City of Crystal Lake, IL
McHenry County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Crystal Lake as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Administrative adjudication of nonvehicular Code violations — See Ch. 3, Art. I.
Towing — See Ch. 476.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 492.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 496.
[Adopted 2-2-2010 by Ord. No. 6531]
A. 
The purpose of this article is to provide for the administrative adjudication of violations of ordinances, define compliance violations, and regulate vehicular standing and parking within the City and to establish a fair and efficient system for the enforcement of such ordinances. The administrative adjudication system set forth in this article is established pursuant to Article 1, Division 2.1, of the Illinois Municipal Code[1] and 625 ILCS 5/11-208.3.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 65 ILCS 5/1-2.1 et seq.
B. 
For the purpose of this article, "compliance violation" means a violation of a municipal regulation governing the stopping, standing and parking of a vehicle.
The City Manager shall appoint a City Traffic Compliance Administrator who is authorized to:
A. 
Operate and manage the system of administrative adjudication of vehicular standing, parking and compliance violations;
B. 
Adopt, distribute and process parking and compliance violation notices and additional notices, and to collect money paid as fines and penalties for violations of parking and compliance ordinances;
C. 
Establish procedures necessary for the prompt, fair and efficient operation of the administrative adjudication system;
D. 
Certify copies of final determinations of violation liability and factual reports, verifying that the final determination of violation liability was issued in accordance with this article and ILCS 5/11-208.3;
E. 
Direct and supervise a program of vehicle immobilization for the purpose of enforcing the parking and compliance ordinances;
F. 
Certify reports to the Secretary of State concerning initiation of suspension of driver's licenses in accordance with the provisions of this article and 625 ILCS 5/6-306.5; and
G. 
Promulgate rules and regulations pertaining to the hearing process, the content of forms and procedures, and the daily operation of the administrative adjudication of parking and compliance violations program.
The City Manager shall appoint a hearing officer who shall be empowered and is hereby authorized and directed to:
A. 
Preside over the administrative hearings established herein, as the adjudicator;
B. 
Administer oaths;
C. 
Issue subpoenas to secure the attendance of witnesses and production of relevant papers or documentation;
D. 
Hear testimony and accept evidence that is relevant to the existence of the code violation;
E. 
Assess fines and penalties for violations as established in this code;
F. 
Make final determinations of violation liability; and
G. 
Provide for the accurate recordation of the administrative adjudication system.
The violation of any provision of § 251-2A(10) and Chapter 496, Article VII, Stopping, Standing and Parking, or establishing a compliance violation, shall be a civil offense punishable by fine only, as listed in this chapter and/or Chapter 248 of this Code.
A. 
Whenever any vehicle exhibits a compliance violation or is parked in violation of any provision of the traffic code prohibiting or restricting vehicular parking or standing, any person in whose name the vehicle is registered with the Secretary of State of Illinois or such other state's registry of motor vehicles shall be prima facie responsible for the violation and subject to the penalty therefor. The City and the police officer shall accurately record the state registration number of the ticketed vehicle.
B. 
Whenever any vehicle exhibits a compliance violation during operation or is parked in violation of any provision of the traffic code prohibiting or restricting vehicular parking or standing or regulating the condition of a parked or standing vehicle, any police officer, community service officer or other person designated by the Chief of Police observing such violation may issue a parking or compliance violation notice, as provided for in this code, and serve the notice on the owner of the vehicle by handing it to the operator of the vehicle, if he is present, or by affixing it to the vehicle in a conspicuous place.
C. 
The issuer of the notice shall specify on the notice his/her identification number, the particular parking or compliance ordinance allegedly violated, the make and state registration number of the cited vehicle, and the place, date and time of the alleged violation, the fine and any penalty that may be assessed for late payment and shall certify the correctness of the specified information by signing his/her name as provided in 625 ILCS 5/11-208.3, as amended.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, other than the owner of the vehicle or his/her designee, to remove from a vehicle a parking or compliance violation notice affixed pursuant to this article. The fine for a first-time violation of this section shall be $150. Subsequent violations shall be penalized by imposition of a fine of $300.
A. 
Parking and compliance violation notices shall contain the information required under § 381-5B and C of this article. In addition, the notices shall state the applicable fine provided in this chapter or Chapter 248, the monetary penalty which shall be automatically assessed for late payment, that vehicle immobilization and driver's license suspension (if applicable) may be imposed if fines and penalties are not paid in full, that payment of the indicated fine, and of any applicable penalty for late payment, shall operate as a final disposition of the violation, and information as to the availability of an administrative hearing in which the violation may be contested on its merits and the time and manner in which such hearing may be had.
B. 
The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall distribute parking and compliance violation notices to all persons authorized to issue parking and compliance violation notices.
C. 
The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall compile and maintain complete and accurate records relating to all parking violation notices issued pursuant to this article and the dispositions thereof. In addition, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall make certified reports to the Secretary of State pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-306.5.
A. 
A person on whom a parking or compliance violation notice has been served and prior to the 21st day shall either: 1) pay the indicated fine; or 2) in the manner indicated on the notice, submit the materials set forth in this article to obtain an adjudication by mail or on-line; or 3) request an administrative hearing as set forth in this article to contest the charged violation. A response by mail shall be deemed timely if postmarked within 21 days of the issuance of the violation.
B. 
If the respondent submits documentary evidence to obtain an adjudication by mail or on-line pursuant to this article, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall send the respondent a copy of the hearing officer's determination in accordance with this article.
C. 
If the respondent requests an administrative hearing to contest the cited violations pursuant to this article, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall notify the respondent in writing of the location and time available for a hearing in accordance with this article.
A. 
On the failure of the registered owner/operator of the cited vehicle to pay the appropriate fine prior to the date noted on the violation notice, or to request an adjudication by mail or on-line, or to request a hearing, the Traffic Compliance Administrator shall send a second notice of violation/hearing, which shall contain the following:
(1) 
Date and location of violation cited in the violation notice;
(2) 
Particular standing, parking or compliance regulation violated;
(3) 
Vehicle make, state registration or driver's license number;
(4) 
Fine and penalty assessed for late payment;
(5) 
The time and manner in which a respondent may request a hearing to contest the violation on its merits;
(6) 
A statement that failure to pay the fine and applicable late penalty within 21 days of the issuance of the late penalty or to request a hearing on its merits within 21 days of the issuance of the late penalty will result in a final determination of liability in the amount of the fine and penalty indicated in compliance with 625 ILCS 5/11-208.3(b)(5)(i); and
(7) 
A statement that upon the occurrence of a final determination of liability, and the exhaustion of; or the failure to exhaust, available administrative and judicial procedures for review, any unpaid fine or penalty will constitute a debt due and owing the City.
B. 
Nothing in this section will preclude the City from sending a courtesy notice prior to the issuance of the late penalty as a reminder of the approaching due date for payment.
The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall serve the second notice of violation/hearing, the notice of final determination of liability, the notice of impending vehicle immobilization and the notice of impending driver's license suspension, where applicable, by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the address of the registered owner of the cited vehicle as recorded with the Secretary of State or, if any notice to that address is returned as undeliverable, then notice shall be sent to the last known address recorded in a United States Post Office approved database. If the vehicle is registered in a state other than Illinois, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall send the appropriate notice to the address of the registered owner as recorded in such other state's registry of motor vehicles. If the vehicle is leased, then the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall send the appropriate notice to the lessee of the cited vehicle at the last address known to the lessor of the cited vehicle at the time of lease or, if any notice to that address is returned as undeliverable, to the last known address recorded in a United States Post Office approved database. The service shall be deemed complete as of the date of deposit in the United States mail.
A person charged with a parking or compliance violation may contest the charge through an adjudication by mail, on-line or at any administrative hearing, limited to one or more of the following grounds, and must include appropriate evidence to support that:
A. 
The respondent was not the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the violation;
B. 
The cited vehicle or its state registration plates were stolen at the time the violation occurred;
C. 
The facts alleged in the parking or compliance violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified ordinance was violated; and
D. 
The illegal condition described in the compliance violation did not exist at the time the notice was issued.
A. 
Administrative hearings to review materials submitted for the adjudication by mail or on-line of parking and compliance violations cited pursuant to this article shall be held by a hearing officer appointed by the City Manager and conducted in accordance with this section.
B. 
The respondent may contest a parking or compliance violation based on one or more of the grounds provided in this article, by mailing or providing on-line to the Police Department the following materials and information: the notice of violation, the full name, address and telephone number(s) of the respondent; the make, model and year of the vehicle; any documentary evidence that rebuts the charge; and a written statement signed by the respondent setting forth facts relevant to establishing a defense to the charge. A photocopy of any documentary evidence submitted by any party shall be accepted as the equivalent of the original document.
C. 
No violation may be established except upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence; provided, however, that a parking or compliance violation notice, or a copy thereof, issued in accordance with this article shall be prima facie evidence of the correctness of the facts specified therein.
D. 
Upon review of the materials submitted in accordance with this section, the hearing officer shall enter a determination of no liability or of liability and the amount of the fine. Upon issuance, such determination shall constitute a final determination for purposes of judicial review under the Administrative Review Law of Illinois.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq.
A. 
Administrative hearings for the adjudication of parking and compliance violations issued pursuant to this article shall be held before a hearing officer appointed by the City Manager and conducted in accordance with this section.
B. 
Respondents who have failed to request a hearing within 21 days of the issuance of the second notice will result in a final determination of liability in the amount of the fine and penalty indicated.
C. 
The respondent may appear pro se or, at his own expense, by an attorney. An attorney who appears on behalf of any person shall file with the hearing officer written appearance on a form provided by the City Traffic Compliance Administrator for such purpose.
D. 
The formal and technical rules of evidence shall not apply in the conduct of the hearing.
E. 
All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the hearing officer. The hearing officer may issue subpoenas to secure the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant documents; provided, however, that a respondent who appears by an attorney shall not be compelled to attend the hearing and may submit his testimony, if any, by affidavit. In addition, witnesses who have not been subpoenaed to attend the hearing may submit their testimony, if any, by affidavit.
F. 
No violation may be established except upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence; provided, however, that a parking or compliance violation notice, or a copy thereof, issued and signed in accordance with this article shall be prima facie evidence of the correctness of the facts specified therein.
G. 
The hearing officer may, on a showing of good cause, grant one continuance to a date certain.
H. 
The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall cause a record to be made of each hearing, and recording devices may be used for such purpose.
A. 
Upon conclusion of a requested hearing under this article, the hearing officer shall issue a determination of no liability or of liability in the amount of the fine for the relevant violation as provided in this article.
B. 
If a person fails to respond to the violation notice and the second notice of violation, or fails to request a hearing within 21 days of the issuance of the late penalty, or has requested an administrative hearing and fails to appear, a determination of liability shall be entered against the respondent pursuant to this article. Such determination shall become final for purposes of judicial review under the Administrative Review Law of Illinois upon the denial or the expiration of the time in which to file a timely petition to set aside the determination as provided in this article.
C. 
Within 21 days from the issuance of a determination of liability pursuant to this article, the person against whom the determination was entered may petition by submitting a written request to the City Traffic Compliance Administrator to set aside the determination; provided, however, the grounds for the petition shall be limited to: 1) the person not having been the owner or lessee of the cited vehicle on the date the parking violation notice was first issued; 2) the person having already paid the fine or penalty for the parking violation in question; or 3) excusable failure, based upon criteria established by the hearing officer, to appear at or request a new date for a hearing. The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall set a hearing date and provide written notice of that date to the petitioner.
A final determination of violation liability shall occur following failure to pay the fine and/or penalty, and the exhaustion of or failure to exhaust any administrative review procedures, including denial of a timely petition to set aside or failing to file the set-aside petition within 21 days of the determination.
A. 
If any fine or penalty is owing and unpaid after a determination of liability under this article has become final, and the respondent has exhausted or failed to exhaust judicial procedures for review, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall cause a notice of final determination of liability to be sent to the respondent in accordance with noticing procedures specified in § 381-9.
B. 
Any fine and penalty, if applicable, remaining unpaid after the notice of final determination of liability is sent shall constitute a debt due and owing the City, which may be enforced in any legal manner consistent with 625 ILCS 5/11-208.3. Failure of the respondent to pay such fine or penalty may result in:
(1) 
Debt collection proceedings;
(2) 
The immobilization of the person's vehicle for failure to pay fines or penalties for five or more parking or compliance violations; and
(3) 
The suspension of the person's driver's license for failure to pay fines or penalties for 10 or more parking violations.
A program of vehicle immobilization shall be instituted and implemented through the Office of the Chief of Police, whereby eligible vehicles shall be immobilized by the placement of a restraint in a manner so as to prevent their operation. A vehicle shall be eligible for immobilization under the following criteria:
A. 
The registered owner of the motor vehicle has accumulated five or more violation notices pursuant to this article for which no payments in the amounts specified by the City ordinances have been made for which final determination has been entered; and
B. 
The motor vehicle is in a public location, not on the private property of the owner of the motor vehicle.
A. 
Each violation notice and any written notice sent to every registered owner shall contain information advising the owner of the notice of eligibility for immobilization in the event the violations that are in final determination status are not paid.
B. 
Written notice of eligibility for immobilization shall be sent at least 14 days prior to placing the registration plate number on the eligibility list. Notice shall be sent in accordance with § 381-9 above.
C. 
The notice shall list the name and address of the registered owner, the state registration number of the motor vehicle, the nature of the ordinances violated and the serial numbers and issue dates of the complaints referred to in this article.
D. 
The notice shall advise that a person may challenge the validity of the notice of eligibility for immobilization as set forth in this article.
A challenge of the validity of the notice of eligibility for immobilization must be submitted in writing to the City Traffic Compliance Administrator prior to the motor vehicle being placed on the eligibility list. In such cases, upon a request for hearing, the motor vehicle's eligibility shall be suspended until after the outcome of the hearing. The challenge shall only be based on grounds which would conclusively disprove liability, such as:
A. 
The person was not the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle on the date or dates the violation notice(s) was or were issued; or
B. 
The fines or penalties for the unpaid final determinations of violation liability listed on the notice were paid; or
C. 
The registered owner has not accumulated five or more parking violations which are unpaid and in final determination status or not adjudicated.
A hearing shall be held before a hearing officer designated by the City Manager within 31 days after receipt of the challenge. Failure to attend the hearing shall be deemed as withdrawal of the challenge. The hearing officer may determine as follows:
A. 
The challenge is warranted and order the removal of the vehicle(s) from the immobilization or tow eligibility list.
B. 
The challenge is not warranted and order that the vehicle(s) shall remain on the immobilization or tow eligibility list.
Should no challenge be made, or should a determination that five or more of the parking violations that are in final determination status are unpaid be rendered within the fourteen-day period, the state registration number of the vehicle shall be placed on the immobilization list and immobilization shall proceed as follows:
A. 
A notice shall be placed in a conspicuous place on the motor vehicle warning that any attempt to move the vehicle while the immobilization device is attached may result in damage to the vehicle;
B. 
The notice shall set forth the following procedure for release of the immobilization device. The owner of the immobilized vehicle, or another authorized person, may, within 24 hours:
(1) 
Pay all fees for immobilization and penalties due on the outstanding violations listed in the notice of eligibility for immobilization;
(2) 
Pay a cash bond of all the outstanding monies due the City at the Police Department prior to a hearing as provided in § 381-22 of this article; or
(3) 
The owner may, concurrent with the cash bond, request any hearing as authorized pursuant to City ordinance. In the event said hearings are not requested or the owner fails to appear at the requested hearing, the cash bond shall be used to pay all of the outstanding fines and penalties for the violations listed in the notice of eligibility.
C. 
If the owner of the immobilized vehicle, or another authorized person, does not exercise any of the options of Subsection B of this section within 24 hours of the vehicle being immobilized, the vehicle shall be towed and impounded by a designated towing firm as provided in Chapter 476. In addition to any outstanding fines, penalties and fees, the owner of the immobilized vehicle shall also be subject to all applicable towing and storage charges as a result of the towing and impoundment.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any person other than a City employee or authorized representative to remove or damage the immobilization device or to relocate or tow any vehicle immobilized by a restraint without prior approval of the Chief of Police of his or her designee. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a penalty of $750 for each such violation.
Within 15 days after a vehicle has been towed and impounded, notice of impoundment shall be sent to the appropriate address of the registered owner or lessee in a manner consistent with § 381-9 above, and also by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall state that the owner has a right to a hearing as specified in § 381-22 of this article, and that if release is not obtained under the procedures in § 381-22 of this article within 35 days, the vehicle shall be deemed unclaimed and shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law for the disposition of unclaimed vehicles under the Illinois Vehicle Code. Whenever a person with a lien of record against an impounded vehicle has commenced foreclosure proceedings, possession of the vehicle shall be given to that person if he/she agrees in writing to refund to the City the amount of the net proceeds of any foreclosure sale, less any amounts required to pay all lien holders of record, not to exceed the penalty and fines, plus the applicable fees.
The fee for immobilization shall be $100.
A. 
The owner of the immobilized vehicle or any other authorized person may request, in writing, a hearing to challenge the validity of the immobilization notice based on the grounds listed in § 381-18 of this article.
B. 
The hearing shall be held before a hearing officer designated by the City Manager.
C. 
A hearing as provided in this section shall not determine the validity of or otherwise adjudicate any citation or parking violation issued relative to the immobilized vehicle but only shall determine the validity of assessment of the fees for immobilization.
A. 
When a person has failed to pay any fine or penalty due and owing pursuant to this article on 10 or more final determinations of parking violations, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall cause a notice of impending driver's license suspension to be sent, in accordance with this article.
(1) 
The notice shall state that failure to pay the amount owing within 45 days of the date of the notice will result in the City's notifying the Illinois Secretary of State that the person is eligible for initiation of suspension proceedings pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/6-306.5.
(2) 
The notice shall state that a copy of the violations imposing the fine or penalty is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope and request to the City Traffic Compliance Administrator.
B. 
If a person sent a notice pursuant to Subsection A of this section fails to pay the amount owing within the time stated on the notice, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator may file with the Illinois Secretary of State a certified report, in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/6-306.5(c), that the person is eligible for initiation of suspension proceedings. The City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall assess a filing fee of $20 against the person named in the certified report to reimburse the City for the expense of preparing and filing the certified report with the Illinois Secretary of State.
C. 
If a person named in a certified report has paid the previously reported fine or penalty or if the report is determined by the City Traffic Compliance Administrator to be in error, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall notify the Illinois Secretary of State in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/6-306.5(d). A certified copy of such notification shall be given, upon request and at no charge, to the person named therein.
A. 
In accordance with 625 ILCS 5/11-1306, no person who is the lessor of a vehicle pursuant to a written lease agreement shall be liable for a violation of any standing or parking regulation of this article involving such vehicle during the period of the lease if, upon receipt of a notice of violation sent within 120 days of the violation, he/she shall, within 60 days thereafter, provide to the City Traffic Compliance Administrator the name and address of the lessee.
B. 
Upon receipt of a lessor's notification of the name and address of his/her lessee, provided pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-1305 or 5/11-1306, the City Traffic Compliance Administrator shall cause a notice of violation to be sent to the lessee as provided for in this article.