[Adopted STM 9-30-1974 by Art. 9 as Ch. I of the 1975 Bylaws]
These bylaws shall be known and designated as the "Bylaws of the Town of Southwick."
Editor's Note: "These bylaws" refers to the bylaws included in Division 1 of the Code of the Town of Southwick. This Chapter 1, General Provisions, Articles I, II and III, applies to Division 1 only. Legislation included in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 is legislation adopted by bodies other than the Town Meeting.
All bylaws or parts of bylaws heretofore adopted, which are inconsistent with the provisions of these bylaws, are hereby repealed and annulled, but the provision of these bylaws, as far as the same are identical with the provisions of bylaws heretofore adopted, shall be construed as a continuation hereof.
The repeal of a bylaw heretofore adopted shall not affect any act done, ratified or confirmed, or any right established, nor any action, suit or proceeding commenced, nor shall the repeal affect any punishment, penalty or forfeiture incurred under such bylaw.
The following rules of construction shall be observed in construing these bylaws, unless inconsistent with the manifest intent or the context:
Words importing the singular shall include the plural; words importing the plural shall include the singular; and words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine.
The words "street," "ways" and "highways" shall be construed to include all public ways, town ways, highways, bridges, streets, alleys, sidewalks and those parts of public places which form traveled parts of highways, so far as such construction is not repugnant to law.
The word "owner" applied to a building or land shall include any part owner, joint owner, tenant in common or joint tenant of the whole or of a part of such building or land.
The word "tenant" or "occupant" applied to a building or land shall include any person who occupies the whole or a part of such building or land either alone or with other persons.
The word "person" shall include corporations, societies, associations or partnerships, and the words "head of department" shall include boards and officers.
Words purporting to give joint authority to three or more officers or other persons shall be construed as granting such authority to a majority of such officers or persons.
Words prohibiting anything from being done except in accordance with a license, permit or authority from a board or officer shall be construed as giving such board or officer power to license, permit or authorize such a thing to be done.
[Amended ATM 4-17-1991 by Art. 17; STM 11-19-1992 by Art. 10; STM 10-13-1994 by Art. 3]
Whoever shall offend against or fail to comply with any of the provisions of these bylaws or Chapter 185, the Zoning Bylaw, of the Town of Southwick shall, unless some other penalty is provided by law or by a bylaw of the Town, for each and every offense pay a fine of not more than $300. Each day or portion thereof during which a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense, and each provision of the bylaw violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Added ATM 4-17-1991 by Art. 17; amended STM 11-19-1992 by Art. 10; STM 10-13-1994 by Art. 3]
As an alternative to initiating criminal proceedings to enforce any ordinance or bylaw of the Town or any rule or regulation of any municipal officer, board or department, the violation of which is subject to a specific penalty, the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL C. 40, § 21D, as amended, may be utilized.
Any person taking cognizance of a violation of a specific ordinance, bylaw, rule or regulation which he or she is empowered to enforce, hereinafter referred to as the "enforcing person," may give to the offender a written notice to appear before the clerk of the district court having jurisdiction thereof at any time during office hours, not later than 21 days after the date of such notice. Such notice shall be in triplicate and shall contain the name and address, if known, of the offender, the specific offense charged and the time and place for the offender's required appearance. Such notice shall be signed by the enforcing person and shall be signed by the offender whenever practicable in acknowledgment that such notice has been received.
The enforcing person shall, if possible, deliver to the offender a copy of said notice at the time and place of the violation. If it is not possible to deliver a copy of said notice to the offender at the time and place of the violation, said copy shall be mailed or delivered by the enforcing person, or by his commanding officer or the head of his department or by any person authorized by such commanding officer or department head, to the offender's last known address, within 15 days after said violation. Such notice as so mailed shall be deemed a sufficient notice, and a certificate of the person so mailing such notice that it has been mailed in accordance with this section shall be prima facie evidence thereof.
At or before the completion of each tour of duty, or at the beginning of the first subsequent tour of duty, the enforcing person shall give to his commanding officer or department head those copies of each notice of such a violation he has taken cognizance of during such tour which have not already been delivered or mailed by him as aforesaid. Said commanding officer or department head shall retain and safely preserve one copy and shall, at a time not later than the next court day after such delivery or mailing, deliver the other copy to the clerk of the court before which the offender has been notified to appear.
Any person notified to appear before the clerk of a district court as hereinbefore provided may so appear and confess the offense charged, either personally or through a duly authorized agent or by mailing to the Town Clerk together with the notice such specific sum of money not exceeding $300 as the Town shall fix as penalty for violation of the ordinance, bylaw, rule or regulation. Such payment shall, if mailed, be made only by postal note, money order or check. Upon receipt of such notice, the Town Clerk shall forthwith notify the district court clerk of such payment, and the receipt by the district court clerk of such notification shall operate as a final disposition of the case. An appearance under this subsection shall not be deemed to be a criminal proceeding. No person so notified to appear before the clerk of a district court shall be required to report to any probation officer, and no record of the case shall be entered in any probation records.
If any person so notified to appear desires to contest the violation alleged in the notice to appear and also to avail himself of the procedure established pursuant to this section, he may, within 21 days after the date of the notice, request a hearing in writing. Such hearing shall be held before a district court judge, clerk or assistant clerk, as the court shall direct, and if the judge, clerk or assistant clerk shall, after hearing, find that the violation occurred and that it was committed by the person so notified to appear, the person so notified shall be permitted to dispose of the case by paying the specific sum of money fixed as a penalty as aforesaid, or such lesser amount as the judge, clerk or assistant clerk shall order, which payment shall operate as a final disposition of the case. If the judge, clerk or assistant clerk shall, after hearing, find that the violation alleged did not occur or was not committed by the person notified to appear, that finding shall be entered in the docket, which shall operate as a final disposition of the case. Proceedings held pursuant to this subsection shall not be deemed to be criminal proceedings. No person disposing of a case by payment of such a penalty shall be required to report to any probation officer as a result of such violation, nor shall any record of the case be entered in the probation records.
If any person so notified to appear before the clerk of a district court fails to pay the fine provided hereunder within the time specified or, having appeared, does not confess the offense before the clerk or pay the sum of money fixed as a penalty after a hearing and finding as provided in the preceding subsection, the clerk shall notify the enforcing person who issued the original notice, who shall determine whether to apply for the issuance of a complaint for the violation of the appropriate ordinance, bylaw, rule or regulation.
As used in this section, the term "district court" shall include, within the limits of their jurisdiction, the divisions of the housing court department of the trial court.
The notice to appear provided for herein shall be printed in such form as the chief justice of the district courts shall prescribe for the district courts. Said notice may also include notice of violations pursuant to MGL C. 85, § 11C; MGL C. 90, § 18A; MGL C. 140, § 173A; and MGL C. 270, § 16A. Any fines imposed under the provisions of this section shall inure to the Town for such use as the Town may direct. This procedure shall not be used for the enforcement of municipal traffic rules and regulations. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90C shall be the exclusive method of enforcement of municipal traffic rules and regulations.
These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed at any Town Meeting, provided that the warrant for such meeting shall contain an Article or Articles setting forth the substance of the proposed alteration, amendment or repeal.
These bylaws shall take effect when duly adopted by a Town Meeting, approved by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and published or posted pursuant to MGL C. 40, § 32, as amended.
[Added STM 11-19-1992 by Art. 9; amended STM 10-13-1994 by Art. 4; ATM 4-16-1996 by Art. 18]
The civil infraction procedures set forth in §§ 1-5 and 1-6 of the Code may be used for the noncriminal disposition of violations of any ordinance, bylaw or any rule or regulation of any municipal officer, board or department, the violation of which is subject to a specific penalty. Notwithstanding the foregoing, such procedure shall not be used for the enforcement of municipal traffic rules and regulations.
The penalty or civil assessment for each and every such infraction shall be the sum of $100, unless some other penalty or civil assessment is specifically provided for pursuant to a particular statute or pursuant to any other provision of these bylaws, as amended. In no event, however, shall the amount of the penalty or civil assessment exceed the maximum fine, forfeiture or civil assessment established by law for each such violation.
[Amended ATM 5-18-2010 by Art. 23]