Chapter 8.20
VIOLATIONS

Sections:

8.20.010    Penalties and remedies.

8.20.020    Separate offense.

8.20.030    Public nuisance – Prohibited.

8.20.040    Notice and service requirements.

8.20.050    Enforcement.

8.20.060    Cost recovery of abatement.

8.20.010 Penalties and remedies.

A. Any violation of this title shall be enforceable as a criminal offense pursuant to Chapter 1.12 SMC. Unless specifically stated otherwise, a violation of any of the provisions in this title shall be deemed a misdemeanor.

B. Any violation of this title shall constitute a public nuisance and be subject to the abatement procedures set forth by Chapter 1.12 SMC or elsewhere in this code.

C. Any violation of this title may be made subject to proceedings under Chapter 1.30 SMC, Administrative Penalties.

D. The penalties and remedies specified herein shall not be exclusive but shall be cumulative with all other remedies at law or in equity. The city may, in its discretion, elect to pursue any one or more of the penalties or remedies provided for herein or at law or in equity. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).

8.20.020 Separate offense.

Every person violating any provision of this title shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each day, or portion thereof, during which the violation continues, and shall be punishable therefor as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).

8.20.030 Public nuisance – Prohibited.

A. In addition to the grounds deemed a public nuisance by SMC 8.20.010, a public nuisance shall be deemed to exist when an owner of an animal:

1. Has been convicted or found guilty of three violations of this title within a 12-month period of time.

2. Permits unsanitary conditions to exist on the premises where such animal is kept which cause odors, attract flies or vermin, or which are otherwise injurious to the public health or offensive to the senses of adjacent property owners.

3. Keeps or maintains any animal in violation of the zoning code of the city of Sonoma.

B. Whenever an animal care and control officer has reasonable cause to believe that a public nuisance as defined in this section exists, the animal care and control officer may conduct an investigation of the alleged nuisance. Whenever it is alleged in writing by two or more persons residing in separate residences within the same street block or on properties adjoining the animal owner’s property that a public nuisance as defined in this section exists, the animal care and control officer may issue an order to the owner of the animal directing that such nuisance be abated. In the event that the owner does not comply with the abatement order, the animal care and control officer may immediately initiate proceedings for a hearing, as is set forth in Chapter 8.04 SMC. The notice and hearing shall comply with the requirements set forth in Chapter 8.04 SMC. As used in this subsection, “adjoining” shall mean any property that shares a common property line with the owner’s property, or is divided from the owner’s property by a street or roadway.

C. Any person may maintain an action under Civil Code Section 3493 for compliance with the requirements of this section. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).

8.20.040 Notice and service requirements.

When this title requires the provision of notice or service, the notice or service shall be in writing. If a right may be exercised or an act is to be done and the notice or service of it is required to be given but the time within which the notice or service must be given is not specified, the notice or service shall be given at least 10 days before the time the right must be exercised. The notice or service shall be served either personally or by first class mail in a sealed envelope with postage prepaid, addressed to the animal owner at his last known mailing address and deposited in a facility maintained by the United States Department of Postal Service. The person providing such notice or service shall sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that notice or service has been made. In the event that the last known address of the animal owner cannot be ascertained, the animal hearing officer or animal care and control officer shall sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that best efforts were made to provide notice or service to the animal owner. In the case of service by mail, notice or service is complete at the time the notice is deposited in the United States mail. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).

8.20.050 Enforcement.

Any provisions of this title may be enforced by the police department, fire department, the animal care and control officer or any authorized designee of the animal services director. Complaints of any violations of this title which are subject to penalties under this chapter may be presented to the district attorney’s office or to the city attorney for prosecution. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).

8.20.060 Cost recovery of abatement.

The costs of abating a public nuisance deemed to exist pursuant to this title may be recovered from the owner of the animal causing the public nuisance. In any action, administrative proceeding, or special proceeding initiated by the city under this title, the prevailing party may recover attorneys’ fees. Recovery of attorneys’ fees by the prevailing party is limited to 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. The award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party shall in no circumstance exceed the amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the city in the action or proceeding. (Ord. 05-2012 § 2, 2012).