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Local Ordinances in MNCIS Offense Table

This information is intended for use by criminal justice agencies.

Background:

As of July 14, 2014, the MNCIS Offense Table will include offense codes for individual ordinance violations.  Before that, ordinance violations were added to cases in MNCIS using generic ordinance offense codes.  The generic offense code required manual processing by court staff and additional mapping in law enforcement and prosecutor programs.

New changes in MNCIS now enable individual offense codes to be added for specific ordinance violations.  Configuring unique offense codes for ordinance violations allows key data elements to auto populate into MNCIS, the same way statutory violation data auto populates.  These data elements include case type, default level of offense, fine amounts if payable, and offense descriptions.  Automating this data should speed up case initiation and reduce data entry errors.

The following process and documentation is provided to ensure the accuracy of local ordinance data in the MNCIS offense table; facilitates a prompt, efficient process to add or modify that ordinance data; and makes that data available to justice partners and court staff as needed.

Please direct questions or comments to your local court administration office.

Process to Add/Modify/Repeal an Ordinance (Word Doc)

Form to Request Add/Modify an Ordinance (Word Doc)

Administrative Rules and Ordinances MNCIS Report

Instructions for Using Administrative Rules and Ordinances MNCIS Report (Word Doc)

Statewide Payable Offense Policy

FAQs

1.  How do I get an ordinance added to the offense table?

Submit a request to add the ordinance with the Request to Add/Modify Ordinance Form.

2. How do I request a modification to an ordinance offense code?

Submit a request to modify the ordinance with the Request to Add/Modify Ordinance Form.

3. What will happen if an ordinance violation is charged but it is not in the MNCIS offense table?

If the MNCIS offense table data and charged ordinance do not match: 

  • eCitations and eComplaints submitted under the 3.5 (and later) schema will be auto rejected;
  • processing of paper citations and complaints will be delayed until the issue is resolved.

Submit a request to modify or add the ordinance with the Request to Add/Modify Ordinance Form.

4. Will there be a unique reference identification number for ordinances like there is for statutes?  If so, who assigns that number?

A unique reference identification number will be assigned by the courts to each ordinance offense code entered into the MNCIS Offense Table.  The reference identification numbers assigned by the courts will always begin with the letter “R”.  This will prevent any duplication of reference identification numbers assigned by the Minnesota Criminal Justice Statute Service (MNCJSS). 

5. How will an ordinance that “adopts” a chapter(s) of Minnesota Statutes be processed?

When a citation charges an ordinance that adopt a chapter of Minnesota Statutes, the case will require a court appearance and the offense level for a charge will be a misdemeanor.  

Courts encourage officers to charge the statutory violation(s).

6. How will MNCIS know if a different penalty applies for 1st versus subsequent violations of the same offense?

If the ordinance has a separate subdivision, paragraph, or clause that specifies differing penalties for 1st versus subsequent violations of the same offense, separate offense codes  with separate, specific ordinance numbers and reference ids will be added to the MNCIS offense table for those violations.  For example:

10.11.2(A)

Dog at Large

10.11.2(B)

Dog at Large, 2nd offense

If the ordinance specifies within the same subdivision, paragraph, or clause differing penalties for 1st versus subsequent violations of the same offense, two offense codes with unique reference ids will be included in the MNCIS offense table and the ordinance descriptions will clearly distinguish between the 1st and subsequent violations.  For example:

10.13

Dog at Large

10.13

Dog at Large, 3rd offense

If the ordinance has no language that specifies differing penalties for 1st versus subsequent violations of the same offense, only one offense code will be included in the MNCIS offense table for this ordinance offense. 

7.  Who determines if an ordinance violation is payable and the payable fine amount?

District Court Judges have the authority to designate an ordinance violation as a payable offense and set the payable fine amount.  Minn. R. Crim. P. 23.03, subd. 2(2).  The prosecuting agency for the subdivision of government that adopted an ordinance may recommend whether an ordinance violation should require a court appearance or be payable and the amount of the fine.

8. When is a conviction of an ordinance sent to the Department of Public Safety (DPS)?

Under Minn. Stat. § 171.16, the courts are required to notify DPS when a person is convicted of an ordinance that regulates  the operation of a motor vehicle, except  for parking, defective vehicle equipment, and vehicle size or weight violations. 

Minn. Stat. § 171.16 states that “Every court having jurisdiction over offenses committed under any law of this state or ordinance of a political subdivision regulating the operation of motor vehicles, shall forward to the department, within ten days, a record of the conviction of any person in the court for a violation of any laws or ordinances, except parking violations and defective vehicle equipment or vehicle size or weight violations.” 

9. Where can I find a jurisdiction’s published ordinances?

County law libraries per Minn. Stat. § 415.021

State Law Libraries

League of Minnesota Cities