TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS
- City Powers
- Grammatical Interpretation
1-1-5 Prohibited Acts Include Causing, Permitting
- Catchlines and Notes
- Altering Code
1-1-1 DEFINITIONS. The following words and phrases whenever used in the
Ordinances of the City, shall be construed as defined in this section unless, from the
context, a different meaning is intended or unless different meaning is specifically
defined and more particularly directed to the use of such words or phrases:
- "Alley" means a public right-of-way, other than a street, affording secondary
means of access to abutting property.
- "City" means the City of Middletown, Iowa, or the area within the territorial
limits of the City, and such territory outside of the City over which the City has
jurisdiction or control by virtue of any constitutional or statutory provision;
- "Clerk" means Clerk-Treasurer.
- "Code" means the specific chapter of this Code of Ordinances in which a
specific subject is covered and bears a descriptive title word (such as the Building Code
and/or a standard code adopted by reference).
- "Code of Ordinances" means the Code of Ordinances of the City of Middletown,
- "Computation of time" means the time within which an act is to be done. It
shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last day; and if the last
day is Sunday or a legal holiday, that day shall be excluded;
- "Council" means the City Council of the City. All its members or all Council
persons mean the total number of Council persons provided by the City charter under the
general laws of the state;
- "County" means the County of Des Moines, Iowa;
9. "Fiscal Year" means July 1 to June 30.
- "Law" denotes applicable federal law, the Constitution and statutes of the
State of Iowa, the Ordinances of the City; and when appropriate, any and all rules and
regulations which may be promulgated there under;
- "May" confers a power;
- "Measure" means an ordinance, amendment, resolution or motion.
- "Month" means a calendar month;
- "Must" states a requirement;
- "Oath" shall be construed to include an affirmative or declaration in all
cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases
the words "affirm" and "affirmed" shall be equivalent to the words
"swear" and "sworn";
- "Or" may be read "and" and "and" may be read
"or" if the sense requires it;
- "Ordinance" means a law of the City; however, an administrative action, order
or directive, may be in the form of a resolution;
- "Owner" applied to a building or land includes any part owner, joint owner,
tenant in common, joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, of the whole or part of such
building or land;
- "Person" means natural person, joint venture, joint stock company,
partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business, trust, organization, or
the manager, lessee, agent, servant, officer or employee of any of them;
- "Personal property" includes money, goods, chattels, things in action and
evidences of debt;
- "Preceding" and "following" mean next before and next after,
- "Property" includes real and personal property;
- "Property Owner" means a person owning private property in the City as shown
by the County Auditors plats of the City.
- "Public Place" includes in its meaning, but is not restricted to, any
City-owned open place, such as parks and squares.
- "Public Property" means any and all property owned by the City or held in the
name of the City by any of the departments, commission or agencies within the City
- "Public Way" includes any street, alley, boulevard, parkway, highway,
sidewalk, or other public thoroughfare.
- "Real property" includes lands, tenements and hereditaments;
- "Shall" imposes a duty;
- "Sidewalk" means that portion of a street between the curb line and the
adjacent property line intended for the use of pedestrians;
- "State" means the State of Iowa;
- "Statutes, Laws" means the latest edition of the Code of Iowa, as amended.
- "Street" includes all streets, highways, avenues, lanes, alleys, courts,
places, squares, curbs, or other public ways in this City which have been or may hereafter
be dedicated and open to public use, or such other public property so designated in any
law of this state;
- "Tenant" and "occupant" applied to a building or land, includes any
person who occupies whole or a part of such building or land, whether alone or with
- "Title of Office". Use of the title of any officer, employee, board or
commission means that officer, employee, department, board or commission of the City;
- "Written" includes printed, typewritten, mimeographed or multigraphed;
- "Year" means a calendar year;
37. All words and phrases shall be construed and understood according
to the common and approved usage of the language; but technical words and phrases and such
other as may have acquired a peculiar and appropriate meaning in the law shall be
construed and understood according to such peculiar and appropriate meaning;
38. When an act is required by an Ordinance the same being such that it
may be done as well by an agent as by the principal, such requirement shall be construed
as to include all such acts performed by an authorized agent.
1-1-2 CITY POWERS. The City may, except as expressly limited by the
Iowa Constitution, and if not inconsistent with the laws of the Iowa General Assembly,
exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve
the rights, privileges and property of the City and of its residents, and preserve and
improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort and convenience of its residents. This
grant of home rule powers does not include the power to enact private or civil law
governing civil relationships, except as incident to an exercise of an independent city
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.1)
1-1-3 INDEMNITY. The applicant for any permit or license under this
Code of Ordinances, by making such application, assumes and agrees to pay for all injury
to or death of any person or persons whomsoever, and all loss of or damage to property
whatsoever, including all costs and expenses incident thereto, however arising from or
related to, directly, indirectly or remotely, the issuance of the permit or license, or
the doing of anything thereunder, or the failure of such applicant, or the agents,
employees or servants of such applicant, to abide by or comply with any of the provisions
of this Code of Ordinances or the terms and conditions of such permit or license, and such
applicant, by making such application, forever agrees to indemnify the City and its
officers, agents and employees, and agrees to save them harmless from any and all claims,
demands, lawsuits or liability whatsoever for any loss, damage, injury or death, including
all costs and expenses incident thereto, by reason of the foregoing. This section shall
apply even though acts or omissions of the City, or its officers, agents and employees,
may have caused or contributed to such damage, injury or death. This section shall apply
even though the City, or its officers, agents and employees, may have knowledge of any
act, omission or condition which caused or contributed to such loss, damage, injury or
death. The provisions of this section shall be deemed to be apart of any permit or license
issued under this Code of Ordinances or any other ordinance of the City whether expressly
recited therein or not.
1-1-4 GRAMMATICAL INTERPRETATION. The following grammatical rules shall
apply in the Ordinances of the City;
- Gender. Any gender includes the other gender;
- Singular and Plural. The singular number includes the plural and the plural includes the
- Tenses. Words used in the present tense include the past and the future tenses and vice
- Use of Words and Phrases. Words and phrases not specifically defined shall be construed
according to the content and approved usage of the language.
1-1-5 PROHIBITED ACTS INCLUDE CAUSING, PERMITTING. Whenever in this
Code any act or omission is made unlawful, it includes causing, allowing, permitting,
aiding, abetting, suffering, or concealing the fact of such act or omission. A principal
is responsible for the unauthorized acts or omissions committed by an agent or employee
which have been authorized by the principal.
1-1-6 CONSTRUCTION. The provisions of this Code are to be construed
with a view to affect its objects and to promote justice.
1-1-7 AMENDMENT. All Ordinances of the City Council passed thereafter
shall be in the form of an addition or amendment to the Middletown Municipal Code of 2002
constituting this Municipal Code, and shall include proper references to chapter and
section to maintain the orderly codification of the Ordinances.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.2)
1-1-8 CATCHLINES AND NOTES. The catchlines of the several sections of
the Code of ordinances, titles, headings (chapter, division, section and subsection),
editor's notes, cross references and state law references, unless set out in the body of
the section itself, contained in the Code of ordinances, do not constitute any part of the
law, and are intended merely to indicate, explain, supplement or clarify the contents of a
1-1-9 ALTERING CODE. It is unlawful for any person to change or amend
by additions or deletions, any part or portion of the Code of ordinances or to insert or
delete pages, or portions thereof, or to alter or tamper with the Code of Ordinances in
any manner whatsoever which will cause the law of the City to be misrepresented thereby.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 718.5)
1-1-10 SEVERABILITY. If any section, provision or part of the City Code
is adjudged invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication will not affect the validity of
the City Code as a whole or any section provision, or part thereof not adjudged invalid or
TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 2 RIGHT OF ENTRY
1-2-1 Right of Entry
1-2-1 RIGHT OF ENTRY. Whenever necessary to make an inspection to
enforce any Ordinance, or whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that there exists
an Ordinance violation in any building or upon any premises within the jurisdiction of the
City, any authorized official of the City, may, upon presentation of proper credentials,
enter such building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same and to perform
any duty imposed upon such official by Ordinance; provided that, except in emergency
situations, such official shall first give the owner and/or occupant, if they can be
located after reasonable effort, twenty-four hour written notice of the authorized
official's intention to inspect. In the event the owner and/or occupant refuses entry, the
official is empowered to seek assistance from any court of competent jurisdiction in
obtaining such entry.
TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 3 PENALTY
1-3-1 General Penalty
1-3-2 Civil Penalty Municipal Infraction
1-3-1 GENERAL PENALTY. Any person violating any of the provisions or
failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of the Ordinances of Middletown
is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor under the Ordinances of
Middletown shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or by
imprisonment not to exceed thirty days.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.3(2))
1-3-2 CIVIL PENALTY - MUNICIPAL INFRACTION.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.22)
a. Municipal Infraction. Except those provisions specifically provided
under state law as a felony, an aggravated misdemeanor, or a serious misdemeanor or a
simple misdemeanor under Chapters 687 through 747 of the Iowa Code, the doing of any act
prohibited or declared to be unlawful, an offense or a misdemeanor by the Code of
Ordinances City of Middletown, or any Ordinance or Code herein adopted by reference, or
omission or failure to perform any act or duty required by the Code of Ordinances City of
Middletown, or any Ordinance or Code herein adopted by reference, is a "municipal
infraction" and is punishable by civil penalty as provided herein.
b. Officer. The term "officer" shall mean any employee or
official authorized to enforce the Code of Ordinances of the City of Middletown.
c. Repeat offense. The term "repeat offense" shall mean a
recurring violation of the same section of the Code of Ordinances.
2. Violations, Penalties, and Alternative Relief.
a. A municipal infraction is punishable by a civil penalty as provided
in the following schedule, unless a specific schedule of civil penalties is provided for
specific offenses elsewhere in this Code. If not specified simple infraction consider it
to be a municipal infraction.
Schedule of Civil Penalties
First offense--Not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
Second Offense--Not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).
All other repeat offenses--Not more than seven hundred fifty dollars
b. Each day that a violation occurs or is permitted to exist by the
violator constitutes a separate offense.
c. Seeking a civil penalty as authorized in this chapter does not
preclude the City from seeking alternative relief from the court in the same action.
3. Civil Citations
a. Any officer authorized by the City to enforce the Code of Ordinances
may issue a civil citation to a person who commits a municipal infraction.
b. The citation may be served by personal service or by certified mail,
return receipt requested, or by publication as provided in the Iowa Rules of Civil
c. The original of the citation shall be sent to the Clerk of the
d. The citation shall serve as notification that a civil offense has
been committed and shall contain the following information:
(1) The name and address of the defendant.
(2) The name or description of the infraction attested to by the
officer issuing the citation.
(3) The location and time of the infraction.
(4) The amount of civil penalty to be assessed or the alternative
relief sought, or both.
(5) The manner, location, and time in which the penalty may be paid.
(6) The time and place of court appearance.
(7) The penalty for failure to appear in court.
TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 4 PROCEDURE FOR HEARINGS BY THE CITY COUNCIL
1-4-1 Purpose and Intent
1-4-3 Form of Notice of Hearing
1-4-5 Conduct of Hearing
1-4-6 Method and Form of Decision
1-4-1 PURPOSE AND INTENT.
1. It is the purpose of this article to establish an orderly,
efficient, and expeditious process for evidentiary hearings before the City Council.
2. The provisions of this article shall apply to a proceeding required
by constitution, statute or Ordinance to be determined by the City Council after an
opportunity for an evidentiary hearing.
1. Record. A record of the entire proceedings shall be made by tape
recording or by any other means of permanent recording determined to be appropriate by the
2. Reporting. The proceedings at the hearing may also be reported by a
court reporter at the expense of any party.
3. Continuances. The City Council may grant continuances for good cause
4. Oaths, certification. The City Council or any member thereof has the
power to administer oaths and affirmations.
5. Reasonable dispatch. The City Council and its representatives shall
proceed with reasonable dispatch to conclude any matter before it. Due regard shall be
shown for the convenience and necessity of any parties or their representatives.
1-4-3 FORM OF NOTICE OF HEARING.
The notice to parties shall be substantially in the following form, but
may include other information:
"You are hereby notified that an evidentiary hearing will be held
before the _________________ City Council at _____________ on the ______ day of
____________, 20___, at the hour ____________, upon the notice and order served upon you.
You may be present at the hearing. You may be, but need not be, represented by counsel.
You may present any relevant evidence and will be given full opportunity to cross-examine
all witnesses testifying against you. You may request the issuance of subpoenas to compel
the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, documents or other things by
filing an affidavit therefore with the City Clerk."
1-4-4 SUBPOENAS. Filing of affidavit. The City Council may issue a
subpoena for the attendance of witnesses or the production of other evidence at a hearing
upon the request of a member of the City Council or upon the written demand of any party.
The issuance and service of such subpoena shall be obtained upon the filing of an
affidavit therefore which states the name and address of the proposed witness; specifies
the exact things sought to be produced and the materiality thereof in detail to the issues
involved; and states that the witness has the desired things in the witness's possession
or under the witness's control. A subpoena need not be issued when the affidavit is
defective in any particular.
1-4-5 CONDUCT OF HEARING.
1. Rules. Hearings need not be conducted according to the technical
rules relating to evidence and witnesses.
2. Oral evidence. Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or
3. Hearsay evidence. Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of
supplementing or explaining any direct evidence, but shall not be sufficient in itself to
support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions in courts
of competent jurisdiction in this state.
4. Admissibility of evidence. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted
if it is the type of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the
conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory
rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil
actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in this state.
5. Exclusion of evidence. Irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence
shall be excluded.
6. Rights of parties. Each party shall have these rights, among others:
a. To call and examine witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues
of the hearing;
b. To introduce documentary and physical evidence;
c. To cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the
issues of the hearing;
d. To impeach any witness regardless of which party first called the
witness to testify;
e. To rebut the evidence against the party; and
f. To self-representation or to be represented by anyone of the party's
choice who is lawfully permitted to do so.
7. Official notice.
a. What may be noticed. In reaching a decision, official notice may be
taken, either before or after submission of the case for decision, of any fact which may
be judicially noticed by the courts of this state or of official records of the City or
its departments and Ordinances of the City.
b. Parties to be notified. Parties present at the hearing shall be
informed of the matters to be noticed, and these matters shall be noted in the record,
referred to therein, or appended thereto.
c. Opportunity to refute. Parties present at the hearing shall be given
a reasonable opportunity, on request, to refute the officially noticed matters by evidence
or by written or oral presentation of authority, the manner of such refutation to be
determined by the City Council.
8. Inspection of the premises. The City Council may inspect any
building or premises involved in the appeal during the course of the hearing, provided
a. Notice of such inspection shall be given to the parties before the
inspection is made;
b. The parties are given an opportunity to be present during the
c. The City Council shall state for the record, upon completion of the
inspection, the material facts observed and the conclusions drawn there from. Each party
then shall have a right to rebut or explain the matters so stated by the City Council.
1-4-6 METHOD AND FORM OF DECISION.
1. Hearings before the City Council where a contested case is heard
before the City Council, no member thereof who did not hear the evidence or has not read
the entire record of the proceedings shall vote on or take part in the decision. The City
Council may designate a member or members to preside over the receipt of evidence. Such
member or members shall prepare findings of fact for the City Council.
2. Form of decision. The decision shall be in writing and shall contain
findings of fact, a determination of the issues presented, and the requirements to be
complied with. A copy of the decision shall be delivered to the parties personally or sent
to them by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested.
3. Effective date of decision. The effective date of the decision shall
be stated therein.