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(A) In addition to any other remedies provided in this subchapter and under state law, an Animal Control Officer or police officer may seize, impound and humanely confine to an animal shelter or hospital, at the owner's expense, any of the following:
(1) Any dog without a valid license tag;
(2) Any dog at large;
(3) Any dog constituting a public nuisance or considered a danger to the public;
(4) Any dog that is in violation of any quarantine or confinement order of the city's Animal Control Officer;
(5) Any unattended animal that is ill, injured or otherwise in need of care;
(6) Any animal that is reasonably believed to have been abused or neglected;
(7) Any animal that is reasonably suspected of having rabies;
(8) Any dog which an Animal Control Officer, the Animal Shelter Commission or the police has established is a threat to public health and safety;
(9) Any dog that an agency or court of competent jurisdiction has ordered impounded or destroyed; and/or
(10) Any dog that is considered unattended or abandoned, such as in situations where the owner is deceased or has been arrested.
(B) An Animal Control Officer or police officer may also in lieu of impoundment, issue to the owner a citation. The citation shall impose upon the owner a penalty 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 that shall be paid to the city within ten days in full satisfaction of the assessed penalty. The citation shall inform the person cited, in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-152c:
(1) Of the allegations against him and the amount of the fines, penalties, costs or fees due;
(2) That he may contest his liability before the Animal Shelter Commission by delivering in person or by mail written notice within ten days of the date thereof;
(3) That if he does not demand such a hearing, an assessment and judgment shall be entered against him; and
(4) That the judgment may issue without further notice.
(C) If the person who is sent notice pursuant to division (B) 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 the Animal Control Officer, made payable to the City of Waterbury. Persons or entities assessed a penalty pursuant to this section shall remit fines for said violation within 30 days of the mailing of notice thereof. The payment shall be inadmissible in any proceeding, civil or criminal, to establish the conduct of the person or other person making the payment.
(D) 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 (B) above shall be deemed to have admitted liability, and the Animal Control Officer shall certify the person's failure to respond to the Animal Shelter Commission. The Animal Shelter Commission shall thereupon enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees provided for by the applicable ordinances and shall follow the procedures set forth in division (E) below.
(E) Any person who requests a hearing shall be given written notice of the date, time and place for the hearing. The hearing shall be held not less than 15 days, nor more than 30 days, from the date of the mailing or notice; provided, the Hearing Officer shall grant upon good cause shown any reasonable request by any interested party for postponement or continuance. An original or certified copy of the initial notice of violation issued by the issuing official shall be filed and retained by the municipality, and shall be deemed to be a business record within the scope of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-180 and evidence of the facts contained therein. The presence of the issuing official shall be required at the hearing if the 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 the person fails to appear, the Hearing Officer may enter an assessment by default against him upon a finding of proper notice and liability under the applicable statutes or ordinances. The Hearing Officer may accept from the person copies of police reports, investigatory and citation reports and other official documents by mail and may determine thereby that the appearance of the person is unnecessary. The Hearing Officer shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with the methods of proof as he 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 Hearing Officer shall announce his decision at the end of the hearing. If he determines that the person is not liable, he shall dismiss the matter and enter his determination in writing accordingly. If he determines that the person is liable for the violation, he shall forthwith enter and assess the fines, penalties, costs or fees against such person as provided by the applicable ordinances.
(F) If the assessment is not paid on the date of its entry, the 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, nor more than 12 months, after the mailing, a certified copy of the notice of assessment with the clerk of the superior court designated by the Chief Court Administrator to serve the Waterbury area together with the appropriate entry fee. The certified copy of the notice of assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within the 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 the record of assessment and court costs equal to the entry fee, against the person in favor of the municipality. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the Hearing Officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment and a levy of execution on the judgment may issue without further notice to the person.
(Ord. passed 7-8-2016)