Local Government Law Bulletin #128

Are There Limits on the Size of Penalties to Enforce Local Government Ordinances?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Both cities and counties enjoy statutory authority to enforce their ordinances through civil penalties, which if necessary can be collected in a civil action in the nature of debt. Section 14-4 of the North Carolina General Statutes (hereinafter G.S.) sets the upper limit of the fines or penalties for local ordinances enforced as misdemeanors or infractions, but there is no statutory maximum for civil penalties in general. This bulletin considers what limits, if any, there are on the size of civil penalties imposed by local ordinances.

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Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles
Topics - Local and State Government