Chapter 1.05
ADMINISTRATIVE CODE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

Sections:

1.05.005    Legislative Findings and Statement of Purpose.

1.05.010    Definitions.

1.05.020    Authority and Administrative Citation Fines.

1.05.030    Service Procedures.

1.05.040    Contents of Administrative Citation.

1.05.050    Administrative Costs Recovery.

1.05.060    Appeal of Administrative Citation.

1.05.065    Administrative Penalties.

1.05.070    Hearing Officer.

1.05.080    Hearing Procedure.

1.05.090    Hearing Officer’s Decision.

1.05.100    Failure to Pay Fines, Penalties, Costs or Fees.

1.05.110    Right to Judicial Review of Hearing Officer’s Decision on Administrative Citation.

1.05.120    Administrative Remedies Not Exclusive.

1.05.005 Legislative Findings and Statement of Purpose.

A.    The City Council finds that the enforcement of the Newport Beach Municipal Code (the “Code”) throughout the City is an important public service and is vital to the protection of the public’s health, safety and quality of life.

B.    The City Council finds that there is a need for an alternative method of enforcement for various violations of the Code. The City Council also finds that an appropriate method for enforcement of various violations is an administrative code enforcement program that will reduce the burden on the judicial system while providing full due process for those alleged to be responsible for a violation of the Code.

C.    The procedures established in this chapter are in addition to criminal, civil or other legal remedies that may be available to the City to enforce violations of the Code or applicable State Codes.

D.    The City Council finds and determines that enforcement of the provisions of the Code and conditions on entitlements or permits are municipal affairs as well as matters of purely local concern to the citizens of Newport Beach.

E.    The City Council finds that the adoption and implementation of this administrative code enforcement program is within the power and authority of the City of Newport Beach as a charter city and will achieve the following goals:

1.    To promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Newport Beach;

2.    To help ensure compliance with the Code and State Codes, ordinances and regulations in a timely and efficient manner;

3.    To provide for an administrative process to appeal the imposition of administrative citations, fines, penalties and costs that will fully comport with due process and provide those alleged to be in violation of the Code with the right to a fair hearing without the need for legal counsel;

4.    To provide a method to hold parties responsible when they fail or refuse to comply with the provisions of the Code, ordinances, agreements or terms and conditions on entitlements in the City of Newport Beach;

5.    To reduce the burden on the judicial system and minimize the time and expense of defending the alleged violation on the part of the responsible person.

F.    Use of this chapter shall be at the sole discretion of the City. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 2003-5 § 5, 2003: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.010 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A.    “Administrative costs” means all costs incurred by or on behalf of the City from the first discovery of a violation of this Code through the appeal process and until compliance is achieved, including, but not limited to, staff time in investigating the violation, an inspection of the property where the violation occurred, a preparation of investigation reports; notification; preparation for and attendance at any hearings; attorneys’ fees; and fees paid to the Administrative Hearing Officer. “Administrative costs” shall not include the administrative citation fines; the administrative civil penalties assessed pursuant to this chapter; include late payment charges that accrue; or collection costs incurred, as a result of unpaid administrative citation fines.

B.    “Enforcement Officer” means any officer or employee with the authority to enforce the Code as provided in Chapter 1.12.

C.    “Responsible person” means any natural person, parent or legal guardian of any person under the age of eighteen (18) years, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust, or organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, officer or employee of any of them, or any of the foregoing who own, possess, control or have a legal or equitable interest in real property, who violates, maintains or allows a violation of this Code. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 2003-5 § 6, 2003: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.020 Authority and Administrative Citation Fines.

A.    Any responsible person violating any provision of this Code may be issued an administrative citation by an Enforcement Officer as provided in this chapter. A violation of this Code includes, but is not limited to, all violations of the Newport Beach Municipal Code, any codes adopted by the City Council (i.e., Building Code, Fire Code, etc.), and the failure to comply with any condition imposed by any entitlement, permit, agreement or environmental document issued or approved pursuant to this Code or State law.

B.    Each and every day a violation of this Code exists constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

C.    An administrative fine shall be assessed by means of an administrative citation issued by the Enforcement Officer and shall be payable directly to the City.

D.    Where no administrative fine amount is specified, established by resolution of the City Council, or established by any other provision of this Code, administrative fines shall be assessed in the following amounts:

1.    A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation;

2.    A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second violation of the same ordinance or permit within one year from the date of a prior violation;

3.    A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a third violation, or any subsequent violation, of the same ordinance or permit within one year from the date of the prior violations.

E.    In the case of administrative citations issued for violations in a Safety Enhancement Zone established pursuant to Section 1.04.060 of this Code, administrative fines shall be assessed in the following amounts:

1.    A fine of three hundred dollars ($300.00) for a first violation;

2.    A fine of six hundred dollars ($600.00) for a second violation of the same ordinance or permit within one year from the date of a prior violation;

3.    A fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for a third violation, or any subsequent violation, of the same ordinance or permit within one year from the date of the prior violations.

F.    In the case of administrative citations issued for violations of Chapter 5.28 [Live Entertainment Establishments]; Chapter 5.32 [Cafe Dances]; Chapter 5.95 [Short Term Lodging Permit]; Section 10.50.020(H) [violation of terms or conditions of a use permit issued by the City]; Section 14.36.030 resulting in bay or beach closure [Illicit Connections and Prohibited Discharges]; California Fire Code section 107.5 (as adopted by Code Section 9.04.010); or California Fire Code section 107.5.1 (as adopted by Code Section 9.04.020), administrative fines shall be assessed in the following amounts when authorized by the City Manager or his or her designee:

1.    A fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for a first violation;

2.    A fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for a second violation of the same ordinance or permit within one year from the date of the prior violation;

3.    A fine not exceeding three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) for a third violation, or any subsequent violation, within one year from the date of the prior violations.

G.    All fines imposed under this section shall be due and payable to the City’s Finance Department within thirty (30) days from the service of an administrative citation.

H.    The fines imposed under this section shall be in addition to any other fines, penalties, and/or fees imposed for violations of this Code or local, State, and/or Federal law. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 2003-5 § 7, 2003: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.030 Service Procedures.

A.    Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, any notice, administrative citation, or any other document issued under this chapter may be served by any of the following methods:

1.    Personal service;

2.    Deposit in the mail for delivery by the United States Postal Service, in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to such person to be notified, at their last known address as the same appears in public records or public records related to title or ownership of the property; or

3.    If service cannot be accomplished by subsection (A)(1) or (2) of this section, by posting the notice or administrative citation conspicuously on or in front of the subject property.

B.    Personal service shall be deemed to have been completed when served on the person. Service by mail shall be deemed to have been completed at the time of deposit by the City in the mail for delivery by the United States Postal Service. Service by posting shall be deemed to have been completed at the time of posting.

C.    Failure to receive any notice, administrative citation or any other document or correspondence issued under this Code does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted hereunder. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.040 Contents of Administrative Citation.

A.    Each administrative citation shall contain the following information:

1.    Date, approximate time, and address or definite description of the location where the violation(s) was observed;

2.    The Code sections or permit conditions violated and a description of the violation(s);

3.    If applicable to the violation, an order to the responsible person to correct the violations within the time specified, and an explanation of the consequences of failure to correct the violation(s);

4.    The amount of the fine for the violation(s);

5.    An explanation of how the fine shall be paid and the time period by which it shall be paid;

6.    Identification of rights of appeal, including the time within which the citation may be contested and the place to obtain a request for hearing form to contest the administrative citation; and

7.    The name and signature of the Enforcement Officer. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.050 Administrative Costs Recovery.

A.    This section establishes procedures for the recovery of administrative costs. The intent of this section is to recover the City’s administrative costs reasonably related to enforcement actions. Any responsible person violating any provision of this Code may be subject to the recovery of the City’s administrative costs pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter.

B.    Record of Administrative Costs. Should the City seek to recover its administrative costs, each Enforcement Officer shall produce records of all administrative costs associated with the investigation and/or processing of violations and enforcement of this Code, and shall recover the costs from the responsible person in compliance with this section. Staff time shall be calculated at an hourly rate established and revised from time to time by resolution by the Council.

C.    Notice of Intent to Charge Administrative Costs. Upon investigation and a determination that a violation of any provisions of this Code is found to exist, the Enforcement Officer shall notify the responsible person of the existence of the violation, and of the City’s intent to charge the responsible person for all administrative costs associated with enforcement.

D.    Summary of Administrative Costs. At the conclusion of an enforcement action, the Enforcement Officer shall send a summary of administrative costs to the responsible person. The summary of administrative costs shall include a notice advising the responsible person of their right to appeal, and that if no written appeal is timely filed, the responsible person will be liable for the administrative costs. The failure of any responsible person to timely appeal with the City shall be deemed a failure to exhaust the responsible person’s administrative remedies with regard to the summary of administrative costs.

E.    In the event that no appeal of the summary of administrative costs is timely filed, or the Hearing Officer affirms the validity of the costs as part of the enforcement action, the responsible person shall be liable to the City in the amount stated in the summary of administrative costs or any lesser amount determined by the Hearing Officer.

F.    Request for an Appeal on Administrative Costs. A responsible person who receives a summary of administrative costs shall have the right to an administrative hearing before a Hearing Officer on their objections to the summary of administrative costs.

1.    Request for an Appeal. A request for an appeal shall be filed with the City’s Finance Department within thirty (30) days of the service of the summary of administrative costs on a form provided by the Finance Department.

2.    Hearing. Within sixty (60) days of the filing of a request for an appeal, and on ten (10) days’ prior written notice to the responsible person, a Hearing Officer shall hold a hearing on the objections to the summary of administrative costs.

3.    Factors to Be Considered by a Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer shall consider whether the costs identified in the summary of administrative costs are reasonable under the circumstances of the enforcement action including the following:

a.    Whether the responsible person created the violation;

b.    Whether there is a present ability to correct the violation;

c.    Whether the responsible person acted promptly to correct the violation; and

d.    The degree of cooperation provided by the responsible person.

4.    The failure of any responsible person to appear at the administrative hearing before the Hearing Officer on the summary of administrative costs shall be deemed a failure to exhaust the responsible person’s administrative remedies with regard to the summary of administrative costs.

G.    Any responsible person aggrieved by the Hearing Officer’s decision under this section may obtain judicial review of that decision by filing a petition for review with the Orange County Superior Court in accordance with the timelines and provisions set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.060 Appeal of Administrative Citation.

A.    Any recipient of an administrative citation may contest that there was a violation of the Code or that he or she is the responsible person by completing a request for hearing form and returning it to the City’s Finance Department within thirty (30) days from the date of service of the administration citation, together with an advanced deposit of the fine or a notice that a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver pursuant to subsection (B) of this section has been filed. Any administrative citation fine which has been deposited shall be refunded if it is determined, after a hearing, that the person charged in the administrative citation was not responsible for the violation(s) or that there was no violation(s) as charged in the administrative citation.

B.    Any responsible person who requests a hearing to contest that there was a violation of the Code or that he or she is the responsible person for the violation and who is financially unable to make the advance deposit of the fine as required may file a request for an advance deposit hardship waiver within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date of service of the citation. The failure of any person to timely file a written request for an advance deposit hardship waiver with the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, shall be deemed a failure to exhaust the person’s administrative remedies with regard to the advance deposit hardship waiver.

1.    The request for an advance deposit hardship waiver shall be in writing and describe with particularity the responsible person’s actual financial inability demonstrating why all or a part of the fine cannot be paid. Further, the written request for an advance deposit hardship waiver must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit, together with any supporting documents or materials, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, the responsible person’s actual financial inability that necessitates an advance deposit hardship waiver. The City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, is entitled to request additional documentation and information from the responsible person in order to fully assess the waiver request. The failure of any responsible person to timely submit all requested additional documentation and information to the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, as requested shall be deemed a failure to exhaust the responsible person’s administrative remedies with regard to the advance deposit hardship waiver.

2.    Once a complete written request for an advance deposit hardship waiver is filed with the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, the requirement of depositing the full amount of the fine shall be stayed until the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, determines whether to grant, grant in part, or deny the request. The written determination of the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, shall be served on the person requesting the advance deposit hardship waiver as provided for in this Code. The written determination of the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, shall be final.

3.    If the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, grants the advance deposit hardship waiver, the responsible person shall not be required to deposit the fine in advance of the hearing.

4.    If the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, grants in part the advance deposit hardship waiver, the responsible person shall remit that amount of the fine as a deposit that the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, determines the responsible person has the ability to pay within ten (10) days of that decision or thirty (30) days from service of the administrative citation, whichever is later.

5.    If the City’s Finance Director, or his or her designee, denies the request for an advance deposit hardship waiver, the responsible person shall remit the full amount of the fine as a deposit to the City within ten (10) days of that decision or thirty (30) days from service of the administrative citation, whichever is later.

6.    The granting, or granting in part, of any request for an advance deposit hardship waiver shall not excuse or discharge any continuation or repeated occurrence of any violation of this Code, nor shall it bar further enforcement action by the City.

7.    The granting, or granting in part, of any request for an advance deposit hardship waiver shall not excuse the responsible person from paying the full amount of the fine if the administrative citation is upheld by the hearing officer following an administrative hearing. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.065 Administrative Penalties.

A.    In addition to any applicable fine provided for by this Code, any responsible person violating any provision of this Code may also be subject to the assessment of administrative penalties pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter.

B.    Whenever an Enforcement Officer determines that a violation of one or more provisions of this Code has occurred or continues to exist, a written administrative penalties notice and order may be issued to each responsible person.

C.    Administrative penalties, if awarded, assessed, or imposed, shall be assessed at a daily rate, the amount of which shall be determined by the Hearing Officer and set forth in an administrative penalties enforcement order following the presentation of evidence at an administrative hearing according to the procedures established in this chapter. Administrative penalties may be assessed separate and in addition to fines and administrative costs authorized by this Code.

D.    The maximum legal rate for administrative penalties shall be one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per day, per violation. The maximum legal amount of administrative penalties shall be two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00), plus interest on unpaid penalties, per parcel of real property, including any structures located thereon, for all violations of this Code, including continuing violations, existing at the time the administrative penalties notice and order is issued by the City. Violations first occurring after the issuance of an administrative penalties notice and order shall be subject to enforcement through the issuance of a separate administrative penalties notice and order.

E.    The administrative penalties notice and order shall provide notice of the following: the alleged violation(s); a brief description of the remedial or corrective action required; a compliance deadline; the date and time set for a hearing before a Hearing Officer should the corrective action not be taken, and notice that each violation not corrected by the compliance deadline will be subject to an order requiring payment of administrative penalties in an amount determined by a Hearing Officer; and an order to correct the violation(s).

F.    More than one administrative penalties notice and order may be issued against the same responsible person if each such subsequent notice and order concerns different dates, different violations, or different locations.

G.    In determining the date when administrative penalties start to accrue, a Hearing Officer may consider the date when the City first discovered the violation as evidenced by the issuance of an administrative citation, administrative penalties notice and order, or any other written notice or correspondence to any responsible person.

H.    In determining the amount of administrative penalties to be assessed at a daily rate for each violation, the Hearing Officer may consider some or all of the following factors:

1.    The duration of the violation;

2.    The frequency of recurrence of the violation;

3.    The seriousness of the violation;

4.    The history of the violation;

5.    The responsible person’s conduct after issuance of any notice;

6.    The good faith effort to comply;

7.    The economic impact of the penalty;

8.    The impact of the violation upon the community; and

9.    Any other factors that justice may require.

I.    The failure of any responsible person to appear at the administrative hearing before the Hearing Officer on the administrative penalties notice and order shall be deemed a failure to exhaust the responsible person’s administrative remedies with regard to the administrative penalties notice and order.

J.    When the responsible person fails to comply with the administrative penalties notice and order by correcting the violation(s) and bringing the property into compliance with this Code, the administrative penalties notice and order shall be set for an administrative hearing. In the interests of justice, an Enforcement Officer may reschedule the date and time for the administrative hearing on an administrative penalties notice and order upon written notice to the responsible person.

K.    Within forty-five (45) days of the completion of the administrative hearing on an administrative penalties notice and order, the Hearing Officer shall issue an administrative penalties enforcement order. The administrative penalties enforcement order shall become final and take effect on the date it is signed by the Hearing Officer.

The administrative penalties enforcement order shall contain the following information:

1.    Date(s) of the administrative hearing;

2.    Identification by name of each Enforcement Officer, responsible person and any other person or witness attending the hearing;

3.    A determination regarding the sufficiency of notice for due process purposes;

4.    A summary of the evidence presented by each witness, including exhibits;

5.    Findings of fact, analysis of applicable sections of this Code, and conclusions of law as to the issues relevant to the administrative hearing;

6.    A determination and assessment of administrative civil penalties and administrative costs to be awarded to the City, if any;

7.    Notice of appeal rights and judicial review pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6;

8.    Signature of the Hearing Officer and the signature date.

L.    The administrative penalties enforcement order shall be served on all responsible persons by first-class mail, postage prepaid and include a copy of an affidavit or certificate of mailing.

M.    Upon the failure of the responsible person to comply with terms and deadlines set forth in the administrative penalties enforcement order, the Enforcement Officer may use all appropriate legal means to recover the administrative penalties assessed and obtain compliance with the administrative penalties enforcement order.

N.    After the Hearing Officer issues an administrative penalties enforcement order, the Enforcement Officer shall periodically and regularly inspect the subject property to determine whether the property has been brought into compliance with the administrative penalties enforcement order and whether daily penalties should continue to accrue.

O.    Any responsible person aggrieved by an administrative penalties enforcement order may obtain judicial review of that order by filing a petition for review with the Orange County Superior Court in accordance with the timelines and provisions set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6.

P.    It is unlawful for a responsible person who has been served with a copy of the final administrative penalties enforcement order issued pursuant to this section to fail to comply with that order.

1.    The failure to comply with a final administrative penalties enforcement order may be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor at the discretion of the City Attorney.

2.    The failure to comply with a final administrative penalties enforcement order may result in alternative remedies, such as civil injunction, abatement, receivership, or any other legal remedy. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012)

1.05.070 Hearing Officer.

A.    The Newport Beach City Manager shall designate the Hearing Officer for any administrative hearing called for in this Code. The Hearing Officer shall not be a Newport Beach City employee. The employment, performance evaluation, compensation and benefits of the Hearing Officer, if any, shall not be directly or indirectly conditioned upon the amount of administrative citation fines upheld by the Hearing Officer.

B.    Disqualification. Any person designated to serve as a Hearing Officer is subject to disqualification for actual bias, prejudice, interest, or for other reason for which a judge may be disqualified after a showing of good cause under the laws of the State of California.

C.    Powers. The Hearing Officer shall have the power to:

1.    Conduct administrative hearings as provided under the authority of this Code;

2.    Continue a hearing based on good cause shown by one of the parties to the hearing or upon the Hearing Officer’s own motion;

3.    Request additional information from the Enforcement Officer or the responsible person provided notice of such request is given to all parties;

4.    Exercise continuing jurisdiction over the subject matter of an administrative hearing for the purposes of granting a continuance, ensuring compliance with any order, modifying any order, or where extraordinary circumstances exist, granting a new administrative hearing;

5.    Require a responsible person to post a bond to ensure compliance with an administrative penalties enforcement order;

6.    Rule upon the merits of an administrative hearing upon consideration of the evidence submitted and issue a written decision resolving the case;

7.    Uphold, award, impose, assess, or deny a fine or penalty authorized under this Code;

8.    Assess administrative costs according to proof;

9.    Set, increase, or decrease, according to proof, the amount of fine or penalty or the daily rate of such fine or penalty sought by the City to be awarded, imposed, or assessed in those cases where the fine or penalty is not fixed but is subject to a range as otherwise established by this Code;

10.    In those cases where the fine or penalty is not fixed but is subject to a range as otherwise established by this Code, determine the date certain upon which the assessment of administrative penalties shall begin; and, where the corrections are subsequently completed to the City’s satisfaction, the date certain upon which the assessment of administrative penalties shall end. If the violations have not been so corrected, the daily accrual of the penalties assessed shall continue until the violations are corrected or the legal maximum limit is reached; and

11.    Where appropriate in administrative actions arising from the issuance of an administrative penalties notice and order and as a condition of compliance in correcting the violations at issue, require each responsible person to cease violating this Code and to make all necessary corrections. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.080 Hearing Procedure.

A.    No hearing to contest an administrative citation or summary of administrative costs and notice before a Hearing Officer shall be held unless and until a request for hearing form has been completed and submitted, and, if applicable, the fine has been deposited in advance or an advance deposit hardship waiver has been issued.

B.    A hearing before the Hearing Officer may be set for a date that is not less than fifteen (15) and not more than sixty (60) days from the date that the request for hearing is filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The responsible person requesting the hearing shall be notified of the time and place set for the hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing. The City and responsible person may mutually agree to waive, modify or change the date of the preceding.

C.    For a hearing contesting an administrative citation, the Hearing Officer shall only consider evidence that is relevant to whether the violation(s) occurred and whether the responsible person has caused or maintained the violation(s) of the Code on the date(s) specified.

D.    The responsible person shall be given the opportunity to testify and present relevant witnesses and evidence during the hearing.

E.    The failure of any recipient of an administrative citation to appear at the administrative citation hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of the fine and a failure to exhaust their administrative remedies.

F.    The administrative citation, any notice issued under the provisions of this Code, and any additional documents submitted by the Enforcement Officer shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained in those documents.

G.    Either party may submit additional written reports, documents or evidence to the Hearing Officer for consideration, with a copy served by mail on the other party at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. The failure of either party to receive materials prior to the hearing shall not affect the validity of the proceedings, but may entitle the party to a reasonable continuance of the hearing.

H.    At least ten (10) days prior to the hearing, the recipient of an administrative citation shall be provided with copies of the citations, reports and other documents or evidence submitted or relied upon by the Enforcement Officer. No other discovery is permitted. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. Administrative hearings are intended to be informal in nature. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the type of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rules which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction in this State. Irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 2003-5 § 8, 2003: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.090 Hearing Officer’s Decision.

A.    After considering all of the testimony and evidence submitted at the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall issue a written decision within ten (10) days of the hearing and shall list in the decision the reasons for that decision. For a hearing on an administrative citation, the Hearing Officer may uphold or deny the administrative citation. The decision of the Hearing Officer shall be final.

B.    If the Hearing Officer determines that the administrative citation should be upheld, then the fine amount on deposit with the City shall be retained by the City.

C.    If the Hearing Officer determines that the administrative citation should be denied and the fine was deposited with the City, then the City shall promptly refund the amount of the deposited fine.

D.    The recipient of the administrative citation shall be served with a copy of the Hearing Officer’s written decision in the manner prescribed by Section 1.08.080 of this Code. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.100 Failure to Pay Fines, Penalties, Costs or Fees.

A.    The amount of any fine, penalty, cost or fee imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed a debt owed to the City.

B.    The failure of any person to pay an assessed fine, penalty, cost or fee by the deadline specified shall result in the assessment of additional late fees.

C.    It is intended that persons causing, maintaining, and/or permitting the violation, bear the financial burden of the City’s enforcement efforts. The City may pursue any and all legal and equitable remedies to collect unpaid fines, penalties, costs or fees imposed pursuant to this chapter. Pursuit of one remedy does not preclude the pursuit of any other remedy. Remedies available to the City to collect unpaid fines, penalties, costs or fees include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.    Referring the delinquent account to collection;

2.    Authorizing a lien to be recorded on the property for any unpaid fines, penalties, costs, or fees imposed;

3.    Authorizing a special assessment upon the property for any civil fines, penalties, costs, or fees imposed against the owner; and/or

4.    Filing a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

D.    Any person who fails to pay any fine, penalty, cost or fee shall be liable in any proceeding brought by the City for the costs incurred in securing payment of the unpaid amount, including attorneys’ fees. Such costs shall be in addition to any penalties, interest, and/or late fees imposed upon the unpaid fine, penalty, cost or fee. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.110 Right to Judicial Review of Hearing Officer’s Decision on Administrative Citation.

Any person aggrieved by an administrative decision of a Hearing Officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing a petition for review with the Orange County Superior Court in accordance with the timelines and provisions as set forth in California Government Code Section 53069.4. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)

1.05.120 Administrative Remedies Not Exclusive.

The procedures established in this chapter for the use of administrative citations and the administrative civil penalties process, and the procedures established in other chapters of this Code for administrative abatement and summary abatement, as means for addressing violations of this Code, shall be in addition to criminal, civil or other legal or equitable remedies established by law that may be pursued to address violations of this Code and the use of this chapter shall be at the sole discretion of the City. (Ord. 2012-13 § 1 (part), 2012: Ord. 97-36 § 2 (part), 1997)