[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Westernport 10-1-2018 by Ord. No. 9-4-2018B. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Any and all other ordinances and resolutions regulating enforcement of penalties for violation of municipal ordinances are hereby amended to provide provisions for enforcement through municipal infraction and corresponding fines as adopted by resolution by the Mayor and Commissioners of Westernport.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or organization of any kind.
- The Town of Westernport, a municipal corporation organized under the laws of the State of Maryland, and includes the Mayor and Commissioners of Westernport.
When the Mayor or his or her authorized agent finds that, after an investigation, a municipal infraction is believed to exist, the Mayor or his or her authorized agent shall deliver a citation or a warning to the property owner or other person or persons responsible for the municipal infraction.
A citation may be served by the Mayor, or his or her authorized agent, upon the person or persons against whom a municipal infraction is alleged by delivery in any of the following manners: by serving the citation personally; by mailing a copy of same to the person by first-class, certified mail, restricted delivery; or as otherwise provided by the Maryland Code Annotated, Local Government Article § 6-103, or Maryland Rule 3-121, as amended from time to time. A warning may be issued to the person or persons against whom a municipal infraction is alleged by the Mayor, or his or her authorized agent, either verbally or in writing, and if in writing, by personal delivery or by first-class mail.
The Mayor's authorized agent or agents shall be appointed by the Mayor and approved by a majority vote of the Commissioners.
The Mayor or his or her authorized agent will investigate whether a municipal infraction has occurred.
If the Mayor or his or her authorized agent reasonably finds that a municipal infraction has occurred, he or she will issue a warning to the person or persons responsible in the form and manner as outlined in § 135-5, with a reasonable time stated to abate or to prevent future municipal infractions.
If the municipal infraction continues or is allowed to occur after the reasonable time stated, the Mayor or his or her authorized agent will issue a citation to the person or persons responsible in the form and manner as outlined in § 135-5.
The Mayor or his or her authorized agent may issue a citation without the prior issue of a warning.
Persons warned or issued a citation for a violation have no right to a hearing before the Mayor and Commissioners or any board or commission of the Town.
The citation or warning contents are as follows:
The name and address of the person charged (or warned).
The nature of the violation.
The location of the violation.
The date(s) of the violation.
The amount of the fine assessed (or possible assessment).
The manner, location and time for which the fine may be paid (or violation corrected, if applicable).
The person's right to stand trial for the violation (if applicable).
A certification by the Mayor or his or her authorized agent attesting to the truth of the matters set forth.
The amount of the fine or penalty for a municipal infraction shall be determined from the Town's resolution of fines for municipal infractions.
Each period of time, such as an hour or day, a violation is permitted to exist shall be considered a separate infraction.
All fines are payable to the Town of Westernport.
A person who receives a citation may elect to stand trial for the offense by filing with the Mayor or his or her authorized agent a notice of intention to stand trial. The notice shall be given at least five days before the date of payment as set forth in the citation.
On receipt of the notice of intention to stand trial, the Mayor or his or her authorized agent shall forward to the District Court for Allegany County, Maryland, a copy of the citation and the notice of intention to stand trial.
On receipt of the citation, the District Court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the defendant and the Town of the trial date.
All fines, penalties or forfeitures collected by the District Court for municipal Infractions shall be remitted to the Town of Westernport.
If a person who receives a citation for a municipal infraction fails to pay the fine by the date of payment set forth on the citation and fails to file a notice of intention to stand trial, the Mayor or his or her authorized agent may request adjudication of the case through the District Court. The District Court shall schedule the case for trial and summon the defendant to appear.
In a proceeding before the District Court, the violation shall be prosecuted in the same manner and to the same extent as set forth for municipal infractions in Article 23A, § 3(b)(8) through (15), of the Maryland Code, including the power to abate any such infractions. However, the Town may appoint an attorney to prosecute municipal infractions under this section.
Adjudication of a municipal infraction under this section is not a criminal conviction, nor does it impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by a criminal conviction.
If a person is found by the District Court to have committed a municipal infraction, he or she shall be liable for the costs of the proceedings in the District Court.
The court may order the person to abate the infraction or enter an order permitting a municipality to abate any such infraction at the person's expense.
If a municipality abates an infraction pursuant to an order of the District Court, the municipality shall present the defendant with a bill for the cost of abatement by:
If the defendant does not pay the bill within 30 days after presentment, upon a motion of the municipality, the District Court shall enter a judgment against the defendant for the cost of the abatement.
Depending on the circumstances of each case, the Mayor or his or her authorized agent has the discretionary authority to reduce or suspend all or a portion of the fine.
In the event the violator of any provision of this chapter is a minor, the enforcement provisions shall apply with full force and effect upon the parent, parents, guardian, or other such person or persons directly responsible for the conduct of the minor.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit or prevent the Town from seeking other legal remedies, such as injunction, criminal prosecution, or damages in a civil action pursuant to Title 6 of the Local Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, as amended.