CHAPTER 2-7: CITY COURT

SECTIONS:

2-7-1:    JURISDICTION OF CITY COURT:

2-7-2:    APPOINTMENT OF CITY JUDGE:

2-7-3:    FILING OF COMPLAINTS:

2-7-4:    RESERVED:

2-7-5:    RESERVED:

2-7-6:    APPEARANCE, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-7:    DEFAULT JUDGMENT, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-8:    PREHEARING CONFERENCE, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-9:    SANCTIONS, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-10:    PROOF UPON HEARING; BURDEN OF PROOF, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-11:    JUDGMENT, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-12:    PENALTIES, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-13:    CIVIL SANCTIONS; COLLECTION, ABATEMENT:

2-7-14:    APPEALS, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

2-7-15:    SEVERABILITY:

2-7-16:    COLLECTION FEES:

2-7-1 JURISDICTION OF CITY COURT:

There shall be a city court which shall be known and designated as the "city court of the city of Prescott, Yavapai County, state of Arizona". The city court shall have and exercise jurisdiction as set forth in article XI, section 3 of the charter of the city of Prescott. (Ord. 2121, eff. 9-12-1989)

2-7-2 APPOINTMENT OF CITY JUDGE:

There shall be appointed a city judge by the city council in the manner and for such term as provided in the charter of the city of Prescott. The city judge shall be responsible for the administration of the city court. The city judge shall exercise such powers and duties as provided by the charter and code of the city and the constitution and laws of the state of Arizona, including, but not limited to, the appointment of pro tem city judges. (Ord. 4464, 3-22-2005)

2-7-3 FILING OF COMPLAINTS:

The city attorney, or his designee, city of Prescott police, animal control officers and department of public safety officers, state registrar of contractor officers and state game and fish department officers shall have exclusive authority to file criminal complaints in the city court. Criminal complaints filed by any other law enforcement agencies or entities must first be filed with the legal department. Complaints filed other than as provided herein may be dismissed without prejudice at the discretion of the city attorney. (Ord. 2279, 6-25-1991)

2-7-4 RESERVED:

(Ord. 2121, eff. 9-12-1989)

2-7-5 RESERVED:

(Ord. 2121, eff. 9-12-1989)

2-7-6 APPEARANCE, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

The defendant shall appear in person or by counsel before the city judge at the time, date and place designated on the citation or summons and shall either admit or deny the allegations of the citation or complaint. If the defendant admits the allegations, the judge shall immediately enter judgment against the defendant. If the defendant denies the allegations, the judge shall set a hearing not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days from the date of appearance. The judge may, in his discretion, or shall at the request of either party, set a prehearing conference not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days from the date of appearance. (Ord. 687, 11-9-1964)

2-7-7 DEFAULT JUDGMENT, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

(A) If the defendant fails to appear as directed on the citation or summons, the city judge shall enter a default judgment against the defendant.

(B) If the party fails to appear at the prehearing conference, the judge shall set a hearing.

(C) If a party fails to appear at a hearing, the city judge shall enter judgment against the nonappearing party. (Ord. 687, 11-9-1964)

2-7-8 PREHEARING CONFERENCE, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

At a prehearing conference, the parties shall appear before the city judge to discuss any matter which may aid in the disposition of the case. At the conclusion of the prehearing conference, the judge may continue the matter for not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days upon good cause shown; accept an admission of the violation or a dismissal of the complaint; set the matter for hearing; or make any other order necessary in the interests of justice. (Ord. 687, 11-9-1964)

2-7-9 SANCTIONS, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

When a party, prior to judgment, fails to obey an order of the city judge, the judge may hold the party in contempt, prevent that party from presenting certain evidence; strike part or all of a pleading; enter judgment in whole or in part against that party; or make any other order necessary in the interests of justice. (Ord. 687, 11-9-1964)

2-7-10 PROOF UPON HEARING; BURDEN OF PROOF, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

A hearing on a civil violation may only be held before the City Judge. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to the rules of evidence and a record thereof shall be made by stenographic transcription or by electronic tape recording. Each party shall be responsible for subpoenaing the attendance of their respective witnesses. Burden of proof at the hearing shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. The Judge shall, upon request by either party, make written findings of fact and conclusions of law and may request proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law from either party.

2-7-11 JUDGMENT, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

If the City Judge determines the existence of a civil violation, the Judge shall enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff. Otherwise, judgment shall be entered in favor of the defendant. Written judgment shall be rendered not later than twenty (20) working days after the conclusion of the hearing.

2-7-12 PENALTIES, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

(A) Unless otherwise provided in the City Code, when a violation is determined, the following penalties shall be imposed.

1. A civil sanction not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each civil violation. The imposition of a fine under this Section shall not be suspended.

2. Any other order deemed necessary in the discretion of the City Judge, including correction or abatement of the violation.

(B) Failure of a defendant to comply with any order contained in a judgment under this Section shall result in civil contempt and an additional civil sanction of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each day the defendant fails to comply.

2-7-13 CIVIL SANCTIONS; COLLECTION, ABATEMENT:

Any civil sanction not paid within the thirty (30) days after judgment shall constitute a lien against the real property of the defendant and may be filed with the County Recorder’s office. The City Attorney may commence legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the fine or exercise any other procedure available for the execution and collection of a civil judgment. When the City Judge orders correction or abatement of a violation, and there is no compliance within thirty (30) days or within such time as ordered, such violation may be deemed a public nuisance and the City Attorney may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction. The City may employ a collection services firm for the collection of fines.

2-7-14 APPEALS, CIVIL VIOLATIONS:

Appeal of any judgment rendered for a civil violation shall be by way of special action to the Superior Court on the record of the hearing. If either party claims in writing, specifying reasons and particulars why, the record to be incomplete or lost, and the Judge who conducted the hearing so certifies, a new hearing shall be conducted before that Judge. The appealing party shall bear the cost of preparing the record of the hearing on appeal. No appeal shall be taken later than thirty (30) days after the entry of judgment. (Ord. 2102, 8-8-89)

2-7-15 SEVERABILITY:

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, it is the declared legislative intent that such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof. (Ord. 2121, eff. 9-12-89)

2-7-16 COLLECTION FEES:

(Ord. No. 3559, eff. 12-26-96)

(A) A defendant who defaults in his or her obligation for the payment of monies owed or due to the City Court, including but not limited to restitution, fines, sanctions, surcharges, assessments, penalties, bonds, costs and/or fees, is liable for any and all fees and charges assessed by a collection agency that is licensed pursuant to Title 32, Chapter 9, Article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, and that is engaged by the City Court to collect and enforce such payment. The collection fees and charges assessed by the collection agency shall be added to the sum or sums due from and chargeable against the defendant.

(B) A defendant who defaults in his or her obligation for the payment of monies owed or due to the City Court, including but not limited to restitution, fines, sanctions, surcharges, assessments, penalties, bonds, costs and/or fees, is liable for any and all fees and charges assessed by a duly licensed attorney, and who is engaged by the City Court to collect and enforce such payment. The collection fees and charges assessed by the attorney shall be added to the sum or sums due from and chargeable against the defendant.