Uniform Citation Procedures


138.01    Short title and purpose

138.02    Definitions

138.03    Jurisdiction

138.04    Fines

138.05    [Reserved]

138.06    Issuance of citation

138.07    Form and content of citation

138.08    Exception for parking violation summons and complaint

138.09    Service of citation

138.10    Prosecuting officer or City Attorney

138.11    Trial procedures generally

138.12    Evidence

138.13    [Reserved]

138.14    Sentencing

138.15    Failure to appear

138.16    Penalty for false certification

138.17    Other enforcement procedures not excluded

138.18    Stop and detain

138.19    Immunity


This chapter provides uniform procedures for issuance of citations and for enforcing the Hermiston Municipal Code. It may be cited as the Hermiston Uniform Citation Procedures Chapter.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

CITY OFFICER. A city police officer or any other city employee authorized by the City Manager, Council or their designee to enforce the Hermiston Municipal Code.

CODE HEARINGS OFFICER. The person designated pursuant to Chapter 136 to hear and decide citations instead of the court.

COURT. The Hermiston Municipal Court or the Circuit Court for the County of Umatilla.

DEFENDANT. A person cited for violation of the Hermiston Municipal Code.

FINE. The monetary sentence imposed by a court for violation of this code.

PROSECUTOR. An attorney licensed in the State of Oregon designated by the City Council as authorized to prosecute violations of the Hermiston City Code.

TRIAL. Includes a judicial proceeding in court or an administrative proceeding before the Code Hearings Officer.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


Unless otherwise specified in a chapter of this code, a person alleged to have violated the Hermiston Municipal Code may be cited into Municipal Court, circuit court or to the Code Hearings Officer pursuant to Chapter 136. Misdemeanors may be prosecuted in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)

138.04 FINES.

(A)    Violation of this code shall be subject to a fine unless the violation is expressly classified as a misdemeanor or other type of offense.

(B)    Violations are classified as Class "A," "B," "C," or "D." Any violation not classified in the code shall be deemed a Class "B" violation.

(C)    Except as otherwise provided by law, the maximum fine for a violation of this code committed by an individual is:

(1)    Two thousand dollars for a Class A violation.

(2)    One thousand dollars for a Class B violation.

(3)    Five hundred dollars for a Class C violation.

(4)    Two hundred fifty dollars for a Class D violation.

(D)    The maximum fine for a violation committed by a corporation is double the maximum to which an individual may be sentenced under subsection (C) of this section.

(E)    The presumptive fine for a violation committed under this code is:

(1)    Four hundred forty dollars for a Class A violation.

(2)    Two hundred sixty-five dollars for a Class B violation.

(3)    One hundred sixty-five dollars for a Class C violation.

(4)    One hundred fifteen dollars for a Class D violation.

(F)    Unless expressly provided otherwise in the code each day a violation is committed shall constitute a separate offense.

(G)    The minimum fines set forth in ORS 153.021 do not apply to violations of this code.

(H)    Fines imposed under this code shall be subject to surcharges or assessments as required by state law.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)

138.05 [RESERVED].

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


Except as permitted by state law, such as for traffic citations, a city officer may issue a citation into Municipal Court, circuit court or to the Code Hearings Officer for any violation committed in the presence of the city officer or personally observed by the city officer. All other violations shall be cited to the Code Hearings Officer.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    A citation substantially conforming to this chapter is sufficient except for citations filed in the court. The mandatory provisions of the rules of the Oregon Supreme Court for uniform citations shall be used for violations filed in the court.

(B)    The citation shall consist of a complaint, summons, city record and court or Code Hearings Officer record. Each shall contain, at a minimum, the following information or blanks in which such information shall be entered:

(1)    Name of the court or "Code Hearings Officer" and citation number.

(2)    Name of the person cited.

(3)    Code section(s) violated with a brief description of the alleged violation such that it may be readily understood by a person making a reasonable effort.

(4)    The presumptive fine and maximum fine that may be imposed for each violation and a statement that a monetary judgment may be entered against the person for up to the maximum fine and other remedies imposed if the person is found guilty or fails to appear at all required proceedings.

(5)    The date, time and place at which the violation occurred. Continuing violations shall be noted as such and state that each day is a separate offense.

(6)    The date on which the citation was issued and the name of the complainant.

(7)    If the citation requires an appearance, a statement that the person must appear at the time scheduled for trial and that failure to appear may be prosecuted as a separate offense for failure to appear.

(8)    Unless the citation requires an appearance, a statement that the defendant must either make a first appearance before the time indicated by either submitting a written or oral request for a trial or by delivering a no contest plea with a check or money order in the amount of the presumptive fine, together with any statement in mitigation the defendant chooses to submit. The entry of a no contest plea shall constitute a waiver of trial and consent to entry of a judgment in an amount not greater than the presumptive fine.

(9)    That the citation will be filed with the body that will hear the violation.

(10)    A form of certificate in which the citing officer signs and certifies, under penalties provided in ORS 153.990, that the officer has sufficient grounds to believe, and does believe, that the person named in the complaint committed the violation specified in the complaint. A certificate conforming to this subsection shall be deemed equivalent of a sworn complaint.

(C)    A citation that does not substantially conform to this section shall be set aside on the motion of a defendant prior to entry of a plea. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the court or Code Hearings Officer may amend, or grant a motion to amend, the complaint when determined to be nonprejudicial. Nothing precludes the city from issuing a corrected citation for the same offense.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


Notwithstanding § 138.07, no summons or complaint for a violation involving the parking of a vehicle shall be deemed insufficient because it does not include the name of the person who committed the violation. If the owner or operator of the vehicle cannot be determined by the city officer at the time the citation is issued, such information may be supplied before or at the time for appearance on the citation. A rebuttable presumption exists that the registered owner of the vehicle at the time of the violation was the operator or person in control of the vehicle.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    The citation and summons shall be served on the person cited and shall be delivered to the body that will hear the citation.

(B)    Acceptable methods of service shall be any of the methods of service described in the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 7 (D).

(C)    Service of a citation issued for any offense involving a parked vehicle, including failure to display a parking permit, may be made by placing the summons in a secure location on the offending vehicle.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    The City Prosecutor may dismiss any citation if such dismissal is determined to be in the interest of justice.

(B)    Except as otherwise provided, the city officer issuing the citation shall appear at the trial and, instead of the City Prosecutor, may present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments relating to the application of the law, the literal meaning of applicable law, the admissibility of evidence and proper trial procedures.

(C)    The City Attorney or City Prosecutor may aid in preparing evidence and obtaining witnesses but, except upon good cause shown to the court, shall not appear in violation proceedings before a court unless counsel for the defendant appears. The court shall ensure that the City Prosecutor is given timely notice if defense counsel is to appear at trial, including granting a continuance, if necessary.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    The body that will hear the citation shall set the time and date of trial and notify the defendant by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the defendant. The trial shall not be scheduled less than seven days after issuance of the citation. The court or Code Hearings Officer may reschedule or grant a continuance as it deems appropriate.

(B)    The trial shall be without a jury.

(C)    Any rules adopted by the Oregon Supreme Court for the conduct of violation proceedings shall apply in a court proceeding.

(D)    The city shall have the burden of proving the alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence.

(E)    The prehearing discovery rules shall be as provided in ORS 135.805 to 135.875.

(F)    The person cited shall not be required to be a witness and is not entitled to appointed defense counsel.

(G)    Any procedural or substantive matter not addressed by this chapter shall proceed or be conducted in accordance with the procedures for similar offenses under state law; however, the procedural and substantive matters set forth in this chapter shall prevail over any conflict with state law.

(H)    If the person fails to appear, the court or Code Hearings Officer may declare a forfeiture of all or any part of the presumptive fine based on a prima facie showing of guilt or treat the matter as a failure to appear as provided in § 138.15.

(I)    If a judgment is entered after a person cited has failed to appear, on motion and upon such terms as are just, the court or Code Hearings Officer may relieve a person from the judgment upon a showing that the failure of the person to appear was due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect. The motion must be made within a reasonable time, and in no event more than one year after entry of judgment in the matter.

(J)    Notwithstanding any other provision, the court or Code Hearings Officer on its own motion or on motion of the city may require that a person appear for trial notwithstanding a plea of no contest or payment of the presumptive fine. In making this decision, the seriousness of the violation, whether it is likely to reoccur, any prior convictions of the person for the same or similar violation and any other factors deemed appropriate shall be considered.

(K)    A person who has appeared and has been found guilty shall be sentenced as provided in § 138.14.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)

138.12 EVIDENCE.

(A)    Except as specifically provided by law, the criminal procedure laws of the State of Oregon applicable to crimes apply to violations prosecuted in municipal or circuit court.

(B)    Notwithstanding subsection (A) of this section, the affidavit or declaration of a witness in lieu of taking testimony may be admitted as provided by state law.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)

138.13 [RESERVED].

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    Upon appearance and conviction, the court or Code Hearings Officer may impose a fine up to the maximum provided by the applicable chapter, and costs authorized by law.

(B)    Instead of or in addition to a fine, if the person appeared before the court or Code Hearings Officer, the court or Code Hearings Officer may order the person to undertake any reasonable measure to correct or mitigate any condition that contributed to the violation, including but not limited to abatement or mitigation of the offense. The fine or a portion thereof may be suspended as deemed appropriate to encourage compliance with this code.

(C)    The City may request that a court order restitution upon a conviction for a violation which results in monetary damages. The City must present evidence of the nature and amount of monetary damages at or before the time for sentencing. Restitution may be granted by the court under the same conditions as provided in ORS 137.103 through 137.109.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(A)    If the person cited fails to appear at trial, the court or Code Hearings Officer may reset the trial, decide the citation based on the complaint and any statement provided by the person cited or other evidence deemed appropriate or a court may issue a show cause order as provided in subsection (D) of this section.

(B)    Knowing failure to appear in a violation proceeding in a court for which the person has been served is a Class A misdemeanor.

(C)    Failure to appear shall be separate from and in addition to the citation for which the person failed to appear. A citation for failure to appear may be issued by a city officer or the court. The court may issue a warrant for arrest as provided by state law.

(D)    In lieu of a citation for failure to appear, the court may issue an order requiring the defendant to appear and show cause why the defendant should not be held in contempt for failure to appear. The show cause order may be mailed to the defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested. If service cannot be accomplished by mail, the defendant must be personally served. If the defendant is served and fails to appear at the time specified in the show cause order, the court may issue an arrest warrant for the defendant for the purpose of bringing the defendant before the court.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


Any person who, in connection with the issuance of a citation or the filing of a complaint for violation of the city code, willfully certifies falsely to the matters set forth therein commits the offense of false certification. False certification is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


The use of the citation procedures set out in this chapter shall not be construed to prevent the filing of a complaint, in any other lawful form, alleging violation of the code, including administrative or civil proceedings for nuisance abatement, equitable relief or damages. Nothing herein shall be construed as preempting prosecution under state law for any conduct constituting an offense or crime under state law.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)


(1)    A law enforcement officer may stop and detain any person if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a violation. An enforcement officer may not arrest a person for a violation.

(2)    The stop or detention may only be as long as reasonably necessary to obtain the identity of the person believed to have committed the violation and issue a citation or notice of violation to the person.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)

138.19 IMMUNITY.

Any city officer, including but not limited to the City Attorney, involved in prosecuting citations under this chapter shall be immune from any civil liability arising from the prosecution of a citation to the fullest extent permitted by law, provided the citation and prosecution are undertaken subject to a good faith belief that issuance of the citation and prosecution were warranted.

(Ord. 2299, passed 3-9-20)