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A. Purpose: The city council finds there is a need for alternative methods of enforcing parking violations. For other city code violations, the city council has found its practice of utilizing administrative citations and procedures effectively serves the needs of both the city and the accused. It results in a more prompt resolution and eliminates the stigma of being labeled as a criminal. Accordingly, the city council finds that the use of administrative citations is a legitimate and alternative method of enforcement of parking violations. This method of enforcement is in addition to any other legal remedy that may be pursued under this code.
B. General Provisions:
1. A violation of the provisions of title 5, chapter 2 of this code, in addition to being a possible criminal offense, is an administrative offense that may be subject to an administrative citation. Each day a violation exists constitutes a separate offense. The city may elect to pursue either the administrative offense or the applicable criminal offense, but not both for the same offense.
2. The city council must adopt by resolution a schedule of fines for parking violations initiated by administrative citation. The city council may adopt a schedule of fees to be paid to administrative hearing officers.
3. The city council must adopt procedures for administering the administrative program for parking violations.
C. Administrative Citation:
1. A person authorized to enforce provisions of title 5, chapter 2 of this code may issue an administrative citation upon belief that a code violation has occurred. The citation may be issued in person to the accused or attached to the motor vehicle parked in violation of this code. The citation must state the date, time, and nature of the offense, the name of the issuing officer, the amount of the scheduled fine, and the manner for paying the fine or appealing the citation.
2. The accused must either pay the scheduled fine or request an administrative hearing within seven (7) calendar days after issuance. Payment of the fine constitutes admission of the violation. A late payment fee of ten percent (10%) of the scheduled fine amount may be imposed under subsection F of this section.
D. Administrative Hearing:
1. The city manager with the consent of the council shall appoint qualified individuals to serve as hearing officers for parking violation appeals. Hearing officers are not judicial officers but public officers as defined by Minnesota statutes section 609.415. Hearing officers shall be appointed for five (5) year terms. Hearing officers may only be removed for cause as determined by seven (7) of the eight (8) members of the city council.
2. Notice of the hearing may be served in person or by mail on the accused at least ten (10) calendar days in advance, unless a shorter time is accepted by all parties. At the hearing, the parties will have the opportunity to present testimony and question any witnesses, but strict rules of evidence will not apply. The hearing officer must tape record the hearing and receive testimony and exhibits. The hearing officer must receive and give weight to evidence, including hearsay evidence, that possesses probative value commonly accepted by reasonable and prudent people in the conduct of their affairs.
3. The accused shall have the right to request no later than five (5) calendar days before the scheduled hearing to appear at the hearing by telephone. The city may grant this request for good cause shown.
4. The hearing officer has the authority to affirm, dismiss, or void a citation issued in error and to impose, dismiss, or void a scheduled fine. When imposing a penalty for a violation, the hearing officer may consider any or all of the following factors:
a. The duration of the violation;
b. The frequency or reoccurrence of the violation;
c. The seriousness of the violation;
d. The history of the violation;
e. The accused's conduct after issuance of the notice of hearing;
f. The good faith effort by the accused to comply;
g. The economic impact of the penalty on the accused;
h. The impact of the violation upon the community; and
i. Any other factors appropriate to a just result.
The hearing officer may exercise discretion to impose a fine for more than one day of continuing violation, but only upon a finding that the accused intentionally and unreasonably refused to comply with the code requirement. The hearing officer's decision and supporting reasons must be in writing.
5. The failure to attend the hearing constitutes a waiver of the violator's rights to an administrative hearing and an admission of the violation. A hearing officer may waive this result upon good cause shown. Examples of "good cause" are: incapacitating illness of the accused; a court order requiring the accused to appear for another hearing at the same time; and lack of proper service of the citation or notice of the hearing. "Good cause" does not include forgetfulness or intentional delay.
6. Upon receipt of an appeal of a parking violation, the parking tickets division of the Moorhead police department shall compile a summary report detailing the facts in support of any determination that the behavior constitutes an offense. The summary report shall include:
a. A copy of the citation issued;
b. A record of any prior offenses committed by the accused;
c. Photographs and/or videotape of property where available;
d. Proof of mailing and/or posting of the citation on the property if the citation was not personally served on the accused; and
e. Proof of mailing of notice of the administrative hearing.
E. Judicial Review: An aggrieved party may obtain judicial review of the decision of the hearing officer by filing a written appeal setting forth the party's grounds for the appeal to the Clay County district court within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the order of the hearing officer. The clerk of district court will notify the city of such appeal, and the city shall file with the court all exhibits and the tape recording of the hearing before the hearing officer. The court will review such record, and either uphold, reverse, or modify the order of the hearing officer. The court, unless it schedules an evidentiary hearing, will uphold the order of the hearing officer, unless the court determines that the order was clearly erroneous, or the administrative fine imposed was clearly excessive.
F. Late Fees: A late payment fee of ten percent (10%) of the fine may be assessed for each thirty (30) day period, or part thereof, that the fine remains unpaid after the due date.
G. Double Jeopardy: If the final adjudication in the administrative parking violation appeal is dismissal, then the city may not prosecute a criminal violation in district court based on the same set of facts. This does not preclude the city from pursuing a criminal conviction for a violation of the same provision based on a different set of facts.
H. Potentially Dangerous Or Dangerous Dogs: Hearing officers appointed to preside over parking violation appeals shall also preside over proceedings to designate a dog as potentially dangerous or dangerous. (Ord. 2015-19, 10-12-2015)