The Atlanta City Council June 21 clarified the penalty that can be imposed upon violators of the city’s parking enforcement laws.

Dist. 11 City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, a former Magistrate Court judge, introduced legislation calling for parking enforcement violations to be prosecuted as “non-criminal civil cases.” The measure was approved by a vote of 11-0 and was sent to the mayor for approval.

In the past, violations were prosecuted as criminal in nature, Bottoms said. “Our city laws did not clearly state that these cases are in fact civil in nature, which created some difficulty for our city solicitor.”

The imposition of a civil penalty will not be recorded as a part of the criminal record of the person upon which such a penalty is imposed. The Atlanta Municipal Court is now authorized to impose a civil monetary penalty against persons who violate city parking enforcement laws in an amount of $1,000 or less for each violation.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Howard Shook sent an e-mail warning residents of his Buckhead district warning that city contractors were patrolling neighborhood streets looking for cars illegally parked facing the wrong direction.