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The following shall apply to municipal court proceedings related to both traffic and code infractions as defined in section 1-3-2 of this title:
A. Jurisdiction: The municipal court shall have jurisdiction over all traffic and code infractions arising under this code, or any code adopted by reference herein, with the power to assess and collect civil penalties, costs, and judgments for violations thereof.
B. Rules Of Procedure: Traffic and code infractions shall be tried in conformance with the Colorado municipal court rules of procedure in all cases, unless any of the rules is clearly inapplicable. Whenever a conflict exists between any provision of this code and the Colorado municipal court rules of procedure, then the provision of this code shall apply.
C. Rules Of Evidence: Infractions shall be tried in accordance with the Colorado rules of evidence. However, in the discretion of the court, strict adherence to said rules shall not be required when a defendant appears without benefit of counsel.
D. Negative Inferences: Notwithstanding the noncriminal nature of infractions, no negative inferences may be drawn by the court if a defendant at trial fails to testify.
E. Burden Of Proof: The burden of proof for infractions shall be upon the town, and the court shall enter judgment in favor of the defendant unless the town proves the liability of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the court may find the defendant guilty or liable for a less infraction based on the evidence offered at trial, and may enter an appropriate judgment.
F. Appeal: An appeal from any final judgment from an infraction shall be taken to the district court in accordance with rule 237(b) of the Colorado municipal court rules of procedure.
G. Collateral Attacks:
1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection G, no person against whom a judgment has been entered for an infraction shall collaterally attack the validity of that judgment unless such attack is commenced within six (6) months after the date of the entry of judgment.
2. In recognition of the difficulties arising from stale claims and the potential for frustrating various ordained provisions and statutes directed at repeat offenders, former offenders and habitual offenders, the only exceptions to the time limitations specified in subsection G1 of this section shall be:
a. A case in which the municipal court did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the alleged infraction;
b. A case in which the municipal court did not have jurisdiction over the person of the alleged violator;
c. Where the municipal court, after hearing the collateral attack, finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure to seek relief within the applicable period was caused by an adjudication of incompetence or by commitment of the violator to an institution for treatment as a mentally ill person; or
d. Where the municipal court, after hearing the collateral attack, finds that the failure to seek relief within the applicable time period was a result of circumstances amounting to justifiable excuse or excusable neglect.
H. Town Attorney: The town attorney or designee may appear in any infraction proceeding for the purpose of attempting a negotiated plea or prosecuting the infraction before the municipal court.
I. Arrest Or Imprisonment: No warrant for arrest shall be issued, nor shall an arrest be made, when the only violation alleged would constitute an "infraction" as defined in this code. Instead, the court may enter a judgment of liability by default against the defendant; assess any penalty and costs established by law; and report the judgment to the state motor vehicle division which may assess points against the defendant's driving privileges and may deny an application or renewal of a defendant's driver's license until the judgment and all other lawful costs are satisfied. Further, no writ of mittimus shall issue where the only basis for the fine and costs imposed was the finding of guilt or liability of an infraction.
J. Police Department: Members of the town's police department shall have the power to stop all persons believed to be committing an act declared to be an infraction by this code; to detain such persons as reasonably necessary to obtain proper identification, vehicle registration or proof of insurance, and to determine whether an infraction or other violation has occurred; and to issue and serve or tender service of a summons and complaint or a penalty assessment notice to such persons. (Ord. 16, Series 2000)
J.5. Parking Enforcement Operator: The Town's parking enforcement operator as defined in the Town's Model Traffic Code shall have the power to enforce all of the restrictions imposed by part 12 of the Town's Model Traffic Code (concerning the parking of motor vehicles) adopted by reference and amended in title 7, chapter 1 of this Code, except for section 1208 of the Town's Model Traffic Code concerning parking privileges for persons with disabilities, which the Town's parking enforcement operator is not authorized to enforce. As to any section of the Town's Model Traffic Code that the parking enforcement operator is authorized to enforce, the parking enforcement operator is authorized to issue penalty assessment notices to violators of such laws. Such powers include, but are not limited to, the power to affix a penalty assessment notice as described in section 1718B of the Town's Model Traffic Code. (Ord. 25, Series 2017)
K. Penalty Assessment And Municipal Court Procedure:
1. Except as provided in subsection K2 of this section, any offense described in this Code as an infraction may be written using a penalty assessment procedure if the offense is listed on the Municipal Judge's list of designated violations the penalties for which may be paid at the Office of the Municipal Court Clerk as described in rule 210(b)(5) of the Colorado Rules of Municipal Court Procedure.
2. The penalty assessment procedure may not be used for:
a. Any violation of this Code that is not listed on the Municipal Judge's list of designated violations the penalties for which may be paid at the Office of the Municipal Court Clerk;
b. Offenses resulting in an accident causing personal injury, death, or appreciable damage to the property of another;
c. Reckless driving;
d. Exceeding the speed limit by more than twenty four (24) miles per hour; or
e. Exhibition of speed or speed contest.
3. Penalty assessment procedures shall not apply where the defendant is charged with two (2) or more violations, any one (1) of which is a criminal violation requiring a court appearance.
4. The Municipal Judge shall establish appropriate practices and procedures for infraction cases involving minor defendants under the age of eighteen (18) years.
5. At the time a person is charged with an infraction for which a penalty assessment notice may be issued as provided in this subsection K the defendant may be issued or tendered a penalty assessment notice in accordance with the following procedures:
a. A penalty assessment notice shall be signed and served on or tendered to the defendant and shall contain the information required to be contained in a Municipal summons and complaint by rule 204 of the Colorado Municipal Court Rules of Procedure; the fine or penalty specified by the Municipal Judge in the schedules adopted pursuant to rule 210(b)(5) of the Colorado Municipal Court Rules of Procedure for the violation charged, and the surcharge, costs, and other applicable fees; and the date the penalty assessment notice is served on the defendant. The notice shall direct the defendant to appear in the Municipal Court on a specified date, time, and place in the event the prescribed fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees are not paid. The notice shall also contain any additional information that is required to convert the penalty assessment notice into a summons and complaint should the fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees not be paid within the time allowed.
b. The date and time specified in the penalty assessment notice for an appearance if the defendant fails to pay the penalty shall be at least thirty (30) days and not more than ninety (90) days after the date the penalty assessment notice is issued.
c. One (1) copy of the penalty assessment notice shall be served upon the defendant, and the remaining copy shall be filed with the Clerk of the Municipal Court.
d. If the defendant refuses to accept service of the penalty assessment notice when such notice is tendered, the officer shall issue a summons and complaint in accordance with the Colorado Municipal Court Rules of Procedure.
e. The fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees may be paid by the defendant at the Office of the Clerk of the Municipal Court, either in person or by postmarking such payment within twenty (20) days from the date the penalty assessment notice is served upon the defendant.
f. A defendant who does not furnish satisfactory evidence of identity or who the officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe will disregard the summons portion of such notice may be issued a penalty assessment notice only if the defendant consents to be taken by the officer to the nearest mailbox and to mail the amount of the fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees to the Clerk of the Municipal Court.
g. Acceptance of a penalty assessment notice and payment of the prescribed fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees to the Clerk of the Municipal Court shall be deemed a complete satisfaction for the violation, and the defendant shall be given a receipt which so states when such fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees are paid in currency or other form of legal tender.
h. Should the defendant accept service of the penalty assessment notice but fail to pay the prescribed fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees within twenty (20) days after service of the notice, the penalty assessment notice shall be converted into and construed to be a summons and complaint, and the defendant shall appear at the Municipal Court on the date and time specified in the notice and answer the complaint against him or her. The case shall thereafter be heard in the Municipal Court.
i. If the defendant fails to appear on the date and time specified in the penalty assessment notice and answer the complaint, or if the defendant appears and answers that he or she is liable for the alleged violation, judgment shall be entered against the defendant in accordance with such procedures as may be established by the Municipal Judge.
j. If the defendant denies the allegations in the penalty assessment notice or complaint, a final hearing shall be held before the Municipal Court.
k. If judgment is entered against a defendant, he or she shall be assessed the fine or other penalty specified in the penalty assessment notice, plus any applicable surcharge, costs, and fees.
l. In no event shall a bench warrant be issued for the arrest of any person who fails to appear for a final hearing on an infraction charged under this Code. The entry of judgment and assessment of the fine or penalty, surcharge, costs, and applicable fees as provided herein shall constitute the sole penalties for failure to appear for the final hearing, or for being found liable for the violation.
m. In the event of a conflict between the penalty assessment requirements and procedure described in this subsection K and the penalty assessment procedure set forth in title 7, chapter 1 of this Code concerning the Town's Traffic Code, the provisions of title 7, chapter 1 of this Code shall control. (Ord. 32, Series 2014)
L. Enforcement Of Default Judgment: If the defendant fails to satisfy the judgment in the time allowed, such failure shall be treated as a default. In addition to notifying the State Motor Vehicle Division of such default pursuant to subsection I of this section, the Town Attorney is hereby authorized to file a civil action in any State court having appropriate jurisdiction, which filing shall include the record of the case certified by the Clerk of the Municipal Court, praying for judgment based thereon. Upon the entry of such judgment the Town Attorney shall be authorized to proceed with all judgment execution and collection procedures authorized by law for the amount of the judgment, costs, legal interest and attorney fees incurred in the proceedings. (Ord. 16, Series 2000)