The Legal Division of the City of Danville consists of 2 attorneys and 2 support staff members. The Legal Division prosecutes all City ordinance violation cases, which includes property maintenance and building code violations, as well as collection of delinquent bills owed to the city. The Legal Division is also responsible for preparation and enforcement of certain City ordinances and advising City officials and Departments concerning the ordinances. In 2001, Municipal Court was added as an additional means for resolving legal matters. The program has been very successful.
A case may be referred to Municipal Court after a complaint is filed by a City Official in response to an ordinance violation. A Complaint includes:
The respondent will then be served with the complaint and summons to appear and will include such information as:
On the initial hearing date, the respondent may plead guilty or not guilty to the violation. At a trial the respondent may present witnesses or evidence, cross examine opposing witnesses, and be represented by counsel. Subpoenas may be requested for witnesses.
Failure to appear at a hearing may result in the respondent being in default and proceeding with the hearing. After the hearing, the hearing officer will make a determination on the basis of the evidence presented. If the hearing officer determines that no violation occurred, the case is dismissed. If the hearing officer determines that a violation occurred, the penalties may be issued. Penalties may include:
A new hearing to set aside an order may be set if a petition is filed within 21 days after the order was issued.
The findings and decision are subject to review in the Circuit Court through the Administrative Review Law.
Any fine or costs that are unpaid after the time allowed for judicial review are a debt owed to the City of Danville.