§ 10.99  GENERAL PENALTY.
   (A)   Unless otherwise specifically provided, violation of any provision of this code or any other town ordinance shall subject the offender to the remedies provided in this section, except where the General Statutes of the state provide specific civil remedies for violation of provisions of this code adopted pursuant to such statutes. Such remedies available to the town for enforcement of this code shall be in addition to the remedies stated in this section, provided that no criminal penalties shall be applicable unless stated in this section to be applicable to specific chapters or provisions of this code.
   (B)   Violations of any provision of the following chapters and sections of this code shall be a misdemeanor and punishable as provided by G.S. § 14-4:
      (1)   Chapter 110: Alcohol, §§ 110.01 and 110.02; and
      (2)   Chapter 74, Schedule II, Speed Limits.
   (C)   (1)   Violations of the following provisions of this code shall subject the offender to a civil penalty upon the issuance of a citation for such violation, as provided in this section. The civil penalty, if not paid to the Town Clerk within ten days of the issuance of a citation, may be recovered by the town in a civil action in the nature of debt. Unless otherwise provided by a specific provision of this code, such civil penalties shall be in the amount of $50 for each violation, and each day any single violation continues shall be a separate violation, except that for violations of parking ordinances of this code, the civil penalty provisions and procedures therein shall apply. Penalties not paid within ten days of issuance of citation shall incur a delinquency charge of $25 to be paid with the original penalty.
      (2)   The provisions of this code which shall subject the offender to a civil penalty are all chapters and sections of the code except:
         (a)   Chapter 110: Alcohol, §§ 111.01 and 111.02;
         (b)   Chapter 73, Schedule II, Speed Limits; and
         (c)   Chapter 153, Appendix A, Zoning Ordinance.
   (D)   In addition to any civil or criminal penalties set out in this section, any provision of this code or any other town ordinance may be enforced by an appropriate equitable remedy issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction. In this case, the General Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders as may be appropriate, and it shall not be a defense to the application of the town for equitable relief that there is an adequate remedy at law.
   (E)   In addition to any civil or criminal penalties set out in this section, any provision of this code or any other town ordinance that makes unlawful a condition existing upon, or use made of, real property may be enforced by injunction and/or order of abatement, and the General Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to issue the orders. When a violation of such a provision occurs, the town may apply to the appropriate division of the General Court of Justice for a mandatory or prohibitory injunction and/or order of abatement commanding the defendant to correct the unlawful condition upon, or cease the unlawful use of, the property. The action shall be governed in all respects by the laws and rules governing civil proceedings, including the Rules of Civil Procedure in general and Rule 55 in particular.
   (F)   (1)   In addition to an injunction, the court may enter an order of abatement as a part of the judgement in the case.
      (2)   An order of abatement may direct that:
         (a)   Buildings or other structures on the property be closed, demolished or removed;
         (b)   Fixtures, furniture or other movable property be removed from buildings on the property;
         (c)   Grass and weeds be cut;
         (d)   Improvements or repairs be made; or
         (e)   Any other action be taken that is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this code or other ordinance.
      (3)   If the defendant fails or refuses to comply with an injunction or with an order of abatement within the time allowed by the Court, he or she may be cited for contempt, and the town may execute the order of abatement. The town shall have a lien on the property for the cost of executing an order of abatement in the nature of a mechanic’s and materialman’s lien. The defendant may secure cancellation of an order of abatement by paying all costs of the proceedings and posting a bond for compliance with the order. The bond shall be given with sureties approved by the Clerk of Superior Court in an amount approved by the judge before whom the matter is heard, and the bond shall be conditioned on the defendant’s full compliance with the terms of the order of abatement within a time fixed by the judge. Cancellation of an order of abatement shall not suspend or cancel an injunction issued in conjunction therewith.
   (G)   The provisions of this code and any other town ordinances may be enforced by one, all or a combination of the remedies authorized and prescribed by this section, except that any provision, the violation of which incurs a civil penalty, shall not be enforced by criminal penalties.
   (H)   Except as otherwise specifically provided, each day’s continuing violation of any provision of this code or any other town ordinance shall be a separate and distinct offense and multiple occurrences within a single day shall constitute separate offenses.
   (I)   Any ordinances adopted by the Town Council, the violation of which shall incur a penalty, shall specify whether the enforcement shall be pursuant to the civil penalty or criminal penalty provisions of this section.
   (J)   Upon determination of a violation of any section of this code, the penalty for which is a civil penalty, the town shall cause a warning citation to be issued to the violator, setting out the nature of the violation, the section violated, the date of violation, and the order to immediately cease the violation or, if the violation is in the nature of an infraction for which an order of abatement would be appropriate in a civil proceeding, stating a reasonable period in which the violation must be abated. The warning citation shall specify that a second citation shall incur a civil penalty.
   (K)   If the violator fails to respond to a citation within ten days of its issuance and pay the penalty prescribed therein, the town may institute a civil action in the nature of debt in the appropriate division of the State General Court of Justice for the collection of the penalty.
   (L)   Unless otherwise provided by a section of the code adopted by Council subsequent to this ordinance, all penalties except those in division (B) above, all penalties published herein shall be replaced by the provisions of this section.
   (M)   All ordinances or portions thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
(Ord. passed 2-3-2004)
Statutory reference:
   Enforcement of ordinances, see G.S. § 160A-175