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City of Atlanta, Georgia Cited for violation of housing code, overgrowth/weeds court 8am tomorrow Just discovered complaint originated 22 days before I bought property, have city document from internet establishing such. 6/6/2012 complaint with previous owner listed with same complaint number as I have been served to appear in court. purchased 6/28/2013. Regulations site property owner will be given opportunity to meet compliance, never received notice, as per published rules, due to fact I believe such letter was sent before property owned. Registered vacant property within 90 days of purchase as required and have document signed by city employee with box check, no code violations. 8.28.2012 Specifically asked since I knew the property was in poor shape before I purchased, other property they checked yes and listed and old, now closed case. It is municipal court, I assume quasi-criminal proceeding. No time to get lawyer now, can I file a motion to dismiss myself or should I file a motion for continuance to speak to an attorney if possible. If can't answer in next couple of hours please cancel request.
The civil violation is called a Class A violation, which for a first violation is punishable by a fine of $50 or 20 hours community service. It is not really criminal in nature so you at least don't have to worry about that. If you get to court early you may get the opportunity to speak with the prosecutor who is handling the code violations. If you show him/her your documentation, there is a good chance they will dismiss the violation, particularly if you work out an agreement with them about when you will abate the problem. If the prosecutor does not dismiss the violation, then you have two options, the first of which is to go forward with the hearing and show the court your documentation to establish when you took ownership of the property. The second is to request a postponement to obtain counsel if you do not wish to engage in the hearing yourself. It is up to you how to proceed if you cannot work out a dismissal with the prosecutor, although given the documentation it would be surprising if they didn't work out a schedule with you in exchange for a dismissal.
I should have mentioned, the code officer who I talked to and was really nice, inspected the property today, as is customary the day before court and has already listed my property online as in compliance. So I don't need any legal forms in this case to ask for a dismissal? Should I write out any motion for dismissal, layman style letter, myself to make part of the proceeding?
I was told by the code officer the fine could be $500. But I can't find any listings for what the fine might be.