[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Hampton 12-10-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to the power granted by § 7-152c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the following chapter shall be adopted in order to implement a citation hearing procedure following the issuance of a citation or notice of violation for violation of any Town ordinance and/or regulation.
Immediately upon adoption of this chapter, the Town Manager shall appoint a Hearing Officer to conduct hearings authorized by this chapter. Said Hearing Officer shall serve without pay or compensation and shall not be a police officer, enforcement official as hereafter defined, or employee of the Town of East Hampton. Said Hearing Officer shall serve until such time as a new Hearing Officer is designated by the Town Manager.
Within the period set forth below, the official who issued the citation or notice of violation for violation of any Town ordinance and/or regulation (hereafter referred to as the "enforcement official") may send an advisory notice to the cited individual. Such advisory notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class mail, postage prepaid. The period within which said advisory notice may be provided is the twelve-month period following expiration of the final period for the payment of all fines, penalties, fees and/or costs imposed by the citation or notice of violation. Said advisory notice shall be directed to the last known address of the cited individual.
Such advisory notice shall contain the following information:
A list of the allegations against the cited individual and the amount of fines, penalties, fees and/or costs due;
A statement that the cited individual may contest his liability before a Citation Hearing Officer by delivering in person or by mail written notice to the enforcement official within 10 days of the date of the notice;
A statement that if the cited individual does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him; and
If the cited individual who has been sent an advisory notice wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, fees and/or costs to the Director of Finance of the Town of East Hampton. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any civil or criminal proceeding to establish the conduct of such person making payment.
Any cited individual who fails to request a hearing within 10 days of the date of the advisory notice shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the enforcement official shall so certify to the Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer shall immediately thereafter enter and assess the fines, penalties, fees and/or costs provided for by the applicable ordinances and/or regulations and shall follow the procedure set forth in § 16-6 below.
Any cited individual who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for such hearing. Said hearing notice shall be provided by the Hearing Officer, who shall provide a copy of same to the enforcement official. The hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of mailing of the hearing 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 original citation or notice of violation shall be retained by the enforcement official and shall be deemed to be a business record as provided by Connecticut General Statutes and shall be evidence of the facts contained therein. The enforcement official must attend the hearing if the cited individual so requests. The enforcement official or other Town official may present evidence on behalf of the Town.
Unless excused by the Hearing Officer, the cited individual must attend the hearing and may present evidence in his behalf. The Hearing Officer may excuse the cited individual from attending the hearing only where he has previously received from the cited individual, by mail, copies of police reports or other investigatory reports which he believes renders unnecessary the appearance of the cited individual.
If the cited individual fails to appear, the Hearing Officer may enter an assessment by default against him upon a finding of proper hearing notice and liability.
The Hearing Officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he deems fair and appropriate. All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation, but the rules of evidence shall not be strictly applied.
The Hearing Officer shall announce his decision at the end of the hearing. If he determines that the cited individual is not liable, he shall dismiss the matter and enter his determination in writing accordingly. If he determines that the cited individual is liable for the violation, he shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, fees and/or costs against the cited individual as provided by the applicable Town ordinances and/or regulations.
If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the Hearing Officer shall send by first class mail an assessment notice to the cited individual who has been found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the assessment notice with the Clerk of Superior Court for Middlesex County, together with an entry fee of $8. The certified copy of said assessment notice shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same individual 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 of $8 against the cited individual in favor of the Town of East Hampton. 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 such individual.
Pursuant to § 7-152c(g) of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, the individual against whom an assessment is entered is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. The appeal must be instituted with the Superior Court for Middlesex County within 30 days of the mailing of the assessment notice, as provided by the Connecticut General Statutes. The rules of the judges of the Superior Court shall thereafter apply.