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Chapter 2 - Administrative Adjudication

CHAPTER 2

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION

2‑1‑1           ADOPTION OF STATE STATUTES.  The Village hereby adopts 65 ILCS 5/1-2.21, et seq., and 65 ILCS 5/11-31.1-1, et seq., as they may be amended from time to time.

 

 

          2‑1‑2           DEFINITIONS.

          “Village Code”.  The Code of Ordinances of the Village of Westville.

          “Village Official”.  All full-time and part-time police officers as well as any other officer or employee of the Village authorized to enforce the Village Code.

          “Complaint”.  A formal written accusation against a person or entity (i.e., a ticket or notice of violation for a violation of the Village Code).

          “Default”.  A failure to appear for a scheduled hearing or legal proceeding.

          “Hearing Officer”.  An individual appointed by the Mayor, or designated pursuant to any intergovernmental agreement between the Village and another municipality, whose powers and duties shall include:

          (A)               Presiding at all administrative adjudication hearings called to determine whether or not a violation of the Village Code exists;

          (B)               Issuing subpoenas directing witnesses to appear and give relevant testimony at administrative hearings, upon the request of the parties or their representatives;

          (C)               Hearing testimony and accepting evidence relevant to the existence of a violation of the Village Code;

          (D)               Preserving and authenticating the record of administrative adjudication hearings and all exhibits and evidence introduced at such hearings;

          (E)                Issuing determinations, based on the evidence presented at administrative adjudication hearings, of whether a Village Code violation exists.  The determinations shall be in writing and shall include written findings of fact, decisions, and orders, including fines, penalties, or actions with which respondents must comply; and

          (F)                Imposing penalties consistent with the applicable Village Code provisions and assessing costs upon finding a respondent liable for a violation, except, however, that in no event shall the Hearing Officer have authority to (i) impose a penalty of incarceration or (ii) impose a fine in excess of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).  The maximum monetary fine under this Chapter shall be exclusive of the costs of enforcement or the costs imposed to secure compliance with the Village Code and shall not be applicable to cases to enforce the collection of any tax imposed and collected by the Village.

 

          Prior to conducting administrative adjudication proceedings, hearing officers shall have successfully completed a formal training program which includes the following:

          (A)               Instruction on the rules of procedure of the administrative hearings which they will conduct;

          (B)               Orientation to each subject area of Village Code violations which may be adjudicated;

          (C)               Observation of administrative hearings;

          (D)               Participation in hypothetical cases, including ruling on evidence and issuing final orders.

          In addition, every hearing officer must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois for at least three (3) years.

          “Petitioner”.  The person or entity making a Village Code violation allegation initiating the administrative adjudication hearing process.

          “Prima Facie Evidence”.  The bare minimum of evidence needed to bring and prove a case before a Hearing Officer.

          “Property Owner”.  The legal or beneficial owner of real property.

          “Respondent”.  A person or entity who is accused of a violation.

 

 

2‑1‑3           CODE HEARING DEPARTMENT.

          (A)               There is hereby established a Village Code Hearing Department, the function of which is to expedite the prosecution and correction of violations of the Village Code in the manner provided by this Chapter.  The Code Hearing Department of the Village is hereby designated to be the Code Hearing Department of the City of Danville, Illinois, so long as there exists an intergovernmental agreement between the Village and the City of Danville that so provides.  The Hearing Officer and such other agents or employees assigned to the Hearing Officer shall constitute the Code Hearing Department.

          (B)               The adoption of this Chapter does not preclude the Village from using other lawful methods to enforce the provisions of the Village Code.

 

 

          2‑1‑4           VILLAGE CODE HEARING JURISDICTION.  An administrative adjudication proceeding under this Chapter may be initiated for any alleged Village Code violation, except for an offense that is a traffic regulation governing the movement of vehicles and except for any reportable offenses under Section 6-204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

 

 

2-1‑5           VILLAGE CODE HEARING PROCEDURES.  The administrative adjudication of Village Code violations pursuant to this Chapter, shall adhere to the following procedure:

 

          (A)               Complaint.

(1)      Upon finding an alleged Village Code, a Village Official shall prepare and issue a complaint.

(2)      The complaint shall contain, but not necessarily be limited to, the following information:

(a)      The name and last known address of the respondent;

(b)      The date, time, and location at which the alleged violation;

(c)      A statement detailing the type and nature of the violation;

(d)      The chapter and section of the Village Code alleged to have been violated;

(e)      The signature and identification of the Village Official issuing the complaint, which signature shall act as a certification of the accuracy of all information contained within the complaint;

(f)      The names of witnesses to the alleged violation;

(g)      The date, time and location of the Village Code Hearing at which the alleged violation shall be administratively adjudicated, which hearing date shall not be less than thirty (30), nor more than forty (40) days after the date of the complaint in non-emergency situations.  For purposes of this Chapter, “non-emergency situation” means any situation that does not reasonably constitute a threat to the public interests, safety or welfare.  In emergency situations, meaning those situations that reasonably constitute threats to be public interests, safety or welfare, the hearing date shall not be less than three (3), nor more than seven (7) days after the date of the complaint.

(2)      The signed complaint shall constitute the prima facie evidence of the violation.

          (B)               Village Code Hearing Department Procedures.

(1)      The original and a copy of the complaint shall be provided to the Village Code Hearing Department.

(2)      Upon receiving the complaint, the Code Hearing Department shall assign a docket number to the complaint.

(3)      The Village Code Hearing Department shall retain the complaint as part of the record of the administrative adjudication hearing.

 

          (C)               Service of Complaint.  Respondents shall be served with complaints in a manner reasonable calculated to give them actual notice of the complaint, including, as appropriate:

(1)      Personal service upon the respondent or its employees or agents;

(2)      Service by first class mail at the respondent’s last known address;

(3)      Notice that is posted upon the property where an alleged violation is found when the respondent is the owner or manager of the property; or

(4)      Such other method as is reasonably calculated to provide the respondent with actual notice of the administrative hearing proceedings.

          The complaint shall be served along with a summons commanding the respondent to appear at the administrative adjudication hearing.  The summons shall include the following information:

(1)      The type and nature of the Village Code violation to be adjudicated;

(2)      The date and location of the adjudicatory hearing;

(3)      The legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held; and

(4)      The penalties of failure to appear at the hearing.

          (D)               Sufficiency of Pleadings.

(1)      The complaint and summons shall be liberally construed with the view to doing substantial justice between parties.

(2)      If any complaint is insufficient in substance or from, the Hearing Officer may order a fuller or more particular statement.  If the complaint does not sufficiently define the issues, the Hearing Officer may order another complaint prepared.

(3)      No complaint is bad in substance which contains such information as reasonably informs the respondent of the nature of the claim which he is called upon to meet.

(4)      All defects in pleadings, either in form or substance, not objected to prior to the hearing are waived.

          (E)                Conduct of Administrative Adjudication Hearings.

(1)      At any hearing conducted pursuant to this Chapter, the respondent may be represented by counsel, present witnesses or other evidence on his or her own behalf, and cross-examine opposing witnesses.

(2)      Any party to a hearing conducted pursuant to this Chapter may request the hearing officer to issue subpoenas directing
the attendance and testimony of relevant witnesses and the production of relevant documents.

(3)      All continued or adjourned hearings shall be scheduled with reasonable promptness commensurate with the nature and status of the proceeding.

(4)      The formal and technical rules or evidence do not apply in any hearing under this Chapter.  Evidence, including hearsay, may be admitted if it is of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs.

(5)      No continuances shall be authorized by the hearing officer except in cases where a continuance is absolutely necessary to protect the rights of the respondent.  Lack of preparation shall not be grounds for a continuance.  Any continuances authorized by a Hearing Officer shall not exceed twenty-five (25) days.

(6)      All administrative adjudication hearings conducted pursuant to this Chapter shall be recorded.

(7)      All alleged Village Code violations adjudicated pursuant to this Chapter shall be prosecuted by the Village Attorney unless there is an intergovernmental agreement between the Village and another municipality in which case they shall be prosecuted by the attorney so designated in that agreement.

(8)      The case for the respondent may be presented by the respondent, his or her attorney, or any other agent or representatives.

(9)      The burden of proof in all Village Code violations adjudicated pursuant to this Chapter shall be upon the respondent to refute the prima facie case set forth in the complaint.  Such burden shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

(10)    Hearings shall regularly take place on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at the City of Danville Municipal Building, 17 W. Main Street, Danville, IL, or such other days and times as may be necessary and designated by the Code Hearing Department.

          (F)                Failure to Appear.  If, on the date set for hearing, the respondent or his or her attorney fails to appear, the Hearing Officer may find the respondent in default and shall proceed with the hearing and accept evidence relevant to the existence of a Village Code violation.

 

          2‑1‑6           FINDINGS, DECISION, ORDER OF THE HEARING OFFICER.

          (A)               At the conclusion of an administrative adjudication hearing, the Hearing Officer shall make a determination, on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing, whether a Village Code violation exists.  The determination shall be in writing and shall be designated as the findings, decision and order.  The findings, decision and order shall include the Hearing Officer’s findings of fact, a decision of whether a Village Code violation exists based upon the findings of fact, and an order directing and ordering the respondent to correct the violation or, in the event a violation is not proved, dismissing the case.  If a Village Code violation is proved, the order shall also impose the sanctions that are provided in the Village Code for the violation proved as well as the costs of the administrative adjudication proceeding as set forth in Section 2-1-7.

          (B)               A copy of the findings, decision and order shall be served upon the respondent within five (5) days after it is issued.  Service of the copy upon the respondent shall be in the same manner as a complaint and summons may be served under this Chapter.

          (C)               Payment of any penalty or fine and disposition of fine money shall be in the same manner as set forth in the Village Code, unless the payment method shall be otherwise provided for by an intergovernmental agreement.

          (D)               In the event that the findings, decision and order of the Hearing Officer directs the correction of the violation, the Hearing Officer shall also establish a status hearing date scheduled after the date established for the correction of the violation, at which status hearing compliance with the corrective direction shall be determined.  At such time, the Hearing Officer shall hear testimony and accept evidence relevant to the corrective actions of the respondent.  If the hearing officer determines that the Village Code violation has not been corrected as directed, additional sanctions may be imposed as provided by the Village Code.

 

 

2‑1‑7           COSTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATION PROCEEDING.  If a Village Code violation is proved and the respondent is ordered to pay the costs of the administrative adjudication proceeding, the following costs shall be paid by the respondent pursuant to such order:

          (A)               File management/record keeping - Twenty Dollars ($20.00).

          (B)               Hearing officer - Forty Dollars ($40.00).

          (C)               Prosecuting attorney’s fee cost - Forty Dollars ($40.00).

 

 

          2-1-8           ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW LAW TO APPLY.  The findings, decision and order of the Hearing Officer shall be subject to the review on the Circuit Court for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Vermilion County, Illinois and the provisions of the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-101, et seq.) and all amendments and
modification thereto, and the rules adopted pursuant thereto, are adopted and shall apply to govern every action for the judicial review of the findings, decision and order of the Hearing Officer under this Chapter.

 

 

          2-1-9           ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT.

          (A)               Any fine, other section, or costs imposed, or part of any fine, other sanction or costs imposed remaining unpaid after the exhaustion of, or the failure to exhaust, judicial review procedures under the Illinois Administrative Review Law, are a debt due and owning to the Village and may be collected in accordance with applicable law.

          (B)               After expiration of the period in which judicial review under the Illinois Administrative Review Law may be sought for a final determination of a Village Code violation, unless stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction, the findings, decision and order of the Hearing Officer may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

          (C)               In any case in which a respondent has failed to comply with an order directing the respondent to correct a Village Code violation or imposing any fine or other sanction as a result of a Village Code violation, any expenses incurred by the Village to enforce the order, including but not limited to, its attorney’s fees, court costs and costs related to property demolition or foreclosure, after they are fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction, shall be due and owning the Village and may be collected in accordance with applicable law.  Prior to any expenses being fixed by a Hearing Officer pursuant to this subsection, the Village shall provide a notice to the respondent that states that the respondent shall appear at a hearing before the hearing officer to determine whether the respondent has failed to comply with the order.  The notice shall set the date for such hearing, which shall not be less than seven (7) days from the date that notice is served.  If notice is served by mail, the seven (7) day period shall begin to run on the date that the notice was deposited in the mail.

          (D)               Upon being recorded in the manner required by Article XII of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, a lien shall be imposed upon the real estate of the respondent in the amount of any debt due and owing under this Chapter.  The lien may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment lien pursuant to a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.

          (E)                The Hearing Officer may set aside any order entered by default and set a new hearing date upon a petition filed within twenty-one (21) days after the issuance of the order of default, if the Hearing Officer determines that the respondent’s failure to appear at the hearing was for good cause or at anytime if the respondent establishes that the Village did not provide proper service of process.  If any judgment is set aside pursuant to this subsection, the Hearing Officer shall have the authority to enter any order extinguishing any lien which has been recorded for any debt due and owing the Village as a result of the vacated default order.


          2-1-10        SANCTIONS APPLICABLE TO PROPERTY AND PROPERTY OWNER.  An order to correct a Village Code violation and the sanctions imposed by the Village as a result of a finding of a Village Code violation under this Chapter shall attach to the property as well as to the property owner, so that a finding of a Village Code violation against one property owner cannot be avoided by conveying or transferring the property to another owner.  Any subsequent transferee or property owner takes subject to the findings, decision and order of the Hearing Officer under this Chapter.

 

 

          2-1-11        DEFENSES TO CERTAIN VILLAGE CODE VIOLATIONS.  It shall be a defense to a Village Code violation charged under the Village’s building or zoning codes which establish construction, plumbing, heating, electrical, fire prevention, sanitation or other health and safety standards that are applicable to the structures in the Village, if the respondent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that:

          (A)               The alleged Village Code violation does not, in fact, exist or at the time of the hearing the violation has been remedied or removed;

          (B)               The Village Code violation has been caused by the current property occupants and that, in spite of reasonable attempts by the respondent to maintain the dwelling free of such violations, the current occupants continue to cause the violations; or,

          (C)               An occupant or resident of the dwelling has refused entry to the respondent or his agents to all or part of the dwelling for the purpose of correcting the Village Code violation.

 

(Ord. No. 1352; 01-24-06)