RESOLUTION NO. RS2002-1172
A resolution supporting the Constitutional Amendment permitting an increase of fines for ordinance violations.
WHEREAS, Tennessee’s cities and towns fulfill a vital role in protecting public health and safety, promoting livable communities, and preserving community heritage; and
WHEREAS, Tennessee’s cities and towns enact and enforce ordinances that protect, promote, and preserve community health, safety, quality of life, and community heritage; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that fines of more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for municipal ordinance violations are permissible if the purpose of such fines is to punish a violator; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruling was based on the Court’s interpretation of the original Tennessee Constitution of 1796, which provides in Article 6, Section 14, that “No fine shall be laid on any citizen of this State that shall exceed fifty dollars ($50.00), unless it shall be assessed by a jury of his peers”; and
WHEREAS, cities are not authorized to hold jury trials; and
WHEREAS, in 1796, a potential fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) was a meaningful sanction with a considerable deterrent effect; and
WHEREAS, today, a potential fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) is not always a meaningful deterrent, leaving cities with little ability to deter illegal activity that threatens the health and safety of our families, our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our communities; and
WHEREAS, the Tennessee General Assembly approved a proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the proposed amendment will appear as Question 2 on the ballot for the General Election of November 5, 2002; and
WHEREAS, the amendment would require the General Assembly to set limits on fines assessed without a jury; and
WHEREAS, passage of the amendment would allow for meaningful enforcement of public health and safety ordinances.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
SECTION 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting as supporting the passage of the proposed amendment to Article 6, Section 14 of the State Constitution, also known as Question 2.
SECTION 2. Further, that the Metropolitan Council urges its citizens to vote “YES” on Question 2 to promote and protect public health and safety.
SECTION 3. This resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Chris Ferrell, Ronnie Greer
|Referred to:||Rules & Confirmations Committee|
|Introduced:||October 1 , 2002|
|Adopted:||October 1 , 2002|
|Returned Unsigned by Mayor:||October 3, 2002|