[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 2-18-1993, effective 3-8-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of assisting the District Court of the County of Suffolk in the disposition of offenses in relation to parking violations pursuant to the provisions of Article 14B, §§ 370, 371 and 372 of the General Municipal Law, the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven is hereby authorized to establish a Traffic Violations Bureau to hold hearings with regard to such offenses, and to have a hearing officer or officers preside at such hearings and adjudicate such matters.
[Amended 7-12-1994, effective 8-1-1994; 5-24-2011 by L.L. No. 15-2011 effective 6-9-2011]
The Commissioner of Public Safety or his designee shall be responsible for the administration of and promulgation of rules and regulations for the Bureau, except for those matters set forth in § 6-2D below.
The Town Attorney, or an authorized designee, shall be a member of the Parking Violations Bureau to perform such duties and functions as indicated in the rules and regulations prescribed for the Bureau.
Qualifications of hearing officers.
The hearing officers shall not be employees of the Town of Brookhaven, except to the extent that they shall be entitled to such per-diem compensation established by the Town Board, and shall be appointed by the Town Board.
The hearing officers shall have the following minimum qualifications:
Five years' experience as a judge, magistrate, hearing officer, court attorney referee or a principal law clerk in the County or Supreme Court in the New York State Unified Court System or in the United States District Court for the Eastern or Southern District of New York; or
Five years of experience as a "Prosecutor" as that term is defined by § 1.20(31) of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York, as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, as a member of the Assigned Counsel Defendant Plan of Suffolk County or a member of the Federal Defendant Panel for the United States District Court for the Eastern or Southern District of New York or any combination of such positions totaling five years.
The qualifications of candidates for hearing officers shall be reviewed by the Town Attorney and approved by her/him for appointment by the Town Board.
The assignment of hearing officers shall be rotated through the list of hearing officers appointed by the Town Board in a manner which will provide for a fair and equal number of assignments of those hearing officers.
The District Court of the County of Suffolk shall have no responsibility with regard to the staffing or financing of such Bureau.
The Traffic Violations Bureau is authorized to dispose of violations of parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations when such offenses shall not constitute any traffic infraction known as "speeding" or "passing a stopped school bus" or a misdemeanor or felony.
A person who has received a notice of violation as provided in this chapter may, within the time specified in said notice, answer at the Traffic Violations Bureau to the charges set forth in such notice, either in person, or by written power of attorney, by paying a prescribed fine and, in writing, waiving a hearing in court, pleading guilty to the charges and giving a power of attorney to the person in charge of the Bureau to make such a plea and to pay such a fine. Acceptance of the prescribed fine and power of attorney by the Traffic Violations Bureau shall be deemed complete satisfaction for the violation, and the violator shall be given a receipt which so states.
The duties of the Traffic Violations Bureau shall be as follows:
It shall accept designated fines and issue receipts to those who desire to plead guilty, waive a court appearance and give a power of attorney.
It shall adjudicate the claims of those who plead not guilty after being advised in writing of their right to counsel and their right to appear in court to answer to, explain or defend any charge of a violation of any parking law, ordinance, rule or regulation, waiving same and consenting to said adjudication.
It shall keep an easily accessible record of all violations of which each person has been guilty during the preceding 12 months, whether such guilt was established in court or in the Traffic Violations Bureau.
If a violator of the parking law, ordinances, rules and regulations does not appear and answer in response to a notice as provided in this chapter, the Traffic Violations Bureau shall send to the owner of the motor vehicle to which the notice was affixed a letter warning him that he will be held responsible for the appearance of the offender and that in the event such letter is disregarded for a period of five days, a complaint will be filed and a warrant of arrest may issue.
In the event that any person fails to comply with a notice as provided in this chapter or fails to make an appearance pursuant to a summons directing an appearance in the Traffic Violations Bureau as provided by this chapter, the Traffic Violations Bureau shall forthwith have a complaint entered against such person and make application to secure and issue a warrant for his arrest.
The Traffic Violations Bureau shall keep records for all notices issued and arrests made for violations of the parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, and of all fines collected by the Traffic Violations Bureau and the final disposition or present status of every case of violation of the provisions of the parking laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. These reports shall be public records.
The Traffic Violations Bureau shall perform such other or additional duties and keep such other and additional records as shall be prescribed by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven.
The power of attorney referred to in § 6-4 hereof shall be in the following form:
Nothing contained in this chapter shall authorize the Traffic Violations Bureau to deprive a person of his right to counsel or to prevent him from exercising his right to appear in court to answer to, explain or defense any charge of a violation of any parking law, ordinance, rule or regulation.
[Amended 5-20-1993, effective 6-7-1993; 7-11-1995, effective 7-31-1995; 9-5-1995, effective 9-25-1995; 3-2-2004, effective 3-22-2004; 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 43-2010, effective 12-7-2010; 6-18-2013 by L.L. No. 31-2013, effective 7-2-2013]
Every person convicted of a violation of the Uniform Traffic Code of the Town of Brookhaven, except for violations of Article VIII, § 42(1), Article VIII, § 42(2), and Article VIII, § 46, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $75.
Every person convicted of a violation of Article VIII, § 42(1), Article VIII, § 42(2) and Article VIII, § 46, of the Uniform Traffic Code of the Town of Brookhaven shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $250, plus any mandated surcharges as authorized pursuant to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1203-a or any amendments thereto.
Failure to answer summons. Any person who fails to appear or answer a summons on or before the return period or any subsequent adjourned date shall be subject to the following late penalties:
Failure to respond to the summons/citation within 30 consecutive days from the return date or any subsequent adjourned return date shall result in a penalty equal to the original fine amount being assessed to the statutory fine;
Failure to respond to the summons/citation within 60 consecutive days from the return date or any subsequent adjourned return date shall result in an additional penalty in an amount equal to the original fine being added to all fines and penalties previously assessed; and
Failure to respond to the summons/citation within 90 consecutive days from the return date or any subsequent adjourned return date shall result in a penalty of $30 being added to all other fines and penalties previously assessed.
Charge for insufficient funds. A penalty of $20 shall be charged to the maker of a check returned for insufficient funds.
Fines to be paid to Bureau. All fines collected upon conviction or plea of guilty of any person charged with a violation of any parking law, ordinance, rule or regulation shall be paid to the Traffic Violations Bureau of the Town of Brookhaven.
[Added 10-4-1994, effective 10-24-1994]
There shall be an Appeals Board within the Traffic Violations Bureau, which shall consist of three or more duly qualified hearing examiners and which shall hear appeals from final decisions and determinations of the hearing examiner. None of the appointed members of such an Appeals Board shall have been party to the original determination being appealed.
The Traffic Violations Bureau shall have the authority to promulgate rules and procedures for the Appeals Board. Such procedures shall provide that appeals affecting Brookhaven Town residents shall be held in the Town of Brookhaven.
If any section, provision or part thereof in this chapter shall be adjudged invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the chapter as a whole or any section, provision or part hereof not so adjudged invalid or unconstitutional.
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon it being so ordered by the Suffolk County District Court Administrative Judge.