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A. Referee hearings on Municipal ordinance violations shall be informal with due regard to the rights of the defendant. Prior to proceeding, the Referee shall briefly describe and explain the purposes and procedures of the hearing to the defendant and give the defendant the opportunity to examine any evidence that may be presented at the hearing. Prehearing discovery shall be limited pursuant to Colorado Municipal Court Rule 216. The defendant has the right to appear with counsel.
B. The Referee is empowered to administer oaths and take testimony. Upon application of the defendant or any other party, the Referee may exercise discretion to issue subpoenas compelling the attendance of any person. The defendant shall also by application have the right to the issuance of a subpoena by the Office of the Court Administrator. Compliance with any subpoena issued may be enforced by application of the Municipal Court Referee to the Municipal Court of the City, where enforcement may be in the same manner as a contempt of court is enforced pursuant to this chapter.
C. The order of procedure for Municipal ordinance violations shall be generally as follows: The witnesses for the City shall be sworn and shall present testimony and evidence and shall answer questions of the defendant and Referee as deemed appropriate by the Referee. The defendant shall then be given the opportunity to call witnesses. The defendant's witnesses shall be sworn and shall present testimony and evidence and shall answer questions of the defendant and Referee as deemed appropriate by the Referee. The defendant will be advised of the right to testify or remain silent and given the opportunity to testify under oath. At the conclusion of the defendant's evidence, the City's witnesses shall have the opportunity to rebut testimony or evidence presented by the defendant, if any, and the Referee may call additional witnesses as the Referee, in the Referee's sole discretion, so decides.
D. Referees may maintain a written record of the proceedings and may maintain notes or tape record the proceedings. The written record containing the name of the defendant, the date of the appearance before the Referee, the date, place and type of violation alleged and the finding of the Referee is open to inspection. The Referee's notes or tape recording shall not be subject to inspection, discovery or use in any trial de novo.
E. At the completion of any Municipal ordinance violation hearing held under the provisions of this article, the Referee shall make the following findings:
1. Findings of guilt based on either a plea of guilty or the evidence presented at hearing. The standard of guilt at the hearing is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Upon a finding of guilt, the Referee may assess fines and costs in an amount not to exceed the payable fines and maximum costs including court and warrant costs, approved by the Presiding Judge, subject to the limitation in subsection 11.3.103A of this chapter. All or a portion of the fines and costs may be suspended should the Referee deem suspension appropriate, pursuant to section 11.3.105 of this chapter. Except as provided in subsection 10.1.101B of this Code relating to certain parking offenses, this restriction shall not apply to offenses which are not resolved at a hearing before a Referee but which, at the motion of either the alleged violator or the Referee, are removed to the Municipal Court for trial before a Municipal Court Judge. As to those offenses, the maximum punishment allowable shall be as provided in section 1.1.201 of this Code.
2. Referring the Municipal ordinance violation case to the Municipal Court for hearing before a Municipal Judge, where the Referee determines, in the exercise of the Referee's discretion, that the facts of the particular case or the issues raised require that hearing. Statements made by the defendant during the course of the hearing before the Referee shall not be introduced against the defendant at any subsequent proceeding before the Municipal Court, nor may the Referee hearing the case be called as a witness against the defendant.
3. Dismissal of Municipal ordinance violations if:
a. The charge has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, or the defendant has established a defense to the charge.
b. Dismissal is requested by the person who issued, or caused to be issued the summons and complaint against the defendant, and dismissal appears to the Referee to be in the best interests of justice.
c. Witnesses scheduled to appear at hearing for the purpose of testifying against the defendant fail to appear without good cause and without proper notice to the Referee. In the event of a failure to appear by the City's witnesses after adequate notice, the Referee may assess court costs against the witness(es).
d. Defendant provides a bona fide complying policy, certificate of self-insurance or signed affirmation of insurance on the vehicle registration card as required by section 10.28.101 of this Code. The complying policy or certificate of self-insurance must have been in force and effect on the date of the alleged violation for failure to have the policy or certificate of self- insurance.
4. The Referee's findings in a post-tow matter shall be limited to whether or not there existed probable cause to tow or impound the vehicle pursuant to section 10.25.105 of this Code. The Referee shall have no authority to alter or change the charges.
5. With the exception of parking tickets, Referees may grant stays of execution of time under the same procedures and conditions as Municipal Court Judges. (Ord. 95-180; Ord. 01-42; Ord. 04-70; Ord. 04-178)