Village of Cassopolis, MI
Cass County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Cassopolis 11-10-1997 by Ord. No. 206 (Ch. 2, Art. IV, of the 2003 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 34-1 Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
AUTHORIZED VILLAGE OFFICIAL
The personnel of the Village authorized by this chapter, or any other Village ordinance, to issue municipal civil infraction citations or municipal civil infraction violation notices. In addition to the Village Building Inspector and any other designated Village personnel, police officers are authorized to issue municipal civil infraction citations or municipal civil infraction violation notices for violations of Village ordinances.[1]
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION
An act or omission that is prohibited by any Village ordinance, but which is not a crime under the ordinance, and for which civil sanctions, including, without limitation, fines, damages, expenses and costs may be ordered, as authorized by Chapter 87 of the Revised Judicature Act of 1961 (MCLA § 600.8701 et seq.). A municipal civil infraction is not a lesser included offense of a violation of a Village ordinance that is a criminal offense.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION ACTION
A civil action in which the defendant is alleged to be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION CITATION
A written complaint or notice prepared by an authorized Village official directing a person to appear in court regarding the occurrence or existence of a municipal civil infraction violation by the person cited.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION VIOLATION NOTICE
A written notice prepared by an authorized Village official directing a person to appear at the Cass County Court and to pay the fine and costs associated with said infraction.
[Amended 4-11-2016]
[1]
Editor’s Note: The definition of "bureau,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 4-11-2016.

§ 34-2 Action; commencement.

[Amended 4-11-2016]
A municipal civil infraction action may be commenced upon the issuance by an authorized Village official of a Municipal civil infraction citation directing the alleged violator to appear in court.

§ 34-3 Citations; issuance and service.

A municipal civil infraction citation shall be issued and served by an authorized Village official as follows:
A. 
The time for appearance specified in a citation shall be within a reasonable time after the citation is issued.
B. 
The place for appearance specified in a citation shall be the district court.
C. 
Each citation shall be numbered consecutively and shall be in a form approved by the state court administrator.
D. 
The first copy of the citation (the original citation) shall be filed with the district court. The second copy of the citation shall be retained by the Village. The third copy, and any duplicate copies, as needed, shall be issued to the alleged violator.
E. 
A citation for a municipal civil infraction signed by an authorized Village official shall be treated as made under oath if the violation alleged in the citation occurred in the presence of the official signing the complaint and if the citation contains the following statement immediately above the date and signature of the official: "I declare under the penalties of perjury that the statements above are true to the best of my information, knowledge and belief."
F. 
An authorized Village official who witnesses a person commit a municipal civil infraction shall prepare and subscribe, as soon and completely as possible, an original and any required copies of a citation.
G. 
An authorized Village official may issue a citation to a person if:
(1) 
Based upon investigation, the official has reasonable cause to believe that the person is responsible for a municipal civil infraction; or
(2) 
Based upon investigation of a complaint by someone who allegedly witnessed the person commit a municipal civil infraction, the official has reasonable cause to believe that the person is responsible for an infraction and if the Village attorney approves in writing the issuance of the citation.
H. 
A municipal civil infraction citation shall be served by an authorized Village official as follows:
(1) 
Except as provided by Subsection H(2) of this section, an authorized Village official shall personally serve a copy of the citation upon the alleged violator.
(2) 
If the municipal civil infraction action involves the use or occupancy of land, a building or other structure, a copy of the citation does not need to be personally served upon the alleged violator, but may be served upon an owner or occupant of the land, building or structure by posting the copy on the land or attaching the copy to the building or structure. In addition, a copy of the citation shall be sent by first-class mail to the owner of the land, building or structure at the owner's last known address.

§ 34-4 Citations; contents.

A. 
A municipal ordinance citation shall contain the name and address of the alleged violator, the municipal civil infraction alleged, the place where the alleged violator shall appear in court, the telephone number of the court, and the time at or by which the appearance shall be made.
B. 
The citation shall inform the alleged violator that he may do one of the following:
(1) 
Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by mail, in person or by representation, at or by the time specified for appearance.
(2) 
Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction, with explanation, by mail, by the time specified for appearance or in person or by representation.
(3) 
Deny responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by doing either of the following:
(a) 
Appearing in person for an informal hearing before a judge or district court magistrate without the opportunity of being represented by an attorney, unless a formal hearing before a judge is requested by the Village; or
(b) 
Appearing in court for a formal hearing before a judge with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
C. 
The citation shall also inform the alleged violator of all of the following:
(1) 
That if the alleged violator desires to admit responsibility with explanation in person or by representation, the alleged violator must apply to the court in person, by mail, by telephone or by representation within the time specified for appearance, and obtain a scheduled date and time for an appearance.
(2) 
That if the alleged violator desires to deny responsibility, the alleged violator must apply to the court in person, by mail, by telephone or by representation within the time specified for appearance, and obtain a scheduled date and time to appear for a hearing, unless a hearing date is specified on the citation.
(3) 
That a hearing shall be an informal hearing unless a formal hearing is requested by the alleged violator or the Village.
(4) 
That at an informal hearing the alleged violator must appear in person before a judge or district court magistrate without the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
(5) 
That at a formal hearing the alleged violator must appear in person before a judge with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
D. 
The citation shall contain a notice in boldfaced type that the failure of the alleged violator to appear within the time specified in the citation, or at the time scheduled for a hearing or appearance, is a misdemeanor and will result in entry of a default judgment against the alleged violator on the municipal civil infraction.

§ 34-5 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 34-5, Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau; violation notices, was repealed 4-11-2016.

§ 34-6 Sanctions; repeat offenses; continuing violations; injunctive relief.

A. 
The sanction for a violation which is a municipal civil infraction shall be a civil fine in the amount as provided by the ordinance violated, or by the schedule of civil fines established by this chapter for admissions of responsibility accepted at the Bureau in response to a municipal civil infraction violation notice, plus any costs, damages, expenses and other sanctions as authorized under Chapter 87 of the Revised Judicature Act of 1961 (MCLA § 600.8701 et seq.), and other applicable laws.
B. 
Increased civil fines may be imposed for repeat offenses by a person of any requirement or provision of any ordinance. As used in this section, the term "repeat offense" means a second, or any subsequent, admission or determination of responsibility for the same municipal civil infraction made within the period as specified by ordinance.
C. 
Each day on which any violation designated as a municipal civil infraction continues constitutes a separate offense and shall be subject to sanctions as a separate violation.
D. 
In addition to any remedies available at law, the Village may bring an action for an injunction or other process against a person to restrain, prevent or abate any municipal civil infraction violation.