Township of Washington, PA
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Washington 9-15-1997 by Ord. No. 141. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Ordinance Enforcement Proceedings Ordinance of Washington Township" and shall govern the imposition of civil penalties not to exceed $600 per violation for certain Township ordinances and criminal fines not to exceed $1,000 per violation and/or imprisonment for the criminal violation of certain other ordinances.
Portions of the following ordinances are repealed as set forth and the civil penalties and criminal fines for violation of each ordinance are hereby established as follows.[1]
Editor's Note: The specific amendments have been incorporated in their respective chapters.
The Washington Township Code Enforcement Officer or, in his absence, his designee, any officer of the Washington Township Police Department and the Township Manager are hereby nominated and appointed enforcement officers for each of the ordinances referred to above; and every enforcement officer is authorized and directed to provide notices as required, issue civil citations as required, institute civil enforcement proceedings or summary offense proceedings as required to achieve compliance with each ordinance above referred to consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
An enforcement officer shall determine, in each instance, whether a violation has occurred under this chapter or under any ordinance amended by this chapter. Upon determining that a violation has occurred, the enforcement officer shall issue the required notice or, if indicated, may impose a civil penalty upon each violator in the amount set forth in § 224-2 above. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any enforcement officer from issuing a warning.
Upon determination that a violation has occurred, and where a violator has not complied with conditions set forth in any notice which may have been given, an enforcement officer shall issue a civil citation on a form to be provided by the Township. Each civil citation shall notify the violator of the ordinance under which the citation is being issued, the specific violation for which the citation is being issued, the amount of the civil penalty, the fact that any proceeding necessitated by failure to pay the civil penalty will be a civil proceeding; the time within which the civil penalty must be paid; and the consequences of failure to pay the civil penalty by the date indicated on the civil citation.
Upon determination in each instance that a civil violation has occurred under this chapter or under any ordinance amended by this chapter, for any person not in compliance, each continuing day of violation or noncompliance after the first day of violation shall be a separate offense for which an enforcement officer may seek separate civil penalties in the same or separate proceedings.
In any case where a civil penalty has not been paid by its due date, the enforcement officer shall commence a civil enforcement proceeding before the Magisterial District Judge. In any such proceeding, the enforcement officer shall include a request for attorneys fees and costs and the court shall enter the Township's legal fees and court costs in any judgment entered in favor of the Township pursuant to the authority of this chapter and the authority of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66601(c.1)(1). The amounts of any civil penalties set forth in this chapter shall conclusively be presumed to be reasonable and shall be binding upon the District Justice Court and the Court of Common Pleas.
In any case where an ordinance is enforceable as a summary offense, enforcement shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Pursuant to 53 P.S. § 66601(c.1)(2), the Municipal Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney as required under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 83(c) (relating to trial in summary cases).
Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit a Township from enforcing any ordinance through an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the finding of a separate offense for each day or portion thereof in which a civil violation is found to exist or for each section of the ordinance which is found to have been violated.
If the defendant in any civil enforcement proceeding fails to pay a final judgment or fails to timely appeal the civil penalty imposed, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to applicable Rules of Civil Procedure.
An enforcement officer may seek the assistance of the Township Solicitor in connection with the imposition of any civil penalty or the commencement of any civil enforcement proceeding. In addition, the Township Solicitor is hereby directed and authorized to establish a civil citation form or notice for use by the Township and its enforcement officers. Notices and/or civil citations, as the case may be, shall be served upon violators by an enforcement officer upon determination in each instance that violation has occurred.
Civil citations and notices may be served upon violators by any form of United States mail requiring a return receipt; or, if returned marked "refused" or "unclaimed", by regular first-class mail; or by personal delivery upon the violator, or if service cannot be made by mail or by personal service, by advertisement one time in the Waynesboro Record Herald.
Any enforcement officer identified in this chapter or named by resolution of the Board of Supervisors shall be authorized to investigate and gather evidence to assist in connection with civil and criminal enforcement procedures described herein.
The Washington Township Police Department, municipal volunteer fire departments, the Zoning Officer, the Township Secretary, and any other municipal officials are hereby authorized to cooperate with any enforcement officer in connection with an investigation of a violation or series of violations of this chapter or of any ordinance referred to in § 224-2 above.
Civil penalties may be paid by personal check or money order made payable to the Washington Township Treasurer or by cash and delivered to the Washington Township Treasurer or his designee. Civil penalties may be paid by mail. Civil penalties paid by mail will be considered to have been paid on time if the envelope is postmarked not later than the due date shown on the citation. Criminal fines may be paid by personal check or money order made payable to the Washington Township Treasurer or by cash. All criminal fines must be personally delivered to the Washington Township Treasurer or his designee.
If, in the construction and interpretation of this chapter, or of any ordinance referred to in § 224-2 above, there appears to be a conflict or an ambiguity, every effort shall be made to read and interpret the conflicting or ambiguous provisions in a manner which permits the fair application of the ordinances of Washington Township. It is the intention of the Board of Supervisors that any court construing or interpreting this and other Washington Township ordinances will make every reasonable attempt to allow their enforcement.