Complaint / review text:
Mesa City Code Title I Administrative, Chapter 27 - Civil Code Violations
(A) A person with a civil code complaint shall appear at the time and place stated in the complaint or may appear prior to the time if so authorized by the court and upon the directions contained in the complaint and admit or deny the allegations of the complaint. Allegations not denied at the time of appearance are admitted. A fee shall not be charged for such appearance.
(B) If the allegations are admitted, the court shall enter judgment for the City and impose a civil sanction. Allegations may be admitted with an explanation.in such case the court shall enter judgment for the City and impose a civil sanction.in determining the civil sanction, the court shall consider the explanation submitted.
(C) If the person denies the allegations of the complaint; the court shall set the matter for hearing. All such hearings are informal and without a jury, and the City is required to prove the violation charged by preponderance of the evidence.
Technical rules of evidence do not apply, except for statutory provisions relating to privileged communications. If the person elects to be represented by counsel, the person shall so notify the court at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing date. Hearings may be recorded. If the court finds in favor of the person, the court shall enter an order dismissing the allegation. If the court finds in favor of the City, the court shall enter judgment for the City and impose a civil sanction.
(D) If the person served with a civil code complaint fails to appear on or before the time directed to appear or at the time set for hearing by the court, the allegations in the complaint shall be deemed admitted, and the court shall enter judgment for the City and impose a civil sanction.
Anybody notice what missing from these rules? How about Amendments 4,5, 6 and 7 from the U.S. Constitution. I specifically draw your attention to the parts, which say: "The hearing is informal and without a jury" and "Technical rules of evidence do not apply". Does anyone grasp the significance of those statements? Without "Technical rules of evidence" there are no rules of evidence at all. This statement gives the Judge the authority to admit or not admit whatever evidence he wants to and the defendant has no recourse. Let's say you have evidence, which will completely win your case. The judge doesn't have to admit it as evidence or consider it at all and doesn't even have to give you an explanation of why. Not only that, but our Municipal Court hears cases which involve misdemeanors that have penalties up to a $2,500 fine and six months in jail. Think about that. A person in Mesa can be brought before a Court that has no jury and no rules of evidence and can be put in jail for up to six months by that Court. Think something like that can only happen in China, or in the old Soviet Union? Wrong! It's in Mesa, Arizona today.
Late last year I had the displeasure of running into a City of Mesa park ranger and received a citation for violating the dog leash law. I then discovered the meaning of these court rules first hand. The really sad thing though, is that our local rules are based on the State and Federal rules which are also Unconstitutional. And we wonder why we can't get justice in court. It seems that the Supreme Courts' been falling down on the job for a long time now, and we're living with the results. Considering that the Preamble to Mesa's City Charter says the City is dedicated to the United States Constitution, you'd think someone in the local government would have caught on to the Unconstitutional nature of these rules by now. There's a reason why our founding fathers put those four Amendments into the Constitution; it was to prevent Cities and States from doing just this sort of thing. Looks like our City and State governments' are falling down on the job too.