Editor's Note: Original Sections 23-46 through 23-57 of the 1972 Code, which provided for violations and penalties, were repealed 9-9-1975.
[Amended 6-26-1979; 5-13-1980; 4-23-1985; 7-16-1985; 11-10-1987; 4-19-1988; 5-23-1989; 9-11-1990; 7-13-1993; 6-28-1994; 7-14-1998; 5-9-2000; 7-12-2001; 7-8-2003; 12-8-2009; 6-28-2011]
The following shall be considered violations and penalties for improper parking and, as such, are prohibited acts:
Specific acts and penalty.
The following are prohibited acts:
Failure to deposit a coin in any parking meter; any car parked at a parking meter in which the time has expired; or parking over the legal time at any parking meter by inserting an additional coin to extend the legal parking time.
Parking on any street at any time between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Parking on any street at any time between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. provided that such street has been designated by the Town Manager as one upon which parking is prohibited between these hours and further provided that signage is installed on each such street that clearly informs the public of the hours during which parking is prohibited.
The penalty for any violation of this subsection shall be $16.
Specific acts and penalty.
The following are prohibited acts:
Parking in any area that is a temporary no-parking area to allow the removal of snow and/or ice.
Parking of a commercial vehicle and/or truck in any residential zone, except for the purpose of delivery, service or business calls.
Parking in excess of 12 inches from a curb or the edge of the paved surface of an uncurbed street.
Parking in a loading zone.
Parking within 25 feet of a corner or stop sign.
Parking on or within 25 feet of a crosswalk.
Parking within 10 feet of a hydrant.
Parking on the wrong side of the street.
Parking so as to obstruct a driveway. For purposes of this subsection, a driveway is obstructed when a vehicle is parked in a manner which directly blocks any portion thereof or is parked within three feet to either side thereof.
Parking in excess of the time posted on any street, and each successive period, as represented by the maximum, shall be considered a separate offense.
Parking in a no-parking zone.
Parking in an intersection or in a marked bus stop.
Parking so as to impede traffic.
Parking in a no-standing area.
Parking by trespassing on private property, including municipal property, is prohibited.
Parking on a sidewalk is prohibited.
The act of trespassing is prohibited.
For the purposes of this subsection, a person trespasses when he or she enters any premises without intent to harm any property and is not licensed or privileged to do so.
A person shall not have committed the act of parking by trespassing on private property by virtue of having parked in a parking lot open to public access unless the parking lot has been posted as private or restricted to a limited group.
The penalty for any violation of this subsection is $38.
In addition to the fines set forth in the preceding subsections, an additional administrative fee of $2 per $10 of the amount of the fine(s) payable hereunder, or any fraction thereof, shall be payable to the Town of West Hartford by each person to whom a citation is issued.
For purposes of this section, each segment of 20 feet or any portion thereof of any vehicle (or combination of a vehicle and attached trailer) shall be deemed to constitute an additional violation and shall be subject to cumulative fines and administrative fees.
The penalties and procedures contained in Articles II through IV shall apply to all regulated parking areas, including, but not limited to off-street parking areas, driveways and associated areas designated for vehicular use on any property owned or controlled by the Town of West Hartford or the West Hartford Board of Education.
Whenever any vehicle is found parked in violation of any of the provisions of Articles II through IV or any rule or regulation of the traffic authority which relates to parking, an authorized employee shall attach to such vehicle a notice to the owner or operator thereof stating that such vehicle has been parked unlawfully.
[Amended 7-13-1993; 1-24-1995]
Each owner or operator as described in § 168-15 may, within 14 days of the time when such notice is attached to such vehicle, pay in person or remit by mail in the form of a check or money order to the Revenue Collector of the Town, as a penalty for and in full satisfaction of such violation, the appropriate sum, as the case may be, in accordance with § 168-13.
[Amended 11-22-1988; 7-13-1993; 1-24-1995]
Pursuant to C.G.S. §§ 7-152b and 7-152c, as those sections may be amended or recodified from time to time, the Town Manager shall appoint one or more individuals who shall serve as hearing officers to conduct hearings into the violation of ordinances, rules or regulations of the Town of West Hartford. Said hearing officers shall be electors of the Town of West Hartford, but no member of the West Hartford Police Department, member of the Corporation Counsel's office or any employee empowered or authorized to issue citations for the violation of any ordinance of the Town of West Hartford shall be permitted to serve as a hearing officer pursuant to this subsection.
Within two years after the expiration of the period for the payment of any fine without incurring penalties as set forth in § 168-16B, which fine has been levied as the result of a violation of any provision of § 168-13, notice shall be sent by first class mail to the operator, if known, or to the registered owner of the vehicle allegedly used to commit the violation in question, if the operator is unknown. Such notice shall be sent to the owner of the vehicle at the address established by the registration records of the Motor Vehicles Department of the State of Connecticut. Such notice shall inform the owner and/or operator:
Of the allegations of the citation.
Of the right to contest liability at a hearing before a citation hearing officer by delivering, in person or by mail, written notice of such intent within 10 days of the date thereof.
That failure to appear at a requested hearing will result in the entry of an assessment and judgment against the person or persons named in the citation.
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
That failure to respond to this notice shall result in the issuance of an infraction citation to the violator.
Admission of liability; infraction citation.
If any person who is sent notice pursuant to this section wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, that person may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees admitted to in person or by mail at the address specified in the notice.
Any person who does not respond to the notice provided in § 168-17B of this section by paying the fines and penalties set forth therein or by requesting a hearing within seven days thereafter may be issued an infraction citation by a duly authorized individual based upon the original ordinance violation.
Any person who requests a hearing pursuant to this section shall be given written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. The filing of such a request shall end the accumulation of additional fines, penalties and fees and shall stay the obligation to pay any fines, penalties or fees until such time as a final determination of the matter is made by the hearing officer. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, provided that the hearing officer shall grant, upon good cause shown, any reasonable request by an interested party for postponement or continuance. The hearing officer may accept, from any person contesting liability, copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports and other official documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person at a hearing is unnecessary. If the person or persons cited otherwise fail to appear, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against them upon a finding of proper notice and liability under the applicable provision of the ordinances.
An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing official or police officer shall be filed and retained by the Town and shall be deemed to be a business record and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing official or police officer shall be required at the hearing if any interested party so requests.
A person wishing to contest liability shall appear at the hearing unless excused from so doing by the hearing officer and may present evidence. The Corporation Counsel or a designee thereof may present evidence on behalf of the Town. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearings in the order and form and with such methods of proof as that officer deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation.
The hearing officer shall announce the decision at the end of the hearing. If the hearing officer determines that the person is not liable, the matter shall be dismissed, the fines, penalties and fees which may have accrued in connection with the citation shall be rescinded and the determination entered in writing accordingly. If the hearing officer determines that the person is liable for the violation, the appropriate fines, penalties, costs or fees shall promptly be entered and assessed against such person as provided by the applicable ordinances. The hearing officer shall have the authority to modify the violation or reduce the penalty and/or fee assessable against any person if, in the hearing officer's discretion, such modification is warranted based upon the facts elicited during the hearing process.
If any hearing officer has entered an assessment by default against any person with respect to any matter, no hearing officer shall reconsider that matter until the person against whom such assessment has been imposed has submitted a written request to open said assessment by default explaining the basis for the person's failure to appear at the scheduled hearing and paid a fee for said request in the amount of $10 to the Town of West Hartford; and said request has been considered on its merits and granted by a hearing officer. The decision to grant or deny such a request shall rest in the sole discretion of the hearing officer.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail, postage prepaid, a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment against such person in favor of the municipality with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford-New Britain, together with such entry fee as may be required by the Superior Court. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment, and within said twelve-month period, multiple notices of assessment against an individual may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. Notwithstanding any other provisions, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment, and a levy of execution on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.
A person against whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to this section is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. An appeal shall be instituted within 30 days of the mailing of notice of such assessment by filing a petition to reopen assessment, together with such entry fee as may be required by the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford-New Britain, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the Judges of the Superior Court.
The Chief of Police shall create a vehicle pound or pounds to which automobiles and other vehicles may be removed by a police officer, or under the direction of a police officer, as provided in § 168-19. Such pound or pounds shall be such storage garage or garages or such other appropriate places as may be designated by the Chief of Police. Before any such garage or place shall be designated as a vehicle pound, the operator thereof shall furnish to the Chief of Police satisfactory evidence of insurance coverage to make the Town whole for any claims for damages paid by the Town arising from the towing or storage of any impounded vehicle.
Whenever any vehicle is found parked in a place where parking is not permitted, it may be removed and conveyed by, or under the direction of, a member of the Police Department by means of towing, or otherwise, to a vehicle pound.
The owner of any impounded vehicle shall be duly informed as to the nature and circumstances of the violation on account of which such vehicle has been impounded.
Before the owner or person in charge of any vehicle shall be permitted to remove the same from a vehicle pound, such owner or person shall furnish to the Chief of Police, or such other police officer as the Chief shall designate, evidence of identity and ownership, shall sign a receipt for such vehicle and shall pay the cost of removal, not to exceed the rate approved by the State of Connecticut pursuant to C.G.S. § 14-66(a), as that section may be amended from time to time, plus the cost of storage, not to exceed $10 for each day or portion of a day that such vehicle is stored in the vehicle pound in excess of the first 24 hours.
If protest is made against the payment of any towing or storage fees provided in § 168-19, the person in charge of the vehicle pound shall mark upon the receipt evidencing payment of the towing and storage fees the words "paid under protest." In such case, it shall be the duty of the police officer having knowledge of the facts forthwith to institute proper proceedings in the proper Superior Court charging the owner or driver of such vehicle with the violation on account of which the vehicle was impounded.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police, or such other police officer as the Chief shall designate, to keep a record of the names of the owners of all vehicles impounded, the numbers of their license plates, the place where each vehicle was impounded, the nature and circumstances of each violation and the disposition of each case.
In any prosecution or proceeding for unlawful parking under the provisions of this article, the registered owner of the vehicle so parked shall be presumed to be the operator thereof and prima facie guilty of having parked unlawfully.
All regular, temporary and deputized police and security officers of the Town and of the state, men and women, including but not limited to so-called parking monitors, are hereby authorized and empowered to enforce with all reasonable means, including but not limited to arrest and summons, every provision of this article.