[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Brookfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This article, which shall be known as the "Citation Appeal Procedure Ordinance," is hereby adopted pursuant to the provisions of Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, the following procedure is established for the enforcement of municipal citations:
At any time within 12 months from the expiration of the final period for the uncontested payment of fines, penalties, costs or fees for any citation issued pursuant to the provisions of the Code of the Town of Brookfield for an alleged violation of any of the provisions of any of the ordinances contained therein, a designated officer or employee of the Town shall send notice to the person cited. Said notice shall inform the person cited:
Of the allegations against him and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs and fees due;
That he may contest his liability before a citation hearing officer by delivering in person or by mail written notice within 10 days thereof;
That, if he does not demand a hearing, an assessment and judgment may be entered against him; and
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
If the person who is sent notice pursuant to the provisions of Subsection A above wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees admitted to in person or by mail to an official or employee designated by the Town. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of such person, or of the person making payment. Any person who does not deliver or mail written demand for a hearing within 10 days of the date of the first notice provided for in Subsection A above shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the designated Town official or employee shall certify such person's failure to respond to the hearing officer. The hearing officer shall thereupon enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees provided for by the applicable ordinance and shall follow the procedure set forth in Subsection D of this section.
Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. 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 any interested party for postponement or continuance. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by an issuing officer or employee of the Town shall be filed with and retained in the records of the Town and shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of Section 52-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and be evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing officer or employee shall be required at the hearing if so requested by the appealing party. A person wishing to contest his liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his behalf. A designated Town official or employee, other than the hearing officer, may present evidence on behalf of the Town. If the appealing party fails to appear for the hearing, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against him upon a finding of proper notice and liability under the applicable statutes and/or ordinances. The hearing officer may accept written statements from the appealing party, by mail, together with any relevant supporting documents submitted by mail by the appealing party, and may determine that the appearance of the appealing party at the hearing is not necessary. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in order and form and with such methods of proof as he 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 his decision at the end of the hearing. If he determines that the appealing party is not liable, he shall dismiss the matter and enter his determination in writing on the record of the proceeding. If he determines that the appealing party is liable for the violation(s), he shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against the appealing party as provided by the applicable ordinances of the Town.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send a notice of the assessment by first class mail 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 with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the geographical area, together with the required court entry fee. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within said twelve-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed with the Court as one record of assessment. The Court Clerk shall enter judgment in the amount of such record assessment, together with court costs, against such person and in favor of the Town. Notwithstanding any other provision of the General Statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a 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 by the hearing officer shall be entitled to judicial review by way of an appeal to the Superior Court. Any such appeal must be instituted within 30 days of the mailing of the notice of assessment by the filing of a petition to reopen said assessment with the Superior Court for the geographical area (GA-3), together with the required filing fee, and by service of a copy of such petition on the Brookfield Town Clerk. The filing of a timely petition of appeal shall entitle the appealing party to a hearing in accordance with the Rules of the Superior Court.
The First Selectman of the Town of Brookfield shall appoint, with the consent of the Board of Selectmen, not more than six electors of the Town of Brookfield to be Citation Hearing Officers. Initial appointments shall be for terms expiring on the first Tuesday of February 1998. Subsequent appointments shall be for terms of two years. No person who has the power to issue citations for the violation of any provision of the Code of Ordinances of the Town shall be eligible for appointment as a hearing officer.
The Zoning Enforcement Officer of the Town of Brookfield, or any duly authorized Assistant Zoning Enforcement Officer, is hereby authorized to issue a citation to and impose a fine, as hereinafter set forth, upon any property owner or other person which is found to be in violation of any of the following provisions of the Zoning Regulations of the Town of Brookfield, as amended.