By-Law Enforcement FAQ
The Town of Stonewall enforces its by-laws though professional By-Law Enforcement Officers. Our approach to by-law enforcement is to secure compliance by offering awareness and education about the Town’s by-laws. By-laws are in place for the benefit and safety of all residents and the Town of Stonewall is committed to delivering a fair, firm and friendly approach to enforcement.
The Municipal By-law Enforcement Act allows municipalities to enforce by-law violations using administrative penalties. The Town of Stonewall contracts Commissionaires to enforce the by-laws established by the Town and its mandates set by Council. Common by-laws include: traffic control, vehicle parking and stopping regulations, animal control, noise, burning, derelict vehicles, and unsightly property.
Individuals may receive a ticket or a warning depending on the violation. Those who receive a warning will be given a timeframe in which they have to correct the issue. Failure to meet the requirements set out in the warning may result in a penalty notice being issued.
A penalty notice is issued if a by-law enforcement officer believes that there has been a by-law violation. The notice will include the relevant information relating to the violation and the amount of administrative penalty that is owed. Those who receive a ticket have 30 days to pay. If a ticket remains unpaid, a final notice will be sent out. This notice will extend the due date by another 30 days.
How to Pay the Fine on the Penalty Notice
Payment of the fine indicated on the Penalty Notice can be made in person or by mail to:
Town of Stonewall
293 Main Street, PO Box 250
Stonewall MB R0C 2Z0
Do not send cash in the mail.
Payment may also be made by debit, cash or cheque at the Town Office.
How to Dispute a Penalty Notice
You have 30 days from the date the penalty notices is issued to dispute the penalty notice. If you do not pay the penalty or dispute the penalty before that date, you will receive a Final Notice. The Final Notice will give you 30 additional days to pay or dispute the penalty notice. If you do neither within that period, you will no longer be able to dispute the penalty notice.
The screening officer will review the penalty notice and may:
- Cancel the penalty notice;
- In some circumstances, enter into a compliance agreement with your consent to resolve the violation;
- In some circumstances reduce the administrative penalty if the circumstances warrant; or
- Uphold the penalty notice.
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the screening officer, you may request a hearing before an adjudicator.
How to Request an Adjudication Hearing
You may request an adjudication hearing by completing and returning an Adjudication Request Form to the municipal offices within seven (7) days of receipt of the Screening Officer's Decision. Shortly after you submit the form, you will be contacted to schedule the adjudication hearing. The address, email or phone number set out on the form will be used to contact you.
You are required to pay a $25 adjudication fee when requesting an adjudication hearing. The amount will be refunded to you if you are successful.
The adjudicator is appointed by the province and must be independent and objective. The adjudicator may not be an employee or officer of any municipality and may not hear a dispute if there is an apprehension of bias towards you.
You may appear at the adjudication in person, or you may be represented by an agent or a lawyer. You may also participate in the adjudication hearing through prepared written submission or by telephone or other telecommunications device. Be sure to clearly indicate how you wish to participate when scheduling the hearing.
At the adjudication hearing, the adjudicator will review the screening officer’s decision and the relevant evidence before deciding whether or not the contravention occurred. If the adjudicator believes that the violation occurred, the administrative penalty must be paid in full. If not, the penalty notice is cancelled, the $25 adjudication fee is refunded, and no penalties are payable. The adjudicator may also reduce the administrative penalty if exception circumstances exist.
What is a Compliance Agreement
A compliance agreement is an agreement that you may voluntarily enter into in certain situations. By entering into the agreement, you recognize that a by-law violation has occurred and agree to resolve the violation by bringing the situation back into compliance with the by-law.
Compliance agreements are best suited to ongoing violations, like minor zoning issues or general neighbourhood livability by-laws, where you are willing to correct the situation but need some time to do so. The compliance agreement will include a time period for resolving the situation and identify what needs to occurred before the situation is resolved.
The screening officer will review a report from the by-law officer concerning whether the agreement has been complied with. The screening officer will cancel the penalty notice if the terms of the compliance agreement are fulfilled. If the screening officer believes that you have not complied with the terms of the agreement, the penalty must be paid within 14 days of when you received the notice of the screening officer’s decision.
You may dispute the screening officer’s decision by requesting an adjudication hearing.
What Happens if the Administrative Penalty is Not Paid
An administrative penalty may become payable in one of the following scenarios:
- You do not respond to a penalty notice within 30 days of receiving a Final Notice;
- The screening officer confirms that the by-law violation occurred, and you do not request an adjudication hearing within the time set out;
- The screening officer determines that you did not comply with the terms of a compliance agreement and you do not request an adjudication hearing within 14 days; or
- The adjudicator confirms that the by-law violation occurred.
In any of these scenarios, the administrative penalty is owing and must be paid by you to the Municipality. The Municipality is entitled to take enforcement action to recover any unpaid amounts.
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