[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Stratford 9-14-1998 by Ord. No. 97-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established, pursuant to and in accordance with Section 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Office of Citation Hearings.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. 00-07; 3-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-03]
The Mayor shall appoint one or more Citation Hearing Officers to conduct the hearings and perform such other acts as are authorized or directed by this chapter and by Connecticut General Statutes. The term of each Hearing Officer is three years. Each Hearing Officer shall be paid a fee for presiding at hearings, and a separate fee for declaring defaults and assessing penalties thereon. The Council shall, by resolution, fix all fees to be paid Hearing Officers.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. 00-07; 3-12-2007 by Ord. No. 07-03; 3-8-2010 by Ord. No. 10-01]
The Mayor shall designate a person to be the Citation Clerk. He/she shall maintain records of all citations referred to the Office of Citation Hearings, and the disposition thereof, in the same manner as would a Clerk of the Superior Court. He/she shall assist the Citation Hearing Officers in performing their duties. He/she shall attend all hearings conducted by the Hearing Officers.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. 00-07]
A Citation Hearing Officer shall be a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of Connecticut. He shall not be a police officer or employee of the Town of Stratford, nor shall be be a person who issues citations for alleged violations of an ordinance of the Town. He shall preside at all hearings, administer oaths to witnesses and carry out all duties accorded herein to the position.
Except as to citations for blighted premises under Chapter 161, any Town official empowered by ordinance to issue citations and assess monetary penalties for violation of a specific ordinance may apply to the Citation Clerk for a judgment assessing monetary penalties against an alleged violator, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, of an ordinance within the applicant's jurisdiction to enforce. The application shall be in writing and shall include the following:
[Amended 10-12-2010 by Ord. No. 10-27]
The legal name of the defendant, including any known aliases and, if the defendant be other than a natural person, its type of entity.
The residence address of the defendant or, if the defendant be other than a natural person, the address of its office within the Town of Stratford or, lacking a local office, its office nearest to Stratford Town Hall.
The ordinance violated, stating a specific reference to the Stratford Town Code.
The date of the violation or, if the violation be continuous, a range of dates during which violations occurred.
A narrative statement of the facts constituting the alleged violation.
A statement that the defendant has not responded, partially or completely, to a citation issued by the applicant.
There shall be annexed to the application two copies of the citation, each certified by the applicant to be a true copy. The applicant shall sign the application and shall affirm that the statements contained therein are true to the best of the applicant's knowledge, information and belief.
Upon receipt of an application for hearing, the Citation Clerk shall enter the same in a log maintained by him for that purpose. He shall inspect the application and copy of the citation and if he determines that the same comply with law, and that not more than 12 months have passed from the expiration of the final period for the uncontested payment of the monetary penalty stated in the citation, the Citation Clerk shall mail by first class mail to the defendant a notice of opportunity to contest, which notice shall inform the defendant:
Of the allegations against the defendant and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees due as stated in the citation previously issued to the defendant.
That the defendant may contest liability before a Citation Hearing Officer by delivering a written demand for hearing, in person or by first class mail, to the Citation Clerk, Mayor's office, Town Hall, Stratford, within 10 days of the date of the Notice of Opportunity to Contest.
Editor’s Note: The term “Town Manager” was changed to “Mayor” in this subsection at the direction of the Town so that the provisions herein would be consistent with the provisions of the Charter adopted by the Town on 11-4-2003.
That if the defendant does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against the defendant.
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
There shall be annexed to the Notice of Opportunity to Contest a copy of the citation, certified as aforesaid, and a copy of the application for hearing.
Upon receipt of a defendant's demand for hearing, the Citation Clerk shall assign the same for public hearing and shall mail to the defendant an appropriate notice listing the date, time and place of the hearing. The place shall be Council Chambers or Room 217 at the Stratford Town Hall, the Board of Education Meeting Room, or the courtroom on the second floor of Police Headquarters depending on availability.
The Town Attorney or an Assistant Town Attorney shall represent the Town of Stratford at the citation hearing. The official who issued the original citation shall appear and testify to the matters contained in the citation and in the narrative statement of facts annexed to the Notice of Opportunity to Contest. If the defendant fails to appear on the date and at the time and place of hearing, the Hearing Officer shall examine the file and whatever documents the defendant may have submitted prior thereto and, upon a finding of proper notice and prima facie liability, shall declare the defendant to be in default and shall summarily assess fines, penalties, fees and costs. Otherwise, the Hearing Officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form, and with such methods of proof, as he deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing official, whether or not in the form of a citation, and the citation, may be admitted in evidence as business records. All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. If the Hearing officer shall determine that the defendant is not liable, the Hearing Officer shall dismiss the matter and enter his determination on the record in writing. If he determines that the defendant is liable, the Hearing Officer shall forthwith assess and enter on the record the fines, penalties, costs or fees against the defendant as provided by the ordinance which was violated.
If such assessment be not paid on the date of its entry, the Hearing Officer shall send to the defendant by first class mail a notice of the assessment. Not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, if said assessment is not paid, the Hearing Officer shall mail to the Clerk of the Superior Court for Geographical Area Number 2 a certified copy of the notice of assessment together with an entry fee of $8. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same defendant may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The Clerk for Superior Court Geographical Area Number 2 shall enter judgment in the amount of such record of assessment, with court costs of $8, against the defendant and in favor of the Town of Stratford, all as per Section 7-152c(f) the Connecticut General Statutes. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Connecticut 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 the defendant. The defendant has the appeal rights stated in Section 1-152c(g) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
[Amended 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. 00-07]
From and after its effective date, this chapter shall be the exclusive remedy for collection of monetary penalties assessed for violation of Stratford Town Ordinances, except parking fines, and those ordinances and/or regulations for which the Connecticut General Statutes provide an alternative remedy.
[Added 3-13-2000 by Ord. No. 00-08; amended 7-14-2008 by Ord. No. 07-20; 4-8-2019 by Ord. No. 19-02]
The following ordinances and sections of the Code of the Town of Stratford are hereby designated as ordinances which may be enforced by citation, pursuant to this article:
Section 25-39; § 25-40; §§ 42-2 through 42-9, inclusive; §§ 44-2 through 44-4, inclusive; §§ 47-1 through 47-4, inclusive; § 48-1; § 48-2; §§ 49-1 through 49-6, inclusive; § 49-10; §§ 49-14 through 49-18, inclusive; §§ 52-1 through 52-6, inclusive; § 52-8; § 52-9; §§ 55-2 through 55-16, inclusive; §§ 58-9 through 58-24, inclusive; §§ 60-1 through 60-7, inclusive; § 83-12; § 83-13; § 83-15; §§ 93-3 through 93-9, inclusive; § 105-9; §§ 110-1 through 110-7, inclusive; § 116-1; §§ 116-4 through 116-8, inclusive; §§ 116-11 through 116-15, inclusive; § 116-17; § 116-19; §§ 118-3 through 118-4; §§ 120-13 through 120-15, inclusive; §§ 120-20 through 120-30, inclusive; § 120-33; § 120-34; §§ 120-40 through 120-44, inclusive; §§ 133-1 through 133-14, inclusive; §§ 135-1 through 135-13, inclusive; §§ 137-4 through 137-7, inclusive; §§ 142-3 through 142-9, inclusive; §§ 144-1 through 144-3, inclusive; §§ 144-4 through 144-7, inclusive; §§ 147-1 through 147-3, inclusive; §§ 152-2 through 152-26, inclusive; §§ 154-1 through 154-3, inclusive; §§ 154-4 through 154-7, inclusive; § 154-8; §§ 154-9 through 154-10, inclusive; §§ 161-3 through 161-5, inclusive; §§ 165-1 through 165-17, inclusive; §§ 172-45 through 172-74, inclusive; §§ 175-1 through 175-10, inclusive; § 178-1; § 178-2; §§ 182-1 through 182-14, inclusive; §§ 186-10 through 186-14, inclusive; §§ 186-16 through 186-31, inclusive; §§ 186-34 through 186-48, inclusive; § 186-52; §§ 198-1 through 198-3, inclusive; § 202-1; §§ 205-1 through 205-5, inclusive; § 212-1; § 212-4; §§ 214-1 through 214-8, inclusive; § 217-5.