CHAPTER 34:  MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION BUREAU
Section
   34.01   Purpose
   34.02   Definitions
   34.03   Bureau established
   34.04   Disposition of violations; limitation of Bureau’s authority
   34.05   Violation notice; appearance and payment
   34.06   Procedure where admission of responsibility not made or fine not paid
   34.07   Ordinance violations designated civil infraction
   34.08   Commencement of action
   34.09   Issuance and service of municipal civil infraction citations
   34.10   Contents of citations
§ 34.01  PURPOSE.
   The purpose of this chapter is to establish a Municipal Civil Infraction Bureau.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.02  DEFINITIONS.
   For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
   ACT.  The Revised Judicature Act, Public Act 236 of 1961, being M.C.L.A. §§ 600.101 et seq., as amended.
   AUTHORIZED CITY OFFICIAL.  A police officer or other personnel of the city authorized by this code or any ordinance to issue municipal civil infraction citations or municipal civil infraction violation notices.
   BUREAU.  The City of Cheboygan Municipal Civil Infraction Bureau as established by this chapter.
   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 city official, directing a person to appear in court regarding the occurrence or existence of a municipal civil infraction violation by the person cited.
   MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION NOTICE.  A written notice prepared by an authorized city official, directing a person to appear at the City Municipal Civil Infraction Bureau and to pay the fines and costs, if any, prescribed for the violation by the schedule of civil fines adopted by the city, as authorized under Public Act 236 of 1961, § 8396, being M.C.L.A. § 600.8396, as amended.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.03  BUREAU ESTABLISHED.
   (A)   The city hereby establishes a Municipal Civil Infraction Bureau (“Bureau”) as authorized under Public Act 236 of 1961, § 8396, being M.C.L.A. § 600.8396, as amended, to accept admissions of responsibility for municipal civil infractions in response to municipal ordinance violation notices issued and served by authorized city officials, and to collect and retain civil fines and costs as prescribed by this code or any ordinance.
   (B)   The Bureau shall be located at City Hall, and shall be under the supervision and control of the City Manager. The City Manager, subject to the approval of the City Council, shall adopt rules and regulations for the operation of the Bureau and appoint any necessary qualified city employees to administer the Bureau.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.04  DISPOSITION OF VIOLATIONS; LIMITATION OF BUREAU’S AUTHORITY.
   (A)   The Bureau may dispose only of municipal ordinance violations designated as a civil infraction for which a fine has been scheduled and for which a municipal ordinance violation notice has been issued. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent or restrict the city 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 citation 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 rights, privileges and protection accorded by law.
   (B)   The scope of the Bureau's authority shall be limited to accepting admissions of responsibility for municipal ordinance violations 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.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.05  VIOLATION NOTICE; APPEARANCE AND PAYMENT.
   (A)   Municipal ordinance violation notices shall be issued and served by authorized city officials under the same circumstances and upon the same persons as provided for in § 34.06 of this Chapter. In addition to any other information required by this code or other ordinance, the notice of violation shall indicate the time by which the alleged violator must appear at the Bureau, the methods by which an appearance may be made, the address and telephone number of the Bureau, the hours during which the Bureau is open, the amount of the fine scheduled for the alleged violation, and the consequences for failure to appear and pay the required fine within the required time.
   (B)   An alleged violator receiving a municipal ordinance 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 ordinance violation notice. An appearance may be made by mail, in person, or by representation.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.06  PROCEDURE WHERE ADMISSION OF RESPONSIBILITY NOT MADE OR FINE NOT PAID.
   If an authorized city official issues and serves a municipal ordinance 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 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 Public Act 236 of 1961, §§ 8705 and 8709, being M.C.L.A. §§ 600.8705 and 600.8709, 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.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.07  ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS DESIGNATED CIVIL INFRACTION.
   (A) A person who violates any provision of this Code of Ordinances which is punishable as a civil infraction is subject to payment of a civil fine plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction.
   (B)   As used in this section, REPEAT OFFENSE means a second (or any subsequent) municipal ordinance violation designated as a civil infraction of the same requirement or provision:
      (1)    committed by a person within any six-month period and
      (2)    for which the person admits responsibility or is determined to be responsible.
   (C)   The increased fine for a repeat offense under this chapter shall be as follows: The fine for any offense which is a second repeat offense or any subsequent repeat offense shall be doubled plus costs.
   (D)   The Department of Public Safety is hereby designated as the authorized city official(s) to issue municipal ordinance violation notices (directing alleged violators to appear at the City of Cheboygan Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau) for violations under this chapter as provided by this Code.
   (E)   A schedule of civil fines payable to the Bureau for admissions of responsibility by persons served with municipal ordinance violation notices shall be established from time to time by the Cheboygan City Council upon recommendation of the City Manager.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.08  COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION.
   A municipal civil infraction action may be commenced upon the issuance by an authorized city official of a municipal civil infraction citation directing the alleged violator to appear in court, or a municipal ordinance violation notice directing the alleged violator to appear at the City of Cheboygan Municipal Ordinance Violations Bureau.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.09  ISSUANCE AND SERVICE OF MUNICIPAL CIVIL INFRACTION CITATIONS.
   Municipal civil infraction citations shall be issued and served by authorized city officials as follows:
   (A)   The time for appearance specified in a citation shall be within a reasonable time after the citation is issued.
   (B)   The place for appearance specified in a citation shall be the district court.
   (C)   Each citation shall be numbered consecutively and shall be in a form approved by the state court administrator. The original citation shall be filed with the district court. Copies of the citation shall be retained by the city and issued to the alleged violator as provided by Public Act 236 of 1961, § 8705, being M.C.L.A. § 600.8705.
   (D)   A citation for a municipal civil infraction signed by an authorized city 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 city 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 city 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 commit 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 city attorney approves in writing the issuance of the citation.
   (G)   Municipal civil infraction citations shall be served by an authorized official as follows:
      (1)   Except as provided by division (2) below, an authorized city official shall personally serve a copy of the citation upon the alleged violator;
      (2)   If the municipal civil infraction action involved the use or occupancy of land, a building or other structure, a copy of the 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 a 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.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)
§ 34.10  CONTENTS OF CITATION.
   (A)   A municipal civil infraction citation shall contain the name and 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)    Further, the citation shall inform the alleged violator that he or she may 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 infraction “with explanation” by mail by the time specified for appearance, or 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 city; or
         (b)   Appearing in court for a formal hearing before a judge, with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
   (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 for appearance and obtain a scheduled date and time 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 city;
      (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 boldfaced type that a 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.
(Ord. passed 4-27-99)