Municipal Infractions

Municipal Infractions

Municipal Infractions are civil citations used as an educational and enforcement tool to obtain compliance with the Bowie City code. Municipal infractions are issued by a "code enforcement officer" including Code Compliance Officers, Animal Control Officers, Park Rangers and Bowie Police Officers.

When are Municipal Infractions Issued?

Generally, municipal infractions are issued after a warning was issued to the person to correct a city code violation but failed to do so. A warning notice (Notice of Violation) may be in the form of a letter, door hanger or verbal communications. A written notice has a description of the violation, referenced code section, a violation correction date and the name and telephone number of the issuing code enforcement officer.

A municipal infraction may be issued without a prior warning if the circumstances dictate it should be issued immediately and a warning is not required by the City code. A municipal infraction may be issued immediately to a repeat offender, out of state violator (solicitor), and when the officer witnesses the defendant committing the civil infraction.

Municipal infractions are issued to each violator and, if occurring on private property, to all property owners, especially when an abatement order is required to correct the violation. Tenants, resident agents, business owners and visitors may also receive a municipal infraction for offenses occurring on property other than their own.

A municipal infraction may be delivered personally, by certified restricted mail, first class mail or conspicuously posting on the property. Alternate service may be provided with the approval of the District Court.

Municipal Infractions

Example of Municipal Infraction Citation

Click on image to view larger citation

If You Receive a Municipal Infraction

If you receive a municipal infraction, please read it carefully. It is a court document charging you with a specific offense. The document describes the violation, date, time and location of occurrence, the fine, *dates to pay the fine, request a trial or an Administrative Review Board (ARB) hearing, and the officer's name and telephone number.

Once the municipal infraction is delivered, you may elect to:
  • Pay the fine,
  • Request a District Court trial, or
  • Apply for an Administrative Review Board (ARB) hearing.
    To request a hearing before the ARB please complete and submit the attached ARB application. Mail the application to the Department of Community Services, 15901 Excalibur Road, Bowie, MD 20716
*These dates are time specific and require a response. If you take no action, the municipal infraction will be forwarded to the District Court for trial plus the City may request to double the fines and seek an abatement order. The abatement order permits the City to enter onto the property to make the necessary repairs and the costs to be paid by the property owner in the form a lien on the property.

The mere payment of the fine does not absolve the defendant of the responsibility to correct the violation. Payment of the preset fine will not satisfy the abatement action and the officer may seek the abatement order at court even if the fine was paid.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding municipal infractions, please contact the issuing code enforcement officer or the Code Compliance Office at 301-809-3008.