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Caroline County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Commissioners of Caroline County 9-15-1992 by Bill No. 92-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context, in this chapter the following terms have the meanings indicated:
CIVIL INFRACTION
A violation of a County ordinance, resolution or public local law which has been designated a "civil infraction" by the County Commissioners of Caroline County.
COUNTY
Caroline County, Maryland.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
The County Commissioners of Caroline County, Maryland.
DEFENDANT
Any person against whom a citation for a civil infraction has been issued.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
An employee or contractual agent of the County authorized by the County Commissioners to issue a citation for a civil infraction.
PERSON
Any individual, group of individuals, organization, firm, partnership, corporation, government unit or any entity of any kind.
REPEATED VIOLATION
A recurring violation of the same provision of the County Code by the same person.
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of the Caroline County Code subject to civil fine or penalty shall, upon citation issued pursuant to this chapter, be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and shall pay to the County a civil fine in the amount prescribed.
B. 
Beginning with the day the citation is issued, each separate day of violation shall constitute a separate and distinct civil infraction, and each such infraction shall be subject to citation and fine.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Bill No. 2002-3]
A. 
The civil fine for each civil infraction shall be the amount specified as the penalty for the infraction in the pertinent section of this Code. Unless otherwise specifically enumerated, any person deemed to have committed a civil infraction shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500.
B. 
A civil fine shall not exceed $500 for the commission of a civil infraction; except that, for each repeated violation, the civil fine shall not exceed $1,000.
C. 
The following schedule of fines shall apply to each civil infraction as such civil infraction may be classified in an applicable chapter or section of the Caroline County Code:
Initial Violation
Repeated Violation
Class A
$500
$1,000
Class B
$400
$800
Class C
$300
$600
Class D
$250
$500
Class E
$150
$300
Class F
$100
$200
Class G
$50
$100
Class H
$35
$70
A. 
The County Commissioners shall designate one or more enforcement officials who are authorized to issue citations to those persons whom the official determines to have committed a civil infraction.
B. 
Citations shall be delivered in person or mailed to the last known address of the recipient of the citation. In addition to delivery or mail, a copy of the citation may be posted on the property where the violation exists or has occurred. The enforcement official who delivers, mails or posts a citation shall make an affidavit regarding such action.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Bill No. 2002-3]
C. 
A copy of the citation shall be retained by the issuing official and shall bear the official's certification attesting to the truth of the matter set forth in the citation.
D. 
The citation shall serve as notification that the person is charged with a civil violation of the County Code and has been assessed a civil fine, which shall be due and payable to the County, subject to the person's right to stand trial in the District Court.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Bill No. 2002-3]
A. 
Unless otherwise specified in state law, the citation shall be on a form adopted by the County Commissioners.
B. 
To the extent not inconsistent with state law, the County Commissioners shall determine the contents of the citation, which shall include, at a minimum:
(1) 
Date of issuance of citation.
(2) 
Name and address of person charged.
(3) 
The nature of the infraction.
(4) 
The location where the infraction occurred and the time it was observed by the enforcement official or other sworn witness.
(5) 
The amount of the civil fine assessed.
(6) 
The manner, location and time in which the fine may be paid to the County.
(7) 
Where applicable, the notice that each day of continued violation thereafter shall be deemed a separate violation subject to an additional citation and an additional fine.
(8) 
The name and telephone number of the official issuing the citation.
(9) 
The defendant's right to elect to stand trial for the infraction, and instructions and time constraints regarding such an election.
(10) 
A brief statement of the effect of failing to pay the assessed fine or demand a trial within the prescribed time.
The issuance of a citation is not appealable to any County board or commission. The only redress available upon the issuance of a citation shall be the election to stand trial.
A. 
A defendant may elect to stand trial for the civil infraction by notifying the County of the defendant's intent to do so. The defendant shall give this notice in accordance with instructions on the citation and shall provide notice at least five days prior to the time when the fine for the civil infraction is to be paid as set forth in the citation. The day the fine is due may be counted as one of the five days.
B. 
Upon receipt of notice of the intent to stand trial, the County shall forward to the District Court having venue a copy of the citation and the notice of intent to stand trial.
A. 
If a defendant fails to file a notice of intent to stand trial within the time required and fails to pay the fine for the infraction by the date indicated in the citation, the County shall send a formal notice of the infraction to the defendant's last known address.
B. 
If the County determines that the citation has not been satisfied within 15 days from the date of the notice, the defendant will be liable for an additional fine which shall be twice the amount of the original fine.
C. 
If the citation has not been satisfied within 35 days the County may request adjudication of the case through the District Court, including the filing of a demand for judgment on affidavit.
A. 
Upon receipt from the County of a citation and notice of intent to stand trial, the District Court shall promptly schedule the case for trial, notify all parties of the trial date and summon the defendant to appear.
B. 
The defendant's failure to respond to such summons shall result in the entry of judgment against the defendant in favor of the County in the amount then due if a proper demand for judgment on affidavit has been filed.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by Bill No. 2002-3]
C. 
The state's attorney or the County Attorney shall prosecute all civil infractions before the District Court.
D. 
If the Court finds the defendant guilty of a civil infraction, the defendant shall pay all court costs for the proceeding.
E. 
The District Court shall remit to the County any fine, penalty or forfeiture the Court collects.
F. 
In addition to any fine, penalty or forfeiture, the court may:
(1) 
Award dollar-for-dollar reimbursement to the County for itemized direct costs, not including personnel costs, incurred by the County in administering the violator's election to stand trial, including but not limited to special mail and long distance telephone costs.
(2) 
Impose community service requirements.
A. 
In addition to all other remedies provided by state or county law, the County may institute any other appropriate action or proceedings to enforce any provision of the County Code.
B. 
The imposition of a civil monetary fine or the payment thereof shall not in any way impede the authority of the County to utilize any action or proceedings to enforce any provision of the County Code.
[Added 12-17-2002 by Bill No. 2002-3]
The proceedings for civil infractions shall be subject to the requirements of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 25B, § 13C, as amended.