Sec. 1-13. Municipal civil infractions.
(a)   Officials authorized to issue citations and violation notices. The following personnel of the city shall  have the authority to issue municipal civil infraction citations and municipal civil infraction violation notices and shall be deemed an authorized city official pursuant to this article:
   (1)   Sworn police officers.
   (2)   Building official.
   (3)   City manager or his or her designee.
   (4)   Zoning and development director.
   (5)   Fire chief.
   (6)   Any person specifically designated as authorized to issue a municipal civil infraction citation or notice by any provision of this code.
(b)   Municipal civil infraction action; commencement. 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 civil infraction violation notice directing the alleged violator to appear at the city municipal ordinance violations bureau.
(c)   Issuance, service of citation.  Municipal civil infraction citations shall be issued and served by authorized city officials as follows:
   (1)   The time for appearance specified in a citation shall be within a reasonable time after the citation is issued.
   (2)   The place for appearance specified in a citation shall be the 55th District Court.
   (3)   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 section 8705 of 1961 PA 236 (MCL 600.8705).
   (4)   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."
   (5)   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.
   (6)   An authorized city official may issue a citation to a person if:
      a.   Based upon investigation, the official has reasonable cause to believe that the person is responsible for a municipal civil infraction; or
      b.   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 city attorney approves in writing the issuance of the citation.
   (7)   Municipal civil infraction citations shall be served by an authorized city official as follows:
      a.   Except as provided by subsection (7)b of this section, an authorized city official shall personally serve a copy of the citation upon the alleged violator.
      b.   If the municipal civil infraction action involves 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 of the citation on the land or attaching the 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.
(d)   Contents of citation.
   (1)   A municipal civil infraction citation shall contain the name and address of the alleged violator, the municipal civil infraction alleged to have been violated, 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.
   (2)   Further, the citation shall inform the alleged violator that he or she may do one of the following:
      a.   Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by mail, in person or by representation, at or by the time specified for appearance.
      b.   Admit responsibility for the municipal civil infraction, with explanation, by mail by the time specified for appearance or in person or by representation.
      c.   Deny responsibility for the municipal civil infraction by doing either of the following:
         1.   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.
         2.   Appearing in court for a formal hearing before a judge, with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
   (3)   The citation shall also inform the alleged violator of all of the following:
      a.   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.
      b.   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.
      c.   That a hearing shall be an informal hearing unless a formal hearing is requested by the alleged violator or the city.
      d.   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.
      e.   That at a formal hearing the alleged violator must appear in person before a judge with the opportunity of being represented by an attorney.
   (4)   The citation shall contain a notice in boldfaced type that the 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.
(e)   Failure to appear; penalty. Failure to appear as directed by the citation or other notice at a scheduled hearing shall result in the entry of a default judgment on the municipal civil infraction.
(Ord. No. 154, 5-7-2007; Ord. 222, § 2, 12-3-2018)