[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Northampton 8-17-1989 (Ch. 25 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
A violation of any ordinance of the City of Northampton, including zoning ordinances, may be enforced by a criminal complaint brought in the District Court. The penalty shall be that fixed by the specific ordinance violated, provided that, if no penalty is attached to a particular ordinance, the penalty shall be as set out in § 1-17 of the Code of Ordinances. Each day a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
A violation of any ordinance of the City of Northampton, including zoning ordinances, may be enforced by a civil action filed in such court as is appropriate for the relief sought or as designated by statute.
Anyone who violates any ordinance of the City of Northampton, including zoning ordinances, which is subject to a specific penalty, or violates any rule or regulation of any municipal officer, board, or department which is subject to a specific penalty, may be penalized through a noncriminal disposition as authorized by Chapter 40, § 21D, of the Massachusetts General Laws. Each day a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
The enforcing officer may give to a violator a written notice to appear before the Clerk/Magistrate of the Northampton District Court at any time during office hours, not later than 21 days after the date of said notice. Any person so notified may confess the offense charged by either: (1) appearing personally or through a duly authorized agent before the City Clerk and paying the fine penalty specified for the City ordinance violation, or (2) mailing to the City Clerk the notice of violation together with payment of the fine. In either case, the City Clerk must receive payment within 21 days of the date of the notice. Such payment shall, if mailed, be made only by postal note, money order or check. Upon payment of the fine penalty, the City Clerk shall forthwith notify the District Court Clerk/Magistrate of such payment, and the receipt by the District Court Clerk/Magistrate of such notification shall operate as a final disposition of the case.
The notice of violation shall be in triplicate and shall contain the name and address, if known, of the violator, the specific offense charged, and the time and place for the required appearance.
The enforcing officer shall, if possible, deliver a copy of the notice to the violator at the time and place of the violation. If it is not possible to so deliver, said copy shall be mailed or delivered by an authorized agent of the City to the violator's last known address within 15 days after said violation.
At or before the completion of each tour of duty or at the beginning of the first subsequent tour of duty, the enforcing officer shall give to his commanding officer or department head those copies of each notice of violation issued which have not already been delivered or mailed. Said commanding officer or department head shall retain one copy and shall, at a time not later than the next court day after such delivery or mailing, deliver the other copy to the Clerk/Magistrate of the Northampton District Court.
[Last amended 12-4-2014]
Every ordinance of the City of Northampton may be enforced through the noncriminal disposition procedure set out in this chapter. Any police officer of the City of Northampton shall be considered the enforcing officer for any noncriminal disposition of any ordinance violations, whether or not "police officer" is listed below in this section as the enforcing officer for any particular ordinance. The term "police officer" shall include all ranks of the Northampton Police Department. In addition to any police officer, the municipal personnel listed below shall be the enforcing officer for the specific ordinances, rules or regulations as indicated.
The penalty for violation of specific City ordinances, rules or regulations shall be as listed below. The penalty for all other ordinances not specifically mentioned in this section shall be $20 for the first offense, $50 for the second and subsequent offenses.