Code of Alabama - Title 16: Education - Section 16-27A-7 - Contesting a notice of violation; adjudication

Section 16-27A-7 - Contesting a notice of violation; adjudication.

(a) No person shall be responsible for payment of a civil fine for a notice of violation issued under this chapter if the operator of the vehicle that is the subject of the notice of violation is adjudicated to have not committed a violation or there is otherwise a lawful determination that no civil penalty may be imposed. Any person receiving a notice of violation pursuant to this chapter, in accordance with the procedure set out in this chapter and on the notice of violation, may contest the notice of violation by obtaining a hearing in the court.

(b) District and municipal courts of this state are vested with the power and jurisdiction to adjudicate a notice of violation issued pursuant to this chapter as a civil offense whenever the offense is alleged to have occurred within the geographic jurisdiction of the court.

(c) The following procedures shall apply to proceedings to contest a notice of violation issued pursuant to this chapter:

(1) Upon receipt of a timely notice that the person receiving the notice of violation is contesting the notice, the governing body shall cause the case to be docketed in court and shall issue notice of the hearing date.

(2) The issuance of a notice of violation shall be prima facie evidence that the person who received the notice of violation was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.

(3) In the event there is a dispute between the owner and another as to which person was operating the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation, or a dispute between joint owners, it shall be presumed that the owner was operating the vehicle, and in the event there are joint owners, the presumption shall follow the order the owners are listed on the title or other evidence of ownership. However, a court may determine the identity of the operator of the vehicle based on any admitted evidence.

(4) The notice of violation, any evidence of the violation produced by a device, and evidence of ownership of a vehicle as shown by copies or summaries of official records shall be admissible into evidence without foundation.

(5) All other matters of evidence and procedure not specifically addressed in this chapter shall be subject to the rules of procedure as provided in this chapter. On any appeal in the circuit court the procedures shall be as for any civil case in circuit court.

(6) The court shall apply the preponderance of the evidence standard in adjudicating any notice of violation.

(7) Whenever payment of a civil fine is due, the amount of the civil fine may not be decreased and the liability may be satisfied only by payment.

(8) A civil fine in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300) shall be assessed for each offense, and court costs shall be assessed only in contested cases in the same manner and in the same amounts prescribed for a violation prosecuted as a misdemeanor under Section 32-5A-154. Court costs collected pursuant to this chapter shall be distributed in the same manner as prescribed by law for the distribution of court costs for misdemeanor violations. An additional fee of ten dollars ($10) shall be collected by the district or municipal court in connection with notices issued under this chapter to be paid to the State Bureau of Investigations and deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Criminal Justice Information System Automation Fund as compensation for record keeping and transaction processing with respect to violation notices issued under this chapter. Any civil fine assessed under this chapter and collected by the court shall be remitted pursuant to subsection (c) of Section 16-27A-3.

(Act 2016-166, §7.)

Last modified: May 3, 2021