[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Babylon 3-22-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of promoting the health, safety and general welfare of the community of the Town of Babylon and to provide a forum for the disposition of offenses in relation to parking violations pursuant to the provisions of Article 14B, §§ 370, 371 and 372 of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board of the Town of Babylon hereby establishes a Traffic Violations Bureau (hereinafter the "Bureau") to hold hearings with regard to such offenses and to have a Hearing Officer or Officers preside at such hearings and adjudicate such matters and to set and collect fines for such offenses.
The Town Attorney shall be responsible for the administration of the Bureau and for the appointment of Hearing Officers who shall not be employees of the Town of Babylon, except to the extent that they shall be entitled to such per diem compensation as is, from time to time, established by the Town Board. The Town Attorney will also appoint a Bureau Clerk and other personnel as it is deemed necessary to effectively administer said Bureau. The Bureau shall establish the dates and times for such hearings and establish fines and collection procedures. All the above is expressly subject to the consent and approval of the Town Board.
The Bureau is authorized to adjudicate and dispose of violations of parking laws, ordinances and regulations written pursuant to the Town of Babylon Unified Code of Traffic Ordinances and the Code of the Town of Babylon.
Editor's Note: The Unified Code of Traffic Ordinances is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
[Amended 3-4-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997; 11-6-2008 by L.L. No. 29-2008]
The Director of Public Safety shall have the authority to designate employees of the Division of Public Safety to enforce such provisions of the Code of the Town of Babylon relating to traffic and parking offenses and the Uniform Code of Traffic Ordinances.
In person. A person who has received a notice of violation as provided in this Code may, within the time specified in such thirty-day notice, appear in person at the Bureau and plead not guilty, whereupon a hearing date shall be set; plead guilty and pay the prescribed fine; or plead guilty with an explanation, and the Hearing Officer shall, on that date or on a subsequent or adjourned date, determine whether such explanation warrants mitigation of the fine, in whole or in part, or refuse to mitigate the same; and notice of said decision shall be forwarded by mail to such person upon such adjudication.
By mail. A person who has received a notice of violation as provided in this Code may, within the time specified in such thirty-day notice, mail a power of attorney to the Clerk of the Bureau authorizing the Clerk on such person's behalf to waive a hearing before said Bureau and enter a plea of guilty and each person shall pay the prescribed fine; mail such power of attorney to the Clerk to waive a hearing and plead guilty with an explanation and in that case such person shall be entitled to submit a written explanation and/or such evidence as that person may deem appropriate, whereupon the Hearing Officer shall, at or before the next hearing date, determine whether such explanation warrants mitigation of the fine, in whole or in part, and notice of such decision shall be provided by mail to such person; or plead not guilty by mail and a hearing date shall be thereafter fixed and notice thereof forwarded by mail to such person.
Payment of the prescribed or mitigated fine to the Bureau and receipt and acceptance of the same by the Bureau shall be complete satisfaction of the violation, unless a conditional discharge shall have been fixed by the Hearing Officer. The Bureau shall give a written receipt for all fines paid.
[Amended 1-27-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004; 11-6-2008 by L.L. No. 29-2008]
The duties of the Bureau shall be as follows:
It shall accept designated fines and issue receipts to those who desire to plead guilty, waive a hearing and give a power of attorney, if necessary.
It shall adjudicate the claims of those who plead guilty with an explanation and mitigate the prescribed fine, in whole or in part, or refuse to mitigate the same. The Hearing Officer may also issue a conditional discharge on such conditions as are appropriate. The hearing officer It shall adjudicate the claims of those who plead not guilty after being advised, in writing, of their right to counsel and the date of hearing to answer and defend any charge of a violation of any parking law, ordinance, rule or regulation. The hearing officer shall find, after hearing, that the owner/operator of said vehicle is either guilty or not guilty. If said owner/operator is found guilty, the hearing officer must impose any fine and penalty as prescribed by the code. If said owner/operator is found not guilty, said charges must be dismissed. The hearing officer shall not have the authority to reduce fines or penalties upon a finding of guilty.
It shall keep an easily accessible record of all violations of which each person has pled or been found guilty during the preceding 12 months.
If the owner or operator charged with violation of parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations does not appear and answer said charges within 30 days of the issuance of said summons, the Bureau shall send to the last known owner of the motor vehicle to which the notice was affixed a notice of failure to appear and impending default. In the event such owner fails to appear at the Bureau within 10 days of the mailing of such notice or fails to make an appearance at the Bureau pursuant to an appearance ticket or fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the Bureau may:
Find said person in default and deem said person to have pled guilty;
File said judgment with the District Court or Suffolk County Clerk.
In the event that any person fails to comply with a notice as provided in this Code or fails to make an appearance pursuant to an appearance ticket at the Bureau provided by this Code or fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the Bureau may make application as is appropriate to secure a warrant for the arrest of such person.
The Bureau shall keep records of all appearance tickets for all notices issued and all arrests made for violation of the parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations and of all fines imposed and all fines collected by the Bureau and of the final disposition or present status of every summons, notice or appearance ticket issued pursuant to the parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the Town.
The Bureau shall perform such other or additional duties and keep such other and additional records as shall be prescribed by the Town Board of the Town of Babylon.
The Bureau shall adopt and promulgate its own rules and regulations as to its forms and procedures.
The Bureau shall set such fines as appropriate to the violations of law.
The power of attorney referred to in § 204-5B hereof shall be in the following form:
"POWER OF ATTORNEY: The undersigned pleads guilty to the charge noted hereon and encloses herewith the sum of $_________ cash, check or money order to pay the necessary fine (circle the one used).
I hereby appoint the Clerk of Babylon Town Traffic Violations Bureau as my attorney-in-fact to appear for me in said Bureau, to waive a hearing on such violations, to enter a plea of guilty on my behalf and to pay the fine."
BABYLON TOWN TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS BUREAU
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Any person appearing before the Bureau may appear on his/her own behalf or may be represented by counsel of his/her own choice.
All fines collected pursuant to this chapter shall be paid to the Traffic Violations Bureau of the Town of Babylon.
If any section, provision or part thereof in this chapter shall be adjudged invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any section, provision or part thereof not so adjudged invalid or unconstitutional.
This chapter shall be effective immediately.
[Amended 11-6-2008 by L.L. No. 29-2008]
Notwithstanding any other provision in any law, ordinance or regulation to the contrary, failure to pay or answer a notice of violation returnable to the Traffic Violations Bureau within 10 days of issuance thereof may result in additional penalties. Further, judgment may be granted on default and enforced by vehicle tow and impoundment and/or nonrenewal of New York State motor vehicle registration and New York State driver's license.