HB 470-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 470-FN-LOCAL
SPONSORS: Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29
COMMITTEE: Resources, Recreation and Development
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I-b. Any ordinances or bylaws adopted pursuant to this section may include a schedule of penalties for violations of the requirements adopted to ensure the proper maintenance and operation of the sewage system, stormwater system, or stormwater utility, as applicable. Any penalty so established shall constitute the civil penalty under paragraph II and shall be enforceable in the same manner. Any such penalty may be in any amount up to the maximum stated in paragraph II.
II. Any person who violates any ordinance or bylaw adopted pursuant to paragraph I or I-a of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day of such violation. Each day a violation continues shall be a separate offense. In addition, the municipality may petition the court for any appropriate action to prevent, enjoin, abate, or remove the violation.
IV. In any action brought by a municipality for injunctive relief or recovery of civil penalties under paragraph II in which the municipality prevails, the court shall award to the municipality its costs and reasonable attorney fees actually expended in pursuing the action, to be paid by the violator. For the purposes of this paragraph, recoverable costs shall include all out-of-pocket expenses actually incurred, including but not limited to inspection fees, expert fees, and investigatory expenses.
V. If any violation of a local ordinance or bylaw under paragraph I or I-a results in the expenditure of public funds by a municipality which are not reimbursed under paragraph IV, the court in its discretion may order, as an additional civil penalty, that a violator make restitution to the municipality for the funds expended.
HB 470-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ]
This bill permits municipalities to include a schedule of penalties for violations of their wastewater or stormwater ordinances. Each day a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense. Existing law specifies that such civil penalties cannot exceed $10,000 per day for such violation. This bill specifies that in any action brought forward for injunctive relief or recovery of civil penalties in which the municipality prevails, the court shall award to the municipality its costs and reasonable attorney fees to be paid by the violator.
The Department of Environmental Services states local revenue and expenditures would only be impacted by a violation of a local ordinance. If there were a violation of a local ordinance, local expenditures could decrease as this bill provides for the recovery of legal costs. Revenue will not be impacted as penalties will continue to be assessed by the municipality per its local ordinance.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill could impact the revenue and expenditures of individual municipalities bringing cases forward against violators. However, the Association is unable to predict the fiscal impact this bill would have on local expenditures and revenue.
The Judicial Branch states this bill could lead to increased court actions for injunctive relief or for the recovery of what could be substantial civil penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial system. There is no method to determine how may actions would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on Judicial Branch expenditures. However, the Judicial Branch has provided the potential costs associated with this bill below.
Complex Equity Case
Complex Civil Case
It should be noted average case cost estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.
Department of Environmental Services, New Hampshire Municipal Association, and Judicial Branch
|Jan. 24, 2017||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 8, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|Feb. 15, 2017||House||Floor Vote|
Feb. 15, 2017: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/15/2017 HJ 7 P. 44
: Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass
Feb. 15, 2017: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/15/2017 (Vote 9-8; RC) HC 11 P. 21
Feb. 8, 2017: Executive Session: 02/08/2017 10:15 AM LOB 305
Jan. 24, 2017: Public Hearing: 01/24/2017 11:00 AM LOB 305
Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Resources, Recreation and Development HJ 3 P. 14