General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 40U Municipal Fines - Section 12 Return of notice of violation; payment; request for hearing; additional charges for non-payment

Section 12. Where a notice of violation is issued for a code violation, the alleged violator, within 21 days, shall return the notice of violation by mail, personally or by an authorized person, to the municipal hearing officer and shall either: (1) pay in full the scheduled fine by check, postal note, money order or other legal tender; or (2) request a hearing before the municipal hearing officer. Each violation issued shall contain a statement explaining the procedure to adjudicate the violation by mail. Any amounts paid shall be payable to the municipality. If a fine remains unpaid for 21 days and no hearing has been requested, a letter shall be sent to the property owner of record’s mailing address and, if appropriate to the local individual or property management company responsible for the maintenance of the property, with a processing fee of not more than $10, notifying him that the fine shall be paid within 30 days after receipt of that notice unless within 14 days of receiving that notice the property owner requests a hearing before the municipal hearing officer and swears in writing under the pains and penalties of perjury that the property owner did not receive the notice of violation. If the fine remains unpaid after that 30 day period, additional penalties and interest may be attached. Thereafter, any fine and additional penalties and interest that may be attached and which remain unpaid shall become an additional assessment on the property owner’s tax bill. Such amount and cost relative thereto may also be a lien upon such real estate as provided in section 42B of chapter 40. A municipality’s determination of whether to place a lien on the property may involve the number of and the dollar amount of the violations on the property. The property owner of record shall be notified by certified mail of the lien on the property. No lien shall be removed without notice from the tax collector that all such matters have been disposed of in accordance with law. Additional charges equal to the amount required to file the lien and the amount required to release the lien shall be assessed against the owner of record for the purpose of ensuring that all costs associated with filing and release are recovered.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015