Chapter 1.12
GENERAL PENALTY

Sections:

1.12.010    Violations prohibited.

1.12.020    Violations as misdemeanors or infractions.

1.12.030    Punishment for misdemeanor.

1.12.040    Punishment for infraction.

1.12.050    Nature of violations.

1.12.060    Designation of infractions.

1.12.070    Public nuisances.

1.12.080    Continuing violations.

1.12.090    Alternate civil remedies.

1.12.095    Civil penalty.

1.12.100    Prohibited acts.

1.12.110    Determination of punishment.

1.12.120    Fees, charges, licenses and taxes made a civil debt.

1.12.130    Liability for attorneys’ fees.

1.12.010 Violations prohibited.

No person shall violate, or fail to comply with, any provision or requirement of this code. (Prior code § 1200)

1.12.020 Violations as misdemeanors or infractions.

The violation of any provision of this code, of any ordinance of the city, or of any code adopted by reference in this code, by any person is unlawful, and is punishable either by fine as an infraction, or by fine or imprisonment, or both, as a misdemeanor. (Prior code § 1201)

1.12.030 Punishment for misdemeanor.

Any person convicted of a misdemeanor shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not exceeding one year, or by both such fine or imprisonment. (Prior code § 1202)

1.12.040 Punishment for infraction.

Any person convicted of an infraction shall be punishable for a first conviction by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars; for a second conviction within a period of one year, by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars; and for a third or any subsequent conviction within a period of one year by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars. (Ord. 1166 § 1, 1990: prior code § 1203)

1.12.050 Nature of violations.

Any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision or requirement of this code, any ordinance adopted by the city, or any code adopted by reference by this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, unless such provision is specifically designated as constituting an infraction as provided in Sections 16, 17, and 19.8 of the Penal Code of the state, Section 36900 of the Government Code of the state, or Section 40000.1 of the Vehicle Code of the state, and as expressly specified in Section 1.12.060 of this chapter.

Any provision or requirement of this code designated as an infraction shall be prosecutable as a misdemeanor upon a third violation and each violation thereafter of the same provision by the same individual. In addition, any such provision or requirement may be prosecuted originally as a misdemeanor in the discretion of the city attorney upon a showing by the enforcing agency of the seriousness of the particular alleged violation. (Ord. 1484 § 2, 2005: prior code § 1204)

1.12.060 Designation of infractions.

A. Wherever this code so specifies, a violation of this code shall constitute an infraction rather than a misdemeanor.

B. In addition, a violation of any of the following provisions shall constitute an infraction, and not a misdemeanor:

Chapters 3.04 and 3.08 – Tax Procedure;

Chapters 10.04 to 10.76 and 10.84 – Traffic Regulations;

Title 6 – Animal Regulations;

Chapter 12.24 – Tree Regulations;

Chapter 3.01 – Business Tax;

Chapter 3.12 – Uniform Sales and Use Tax;

Chapters 12.04 to 12.16 – Street Excavations;

Chapter 13.04 – Public Utilities and Rates;

Chapter 12.20 – Park Regulations;

Chapter 12.22 – Open Space Regulations. (Ord. 1484 § 3 (part), 2005; Ord. 1410 § 1, 2002: Ord. 1202 § 22, 1991; Ord. 1159 § 1, 1990: prior code § 1205)

1.12.070 Public nuisances.

In addition to other penalties provided by law, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any provision of this code shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be summarily abated as such by the city, and each day such condition continues shall constitute a new and separate offense. (Prior code § 1206)

1.12.080 Continuing violations.

It shall constitute a new and separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which a violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision or requirement of this code is committed, continued or permitted by any person and shall be punished accordingly. (Prior code § 1207)

1.12.090 Alternate civil remedies.

In addition to the penal provisions provided in this chapter, and completely separate therefrom and cumulative thereto at the sole discretion of the city, the city may institute appropriate civil actions or proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction for the abatement, removal and enjoinment of any condition or activity declared by this code to be a public nuisance or found and declared by the council to be a public nuisance after a duly noticed hearing. (Prior code § 1208)

1.12.095 Civil penalty.

Any person who violates any provision of this code may be liable to the city for a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each day or part thereof that said violation occurs. The city attorney is authorized to bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover such civil penalties for the city. (Ord. 1424 § 1, 2002)

1.12.100 Prohibited acts.

Whenever in this code any act or omission is made unlawful, it shall include causing, permitting, aiding, abetting, suffering or concealing the fact of such act or omission. (Prior code § 1209)

1.12.110 Determination of punishment.

Whenever in this code the punishment for a crime is left undetermined between certain limits, the punishment to be inflicted in a particular case shall be determined by the court to pass sentence, within such limits as may be prescribed by this code. (Prior code § 1210)

1.12.120 Fees, charges, licenses and taxes made a civil debt.

The amount of any fee, service charge, utility charge, license or tax of any nature whatsoever, imposed by any provision of this code, shall be deemed a civil debt owing to the city. An action may be commenced in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction for the collection of the amount of any delinquent or unpaid fee, service charge, utility charge, license or tax, together with any penalties applicable thereto as prescribed by this code. The remedy prescribed by this section shall be cumulative, and the use of an action to collect such an amount as a debt by civil action shall not bar the use of any other remedy provided by this code or by law for the purpose of enforcing the provisions thereof. (Prior code § 1211)

1.12.130 Liability for attorneys’ fees.

The prevailing party in any civil action or administrative proceeding filed to abate a public nuisance and violation of any provision of this code may recover its attorneys’ fees. The recovery of attorneys’ fees by a prevailing party is limited to only those individual actions or proceedings in which the city elects, at the initiation of that individual action or proceeding, to seek recovery of its own attorneys’ fees. In no action shall an award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the city in the action or proceeding. (Ord. 1425 § 1, 2002)