162A-85.25. Adoption and enforcement of ordinances.

(a) A district shall have the same power as a city under G.S. 160A-175 to assess civil fines and penalties for violation of its ordinances and may secure injunctions to further ensure compliance with its ordinances as provided by this section.

(b) An ordinance may provide that its violation shall subject the offender to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) to be recovered by the district in a civil action in the nature of debt if the offender does not pay the penalty within a prescribed period of time after he has been cited for violation of the ordinance. Any person assessed a civil penalty by the district shall be notified of the assessment by registered or certified mail, and the notice shall specify the reasons for the assessment. If the person assessed fails to pay the amount of the assessment to the district within 30 days after receipt of notice, or such longer period, not to exceed 180 days, as the district may specify, the district may institute a civil action in the General Court of Justice of the county in which the violation occurred or, in the discretion of the district, in the General Court of Justice of the county in which the person assessed has his or its principal place of business, to recover the amount of the assessment. The validity of the district's action may be appealed directly to General Court of Justice in the county in which the violation occurred or may be raised at any time in the action to recover the assessment. Neither failure to contest the district's action directly nor failure to raise the issue of validity in the action to recover an assessment precludes the other.

(c) An ordinance may provide that it may be enforced by an appropriate equitable remedy issuing from court of competent jurisdiction. In such case, the General Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to issue such orders as may be appropriate, and it shall not be a defense to the application of the district for equitable relief that there is an adequate remedy at law.

(d) Subject to the express terms of an ordinance, a district ordinance may be enforced by any one, all, or a combination of the remedies authorized and prescribed by this section.

(e) An ordinance may provide, when appropriate, that each day's continuing violation shall be a separate and distinct offense. (2013-50, s. 2.)