PART FIVE - ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING CODE
      Chap. 500.  Administrative Hearing System for Specified Code Provisions.
CHAPTER 500    Administrative Hearing System for Specified Code Provisions.
500.01   Establishment and jurisdiction.
500.02   Administrative adjudication procedures non-exclusive.
500.03   Code Hearing Unit.
500.04   Initiation of hearing process.
500.05   Hearings.
500.06   Failure to appear.
500.07   Administrative review.
500.08   Judicial review.
500.09   Debt to village.
500.10   Enforcement of judgments.
500.01  ESTABLISHMENT AND JURISDICTION.
   (a)   There is hereby established and created within the Village an administrative adjudication hearing system to adjudicate alleged violations of the following provisions of the Richton Park Village Code as the same have been, and may from time to time hereafter be amended:
      (1)   Chapter 602, “General Provision; Administrative and Enforcement.”
      (2)   Chapter 608, “Animals.”
      (3)   Chapter 620, “Drugs.”
      (4)   Chapter 624, “Fair Housing.”
      (5)   Chapter 630, “Gambling.”
      (6)   Chapter 634, “Health, Safety and Sanitation.”
      (7)   Chapter 650, “Minors.”
      (8)   Chapter 660, “Offenses Relating to Property.”
      (9)   Chapter 662, “Parks and Recreation.”
      (10)   Chapter 664, “Peace Disturbances.”
      (11)   Chapter 670, “Sex and Related Offenses.”
      (12)   Chapter 690, “Water Pollution.”
      (13)   Chapter 692, “Weapons and Explosives.”
      (14)    Chapter 806, “Alcoholic Liquor Sales.”
      (15)    Such other Village ordinance and Village Code provisions as the corporate authorities of the Village may from time to time designate.
   (b)   The provisions of Division 2.2 of the Illinois Municipal Code, being ILCS Ch. 64, Act 5, § 1-2.2-1 et seq., are hereby adopted and incorporated into this chapter as if fully set forth herein.
   (c)   The provisions of this chapter shall apply to administrative adjudication proceedings to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the provisions of another section of the Village ordinance or Village Code which sets forth specific procedures for the administrative adjudication of particular ordinance or code provisions.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.02  ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION PROCEDURES NON- EXCLUSIVE.
   The provisions of this chapter shall not preclude the Village from using other methods or proceedings to adjudicate alleged violations of the codes and ordinances of the Village including, without limitation, the institution of an action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, or before another administrative tribunal which has jurisdiction to consider the violation.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.03  CODE HEARING UNIT.
   (a)   A Code Hearing Unit is hereby established in the Village’s Police Department. The Code Hearing Unit shall consist of a Hearing Officer, Compliance Administrator, Computer Operator/System Coordinator, and hearing room personnel (Deputy) with the power, authority and limitation as are hereinafter set forth in this chapter. The Chief of Police of the Village’s Police Department shall serve as Compliance Administrator. In the absence of the Chief of Police, the Acting Police Chief shall serve as Compliance Administrator.
   (b)   One person may hold and fulfill the requirement of one or more of the above stated positions.
   (c)   Compensation to be paid for Hearing Officer, Compliance Administrator, Computer Operator/System Coordinator, and hearing room personnel (Deputy) shall be as determined by the Village President and approved by the Board of Trustees.
      (1)   Hearing Officer.
         A.   The Hearing Officer shall be employed as an independent contractor of the Village and shall not be considered an employee or officer of the Village.
         B.   To qualify as the Hearing Officer, an individual must:
            1.   Be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois for at least three years;
            2.   Be in good standing with the Illinois Supreme Court Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission;
            3.   Complete a formal training program consisting of:
               a.   Instruction on the rules of procedure for administrative hearings;
               b.   Orientation to each subject area of the ordinances and codes of the Village that are subject to administrative adjudication under the provisions of this chapter or any other ordinance of the Village;
               c.   Observation of hearings conducted on behalf of the Village and/or in other Illinois municipalities that have adopted the administrative hearing system; and
               d.   Participation in hypothetical hearings, including ruling on evidence and issuing final orders.
         C.   The Hearing Officer shall have all powers necessary to conduct fair and impartial hearings including, but not limited to, the power to:
            1.   Preside over the administrative hearing, established herein, as the adjudicator;
            2.   Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues;
            3.   Administer oaths and affirmations;
            4.   Hear testimony and accept evidence that is relevant to the allegation of a violation;
            5.   Issue subpoenas to secure the attendance of witnesses and production of relevant papers or documentation;
            6.   Provide for the accurate recordation of the administrative adjudication hearing(s);
            7.   Issue a determination, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, on whether a violation occurred or exists; and
            8.   Impose penalties consistent with applicable ordinance or code provisions and assess costs upon finding a defendant liable for the charged violation, provided that the Hearing Officer shall not have the authority to impose a penalty of incarceration or a fine in excess of seven hundred-fifty dollars ($750.00).
      (2)   Compliance Administrator.  The Compliance Administrator shall be empowered and is hereby authorized and directed to:
         A.   Operate and manage the system of administrative adjudication established in this chapter.
         B.   Adopt, distribute and process violation notices and other notices as may be required under this chapter or as may be reasonably required to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
         C.   Collect payments made as a result of fines and/or penalties assessed after a final determination of liability;
         D.   Certify copies of final determinations of violations adjudicated pursuant to this chapter, and any factual reports verifying the final determination of any liability that was issued in accordance with this chapter or the laws of the State of Illinois, as from time to time amended;
         E.   Promulgate rules and regulations reasonably required to operate and maintain the administrative adjudication system hereby created;
         F.   Collect unpaid fines and penalties by filing complaints in the Circuit Court, or by selecting or appointing an individual or agency to act on behalf of the Village in filing complaints seeking judgments for unpaid fines or penalties, and pursuit of all post-judgment remedies available by current law; and
         G.   Promulgate rules and regulations reasonably required to operate and maintain the administrative adjudication system hereby created.
      (3)   System Coordinator/Computer Operator.  The System Coordinator/ Computer Operator shall be empowered and is hereby authorized and directed to operate and maintain the computer program(s) for the administrative adjudication system herein established, on a day to day basis, including, but not limited to:
         A.   Input of violation notice information;
         B.   Hearing dates and notice dates;
         C.   Fine and penalty assessments and payment(s);
         D.   Issue payment receipts;
         E.   Issue succeeding notices of hearing dates, final determination of liability, notice of impending impoundment, and notice of impending drivers license suspension, as directed by the Compliance Administrator in accordance with the provisions hereinafter set forth; and
         F.   Keep accurate records of appearances and nonappearances of administrative hearings, pleas entered, and fines and penalties assessed and paid.
      (4)   Hearing Room Personnel (Deputy).
         A.   The hearing room personnel (Deputy) position is limited to off-duty, full-time, part-time or auxiliary police officers.
         B.   The hearing room personnel (Deputy) shall be empowered and is hereby authorized and directed to:
            1.   Maintain hearing room decorum.
            2.   Have and execute authority as is granted to courtroom deputies of the Circuit Court.
            3.   Perform such other duties or acts as may reasonably be required and as directed by the Hearing Officer of the Compliance Administrator.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05; Ord. 1388.  Passed 12-8-08.)
500.04  INITIATION OF HEARING PROCESS.
   (a)   Any authorized department of the Village may institute an administrative adjudication hearing with the Code Hearing Unit by noting the violation on a multiple copy violation notice and report form indicating the following:
      (1)   The name and address of the defendant;
      (2)   The type and nature of the violation;
      (3)   The date and time the violation was observed; and
      (4)   The names of witnesses to the violation.
   (b)   The violation report form shall be forwarded to the Code Hearing Unit where a docket number shall be stamped on all copies of the report and a hearing date shall be noted in the blank spaces provided for that purpose on the form. The hearing date shall not be less than 30 nor more than 40 days after the violation is reported.
      (1)   One copy of the violation report form shall be maintained in the files of the code hearing department and shall be part of the record of hearing, one copy of the report form shall be returned to the individual representing the Village in the case so that he or she may prepare evidence of the code violation for presentation at the hearing on the date indicated.
      (2)   One copy of the report form shall be served by first class mail to the defendant along with a summons commanding the defendant to appear at the hearing.
      (3)   Service shall be deemed sent and shall be complete on the date the notice is deposited, postage prepaid, in the United States mail. The counting of any time period as set forth in the Village Code shall begin to run on the date the notice is deposited, postage prepaid, in the United States mail.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.05  HEARINGS.
   (a)   All hearings conducted under the Administrative Hearing System shall be conducted by the Hearing Officer and shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules and procedures:
      (1)   The parties may be represented by counsel at their own expense and present witnesses.
      (2)   The Hearing Officer may grant continuances upon a finding of good cause.
      (3)   The Hearing Officer may find a defendant in default if the defendant or defendant’s attorney fails to appear at the scheduled hearing date. The Hearing Officer may proceed with the hearing in such instances.
      (4)   All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation.
      (5)   Parties may request the Hearing Officer to issue subpoenas to direct the attendance and testimony of relevant witnesses and produce relevant documents.
      (6)   The formal and technical rules of evidence shall not apply. Evidence, including hearsay evidence, may be admitted only if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs.
      (7)   Each hearing shall culminate in a determination of liability or non-liability by the Hearing Officer or a determination of liability based upon the failure of the defendant or respondent to appear at the hearing. The Hearing Officer’s determination shall be in writing and shall include the following:
         A.   The findings of fact;
         B.   A decision of whether or not a code violation exists based upon the findings of fact; and
         C.   An order that states the sanction or dismisses the case if a violation is not proved.
      (8)   The Hearing Officer shall, upon a determination of liability, assess fines and penalties in accordance with the fine and penalty that is applicable under the codes and ordinances of the Village. However, the Hearing Officer shall not impose a penalty of incarceration or a fine in excess of seven hundred- fifty dollars ($750.00);
      (9)   A copy of the findings, decision, and order shall be served on the defendant within five days after it is issued by first class mail; and
      (10)   Each hearing shall be tape recorded.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.06  FAILURE TO APPEAR.
   If, on the date of the hearing, the defendant or the defendant’s attorney fails to appear, the Hearing Officer may find the defendant in default and shall proceed with the hearing and accept evidence relevant to the existence of the code violation.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.07  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.
   (a)   A petition to set aside a determination on a violation may be filed by the defendant owing an unpaid fine or penalty in the manner and subject to the restrictions and grounds hereinafter set forth:
      (1)   A written petition to set aside a determination of liability must be filed in the office of the Compliance Administrator within, but not later than, 14 days from the date the determination of liability is made.
      (2)   The grounds for setting aside a determination of liability shall be limited to the following:
         A.   The defendant paid the fine or penalty prior to the determination of liability for the violation(s) in question; and
         B.   Excusable failure to appear at, or to request a new date for, a hearing.
   (b)   Should the determination of liability be set aside, the Compliance Administrator shall serve notice of the setting aside of the determination of liability. The notice of the hearing date shall be served by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the address set forth on the petition to set aside the determination of liability. Service of the notice shall be complete on the date the notice is deposited in the United States mail.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.08  JUDICIAL REVIEW.
   Any final decision by the Hearing Officer that a violation does or does not exist shall constitute a final determination for purposes of judicial review and shall be subject to review under the Illinois Administrative Review Law, being ILCS Ch. 735, Act 5, § 3-101 et seq. as provided in § 1-2.2-50 of the Illinois Municipal Code, being ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, § 1-1-1 et seq.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.09  DEBT TO VILLAGE.
   Any fine, penalty or part of any fine or penalty assessed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and remaining unpaid after the exhaustion of, or the failure to exhaust, administrative procedures under this chapter and the conclusion of any judicial review procedures, shall be a debt due and owing the Village, and, as such, may be collected in accordance with applicable law.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)
500.10  ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS.
   (a)   After expiration of the period that judicial review under the Illinois Administrative Review Law may be sought for a final determination of any violation, unless stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the determination, including the findings, decision, and order, of the Hearing Officer may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
   (b)   Hearing Officer, Compliance Administrator, Computer Operator/System Coordinator, and hearing room personnel (Deputy). In any case in which a defendant or respondent has failed to comply with a judgment ordering a defendant to correct a violation or imposing any fine or other sanction as a result of a violation, any expenses incurred by the Village to enforce the judgment, including, but not limited to, attorney’s fees, court costs.
(Ord. 1240.  Passed 10-10-05.)