Village of Spring Lake, MI
Ottawa County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Spring Lake 5-15-1995 by Ord. No. 232 (Ch. 2, Art. VI, of the 2000 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. I.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning. Any word or term not defined in this section shall be considered to be defined in accordance with its common or standard definitions.
ACT
Public Act No. 236 of 1961 (MCLA § 600.101 et seq., MSA § 27A.101 et seq.).
AUTHORIZED VILLAGE OFFICIAL
A police officer or other personnel of the Village authorized by ordinance to issue municipal civil infraction citations or municipal civil infraction violation notices.
BUREAU
The Spring Lake Village Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau as established by this chapter.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION
An act or omission that is prohibited by ordinance of the Village, but which is not a crime under this chapter or other ordinances of the Village, and for which civil sanctions, including without limitation fines, damages, expenses and costs, may be ordered, as authorized by Chapter 87 of Public Act No. 236 of 1961 (MCLA § 600.8701 et seq., MSA § 27A.8701 et seq.). A municipal civil infraction is not a lesser included offense of a violation of the ordinances of the Village which is a criminal offense.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION ACTION
A civil action in which the defendant is alleged to be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION CITATION
A written complaint or notice prepared by an authorized Village official, directing a person to appear at court of law regarding the occurrence or existence of a municipal civil infraction violation by the person cited.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION DETERMINATION
A determination that a defendant is responsible for a municipal civil infraction by one of the following:
A. 
An admission of responsibility for the municipal civil infraction;
B. 
An admission of responsibility for the municipal civil infraction with explanation;
C. 
A preponderance of the evidence at an informal hearing or formal hearing; or
D. 
A default judgment for failing to appear as directed by citation or other notice.
MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION VIOLATION NOTICE
A written notice prepared by an authorized Village official, directing a person to appear at the Bureau and to pay the fine and costs, if any, prescribed for the violation by the schedule of civil fines adopted by the Village, as authorized under Sections 8396 and 8707(6) of the Act [MCLA §§ 600.8396, 600.8707(6), MSA §§ 27A.8376, 27A.8707(6)].
A municipal civil infraction may be commenced upon the issuance by an authorized Village official of a municipal civil infraction citation directing the alleged violator to appear in court or a municipal civil infraction violation notice directing the alleged violator to appear at the Bureau.
Municipal civil infraction citations shall be issued and served by authorized Village officials as follows:
A. 
The time for appearance specified on a citation shall be within a reasonable time after the citation is issued.
B. 
The place for appearance specified on a citation shall be the County District Court unless the person cited for a municipal civil infraction is under the age of 17 at the time of the occurrence of the violation, at which time the matter shall be referred to the County Probate Court.
C. 
Each citation shall be numbered consecutively, shall be in the form approved by the state court administrator, and shall consist of the following parts:
(1) 
The original, which is a complaint and notice to appear, shall be filed with the County District Court;
(2) 
The first copy shall be retained by the Village and/or the ordinance enforcing agency;
(3) 
The second copy shall be issued to the alleged violator if the violation is a municipal civil infraction; and
(4) 
The third copy shall be issued to the alleged violator if the violation is a misdemeanor.
D. 
A citation for a municipal civil infraction signed by an authorized Village official shall be treated as made under oath if the violation alleged in the citation occurred in the presence of the official signing the complaint and if the citation contains the following statement immediately above the date and signature of the official: "I declare under the penalties of perjury that the statements above are true to the best of my information, knowledge and belief."
E. 
An authorized Village official who witnesses a person commit a municipal civil infraction shall prepare and subscribe, as soon as possible and as completely as possible, an original and required copies of a citation.
F. 
An authorized Village official may issue a citation to a person if:
(1) 
Based upon investigation, the official has reasonable cause to believe that the person is responsible for a municipal civil infraction; or
(2) 
Based upon investigation of a complaint by someone who allegedly witnessed the person violate an ordinance, a violation of which is a municipal civil infraction, the official has reasonable cause to believe that the person is responsible for an infraction and if the prosecuting attorney or Village Attorney approves in writing the issuance of the citation.
G. 
Municipal civil infraction citations shall be served by an authorized Village official as follows:
(1) 
Except as provided in Subsection G(2) of this section, an authorized Village official shall personally serve a copy of the citation upon the alleged violator.
(2) 
If the municipal civil infraction action involves the use or occupancy of land, a building or other structure, a copy of the municipal civil infraction citation does not need to be personally served upon the alleged violator, but may be served upon an owner or occupant of the land, building or structure by posting the copy on the land or attaching the copy to the building or structure. In addition, a copy of the citation shall be sent by first-class mail to the owner of the land, building or structure at the owner's last known address. A citation served in accordance with this subsection for a violation involving the use or occupancy of land or a building or other structure shall be processed in the same manner as a citation served personally upon a defendant.
A. 
A municipal civil infraction citation shall contain the name of the plaintiff and the name and the address of the alleged violator, the municipal civil infraction alleged, the place where the alleged violator shall appear in court, the telephone number of the court, and the time at or by which the appearance shall be made.
B. 
A municipal civil infraction citation shall inform the alleged violator to do one of the following:
(1) 
Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by mail, in person, or by representation, at or by the time specified for appearance.
(2) 
Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction with explanation by mail by the time specified for appearance, in person or by representation.
(3) 
Deny responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by doing either of the following:
(a) 
Appearing in person for an informal hearing before a Judge or District Court Magistrate, without the opportunity of being represented by an attorney, unless a formal hearing before a Judge is requested by the Village.
(b) 
Appearing in court for a formal hearing before a Judge, with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney. A party requesting a formal hearing shall notify the court and the other party of the request at least 10 days before the hearing date, which request may be made in person, by representation, by mail or by telephone.
C. 
The citation shall also inform the alleged violator of all of the following:
(1) 
That if the alleged violator desires to admit responsibility with explanation in person or by representation, the alleged violator must apply to the court in person, by mail, by telephone, or by representation within the time specified for appearance and obtain a scheduled date and time for an appearance.
(2) 
That if the alleged violator desires to deny responsibility, the alleged violator must apply to the court in person, by mail, by telephone, or by representation within the time specified to appear for a hearing unless a hearing date is specified on the citation.
(3) 
That a hearing shall be an informal hearing unless a formal hearing is requested by the alleged violator or the Village.
(4) 
That at an informal hearing the alleged violator must appear in person before a judge or district court magistrate, without the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
(5) 
That at a formal hearing the alleged violator must appear in person before a judge with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
D. 
The citation shall contain a notice in boldface type that the failure of the alleged violator to appear within the time specified in the citation or at the time scheduled for a hearing or appearance is a misdemeanor and will result in entry of a default judgment against the alleged violator on the municipal civil infraction. Return of the citation with an admission of responsibility and with full payment of applicable civil fines and costs, return of citation with an admission of responsibility with explanation, or timely application to the court for a scheduled date and time for an appearance under Subsection C(1) or a hearing under Subsection C(2) of this section constitutes a timely appearance.
E. 
If an authorized Village official issues a citation as set forth in this section, the court may accept an admission with explanation or an admission or denial of responsibility without the necessity of a sworn complaint. If the defendant denies responsibility for the municipal civil infraction, further proceedings shall not be held until a sworn complaint is filed with the court. A warrant for arrest for failure to appear on the municipal civil infraction citation shall not be issued until a sworn complaint relative to the municipal civil infraction is filed with the court.
A. 
The Village establishes a Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau as authorized under Section 8396 of the Act (MCLA § 600.8396, MSA § 27A.8396) to accept admissions of responsibility for municipal civil infractions in response to municipal civil infraction violation notices issued and served by authorized Village officials, and to collect and retain civil fines and costs as prescribed by ordinance. The expenses of operating the Bureau shall be borne by the Village, and the personnel of the Bureau shall be Village employees.
B. 
The Bureau shall be located at the Village Hall, and shall be under the supervision and control of the Clerk/Treasurer. The Clerk/Treasurer, subject to the approval of the Village Council, shall adopt rules and regulations for the operation of the Bureau and appoint any necessary qualified Village employees to administer the Bureau.
C. 
The Bureau may dispose only of municipal civil infraction violations for which a fine has been scheduled and for which a municipal civil infraction violation notice (as compared with a citation) has been issued. The fact that a fine has been scheduled for a particular violation shall not entitle any person to dispose of the violation at the Bureau. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent or restrict the Village from issuing a municipal civil infraction citation for any violation or from prosecuting any violation in a court of competent jurisdiction. No person shall be required to dispose of a municipal civil infraction violation at the Bureau and may have the violation processed before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The unwillingness of any person to dispose of any violation at the Bureau shall not prejudice the person or in any way diminish the person's right, privileges and protection accorded by law.
D. 
The scope of the Bureau's authority shall be limited to accepting admissions of responsibility for municipal civil infractions and collecting and retaining civil fines and costs as a result of those admissions. The Bureau shall not accept payment of a fine from any person who denies having committed the offense or who admits responsibility only with explanation, and in no event shall the Bureau determine or attempt to determine the truth or falsity of any fact or matter relating to an alleged violation.
A. 
An authorized Village official may issue and serve a municipal civil infraction violation notice instead of a citation under the same circumstances and upon the same persons as provided for service of municipal civil infraction citations. In addition to any other information required by this chapter or other ordinance, the violation shall indicate the time by which the alleged violator must appear at the Bureau, the:
(1) 
Methods by which an appearance may be made;
(2) 
Address and telephone number of the Bureau;
(3) 
Hours during which the Bureau is open;
(4) 
Amount of the fine scheduled for the alleged violation; and
(5) 
Consequences for failure to appear and pay the required fine within the required time.
B. 
An alleged violator receiving a municipal civil infraction violation notice shall appear at the Bureau and pay the specified fine and costs at or by the time specified for appearance in the municipal civil infraction violation notice. An appearance may be made by mail, in person, or by representation.
C. 
If an authorized Village official issues and serves a municipal civil infraction violation notice and if an admission of responsibility is not made and the civil fine and costs, if any, prescribed by the schedule of fines for the violation are not paid at the Bureau, a municipal civil infraction citation may be filed with the County District Court and a copy of the citation may be served by first-class mail upon the alleged violator at the alleged violator's last known address. The citation filed with the court does not need to comply in all particulars with the requirements for citations as provided by Sections 8705 and 8709 of the Act (MCLA §§ 600.8705, 600.8709, MSA §§ 27A.8705, 27A.8709) but shall consist of a sworn complaint containing the allegations stated in the municipal ordinance violation notice and shall fairly inform the alleged violator how to respond to the citation.
The sanction for a violation which is a municipal civil infraction shall be a civil fine in the amount as provided by ordinance, plus any costs, damages, expenses and other sanctions, as authorized under Chapter 87 of Public Act No. 236 of 1961 (MCLA § 600.8701 et seq., MSA § 27A.8701 et seq.), and other applicable laws.
The Village Manager or his or her designee, the Chief of Police of the Village of Spring Lake/City of Ferrysburg Police Department and duly appointed officers of the Village of Spring Lake/City of Ferrysburg Police Department are designated as the authorized Village officials to issue municipal civil infraction citations (directing alleged violators to appear in court) or municipal civil infraction violation notices (directing alleged violators to appear at the Bureau) as provided by this chapter.