CHAPTER 1-14: CODE ENFORCEMENT

SECTIONS:

1-14-1:    DECLARATION OF PURPOSE:

1-14-2:    GENERAL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY:

1-14-3:    CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER:

1-14-4:    ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY:

1-14-5:    CITATIONS—AUTHORITY OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS:

1-14-6:    NOTICE TO CURE:

1-14-7:    SERVICE OF CITATION:

1-14-8:    APPEARANCE; PAYMENT BY MAIL:

1-14-9:    DEFAULT JUDGMENT; COLLECTION OF JUDGMENTS:

1-14-10:    RULES OF PROCEDURE:

1-14-11:    NONEXCLUSIVE REMEDIES:

1-14-1 DECLARATION OF PURPOSE:

The City Council finds that the enforcement of the Prescott City Code and Prescott Land Development Code throughout the City is an important public service. Code enforcement is vital to protection of the public’s health, safety and quality of life. The Council recognizes that enforcement depends upon clear and precise regulations that can be effectively applied in administrative enforcement hearings and judicial proceedings. The Council further finds that a comprehensive code enforcement system that uses a combination of judicial and administrative remedies is critical to gain code compliance. Judicial remedies are traditional remedies to enforce laws by filing criminal and civil actions in a court of law. Administrative remedies are designed to provide fair and efficient methods of enforcing the provisions of the municipal code without the required expense and consumption of time that judicial actions may require. Failure to comply with an administrative code enforcement action may require the City Attorney to file a judicial action to compel compliance. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-2 GENERAL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY:

All City enforcement officials shall have the authority and powers necessary to gain compliance with the provisions of the City of Prescott Municipal Code and applicable state codes for which they are responsible. These powers include the power to issue notices of violation and field citations, inspect public and private property and use whatever judicial and administrative remedies are available under the municipal code or applicable state codes. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-3 CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER:

The City Manager shall have the authority to appoint Code Enforcement Officers. The City Manager may also designate existing employees to serve as Code Enforcement Officers. Code Enforcement Officers will work under the supervision of the Chief of Police or the Chief’s designee. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-4 ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY:

Code Enforcement Officers shall have a duty to enforce provisions of this code, except where enforcement is specifically limited to other enforcement agencies, or except where the City Manager limits the enforcement authority in the appointment. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-5 CITATIONS—AUTHORITY OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS:

When any Code Enforcement Officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be issued the citation has violated a provision of this code, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a civil citation in a form similar to the uniform Arizona Traffic Ticket and Complaint Form and shall cite the particular subsection of this code applicable to the alleged violation. Each subsection of this code cited in the complaint shall be deemed a separate offense. The citation shall contain the date and time of the alleged violation and shall direct the defendant to appear before the City Court at a specified time to enter a plea either admitting or denying the complaint. The citation will state that if the defendant fails to appear before the City Court on the date and time specified therein, a default judgment will be entered against the defendant and a civil sanction will be imposed. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-6 NOTICE TO CURE:

Prior to issuing a citation, a Code Enforcement Officer shall provide notice to the person that the person has committed a violation of a code or ordinance and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the person must correct the violation. Such time period shall be no more than thirty (30) days. If, upon personal investigation, a Code Enforcement Officer finds that the person has not corrected the violation within the time period, a Code Enforcement Officer may issue a civil citation to the person who has committed the violation. A Code Enforcement Officer is not required to provide the person with a reasonable time period to correct a violation prior to issuing a citation and may immediately issue a citation if a repeat violation is found or if the Code Enforcement Officer has reason to believe that the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-7 SERVICE OF CITATION:

The citation shall be served by delivering a copy to the defendant as follows:

(A) The citation may be signed by the defendant with his/her promise to appear on the date and time specified on the citation.

(B) If the defendant is unavailable at the time the citation is issued or refuses to sign the citation, service may be accomplished and will be deemed proper and complete by any of the following:

1. Upon the resident/occupant of the premises where the violation occurred by posting a copy of the citation on or about an entrance to the dwelling unit; or

2. By hand delivering a copy of the citation to the owner of record or resident/occupant;

3. By certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. Service by mail is deemed complete upon deposit in the U.S. mail;

4. In the same manner prescribed for alternative methods of service by the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-8 APPEARANCE; PAYMENT BY MAIL:

(A) The defendant shall appear in person before the City Court on the date and time specified in the citation and shall either admit or deny the allegations contained in the citation. Or, the defendant may proceed as provided in subsection (B) of this section. If the defendant admits the allegations, the City Court shall immediately enter judgment against the defendant and shall impose the appropriate sanction. If the defendant denies the allegations contained in the citation, the City Court shall set a date for a hearing of the matter.

(B) The defendant may admit the allegations in the citation and pay the default amount indicated by mailing the citation together with a check or money order made payable to the City of Prescott to the City Court. If payment is not received by the appearance date indicated on the citation, a default judgment will be entered.

(C) Any defendant appearing before the City Court and denying the allegations as provided in subsection (A) of this section shall be deemed to have waived any objection to service of the citation, unless such objection is affirmatively raised by the defendant at the time of the first appearance in relation to the citation.

(D) At the conclusion of the hearing, if the City Court finds the defendant to be in violation of any provision in this chapter, the City Court shall issue sanctions in accordance with Section 1-3-2. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-9 DEFAULT JUDGMENT; COLLECTION OF JUDGMENTS:

(A) In the event of a default, the City Court shall assess a default sanction in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) unless such default judgment is set aside under Rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure in Civil Traffic and Civil Boating Violation Cases.

(B) The City Court may waive all or part of the default fee if the City Court expressly finds that payment thereof would cause a significant financial hardship for the defendant.

(C) No judgment may be entered against a fictitiously identified defendant unless the citation is amended to reveal the true identity of the defendant who receives the citation.

(D) The City may enforce collection of delinquent sanctions, fees and penalties as provided by law. Any judgment or civil sanction pursuant to this section may be collected as any other civil judgment, and if rendered against the owner of the real property in violation, shall constitute a lien against that property. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-10 RULES OF PROCEDURE:

(A) The Arizona Rules of Procedure in Civil Traffic and Civil Boating Violation Cases shall govern hearings, appeals, default by defendant and rules of evidence in all actions to hear and determine civil offenses except as modified by or inconsistent with the provisions of this code.

(B) All hearings pursuant to this section shall be electronically recorded. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)

1-14-11 NONEXCLUSIVE REMEDIES:

(A) The remedies herein are cumulative and nonexclusive. In the event a defendant fails to comply with any civil enforcement action commenced under this section, the City may file a criminal charge against the defendant where allowed by City Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a civil enforcement action shall not be a prerequisite to the filing of a criminal charge, and a police officer, City Attorney, or other authorized City employee may elect to file criminal charges at any time, request injunctive relief, or pursue such other relief as may be available. Use of the civil code infraction alternative is not mandatory and shall be at the discretion of the City official undertaking enforcement action on an alleged violation of this code or other ordinances.

(B) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to preclude the judge or hearing officer from, in addition to imposing civil sanctions, ordering the abatement of any violation pursuant to A.R.S. § 9-499 and related City Code provisions. (Ord. 4995-1533, 10-11-2016)