City of Caruthersville, MO
Pemiscot County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note — Ord. no. 838 §1, adopted May 17, 1999, repealed ch. 220 and enacted the new provisions set out herein. Former ch. 220 derived from CC 1983 §§15-13, 15-14, 15-17, 15-29 — 15-31, ord. no. 792 §1, 5-20-96, and ord. no. 814 §§1 — 2, 9-15-97. Subsequently, ord. no. 851 §1 adopted February 7, 2000, repealed ch. 220 and enacted the new provisions set out herein. Former ch. 220 derived from ord. no. 838 §2, 5-17-99.

Section 220.010 Nuisances — Debris Defined.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000; Ord. No. 2008-15 §1, 10-6-2008]
Any condition on any lot or land that has the presence of a nuisance including, but not limited to, debris of any kind, weed cuttings, cut, fallen or hazardous trees and shrubs, overgrown vegetation and noxious weeds which are seven (7) inches or more in height, rubbish and trash, lumber not piled or stacked twelve (12) inches off the ground, rocks, bricks, tin, steel, parts of derelict cars or trucks, broken furniture, any flammable material which may endanger public safety or any material or condition which is unhealthy or unsafe and declared to be a public nuisance shall be subject to abatement hereunder.

Section 220.015 Derelict Vehicles Defined.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000; Ord. No. 2008-15 §2, 10-6-2008]
The following definition shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this Chapter.
DERELICT VEHICLE
Any vehicle which:
1. 
Is not registered or is improperly registered with the State of Missouri or which does not have a valid and current City vehicle license sticker properly attached and which is maintained in a condition harmful to the public health, welfare, peace and safety;
2. 
Has been junked, scrapped, dismantled, disassembled or is in a condition otherwise harmful to the public health, welfare, peace and safety; or
3. 
Has been inoperable for more than thirty (30) days or is in a state of repair as to be inoperable and which is maintained in a condition harmful to the public health, welfare, peace and safety.
The term "derelict vehicle" shall not include vehicles located upon the premises of a duly licensed junk yard operated in accordance with the requirements of Sections 610.100 to 610.150 of the Code.

Section 220.016 Derelict Vehicles Declared a Nuisance.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
Any derelict vehicle, or part thereof, located on any property, street, or highway within the City which presents a hazard to children, or harbors tall grass, weeds, or other vegetation, or creates a fire hazard, or affords a breeding place or nesting place for mosquitoes, flies, rodents, or other vermin, or otherwise constitutes a public safety hazard is hereby declared a public nuisance.

Section 220.020 Notice and Abatement Order.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
A. 
Enforcement of this Chapter shall be the responsibility of the Code Enforcement Officer of the City. Enforcement shall commence by providing notice to the owner of the property of the nuisance condition existing on his/her/its property. If the address of the owner of the property is known, the notice may be delivered by personal service, by certified mail, or by ordinary mail. If sent by ordinary mail, there will be a rebuttable presumption that the letter was delivered five (5) days after the date it was sent. If the address of the owner is not known, notice may be made by publication in any newspaper in general circulation in the City of Caruthersville. The seven (7) day period referred to herein shall commence upon the date of publication.
B. 
The notice shall generally describe the nature of the nuisance, the location of the property (using the mailing or popular address rather than a legal description, when reasonably possible to do so), and ordering the property owner to abate the nuisance within a period of seven (7) days from the receipt of the notice.

Section 220.030 Hearing — Appeal.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
Any owner who wishes to challenge the order of abatement may do so provided that within the seven (7) day period from receipt of the notice provided for in Section 220.020 he/she/it requests a hearing on the validity of the order under the State Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 536, RSMo. If no such request is made within that specified time period, the order becomes final and is not subject to challenge elsewhere. If such request is made, the hearing shall be conducted by the City Council. The request for a hearing must be in writing, but otherwise no particular formality is required. Once a request for a hearing is received, the hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the "contested case" provisions of the State Administrative Procedure Act. The City Attorney shall represent the City at such hearing.

Section 220.040 Abatement of Nuisance.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
If the nuisance is present on the property seven (7) days after receipt of the notice by the property owner, the Chief of Police and the Code Enforcement Officer shall jointly cause the same to be abated. The Code Enforcement Officer shall certify the cost of such abatement to the City Clerk or other officer in charge of finance who shall cause the certified cost to be included in a special tax bill or added to the annual real estate tax bill, at the collecting official's option, and shall be collected in the same manner and procedure as for collecting real estate taxes. The costs of abatement may include a fee for the City's costs in administering this Chapter, which administration fee shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00).

Section 220.045 Entry Onto Private Property.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
The Code Enforcement Officer or his duly authorized representatives, with assistance of any Police Officer of the City, may enter upon private property to remove any vehicle or debris in accordance with this Chapter if permission is granted by the property owner or person in control of the property. If any property owner refuses to allow entry onto his/her/its private property, the Chief of Police may obtain a search and seizure warrant from the Municipal Court Judge pursuant to Section 220.046 hereof and proceed in accordance therewith.

Section 220.046 Search and Seizure Warrant — Defined — Who May Issue.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
A. 
A search and seizure warrant is a written order of the Municipal Court commanding the search of property for conditions constituting a nuisance under this Chapter or Chapter 525 of this Code, and the seizure, photographing or copying of property or items constituting such nuisance found thereon or therein.
B. 
A search and seizure warrant as defined above may be issued by the Caruthersville Municipal Judge who has original jurisdiction of the offenses provided in this Chapter and Chapter 525 of this Code.

Section 220.047 Who May Apply for Search Warrant — Contents of Application, Affidavit — Where Filed, Hearing — Contents of Warrant — Who May Execute, Return, When and How Made — Warrant Deemed Invalid When.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
A. 
The Chief of Police or the City Attorney may make application under Section 220.046 for the issuance of a search warrant.
B. 
The application shall:
1. 
Be in writing;
2. 
State the time and date of the making of the application;
3. 
Identify the property, article, material or substance which is to be searched for and seized, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain what he is to search;
4. 
Identify the property, place or thing which is to be searched, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain what he is to search;
5. 
State facts sufficient to show probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant;
6. 
Be verified by the oath or affirmation of the applicant;
7. 
Be filed in the Municipal Court; and
8. 
Be signed by the City Attorney.
C. 
The application may be supplemented by a written affidavit verified by oath or affirmation. Such affidavit shall be considered in determining whether there is probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant and in filling out any deficiencies in the description of the property, place or thing to be searched or of the property, article, material, substance or person to be seized. Oral testimony shall not be considered.
D. 
The judge shall hold a non-adversary hearing to determine whether sufficient facts have been stated to justify the issuance of a search warrant. If it appears from the application and any supporting affidavit that there is probable cause to believe that the property, article, material, or substance subject to seizure is at the property, place or in the thing described, a search warrant shall immediately be issued. The warrant shall be issued in the form of an original and two (2) copies.
E. 
The application and any supporting affidavit and a copy of the warrant shall be retained in the records of the Municipal Court.
F. 
The search and seizure warrant shall:
1. 
Be in writing and in the name of the City of Caruthersville, Missouri;
2. 
Be directed to the Code Enforcement Officer and any Peace Officer in the City;
3. 
State the time and date of the warrant is issued;
4. 
Identify the property, article, material or substance which is to be searched for and seized, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain it;
5. 
Identify the property, place or thing which is to be searched, in sufficient detail and particularity that the officer executing the warrant can readily ascertain what he is to search;
6. 
Command that the described place or thing be searched and that any of the described property, article, material, or substance found thereon or therein be seized or the photograph or copy be brought within ten (10) days after the filing of the application to the judge who issued the warrant, to be dealt with according to law;
7. 
Be signed by the judge with his/her title of office indicated.
G. 
A search and seizure warrant issued under this Section may be executed only by a Peace Officer who shall be accompanied by the Code Enforcement Officer. The warrant shall be executed by conducting the search and seizure commanded.
H. 
A search and seizure warrant shall be executed as soon as practicable and shall expire if it is not executed and a return made within ten (10) days after the date of the making of the application.
I. 
After execution of the search and seizure warrant, the warrant with a return thereon, signed by the officer making the search, shall be delivered to the judge who issued the warrant. The return shall show the date and manner of execution, what was seized, and the name of the possessor and of the owner, when he is not the same person, if known. The return shall be accompanied by a copy of the itemized receipt required by Section 220.048. The judge or Clerk shall, upon request, deliver a copy of such receipt to the person from whose possession the property was taken and to the applicant for the warrant.
J. 
A search and seizure warrant shall be deemed invalid:
1. 
If it was not issued by a judge;
2. 
If it was issued without a written application having been filed and verified;
3. 
If it was issued without probable cause;
4. 
If it was issued for property not within the City;
5. 
If it does not describe the property, place or thing to be searched or the property, article, material, or substance to be seized with sufficient certainty;
6. 
If it is not signed by the Municipal Judge; or
7. 
If it was not executed within the time prescribed by Subsection (H) of this Section.

Section 220.048 Search and Seizure, When Conducted — Receipt for Property Taken.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
A. 
The search and seizure shall be conducted in a reasonable manner. The search and seizure must be made during the daytime and may not be made at night.
B. 
An officer making a search and seizure pursuant to an invalid warrant, the invalidity of which is not apparent on its face, may use such force as he would be justified in using if the warrant were valid.
C. 
The officer may summon as many persons as he deems necessary to assist him in executing the warrant. Such persons shall not be liable as a result of the illegality of the search and seizure.
D. 
If any property is seized, the officer shall give to the person from whose possession it is taken, if he is present, a copy of the warrant and an itemized receipt of the property taken. If no person is present, the officer shall leave the copy and the receipt at the site of the search.
E. 
A copy of the itemized receipt of any property taken shall be delivered to the office of the City Attorney within two (2) working days of the search.

Section 220.049 Disposition of Unclaimed Seized Property — Forfeiture When — Appeal Authorized.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
A. 
The Municipal Judge shall transfer custody and control of all property seized pursuant to this Chapter to the City Council of the City of Caruthersville, Missouri, which may engage a towing and storage company to store any vehicle seized.
B. 
All rubbish shall be disposed of.
C. 
With respect to derelict motor vehicles seized, a notice shall be sent to the title owner(s) and all lien holders of the motor vehicle as recorded with the Missouri Department of Revenue. The owners shall be notified by certified mail that they may claim the derelict motor vehicle at City Hall by payment of the costs of abatement of the nuisances, including all towing and storage fees. A person who reclaims a derelict motor vehicle hereunder and returns it to a condition so that it constitutes a nuisance shall be guilty of an offense and shall be fined five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each day that it remains a nuisance. If a derelict motor vehicle goes unclaimed, it shall be treated as an abandoned motor vehicle and disposed of pursuant to State law.

Section 220.050 Defense and Indemnification.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
The City of Caruthersville, Missouri, shall defend and indemnify all of its officials, agents and employees, including, but not limited to, the Mayor, City Council members, Chief of Police, Police Officers, Code Enforcement Officer, Municipal Judge, City Attorney and City Counselor from and against any and all liability, claim, loss or damage resulting from their good faith actions performed under authority of this Chapter.

Section 220.060 Violation Is an Offense.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000]
An owner who fails to remove a nuisance within seven (7) days of being notified to do so by the notice and abatement order described in Section 220.020 above shall be guilty of an offense and may (at the option of the City) be charged in Municipal Court with the offense of "failure to abate a nuisance".

Section 220.070 Penalty.

[Ord. No. 851 §2, 2-7-2000; Ord. No. 2008-15 §3, 10-6-2008]
Any person who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of the offense of failure to abate a nuisance under Section 220.060 of this Chapter shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.