Chapter 10.06
PARKING CITATION PROCESSING

Sections:

10.06.010    Title.

10.06.020    Definitions.

10.06.030    Authority to contract with outside agencies.

10.06.040    Authority to conduct administrative review process – Hearing Officer – Procedures.

10.06.050    Process by which parking citations must be issued.

10.06.060    Parking penalties.

10.06.070    Parking penalties received by date fixed – No contest – Request to contest.

10.06.080    Parking penalties not received by date fixed.

10.06.090    Notice of delinquent parking violation – Contents.

10.06.100    Copy of citation upon request by registered owner.

10.06.110    Affidavit of nonliability – Leased or rented vehicle.

10.06.120    Affidavit of nonliability – Sale.

10.06.130    Contesting parking citation – Procedure.

10.06.140    Collection of unpaid parking penalties.

10.06.150    Obligation of processing agency once parking penalty paid.

10.06.160    Deposit of parking penalties with the City.

10.06.170    Filing of annual reports.

10.06.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the “parking citation processing ordinance” of the City. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.020 Definitions.

Except where the context otherwise requires, the definitions provided in this section shall govern the construction of this chapter.

“Administrative policy” means a policy which establishes procedures for the implementation of this chapter and is approved by the City Manager.

“City” shall at all times refer to the City of Palmdale.

“Contestant” means any “operator” or “registered owner,” as defined in this section, who contests a parking citation.

“Department” means the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“Hearing Examiner” means any individual selected by the issuing agency’s governing body or chief executive officer to adjudicate parking citation contests.

“Issuing agency” means the City or its authorized agent that issues parking citations or any other agency authorized by law to issue parking citations.

“Issuing officer” means any officer who is authorized by law to issue parking citations.

“Operator” means any individual driving or in possession of a vehicle at the time a citation is issued or the registered owner of the vehicle.

“Parking citation” means a notice that is personally given or mailed to the operator, or attached to the operator’s vehicle, informing the operator of a parking, equipment or other vehicle violation and the operator’s obligation to pay the parking penalty for the violation or to contest the citation.

“Parking penalty” includes, but is not limited to, the parking penalty for the particular violation, as well as late payment penalties, administrative fees, assessments, costs of collection as provided by law, and other related fees.

“Processing agency” means the City or an authorized agent of the City that processes parking citations and issues notices of delinquent parking violations on behalf of the City.

“Registered owner” means the individual or entity whose name is recorded with the Department of Motor Vehicles as having ownership of a particular vehicle.

“Vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle operated or suitable for operation on a highway.

“Violation” means any parking, equipment or other vehicle violation as established pursuant to state law or local ordinance.

“Working day” means any business day during which the administrative office of the processing agency is open to the general public for business. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.030 Authority to contract with outside agencies.

(A) The City may issue and process parking citations and notices of delinquent parking violations, or it may enter into a contract with a private parking citation processing agency or with another city, county or other public issuing or processing agency so to do.

(B) Any contract entered into pursuant to this section shall provide for monthly distribution of amounts collected between the parties, except amounts payable to the County pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 76000) of Title 8 of the California Government Code, or any successor statutes thereto, and amounts payable to the Department pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 4763, or any successor statute thereto. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.040 Authority to conduct administrative review process – Hearing Officer – Procedures.

The processing agency may review appeals or other objections to a parking citation pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section.

(A) For a period of 21 days from the issuance of a parking citation, or 10 days from the mailing of a notice of delinquent parking citation, an operator may request an initial review by the processing agency. The request for an initial review may be made in writing, by telephone or in person.

(B) The initial review by the processing agency shall consist of those procedures outlined in PMC 10.06.130(A)(1).

(C) If the operator is dissatisfied with the results of the initial review, the operator may contest the parking citation or notice of delinquent parking violation through an administrative hearing review process as outlined in PMC 10.06.130(B)(1).

(1) In order to contest the parking citation, the operator must deposit with the processing agency the full amount of the parking penalty on or before the fifteenth day following the mailing to that operator of the results of the processing agency’s initial review. At the same time the operator must provide a written explanation of the reason or reasons for contesting the parking citation on a form provided by the processing agency. If the operator is unable to deposit the full amount of the parking penalty, the operator must provide verifiable and substantial proof of an inability to deposit the parking penalty. Upon presentation of such proof, the processing agency shall proceed with the contest procedure despite the operator’s failure to deposit the full amount of the parking penalty. If it is ultimately determined that the operator is not liable for the parking violation, then the full amount of the parking penalty deposited shall be refunded.

(2) The contestant may contest the parking citation either by written declaration, on forms provided by the processing agency, or by personal appearance before a Hearing Examiner.

(D) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (C) of this section, if the vehicle has been immobilized or impounded for unpaid parking citations, the processing agency shall permit the registered owner of the vehicle to contest the parking citations upon which the seizure was based, without requiring a deposit of the parking penalty; provided, that the vehicle remains under the control of the immobilizing or impounding agency.

(E) The processing agency shall provide, through the administrative policy, procedures for contesting parking citations and notices of delinquent parking violations. The administrative policy shall be approved by the City Manager, notice of its approval shall be posted or published, and a copy thereof shall be available to the public in the office of the City Clerk. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.050 Process by which parking citations must be issued.

Parking citations shall be issued in accordance with the following procedures:

(A) If a vehicle is unattended at the time that the parking citation is issued for a parking violation, the issuing officer shall securely attach to the vehicle the parking citation setting forth the violation, including reference to the section of the California Vehicle Code, the City’s Municipal Code, or other parking regulation violated; the approximate time of the violation; the location of the violation, and the date by which the operator is to deposit the parking penalty or contest the parking citation pursuant to PMC 10.06.130. The citation shall state the amount of the parking penalty and the address of the agent authorized to receive deposit of the parking penalty.

The parking citation shall also set forth the vehicle license number and registration expiration date, if such date is visible; the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is visible through the windshield; the color of the vehicle; and, if possible, the make of the vehicle.

(B) The parking citation, or copy thereof, shall be considered a record kept in the ordinary course of business of the issuing agency and the processing agency, and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

(C) Once the parking citation is prepared and attached to the vehicle pursuant to subsection (A) of this section, the issuing officer shall file notice of the parking violation with the processing agency.

(D) If, during issuance of the parking citation, without regard to whether the vehicle was initially attended or unattended, the vehicle is driver away prior to attaching the parking citation to the vehicle, the issuing officer shall file the notice with the processing agency. The processing agency shall mail, within 15 days of issuance of the parking citation, a copy of the parking citation to the registered owner.

(E) If, after a copy of the parking citation is attached to the vehicle or personally given to the operator, the issuing agency or the issuing officer determines that the issuing officer was in error in issuing the parking citation, the issuing officer or the issuing agency may recommend, in writing, that the parking citation be canceled. The recommendation shall state the reason or reasons for cancellation and shall be filed with the processing agency.

Under no circumstances shall a personal relationship with any public official, officer, issuing officer or law enforcement agency be grounds for cancellation.

(F) If a processing agency makes a finding that there are grounds for cancellation as set forth in the administrative policy, or pursuant to any other basis provided by law, then the finding or findings shall be filed with the processing agency, and the parking citation shall be canceled pursuant to PMC 10.06.130(A)(1). (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.060 Parking penalties.

(A) Parking penalties shall be established by ordinance or resolution of the City Council.

(B) All parking penalties received by the processing agency shall accrue to the benefit of the City. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.070 Parking penalties received by date fixed – No contest – Request to contest.

(A) If the payment of the parking penalty is received by the processing agency and there is no contest by the date fixed on the parking citation, all proceedings as to that parking citation shall terminate.

(B) If the operator contests the parking citation, the processing agency shall proceed in accordance with PMC 10.06.130. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.080 Parking penalties not received by date fixed.

(A) If payment of the parking penalty is not received by the processing agency by the date fixed on the parking citation, the processing agency shall deliver to the registered owner a notice of delinquent parking violation pursuant to PMC 10.06.090.

(B) Delivery of a notice of delinquent parking violation may be made by personal service or by first class mail addressed to the registered owner of the vehicle as shown on the records of the Department. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.090 Notice of delinquent parking violation – Contents.

(A) A notice of delinquent parking violation shall contain the information required to be included in a parking citation pursuant to PMC 10.06.050. The notice of delinquent parking violation shall also contain a notice to the registered owner that, unless the registered owner pays the parking penalty or contests the citation within 10 days after mailing the notice of delinquent parking violation or completes and files an affidavit of nonliability that complies with PMC 10.06.110 or 10.06.120, the vehicle registration will not be renewed until the parking penalties have been paid. In addition, the notice of delinquent parking violation shall contain, or be accompanied by, an affidavit of nonliability and information of what constitutes nonliability, information as to the effect of executing an affidavit, and instructions for returning the affidavit to the issuing agency.

(B) If the parking penalty is paid within 10 days after the mailing of the notice of delinquent parking violation, no late penalty or similar fee shall be charged to the operator. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.100 Copy of citation upon request by registered owner.

(A) Within 15 days of request, made by mail or in person, the processing agency shall mail or otherwise provide to the registered owner, or the registered owner’s agent, who has received a notice of delinquent parking violation, a copy of the original parking citation. The issuing agency may charge a fee sufficient to cover the actual cost of copying and/or locating the original parking citation, not to exceed $2.00. Until the issuing or processing agency complies with a request to provide a copy of the parking citation, the processing agency may not proceed to immobilize the vehicle in question merely because the registered owner has received five or more outstanding parking violations over a period of five or more days.

(B) If the description of the vehicle on the parking citation does not substantially match the corresponding information on the registration card for that vehicle, the processing agency shall, on written request of the operator, cancel the notice of parking violation. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.110 Affidavit of nonliability – Leased or rented vehicle.

A registered owner shall be released from liability for a parking citation if the registered owner files with the processing agency an affidavit of nonliability in a form satisfactory to the processing agency and such form is returned within 30 days after the mailing of the notice of delinquent parking violation together with proof of a written lease or rental agreement between a bona fide rental or leasing company and its customer which identifies the renter or lessee and provides the operator’s driver’s license number, name and address. The processing agency shall serve or mail to the renter or lessee identified in the affidavit of nonliability a notice of delinquent parking violation. The processing agency shall inform the renter or lessee that he or she must pay the full amount of the parking penalty or provide notice to the processing agency that he or she intends to contest the parking citation pursuant to PMC 10.06.130 within 15 days of the mailing of the notice of delinquent parking violation. If the processing agency does not receive payment of the contest within those 15 days, the processing agency may proceed against the renter or lessee pursuant to PMC 10.06.140. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.120 Affidavit of nonliability – Sale.

(A) The registered owner of a vehicle shall be released from liability for a parking citation issued with respect to that vehicle if the registered owner served with a notice of delinquent parking violation files with the processing agency, within 30 days of receipt of the notice of delinquent parking violation, an affidavit of nonliability together with proof that the registered owner served with a notice of delinquent parking violation has made a bona fide sale or transfer of the vehicle and has delivered possession thereof to the purchaser prior to the date of the alleged violation. The processing agency shall obtain verification from the Department that the former owner has complied with the requirements necessary to release the former owner from liability pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 5602 of any successor statute thereto.

(B) If the registered owner has complied with California Vehicle Code Section 5602, or any successor statute thereto, the processing agency shall cancel the notice of delinquent parking violation with respect to the registered owner.

(C) If the registered owner has not complied with the requirements necessary to release the owner from liability pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 5602, or any successor statute thereto, the processing agency shall inform the registered owner that the citation must be paid in full or contested pursuant to PMC 10.06.130. If the registered owner does not comply, the processing agency shall proceed pursuant to PMC 10.06.140. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.130 Contesting parking citation – Procedure.

(A) If an operator or registered owner contests a parking citation or a notice of delinquent parking violation, the processing agency shall do all of the following:

(1) First, either investigate with its own records and staff or request that the issuing agency investigate the circumstances of the citation with respect to the contestant’s written explanation of the reason or reasons for contesting the parking citation.

If, based on the results of that investigation, the processing agency is satisfied that the violation did not occur or that the registered owner was not responsible for the violation by virtue of having sold, rented or leased the vehicle, or because legally supportable or mitigating circumstances as set forth in the administrative policy warrant a dismissal, the processing agency shall cancel the parking citation, and make an adequate record of the reason or reasons for canceling the parking citation. The processing agency shall mail the results of the investigation by first class mail to the contestant within 10 days of the decision.

(2) If the contestant is not satisfied with the results of the investigation provided for in subsection (A)(1) of this section, the contestant may, within 15 days of the mailing of the results of the initial investigation, deposit the amount of the parking penalty and other related fees or provide proof of inability to deposit the parking penalty, and request an administrative review.

(3) If the contestant prevails at the administrative hearing, then the full amount of the parking penalty deposited shall be refunded.

(B) The administrative review procedure shall consist of the following:

(1) The contestant shall make a written request for administrative review on a form and in a manner satisfactory to the processing agency and may request to contest the parking citation either in person or by written declaration.

(2) If the contestant is a minor, that person shall be permitted to appear at a hearing or admit responsibility for a parking citation without the necessity of the appointment of a guardian. The processing agency may proceed against the minor in the same manner as if the minor were an adult.

(3) The administrative review shall be conducted before a Hearing Examiner.

(C) The issuing officer shall not be required to participate in an administrative review. The issuing agency shall not be required to produce any evidence other than the parking citation or copy thereof, and information received from the Department identifying the registered owner of the vehicle.

This documentation in proper form shall be considered prima facie evidence of the violation.

(D) The processing agency’s final decision shall be in writing and delivered personally to the contestant or the contestant’s agent, or delivered by first class mail within 10 working days following the hearing.

(E) If the contestant is not the registered owner of the vehicle, all notices to the contestant required under this section shall also be given to the registered owner by first class mail. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.140 Collection of unpaid parking penalties.

Except as otherwise provided below, the processing agency shall proceed under subsection (A) or (B) of this section, but not both, in order to collect an unpaid parking penalty:

(A) File an itemization of unpaid parking penalties and administrative and service fees with the Department for collection pursuant to the California Vehicle Code Section 4760 or any successor statute thereto.

(B) If more than $400.00 in unpaid parking penalties and other related fees have been accrued by any one registered owner or the registered owner’s renter, lessee or sales transferee, proof thereof may be filed with the court with the same effect as a civil judgment. Execution may be levied and such other measures may be taken for the collection of the judgment as are authorized for the collection of unpaid civil judgments entered against a defendant in an action on a debt.

The processing agency shall send notice by first class mail to the registered owner or renter, lessee or sales transferee indicating that a civil judgment has been filed and the date that the judgment shall become effective. The notice shall also indicate: that execution may be levied against that person’s assets, that liens may be placed against the person’s property, that the person’s wages may be garnished, and that other steps may be taken to satisfy the judgment. The notice shall also state that the processing agency will terminate the commencement of a civil judgment proceeding if all parking penalties and other related fees are paid prior to the date set for hearing. If judgment is entered, then the City may file a writ of execution or an abstract with the court clerk’s office identifying the means by which the civil judgment is to be satisfied.

If a judgment is rendered for the processing agency, that agency may contract with a collection agency licensed pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 6850) of Division 3 of the California Business and Professions Code, or any successor statutes thereto, to collect the judgment.

(C) If the registration of the vehicle has not been renewed for 60 days beyond the renewal date, and the citation has not been collected by the Department pursuant to the California Vehicle Code Section 4760, or any successor statute thereto, then the processing agency may file proof of unpaid penalties and fees with the court with the same effect as a civil judgment as provided in subsection (B) of this section.

(D) The processing agency shall not file a civil judgment with the court relating to a parking citation filed with the Department unless the processing agency has determined that the registration of the vehicle has not been renewed for 60 days beyond the renewal date and the citation has not been collected by the Department pursuant to the California Vehicle Code Section 4760 or any successor statute thereto. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.150 Obligation of processing agency once parking penalty paid.

(A) If the operator or registered owner served with notice of delinquent parking violation, or any other person who presents the parking citation or notice of delinquent parking violation, deposits the penalty with the person authorized to receive it, the processing agency shall do both of the following:

(1) Upon request, provide the operator, registered owner or the registered owner’s agent with a copy of the citation information presented in the notice of delinquent parking violation. The processing agency shall, in turn, obtain and record in its records the name, address and driver’s license number of the person actually given the copy of the citation information.

(2) Determine whether the notice of delinquent parking violation has been filed with the Department or a civil judgment has been entered pursuant to PMC 10.06.140.

(B) If the processing agency receives full payment of all parking penalties and other related fees and the processing agency has neither filed a notice of delinquent parking violation nor entered a civil judgment, then all proceedings for that citation shall cease.

(C) If the notice of delinquent parking violation has been filed with the Department and has been returned by the Department pursuant to the provisions of the California Vehicle Code and payment of the parking penalty has been made, along with any other related fees, then the proceedings for that citation shall cease.

(D) If the notice of delinquent parking violation has been filed with the Department and has not been returned by the Department, and payment of the parking penalty along with any other applicable fees or assessments has been made, the processing agency shall do all of the following:

(1) Deliver a certificate of payment to the operator, or other person making payment;

(2) Within five working days transmit the payment information to the Department in the manner prescribed by the Department;

(3) Terminate proceedings on the notice of delinquent parking violation; and

(4) Deposit all parking penalties and other fees as required by law. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.160 Deposit of parking penalties with the City.

(A) All parking penalties collected, including process service fees and costs related to civil debt collection, shall be deposited to the account of the processing agency, and then remitted to the City if the City is not also the processing agency.

(B) If the City is not the processing agency, then the City shall enter into an agreement with the processing agency for monthly distribution of parking citation receipts to the City along with a report setting forth the number of cases processed and the sums received. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)

10.06.170 Filing of annual reports.

The processing agency shall prepare an audited report at the end of each fiscal year setting forth the number of cases processed, and all sums received and distributed, together with any other information that may be specified by the City or its authorized issuing agency or the State Controller. The report is a public record and shall be delivered to the City and its authorized issuing agency. (Ord. U-1014 § 2, 1993)