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(A) Applicability. Unless otherwise expressly provided within this code, this section shall apply upon the issuance of a citation for violation of any provision of this code or the City of Waterbury Zoning Regulations.
(B) Appointment of citation hearing officers. The Mayor shall appoint one or more citation hearing officers, other than police officers or employees or other persons who issue citations, to conduct hearings authorized by this section.
(C) Notice of violation. Within 12 months from the expiration of the period for the uncontested payment of fines, penalties, costs or fees for citations issued under any provision of this code or zoning regulations adopted pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-148, the city shall send notice to the person cited. The notice shall inform the person cited: (1) of the allegations against him or her, and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees due; (2) that he or she may contest his or her liability before a citation hearing officer by delivering in person or by mail written notice within ten days of the date thereof; (3) that if he or she does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him or her; and (4) that the judgment may issue without further notice.
(D) Admission of liability. If the person or entity who is sent notice pursuant to division (C) of this section wishes to admit liability for any alleged violation, he may, without requesting a hearing, pay the full amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees admitted to in person or by mail to an official designated by the city. Such payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of the person making the payment. Any person who does not deliver or mail written demand for a hearing within ten days of the date of the first notice provided for in division (C) of this section shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the designated municipal official shall certify the person or entity’s failure to respond to the citation hearing officer. The citation hearing officer shall thereupon enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees as set forth in the schedule of fees, charges, penalties and rewards attached to the annual budget of the city, pursuant to § 41.11 of this code, and shall follow the procedures set forth in division (G) of this section.
(E) Right to hearing; notice; timing of hearing. Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. Such hearing shall be held not less than 15 days nor more than 30 days from the date of the mailing of notice, provided the citation hearing officer shall grant upon good cause shown any reasonable request by any interested party for postponement or continuance.
(F) Hearing procedure. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing official or police officer shall be filed and retained by the municipality, and shall be deemed to be a business record and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing official or police officer shall be required at the hearing if such person so requests. A person wishing to contest his liability shall appear at the hearing and may present evidence in his behalf. A designated municipal official, other than the hearing officer, may present evidence on behalf of the municipality. If such person fails to appear, the hearing officer may enter an assessment by default against him or her upon a finding of proper notice and liability under the applicable statutes or ordinances. The citation hearing officer may accept from such person copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports, and other official documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of such person is unnecessary. The citation hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as he or she deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. The citation hearing officer shall announce his or her decision at the end of the hearing. If the citation hearing officer determines that the person is not liable, he or she shall dismiss the matter and enter his or her determination in writing accordingly. If the citation hearing officer determines that the person is liable for the violation, he or she shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against such person as set forth in the schedule of fees, charges, penalties and rewards attached to the annual budget of the city, pursuant to § 41.11 of this code.
(G) Notice of assessment; filing in Superior Court; effect. If such assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the citation hearing officer shall send by first class mail a notice of the assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days or more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Waterbury together with an entry fee of $8. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such 12-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The clerk shall enter judgment, in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs of $8, against such person in favor of the municipality. Notwithstanding any provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes, the hearing officer’s assessment, when entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment and a levy of execution on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.
(H) Right to judicial review. A person against whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to this section is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. An appeal shall be instituted within 30 days of the mailing of notice of such assessment by filing a petition to reopen assessment, together with an entry fee in an amount equal to the entry fee for a small claims case, at the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Waterbury, which shall entitle such person to a hearing in accordance with the rules of the judges of the Superior Court.
(Ord. passed 5-11-2015)