Cary to set fines for new court

CARY – The village plans to formalize fines for ordinance violations that will be handled in a new municipal court.

Police Chief Steven Casstevens said the proposed ordinance is the first of several needed to establish an administrative adjudication program.

The Village Board is scheduled to vote on the ordinance during its meeting today.

The list of cases includes parking violations, vehicle equipment violations, truancy violations and solicitation without a permit.

Village officials also plan to adjudicate violations of its recently updated animal control ordinance.

Parking violations would carry a $25 fine if paid within 14 days of a hearing. The fine doubles if paid after two weeks. Fines for violating the animal control ordinance will be $75 if paid within 14 days and $150 if paid after two weeks after a hearing.

Under administrative adjudication, seat belt violations, noise complaints, dogs at large, dumping, littering, trespassing, disorderly conduct, curfew violations, theft and building code violations can be heard.

Also listed in the ordinance is possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Casstevens said the marijuana listing is a placeholder in case the Village Board wants to eventually include marijuana possession in its administrative adjudication program.

There currently is no ordinance in the village banning marijuana possession. Officers currently must charge suspects under the state statute and send those cases to McHenry County Circuit Court.

Village officials said they hope to have an administrative adjudication program started by the end of March.

Casstevens said that after the program is established he plans to discuss with the Village Board whether members are interested in administrative adjudication for possessing small amounts of marijuana or whether they’d prefer to keep sending such cases to circuit court.

Whether someone goes to administrative adjudication or court would be up to the officer, Casstevens said.

“We always give officers discretion,” he said. “We expect officers to look at each individual case on a case-by-case basis ... and make decisions on the totality of each individual case.”

In administrative adjudication, hearings are in a courtroomlike setting but are conducted in a city council chambers or a village board room.

If respondents are found liable in administrative adjudication, the accusations are not placed on a criminal record.

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