40:64-12. Penalty; jurisdiction of courts; copy of ordinance as evidence
40:64-12. Penalty; jurisdiction of courts; copy of ordinance as evidence.
a. The commission may prescribe a fine for the violation of each of its ordinances in an amount not exceeding $1500.00 for each violation, and the courts which now or hereafter shall have jurisdiction over actions for the violation of ordinances of the municipality in which the commission has been or shall be appointed shall have jurisdiction in actions for the violation of such ordinances as the commission shall enact.
The ordinances shall be enforced by like proceedings and process and the practice for the enforcement thereof shall be the same as that provided by law for the enforcement of the ordinances of the municipality in which the commission exists.
The officers authorized by law to serve and execute process in the aforementioned courts shall be the officers to serve and execute any process issued out of any court under this chapter.
A copy of any ordinance of the commission, certified to under the hand of its secretary, or chairman shall be received in any court of this State as full and legal proof of the existence of the ordinance, and that all requirements of law in relation to the ordaining, publishing and making of the same, so as to make it legal and binding, have been complied with, unless the contrary be shown.
b. In addition to the penalties authorized by subsection a. of this section, the commission may require a person who removes or otherwise destroys a tree in violation of a municipal ordinance to pay a replacement assessment to the municipality. The replacement assessment shall be the value of the tree as determined by the appraisal of a trained forester or Certified Tree Expert retained by the commission for that purpose. In lieu of an appraisal, the commission may adopt a formula and schedule based upon the number of square inches contained in a cross section of the trunk of the tree multiplied by a predetermined value per square inch, not to exceed $27.00 per square inch. The square inch cross section shall be calculated from the diameter at breast height and, if there is a multiple stem tree, then each trunk shall be measured and an average shall be determined for the tree. For the purposes of this section, "diameter at breast height" shall mean the diameter of the tree taken at a point 4-1/2 feet above ground level. The commission shall modify the value of the tree based upon its species variety, location and its condition at the time of removal or destruction.
c. Any public utility or cable television company that clears, moves, cuts, or destroys any trees, shrubs, or plants for the purpose of erecting, installing, moving, removing, altering or maintaining any structures or fixtures, necessary for the supply of electric light, heat or power, communication, or cable television services upon any lands in which it has acquired an easement or right-of-way, shall not be subject to any penalty imposed by a commission pursuant to subsections a. or b. of this section. This subsection shall not exempt any public utility or cable television company from any penalty or replacement assessment imposed for negligent actions.
Amended 1958,c.42,s.9; 1991,c.396.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016