[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall 4-14-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Nuisances and public hazards — See Ch. 157.
This chapter shall provide that violations of ordinances and resolutions of the Town of Rock Hall shall, in certain cases, be deemed municipal infractions and punishable by fine.
Any person who violates any provision of the Code of the Town of Rock Hall subject to a civil fine or penalty shall, upon citation issued pursuant to this chapter, be deemed to have committed a municipal infraction and shall pay to the Town a civil fine in the amount prescribed.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings indicated:
- A person against whom a citation for a municipal infraction has been issued.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- An employee or contractual agent of the Town authorized by the Mayor and Council to issue a citation for a municipal infraction.
- MUNICIPAL INFRACTION
- Includes a violation of certain ordinances of the Town of Rock Hall which have been designated a civil or municipal infraction by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Rock Hall. A municipal infraction shall be deemed a civil offense.
- Any individual, group of individuals, organization, firm, partnership, corporation, association, government unit, or any other entity of any kind.
- REPEATED VIOLATION
- A recurring violation of the same provision of an ordinance of the Town of Rock Hall by the same person.
The Mayor and Council shall designate one or more enforcement officers who are authorized to issue citations to those persons whom the enforcement officer determines to have committed a municipal infraction.
Enforcement officers shall deliver, by personal service or certified mail, a citation to any person whom they adjudge to be committing a municipal infraction or on the basis of an affidavit submitted to the appropriate enforcement officer citing the facts of the alleged incident. For real property-related violations, if proof is made by affidavit that good faith efforts to serve a defendant by personal service or certified mail have not succeeded, a citation may be served on the defendant by regular mail sent to the defendant's last known address and posting of the citation at the property where the infraction occurred or is occurring, and, if located within the Town, at the defendant's residence or place of business.
Contents. The Town shall retain a copy of the citation, which shall contain:
The enforcement officer's certification attesting to the truth of the matter set forth in the citation or that the citation is based on an affidavit;
The name and address of the person charged;
The nature of the infraction;
The location and time that the infraction occurred;
The amount of the fine assessed;
The manner, location, and time in which the fine may be paid to the Town;
The person's right to elect to stand trial for the infraction; and
The effect of failing to pay the assessed fine or to demand a trial within the prescribed time.
The issuance of a citation is not appealable to any Town Board or commission. The redress available upon the issuance of a citation shall be the election to stand trial. This provision shall not prevent a defendant from requesting, either personally or through an attorney, additional information concerning the municipal infraction.
Procedure for election of trial. A person receiving a citation for a municipal infraction may elect to stand trial for the offense by notifying the Town of his intent to stand trial. The notice shall be given at least five days prior to the date of payment, as set forth in the citation. Upon receipt of notice of the intention to stand trial, the Town shall forward to the District Court having venue a copy of the notice from the person who received the citation indicating his intention to stand trial. Upon receipt of the citation, the District Court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the defendant of the trial date, in accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 23A, § 3, as amended. All fines, penalties, or forfeitures collected by the District Court in connection with municipal infractions shall be remitted to the Town.
Penalties. If any person shall be found by the District Court to have committed a municipal infraction:
The State's Attorney for Kent County or the Town Attorney shall prosecute any municipal infractions.
Unless otherwise specifically enumerated, any person who commits a municipal infraction shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500.
A fine not to exceed $500 may be imposed for each conviction of a municipal infraction.
The fine is payable by the recipient of the citation to the Town within 20 calendar days of service of the citation.
Unless otherwise provided, each twenty-four-hour period in which a violation(s) exists shall constitute a separate violation.
The following schedule of fines shall be set for each municipal infraction, depending upon the class specified:
If the person receiving the citation for an infraction fails to pay the fine for the infraction by the date of payment set forth on the citation and fails to file a notice of his intention to stand trial for the offense, the person is liable for the assessed fine. The Town may double the fine to an amount not to exceed $1,000 and request adjudication of the case through the District Court, including the filing of a demand for judgment on affidavit. A defendant's failure to respond to a summons issued by the District Court shall result in the entry of judgment against the defendant and in favor of the Town in the amount then due if a proper demand for judgment on affidavit has been filed.
The proceedings for municipal infractions shall be subject to the requirements of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 23A, § 3, as amended.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or any other section of the Town Charter, the Town Code or any Town ordinance, alternative remedies such as injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate forms of relief to enforce provisions of Town legislation shall be effective as may be provided by law.
The Recitals to this Ordinance No. 05-02 are incorporated herein and deemed a substantive part of this chapter, as follows: