[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of New Haven 1-13-2015 by Ord. No. 333. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Municipal Civil Infractions Ordinance."
[Amended 7-10-2018 by Ord. No. 353]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- AUTHORIZED VILLAGE OFFICIAL
- Any of the following personnel, which are hereby authorized to issue municipal civil infraction violation notices and municipal civil infraction citations:
- The Village Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau, as established within this chapter.
- All financial burdens incurred by the Village as necessary to remedy a municipal civil infraction, total amounts of which are owed to the Village by the violator, to be collected by the Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau.
- A sum of money owed to the Village by the violator, issued as a means to compensate the Village for services rendered toward enforcing, researching, documenting, and processing a municipal civil infraction violation, to be collected by the Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau.
- A sum of money issued as a penalty for a municipal civil infraction, owed to the Village by the violator, to be collected by the Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau.
- MICHIGAN STATUTE
- Michigan Public Act 236 of 1961, and Michigan Public Act 12 of 1994, as amended.
- MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION
- Any action or actions or lack thereof, which results in a violation of an active Village ordinance.
- MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION ACTION
- A civil action in which a person is alleged to be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.
- MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION CITATION
- A written complaint or notice prepared by an authorized Village official, directing a person to appear in court regarding the occurrence or existence of a municipal civil infraction.
- MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION VIOLATION NOTICE
- A written complaint or notice prepared by an authorized Village official, directing a person to appear at the Village Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau regarding the occurrence or existence of a municipal civil infraction and to pay any and all fines, fees, and costs, if any, prescribed for the violation by the schedule of civil fines, fees and costs herein.
- REPEAT OFFENSE
- A civil infraction for which either a municipal civil infraction violation notice or a municipal civil infraction citation has previously been issued within the last year (or other such time frame specified in an applicable ordinance which is alleged to be violated, whichever the Village wills) and for which the same violator is being once again issued either a municipal civil infraction violation notice or municipal civil infraction citation. Each subsequent day during the applicable time frame in which any such violation continues shall be deemed a repeat offense.
- Any individual person, organization, business or company, or other entity determined to be guilty of a municipal civil infraction.
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 600.101 et seq.
All violations of active Village ordinances (previously passed, or yet to be passed) shall be recognized to be municipal civil infractions pursuant to Michigan Statute, and may be acted upon as such by the Village in the manners prescribed herein.
A municipal civil infraction action may be commenced upon by the Village, through the issuance of one or more of the following, to be issued by an authorized Village official:
Conditions. An authorized Village official may issue a municipal civil infraction violation notice or a municipal civil infraction citation to a person when:
Posting. If the alleged violation involves the use, occupancy, or maintenance of land, vehicle, building, or other structure, the municipal civil infraction violation notice or municipal civil infraction citation may be served by posting the notice or citation on the land, vehicle, building, or structure in a clearly visible location, and by mailing a copy by first-class mail to the owner of the land, vehicle, building, or structure at the owner's last known address.
Exception to personal service for citation after notice of violation. If an authorized Village official issues and serves a municipal civil infraction violation notice and if an admission of responsibility is not made and all civil fines, fees, and costs are not paid within the allotted time frame as declared on such municipal civil infraction violation notice at the Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau, a municipal civil infraction citation may be filed with the court and a copy of the citation may be served by first-class mail upon the alleged violator at his or her last known address.
Other enforcement options and remedies.
Due diligence to act. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to require the Village to initiate a municipal civil infraction action where such an infraction exists, though the Village should attempt with due diligence to address all such infractions in an expedient manner.
Remedy. The Village may additionally undertake any and all such actions as needed to remedy the violation, as authorized by law, with all costs associated with the remedy actions to be owed to the Village by the violator and collected by the Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau (established herein) as costs, per the schedule of fines, fees, and costs (established herein). Records of all such costs shall be recorded by the Bureau Clerk or designated Village employee.
Property taxes and liens. Debts owed to the Village by means of fines, fees, or as costs undertaken by the Village in relation to the enforcement of this chapter which have accrued for an excess of one year's time, may be levied upon violator's property taxes for property(ies) held within the Village, to be classified as a special assessment, and may ultimately lead to liens being issued against such property(ies) as allowed by state law.
Municipal civil infraction violation notice requirements. Municipal civil infraction violation notices shall be issued and served by authorized Village officials as provided in this chapter and by Michigan Statute. A municipal civil infraction violation notice shall include all of the following:
The name and address of the alleged violator;
The violation charged (ordinance number and brief description shall suffice);
The time, date, and location of the alleged violation;
The time within which the person must respond to the Bureau for purposes of admitting or denying responsibility for the violation;
A statement that the alleged violator may appear at the Bureau in person or by mail;
The amount of the scheduled fines, fees, and costs for the violation;
The methods by which the violation may be admitted or denied;
The consequences of failing to admit responsibility without explanation and pay the required fines, fees, and costs within the required time frame;
The address and telephone number of the Bureau;
The days and hours that the Bureau is open.
Denial of responsibility. Where a person fails to admit responsibility (without explanation) for a violation within the jurisdiction of the Bureau and pay the required civil fines, fees, and costs within the designated time period, an authorized Village official may file a municipal civil infraction citation for such violation with the district court. The citation shall thereafter be processed in the manner required by law.
Municipal civil infraction citations shall be issued and served by authorized Village officials as provided in this chapter and by Michigan Statute. A municipal civil infraction citation shall comply with the following requirements:
The citation shall be in a form approved by the State Court Administrator.
Citations shall be numbered consecutively.
The original shall constitute a complaint and notice to appear and shall be filed with the district court, a copy of which shall be served to the alleged violator, and at least one copy of which shall be kept on record by the Bureau.
The citation shall be signed by an authorized Village official and as such shall be treated as made under oath.
The citation shall specify the location of and contact information for the district court and a time frame by which the violator shall be required to contact the court in order to resolve the citation either by admission of responsibility without explanation and payment-in-full of fines, fees, and costs, or by scheduling a hearing in court (within 30 days) to plead an admission of responsibility with explanation or denial of responsibility. A hearing shall be an informal hearing (appearance in person before a judge or magistrate without the opportunity of being represented by an attorney) unless a formal hearing (appearance in person before a judge with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney) is requested by the alleged violator or the municipality.
A notice that the failure of the alleged violator to either resolve the citation with the District Court within the time specified on the citation or otherwise appear for their scheduled hearing with the District Court is a misdemeanor and will result in entry of a default judgment against the alleged violator for the municipal civil infraction.
Establishment. The Village of New Haven Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau (hereafter "Bureau") is hereby established pursuant to MCLA § 600.8396 of Michigan Statute, as it may be amended from time to time, for the purpose of accepting admissions of responsibility for ordinance violations designated as municipal civil infractions, and to collect and retain civil fines, fees, and costs for such violations as prescribed herein.
Location. The Bureau shall be located at the Village Municipal Office, at 57775 Main Street, New Haven, MI 48048, or whichever real property or properties thereafter are declared to be the Village Municipal Office and at which regular Village administrative activities take place.
Personnel. All personnel of the Bureau shall be Village employees. The Village Council may by resolution designate a Bureau Clerk with the duties and authorities prescribed herein and as otherwise may be delegated by the Village Council.
Operational procedure. The Village Council may adopt rules and regulations for the operation of the Bureau through the passing of resolutions.
The Bureau shall only have authority to accept admissions of responsibility (without explanation) for municipal civil infractions for which a municipal civil infraction violation notice (as compared to a citation) has been issued and served, and to collect and retain the fines, fees, and costs for such violations as prescribed by the schedule of civil fives, fees, and costs herein this chapter or future amendment of this chapter. The Bureau shall not accept payment of fines, fees, or costs from any person who denies having committed the alleged violation or who admits responsibility only with explanation. The Bureau shall not determine or attempt to determine the truth or falsity of any fact or matter relating to an alleged ordinance violation.
[Amended 7-10-2018 by Ord. No. 353]
Unless a different schedule of civil fines/fees/costs is provided for by a specific, applicable ordinance, upon admission of responsibility without explanation for a civil infraction for which a civil infraction violation notice was issued by an authorized Village official, the Bureau Clerk or other designated Village employee shall collect and record payments according to the following schedule:
Fees may also be issued in proportion to the hours required by Village personnel to research, document, and process such municipal civil infraction violation notices.
Fee rate shall be: $25 per hour (minimum of one hour).
If fees are assessed, documentation of all hours worked by the Bureau Clerk or other duly appointed Village personnel on such matters shall be recorded.
Costs incurred by the Village may be issued in addition to the fines and fees listed above, pursuant to state law.
Costs shall be: as necessary to make whole the Village, as relates to the remedying of the municipal civil infraction.
If costs are assessed, documentation of all expenses incurred by the Village shall be recorded by the Bureau Clerk or other duly appointed Village personnel.
Amendment of the schedule. The Village Council may, at a later point in time, by resolution, adopt changes to this schedule of civil fines, fees, and costs.
The Bureau Clerk or other designated Village employee shall retain a copy of all municipal civil infraction violation notices and citations, and shall account to the Village Council once a month or at such other intervals as the Village Council may require concerning the number of admissions and denials of responsibility for ordinance violations within the jurisdiction of the Bureau and the amount of fines, fees, and costs collected with respect to such violations. The civil fines, fees, and costs collected shall be delivered/paid to the Village Treasurer or his/her designated representative, and shall be deposited in the general fund of the Village.
An announcement of this chapter shall be published in "The Voice News" as required by law following adoption by the Village Council and shall become effective 20 days after publication.