A. Any person found guilty of violating any provisions of this code, except as otherwise provided in this code, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) (exclusive of any fees or surcharges as may be imposed by this code or state law) or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues shall be a separate offense punishable as hereinabove described.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, in any prosecution for a violation of this code, the city magistrate may, upon motion of the city prosecutor, allow for the reduction of the classification and punishment of an offense to a petty offense if doing so would be in the interest of justice. A petty offense shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00) (exclusive of any fees or surcharges as may be imposed by this code or state law).
B. Civil Code Enforcement.
1. As an alternative to other enforcement means, for an informal, timely and efficient process for adjudication of civil code violations, violations of the zoning, subdivision and other code ordinances of the city may be filed under the civil enforcement procedures herein, and are declared to be civil offenses. A person shall not be charged both as a civil and criminal offense for the same violation on the same date, but a subsequent violation against the same property or person may be charged as criminal rather than civil. The city may file a criminal charge against a violator that does not comply with a civil enforcement action pursuant hereto.
2. The city magistrate or a hearing officer appointed by city council shall hear and determine zoning, subdivision and code violations under this civil violation procedure.
3. Filing a Complaint.
a. Civil citations shall be filed using a complaint form substantially similar to the Uniform Arizona Traffic Ticket and Complaint form, as approved by the Arizona Supreme Court, which shall cite to this section as well as the particular section of the zoning, subdivision or code ordinance applicable to the alleged violation. Each section of the ordinance cited in the complaint shall be deemed a separate offense. Complaints may be sworn to by any code enforcement officer, building inspector, zoning officer, park ranger or public safety officer for the city. The citation shall contain the date and time for the alleged violation, and direct the defendant to appear before the city magistrate or the hearing officer at the specified time to enter a plea either admitting or denying the complaint.
b. Citations will be served (i) by personal delivery upon the defendant by the code enforcement officer, responsible inspector, zoning officer or public safety officer for the city; (ii) by first class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the defendant at the last known address; (iii) by posting the citation on the property where the violation has occurred; or (iv) by any of the methods described in Rules 4, 4.1 or 4.2 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure.
c. The citation will state that if the defendant wishes to admit responsibility, he must correct the violation (if applicable) and pay one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day per violation for the first offense; two hundred dollars ($200.00) per day per violation for the second offense; and four hundred dollars ($400.00) per day per violation for any subsequent offense within 10 days from the date of receipt of the citation or by the date specified on the citation either in person or by mail to the city. The citation will state that if the defendant fails to correct the violation (if applicable) and pay the civil penalty on or before the date specified above or fails to appear at the date specified on the citation, the city magistrate or hearing officer will enter a default judgment against him and impose a sanction of not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each alleged violation.
d. Subpoenas for witnesses shall be prepared and signed at the request of either the defendant or the city, and served by personal service, certified mail or first class mail, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4072, as may be amended.
4. Hearing Process.
a. Unless otherwise modified herein, civil enforcement procedures herein shall follow the Arizona Rules of Court for Civil Traffic Violations. Evidence of the charges in the citation may be presented by the city attorney, a code enforcement officer or a building inspector. The defendant may present evidence pro per or through counsel. If the defendant is represented by an attorney, the attorney shall file a notice of appearance with the Maricopa City Court at least five business days prior to the hearing. The defendant will not have a right to a jury trial.
b. If the city magistrate or hearing officer finds that the charges are proven by a preponderance of the evidence, judgment shall be entered against the defendant and sanctions imposed in an amount not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) per violation for each day a violation exists beyond the initial notice constituting a separate offense. If the city magistrate or hearing officer finds the charges not proven, the case shall be dismissed.
c. Any sanction shall be imposed immediately, without setting a sentencing date or probationary period, except that the city magistrate or hearing officer may allow the defendant a time to pay the sanction not more than 30 days from the hearing date. If a defendant cannot pay within 30 days from the hearing date, then the defendant shall enter into an acceptable payment plan to pay the sanction.
d. Any judgment entered against a defendant may be collected as any other civil judgment as provided in the Arizona Revised Statutes. In addition, any judgement entered against a defendant shall constitute a lien against defendant’s real property until paid and a copy of the judgment will be filed with the Pinal County recorder’s office.
C. Any violation of or failure or refusal to do or perform any act required by MCC Title 10 constitutes a civil traffic violation. Civil traffic violations are subject to the provisions of A.R.S. Title 28, Chapter 5, and amendments thereto.
D. Upon a defendant’s conviction for an offense causing economic loss to any person, the court, in its sole discretion, may order that all or any portion of the fine imposed be allocated as restitution to be paid by the defendant to any person who suffered an economic loss caused by the defendant’s conduct. The award of restitution shall be governed by the procedures and standards set forth in A.R.S. § 13-804. [Ord. 22-12 § 1; Ord. 17-05; Code 2004 Art. 1-8.]