45th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2001
RELATING TO THE ENFORCING OF COUNTY ORDINANCES; CREATING A QUASI-JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
Section 1. Section 4-37-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 312, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"4-37-3. ENFORCING COUNTY ORDINANCES--JURISDICTION.--
A. County ordinances may be enforced by prosecution for violations of those ordinances in any court of competent jurisdiction of the county. Penalties for violations of any county ordinances shall not exceed a fine of three hundred dollars ($300) or imprisonment for ninety days or both the fine and imprisonment; except that a county may enact and enforce ordinances that impose the following penalties in addition to any other penalty provided by law:
(1) no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for discarding or disposing of refuse, litter or garbage on public or private property in any manner other than by disposing it in an authorized landfill;
(2) no more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the improper or illegal disposal of hazardous materials or waste in any manner other than as provided for in the Hazardous Waste Act; and
(3) no more than imprisonment for three hundred sixty-four days or a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, for violation of an ordinance regarding driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
B. Prosecution of violations under this section
may be commenced by the issuance of a citation charging the
violation. Citations may be issued by the code enforcement
officer of the county or an employee [
or employees] of the
county authorized by the board of county commissioners to
issue such citations.
C. County ordinances may also be enforced through a quasi-judicial administrative process created by county ordinance. An administrative enforcement ordinance may provide for a hearing officer or other form of quasi-judicial tribunal to impose fines up to the amounts specified in Subsection A of this section, and the counties may collect the fines imposed and utilize those funds for enforcement of its ordinances, including the costs incurred for the quasi-judicial administrative process to enforce the county ordinances. The administrative enforcement ordinance may provide for the county to correct or abate a violation and assess the costs incurred, including reasonable administrative costs, against the violator pursuant to state laws for establishing such property liens. Any such liens shall have the same force and effect as a tax lien. A final decision through the administrative process shall be subject to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978 for appeal of administrative decisions. A fine imposed or costs assessed pursuant to an administrative ordinance as provided in this section shall also be subject to collection by a county through any other means allowed by law for collection of debts."