Hearing Set for Municipal Enforcement Bill

 A hearing has been scheduled for July 19th on a bill filed by Representative Steve Kulik that would increase the amount cities and towns may assess as fines for violation of ordinances and by-laws from $300 to $1,000.  The hearing will be held at State House Room A-1 at 11:00 AM on July 19th.  The full text of the bill follows: 

SECTION 1. The first paragraph of section 21 of chapter 40 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by striking out the words, three hundred dollars in line 5-6, and inserting in place thereof the words one thousand dollars

SECTION 2. The fifth paragraph of section 21D of chapter 40 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by striking out the words, three hundred dollars in lines 44-45 and inserting in place thereof the words one thousand dollars

SECTION 3. Section 21D of chapter 40 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the end of said section the following new tenth paragraph: — Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and any general or special law to the contrary, in any suit in equity brought in the superior court or the land court by any city or town, or any municipal agency, officer, board or commission having enforcement powers on behalf of such a city or town, to enforce the provisions of any lawfully enacted ordinance or bylaw, or any rule, regulation or order described in this section, the court, upon a finding that such violation occurred, may assess a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation thereof. Civil penalties assessed under this paragraph shall be in addition to any equitable relief ordered by the court, and shall be paid to such city or town for such use as the city or town may direct. In considering any penalty to be assessed under this paragraph, the court shall consider (a) whether the violation was willful or negligent, (b) any harm to the public health, safety or environment resulting from the violation, (c) any economic benefit gained by the defendant as a result of the violation, (d) the cost to the city or town resulting from the violation, including its enforcement costs and reasonable attorneys fees, (e) any history of noncompliance by the defendant, and (f) whether the defendant made good faith efforts to cure or cease the violation of such ordinance or bylaw after the first notice thereof by such city or town.

SECTION 4. The second paragraph of section 7 of chapter 40A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by striking out the words three hundred dollars in lines 16-17, and inserting in place thereof the words one thousand dollars

SECTION 5. The third paragraph of section 7 of chapter 40A of the General Laws, as appearing the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word thereof in line 49 the phrase and, upon determination that such violations have occurred, may assess civil penalties therefore in accordance with the provisions of the tenth paragraph of section 21D of chapter 40 of the General Laws.