[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Mansfield 3-10-2003, effective 4-8-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning violations — See Ch. 189.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Hearing Procedure for Citations Ordinance."
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Sections 7-148(c)(10)(A) and 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as such sections may be amended from time to time.
This chapter is designed to set a hearing procedure for the enforcement of fines, penalties, costs and fees for citations issued for violations of Town ordinances.
The Town Manager shall appoint one or more persons who are electors of the Town to serve as citation hearing officers to conduct hearings concerning the violation of Town ordinances. No police officer or any Town employee or person authorized to issue citations for the violation of any Town ordinance shall be permitted to serve as a citation hearing officer.
Within 12 months from the expiration of the final period for the uncontested payment of fines, penalties, costs or fees for any citation issued under any Town ordinance for a violation thereof; the Town shall send notice to the cited person. Such notice shall inform the cited person:
Of the allegations against the cited person and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees due;
That the cited person may contest liability before a citation hearing officer by delivering in person or by mail written notice within 10 days of this date thereof;
That if a hearing is not demanded, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against the cited person; and
That such judgment may issue without further notice.
If a cited person who is sent notice pursuant to § 129-5, above wishes to admit liability for an alleged violation, the cited person may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees in person or by mail to the Collector of Revenue at the address specified in the notice. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of the cited person or other person making the payment. Any cited person who does not deliver or mail written demand for a hearing with 10 days of the date of the notice provided for in § 129-5 above shall be deemed to have admitted liability and the Town Manager shall certify the cited 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 procedures set forth in § 129-7 below.
Any cited person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. The hearing shall be held not less than 15 days, nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice, provided 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 the issuing municipal officer or employee shall be filed and retained by the Town and shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of Section 52-180 of the Connecticut General Statutes and evidence of the facts contained therein. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as the hearing 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 a decision at the end of the hearing. If the hearing officer determines that the cited person is not liable, then the matter shall be dismissed. and the hearing officer's determination shall be entered in writing accordingly. If the cited person is found liable for the violation, the hearing officer shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against the cited person as provided by the applicable ordinance.
At the request of the cited person, the presence of the issuing municipal officer or employee shall be required at the hearing. A designated Town official, other than the hearing officer, may present evidence on behalf of the town. The cited person wishing to contest liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his or her behalf. The hearing officer may, however, accept by mail from the cited person copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports and other official documents, and may determine thereby that the appearance of the cited person at the hearing is unnecessary. If the cited person fails to appear and such appearance has not been determined by the hearing officer to be unnecessary, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against the cited person upon a finding of proper notice; and liability under the applicable ordinance.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice of the assessment to the cited person 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 Tolland County, 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. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same cited person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The clerk shall enter judgment, in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs, against the cited person in favor of the Town. 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 of such judgment may issue without further notice to the cited person.
A cited person against whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to this chapter 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 an entry fee in an amount equal to the entry fee for a small claims case pursuant to Section 52-259 of the Connecticut General Statutes, in the Superior Court at Tolland County, which shall entitle the cited person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the judges of the Superior Court.