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    (a) Scope of Rule. This rule governs the procedure in juvenile court for all cases involving "infractions". Infractions are noncriminal violations of law defined by statute or ordinance.
    (b) Notice of Infraction.  An infraction case is initiated by the issuance, service, and filing of a notice of infraction in accordance with this rule. The notice shall identify the infraction which the respondent is alleged to have committed, the accompanying statutory citation or ordinance number, the date the infraction occurred, and the date of the prehearing conference.
    (c) Service of Notice. Upon the prosecuting authority filing the notice of infraction with the court, the clerk of the court shall have the notice served by mail, postage prepaid, on the person named in the notice of infraction at his or her address.
    (d) Prehearing Conference.  The prehearing conference shall be set no sooner than 14 days and no later than 60 days after the filing of the notice of infraction.  At the conference, the juvenile may (1) pay the amount of the monetary penalty in accordance with applicable law, in which case the court shall enter a judgment that the respondent has committed the infraction; (2) explain any mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the infraction; or (3) contest the determination that an infraction occurred by requesting a contested hearing;
    (e) Mitigation Hearing.  If the respondent indicates that there are mitigating circumstances, the court shall hold an informal hearing which shall not be governed by the Rules of Evidence.  The court shall determine whether the respondent’s explanation of the events justifies reduction of the monetary penalty. The court shall enter an order finding the respondent committed the infraction and may assess a monetary penalty. The court may not impose a penalty in excess of the monetary penalty provided for the infraction by law. The court may waive or suspend a portion of the monetary penalty, or provide for time payments, or in lieu of monetary payment provide for the performance of community service as provided by law. The court has continuing jurisdiction and authority to supervise disposition for not more than 1 year.
    (f) Contested Hearing. The contested hearing shall be scheduled for not more than 60 days from the date of the prehearing conference. The court shall determine whether the plaintiff has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent committed the infraction. If the court finds the infraction was committed, it shall enter an appropriate order on its records and it may assess a monetary penalty against the respondent. The monetary penalty assessed may not exceed the monetary penalty provided for the infraction by law. The court may waive or suspend a portion of the monetary penalty, or provide for time payments, or in lieu of monetary payment provide for the performance of community service as provided by law. The court has continuing jurisdiction and authority to supervise disposition for not more than 1 year.  If the court finds the infraction was not committed, it shall enter an order dismissing the case.
    (g) Failure to Appear. If the respondent fails to respond to a notice of infraction or fails to appear for a court hearing, the court shall enter an order finding that the respondent has committed the infraction and shall assess any monetary penalties provided for by law.

[Adopted effective May 1, 2002.]