2010 Maryland Code
TITLE 10 - CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, CONDUCT, AND SENSIBILITIES
Subtitle 1 - Crimes Against Public Health and Safety
Section 10-110 - Litter Control Law.
§ 10-110. Litter Control Law.
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) "Bi-county unit" means:
(i) the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; or
(ii) the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.
(3) "Litter" means all rubbish, waste matter, refuse, garbage, trash, debris, dead animals, or other discarded materials of every kind and description.
(4) "Public or private property" means:
(i) the right-of-way of a road or highway;
(ii) a body of water or watercourse or the shores or beaches of a body of water or watercourse;
(iii) a park;
(iv) a parking facility;
(v) a playground;
(vi) public service company property or transmission line right-of-way;
(vii) a building;
(viii) a refuge or conservation or recreation area;
(ix) residential or farm property; or
(x) timberlands or a forest.
(b) Declaration of intent.- The General Assembly intends to:
(1) prohibit uniformly throughout the State the improper disposal of litter on public or private property; and
(2) curb the desecration of the beauty of the State and harm to the health, welfare, and safety of its citizens caused by the improper disposal of litter.
(c) Prohibited.- A person may not:
(1) dispose of litter on a highway or perform an act that violates the State Vehicle Laws regarding disposal of litter, glass, and other prohibited substances on highways; or
(2) dispose or cause or allow the disposal of litter on public or private property unless:
(i) the property is designated by the State, a unit of the State, or a political subdivision of the State for the disposal of litter and the person is authorized by the proper public authority to use the property; or
(ii) the litter is placed into a litter receptacle or container installed on the property.
(d) Presumption of responsibility.- If two or more individuals are occupying a motor vehicle, boat, airplane, or other conveyance from which litter is disposed in violation of subsection (c) of this section, and it cannot be determined which occupant is the violator:
(1) if present, the owner of the conveyance is presumed to be responsible for the violation; or
(2) if the owner of the conveyance is not present, the operator is presumed to be responsible for the violation.
(e) Property owner not in court.- Notwithstanding any other law, if the facts of a case in which a person is charged with violating this section are sufficient to prove that the person is responsible for the violation, the owner of the property on which the violation allegedly occurred need not be present at a court proceeding regarding the case.
(1) A person who violates this section is subject to the penalties provided in this subsection.
(2) (i) A person who disposes of litter in violation of this section in an amount not exceeding 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet and not for commercial gain is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or a fine not exceeding $1,500 or both.
(ii) A person who disposes of litter in violation of this section in an amount exceeding 100 pounds or 27 cubic feet, but not exceeding 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet, and not for commercial gain is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $12,500 or both.
(iii) A person who disposes of litter in violation of this section in an amount exceeding 500 pounds or 216 cubic feet or in any amount for commercial gain is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $30,000 or both.
(3) In addition to the penalties provided under paragraph (2) of this subsection, a court may order the violator to:
(i) remove or render harmless the litter disposed of in violation of this section;
(ii) repair or restore any property damaged by, or pay damages for, the disposal of the litter in violation of this section;
(iii) perform public service relating to the removal of litter disposed of in violation of this section or to the restoration of an area polluted by litter disposed of in violation of this section; or
(iv) reimburse the State, county, municipal corporation, or bi-county unit for its costs incurred in removing the litter disposed of in violation of this section.
(4) In addition to, or instead of, the penalties provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, the court may suspend for up to 7 days the license of the person to operate the type of conveyance used in the violation who is presumed to be responsible for the violation under subsection (d) of this section.
(g) Enforcement.- A law enforcement unit, officer, or official of the State or a political subdivision of the State, or an enforcement unit, officer, or official of a commission of the State, or a political subdivision of the State, shall enforce compliance with this section.
(h) Receptacles to be provided; notice of provisions.- A unit that supervises State property shall:
(1) establish and maintain receptacles for the disposal of litter at appropriate locations where the public frequents the property;
(2) post signs directing persons to the receptacles and serving notice of the provisions of this section; and
(3) otherwise publicize the availability of litter receptacles and the requirements of this section.
(i) Disposition of fines.-
(1) Fines collected for violations of this section shall be disbursed:
(i) to the county or municipal corporation where the violation occurred; or
(ii) if the bi-county unit is the enforcement unit and the violations occurred on property over which the bi-county unit exercises jurisdiction, to the bi-county unit.
(2) Fines collected shall be used to pay for litter receptacles and posting signs as required by subsection (h) of this section and for other purposes relating to the removal or control of litter.
(j) Authority of local governments.-
(1) The legislative body of a municipal corporation may:
(i) prohibit littering; and
(ii) classify littering as a municipal infraction under Article 23A, § 3(b) of the Code.
(2) The governing body of Prince George's County may adopt an ordinance to prohibit littering under this section and, for violations of the ordinance, may impose criminal penalties and civil penalties that do not exceed the criminal penalties and civil penalties specified in subsection (f)(1) through (3) of this section.
(k) Short title.- This section may be cited as the "Litter Control Law".
[An. Code 1957, art. 27, § 468(a), (b), (c)(1), (2), (4), (5), (d)-(j); 2002, ch. 26, § 2; 2004, ch. 214.]
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