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Legislation #: 120346 Introduction Date: 4/12/2012
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: None
Title: Amending Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances, by amending Sections 2-1401, 2-1406 and 2-1407, to expand the jurisdiction of the housing court to include the regulation of animals.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
4/9/2012 Filed by the Clerk's office
4/12/2012 Referred to Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee
4/18/2012 Hold On Agenda (5/2/2012)
5/2/2012 Do Pass as a Committee Substitute
5/3/2012 Assigned Third Read Calendar as Substituted
5/10/2012 Passed as Substituted

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 120346

 

Amending Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances, by amending Sections 2-1401, 2-1406 and 2-1407, to expand the jurisdiction of the housing court to include the regulation of animals.

 

WHEREAS, the housing court hears cases arising under ordinances of the City concerning residential and nonresidential property maintenance, nuisances, zoning, land use, fire prevention and protection, building codes, hazardous or toxic substances, and unlawful activities of landlords and tenants of residential premises; and

 

WHEREAS, the Council has the authority to add to the exclusive jurisdiction of the housing court; and

 

WHEREAS, the existence of animals in our neighborhoods can often enhance the lives of people, but when not properly cared for animals can present problems that endanger the peace and livability of our neighborhoods; and

 

WHEREAS, the City has established a comprehensive set of regulations for the treatment and management of animals, particularly under Chapter 14, Code of Ordinances, as enforced by the supervisor of animal health and public safety; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council finds it prudent to place the judicial enforcement of these neighborhood-centric regulations with a single division of the Municipal Court, and finds that the Housing Court is the most appropriate division to address such enforcement actions; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council notes the inadvertent absence of the regulation of buildings and building regulations from the ordinances reflecting the City Charter requirement that building codes be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Housing Court; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by amending Sections 2-1401, 2-1406 and 2-1407, to include buildings and building regulations and the regulation of animals within the jurisdiction of the housing court, these sections to read as follows:

 

Sec. 2-1401. Divisions.

 

(a) Designated. The municipal court, created by Article III of the City Charter, shall consist of nine divisions to be known respectively as division numbers two hundred one, two hundred two, two hundred three, two hundred four, two hundred five, two hundred six, two hundred seven, two hundred eight and two hundred nine. Division two hundred nine shall be permanently designated as the housing court to hear exclusively cases arising under ordinances of the city concerning residential and nonresidential property maintenance, nuisances, zoning, land use, fire prevention and protection, buildings and building regulations, hazardous or toxic substances, unlawful activities of landlords and tenants of residential premises, regulation of animals, and other matters designated from time to time by ordinance. Division two hundred three shall be permanently designated to hear domestic violence cases. Division two hundred three shall also hear matters assigned by the presiding judge or matters which may be designated from time to time by ordinance.

 

(b) Location. Divisions of the municipal court shall convene and be located in the municipal courts building of the city, or in any other place so designated by the city council.

 

(c) Court en banc. The judges of the divisions of the municipal court shall constitute the court en banc.

 

Sec. 2-1406. Distribution of business of court.

 

The municipal court may classify, arrange, distribute and assign the business thereof and the causes instituted therein among the several judges thereof, in such manner and at such time as the majority of such judges may from time to time prescribe by rules or orders; except that the ninth division shall be assigned exclusively cases arising under ordinances of the city concerning residential and nonresidential property maintenance, nuisances, zoning, land use, fire prevention and protection, buildings and building regulations, hazardous or toxic substances, unlawful activities of landlords and tenants of residential premises, regulation of animals, and other matters designated from time to time by ordinance. Each of the judges shall, at regular sessions in division, attend to such business as may under such rules or orders be assigned to such division. The court en banc may, by general rules, further provide for the hearing of certain motions and applications for relief, or other special proceedings and matters as may from time to time come before the court, and for the assignment for trial, the reassignment and transfer of cases from one division to another of the court by the sole action of either the presiding judge or other judges of the court if designated by the court en banc.

 

Sec. 2-1407. Authority of housing court; duties of judge of housing court.

 

(a) The housing court division of the municipal court shall be assigned and hear exclusively matters concerning residential and nonresidential property maintenance, nuisances, zoning, land use, fire prevention and protection, buildings and building regulations, hazardous or toxic substances, unlawful activities of landlords and tenants of residential premises, regulation of animals, and other matters designated by ordinance.

 

(b) The judge shall be active toward facilitating the business of the court.

 

(c) When not in session, the judge shall discharge duties including but not limited to the following:

 

(1) Write orders and opinions.

 

(2) Review pleadings, motions, briefs or other papers filed with the court.

 

(3) View sites.

 

(4) Supervise probation.

 

(5) Promote and utilize the housing court fund.

 

(6) Participate in the court en banc, committees or other meetings.

 

(7) Assist in administrating the ninth division.

 

(8) Engage in other duties from time to time as designated by the council.

 

Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect on July 1, 2012.

 

______________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

 

______________________________

William Geary

City Attorney