazard, and we support legal efforts to streamline the removal process.”

Current law authorizes the removal of abandoned vehicles and storage in a police parking area, a garage, or a licensed public garage. The law requires the Department of Revenue and Taxation to send certified mail to the last known owners and wait 10 days for owners to reclaim the vehicle. The auctioning of vehicles above a certain value is also required.

“Recognizing that Guam law requires certain steps for removal of a vehicle from public roadways, we asked the Office of the Attorney General to assist us with ensuring that our planned project would not violate the law,” said MCOG Director Angel Sablan. “The OAG actively worked with us and our partner agency, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, to find a way forward and we are eager to get this project moving.”

The role of the OAG is to provide legal review of documents and legal guidance to clients to determine compliance with Guam law. Where there are issues with what the law requires, the appropriate avenue for recourse is through the legislature.