Chapter 19.10


19.10.010    Title of chapter and authority. Revised 3/17

19.10.020    Applicability. Revised 3/17

19.10.030    Entry and inspection. Revised 3/17

19.10.040    First offense warning. Revised 3/17

19.10.050    Administrative citation. Revised 3/17

19.10.060    Amount of fines. Revised 3/17

19.10.070    Payment of the fine. Revised 3/17

19.10.080    Hearing request. Revised 3/17

19.10.090    Deposit waiver. Revised 3/17

19.10.100    Hearing procedure. Revised 3/17

19.10.110    Hearing officer’s decision. Revised 3/17

19.10.120    Late payment penalties and interest. Revised 3/17

19.10.130    Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs. Revised 3/17

19.10.140    Right to judicial review. Revised 3/17

19.10.150    Notices. Revised 3/17

Prior legislation: Ord. 2010-01.

19.10.010 Title of chapter and authority.

This chapter shall be known as the “administrative citations ordinance.” It is adopted pursuant to California Government Code Section 53069.4 authorizing local agencies, by ordinance, to make violation of any ordinance of the agency subject to administrative fine or penalty. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.020 Applicability.

Administrative citations shall be in addition to all other remedies, whether criminal, civil or equitable, which may be pursued by the city to address any violation of this code. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.030 Entry and inspection.

An enforcement officer may enter and inspect any property or premises at all times to perform any duty imposed upon him or her by this chapter whenever the enforcement officer has cause to believe a violation of this code is occurring; provided, that:

A.    The enforcement officer shall present proper credentials, state the reason for entry and request entry from the owner or occupant.

B.    If entry is denied, the enforcement officer may seek a court ordered inspection warrant if cause exists pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1822.50 et seq.

C.    If entry is denied, the enforcement officer shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.

D.    The enforcement officer shall make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of unoccupied property or premises, inform the owner of the reasons for entry and request entry.

E.    The enforcement officer shall not enter any property or premises in the absence of permission to enter, unless an inspection warrant has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.040 First offense warning.

A.    Whenever an enforcement officer determines that a violation of any section of this code has occurred, the enforcement officer may issue a first offense warning to any person responsible for the violation. The first offense warning shall be served as a prerequisite to the issuance of a first administrative citation and serves as a written warning of responsibility. The first offense warning requires immediate action by the person responsible for the violation to correct the violation.

B.    The first offense warning shall include the following:

1.    The code section(s) violated.

2.    How the violation can be corrected.

3.    A date by which the violation can reasonably be corrected, after which an administrative citation may be issued if the violation is not fully corrected.

C.    In accordance with California Government Code Section 53069.4, no person will be assessed a fine under this chapter for a continuing violation pertaining to a building, plumbing, electrical or similar structural or zoning issue that does not create an immediate danger to the public health or safety without first receiving a first offense warning and a reasonable opportunity to correct or otherwise remedy the violation. In such circumstances, the stated period available to correct the violation prior to the issuance of an administrative citation must be appropriate to the violation as determined by the enforcement officer, but in no event less than seven days. If, after expiration of the correction period stated in the first offense warning, the violation is not corrected, the enforcement officer may issue an administrative citation.

D.    Any person receiving a first offense warning for a continuing violation may file a written petition with the city clerk for consideration by the city manager for an extension of time to correct the violation; provided, that the written petition is received before the end of the correction period set forth in the first offense warning. The city manager may grant an extension of time to correct the violation if the person requesting the extension of time has supplied sufficient evidence showing that the correction cannot reasonably be made within the correction period set forth in the first offense warning.

E.    The requirement of a reasonable opportunity to correct a violation does not apply in instances where, in the discretion of the city manager, a violation poses an immediate danger to the public health or safety. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.050 Administrative citation.

A.    Whenever an enforcement officer charged with the enforcement of a provision of this code (including those uniform codes adopted herein by reference) determines that a violation of that provision has occurred, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to issue an administrative citation to the person or entity responsible for the violation.

B.    Each administrative citation shall contain the following information:

1.    The date of the violation;

2.    The address or a definite description of the location where the violation occurred;

3.    The code section violated and a description of the violation;

4.    The amount of the fine for the code violation;

5.    A description of the fine payment process, including a description of the time within which and the place to which the fine must be paid;

6.    An order prohibiting the continuation or repeated occurrence of the ordinance violation described in the administrative citation;

7.    A description of the administrative citation review process, including the time within which the administrative citation may be contested and the place from which a request for hearing form may be obtained;

8.    The name and signature of the citing enforcement officer and the date the administrative citation is issued;

9.    A description of the deposit waiver process, including the time within which a request for deposit waiver may be made and the place from which the request for hearing form may be obtained. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.060 Amount of fines.

A.    The amounts of the fines for each code violation shall be as set forth in a schedule of fines established by resolution of the city council.

B.    The schedule of fines may specify any increased fines for repeat violations of the same code provision by the same person within thirty-six (36) months from the date of a prior administrative citation.

C.    The schedule of fines shall specify the amount of any late payment charge imposed for the payment of a fine after its due date. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.070 Payment of the fine.

A.    The fine shall be paid to the city of Winters within thirty (30) days from the date of the administrative citation.

B.    Any administrative citation fine paid pursuant to subsection A of this section shall be refunded in accordance with Section 19.10.110(D) if it is determined, after a hearing, that the person charged in the administrative citation either was not responsible for the violation or that there was no violation as charged in the administrative citation. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.080 Hearing request.

A.    Any recipient of an administrative citation may contest either or both that there was a violation as stated in the administrative citation or that he or she is the responsible party by completing a request for hearing form and returning it to the city clerk within thirty (30) days from the date of the administrative citation, together with either an advance deposit of the fine or an approved request for a deposit waiver.

B.    A request for hearing form may be obtained from the city clerk.

C.    The person requesting the hearing shall be notified by the city clerk of the time and place set for the hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing.

D.    If the enforcement officer submits an additional written report concerning the administrative citation to the hearing officer for consideration at the hearing, then a copy of this report also shall be served on the person requesting the hearing, at least five days prior to the date of the hearing. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.090 Deposit waiver.

A.    Any person who requests a hearing who is financially unable to make the advance deposit of the fine as required in Section 19.10.080(A) may file a request for deposit waiver.

B.    The request shall be filed with the finance director within ten (10) days of the date of the administrative citation on a deposit waiver application form available from the city clerk. The finance director shall either issue or decline to issue the deposit waiver within five days.

C.    The finance director shall issue the deposit waiver if the cited party submits to the finance director a sworn affidavit, or declaration under penalty of perjury, together with any supporting documents or materials, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the finance director the person’s actual financial inability to deposit with the city of Winters the full amount of the fine in advance of the hearing.

D.    The finance director shall issue a written determination listing the reasons for his or her determination to issue or not issue the deposit waiver. The written determination of the finance director shall be final, and shall be served upon the person who applied for the deposit waiver, the enforcement officer and the city clerk. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.100 Hearing procedure.

A.    No hearing to contest an administrative citation shall be held unless the fine has been deposited in advance in accordance with Section 19.10.080(A) or a deposit waiver has been issued in accordance with Section 19.10.090.

B.    The hearing shall be set by the city clerk for a date that is not less than fifteen (15) days 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.

C.    The hearing officer may continue the hearing and request additional information from the enforcement officer or the recipient of the administrative citation prior to issuing a written decision. The hearing officer shall ensure an adequate record of the hearing is made.

D.    The city shall bear the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the violation occurred as charged and that the person to whom an administrative citation was issued is responsible for the violation. The city may be represented by the enforcement officer or be represented by counsel.

E.    The recipient of the administrative citation may cross-examine the enforcement officer or any other witness against him or her, and may present such evidence as he or she may have. The recipient of the administrative citation may be represented by counsel.

F.    The formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The hearing officer may rely upon such evidence as he or she believes reasonable persons would rely upon in the conduct of their affairs. Any witnesses, including the enforcement officer and the recipient of the administrative citation, shall testify under oath.

G.    The administrative citation and any additional report submitted by the enforcement officer shall constitute prima facie evidence of the respective facts contained on those documents. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.110 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 to uphold or cancel the administrative citation and shall list in the decision the reasons for that decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final.

B.    If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citations 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 upheld and the fine has not been deposited pursuant to an advance deposit hardship waiver, the hearing officer shall set forth in the decision a payment schedule for the fine.

D.    If the hearing officer determines that the administrative citation should be canceled or reduced and the fine was deposited with the city, then the city shall promptly refund the amount of the deposited fine or excess, as the case may be, together with interest at the average rate earned on the city’s investment portfolio for the period of time that the fine amount was held by the city.

E.    The recipient of the administrative citation shall be served with a copy of the hearing officer’s written decision. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.120 Late payment penalties and interest.

Any person who fails to pay any fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter on or before the date that fine is due also shall be liable for the payment of a late payment penalty in the amount of ten (10) percent of the fine. Thereafter, the amount of the fine, and the penalty, shall accrue interest at ten (10) percent per annum until paid. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.130 Recovery of administrative citation fines and costs.

The city may collect any past due administrative citation fine or late payment penalty and interest by use of all available legal means. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, all such fines or late payments shall constitute civil debts and may be recovered in an action at law, or, where the violation relates to or occurred upon real property owned by the person to whom an administrative citation was issued, a lien may be filed by the city against such real property. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.140 Right to judicial review.

A.    The failure of the party contesting the administrative citation to appear at the administrative citation hearing shall result in a forfeiture of the fine and shall constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

B.    Subject to the provisions of subsection A of this section, any person aggrieved by an administrative decision of a hearing officer on an administrative citation may obtain review of the administrative decision by filing an appeal in a court of competent jurisdiction within twenty (20) days after service of the decision in accordance with the provisions of California Government Code Section 53069.4(b)(2). (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))

19.10.150 Notices.

A.    The administrative citation and all notices required to be given by this chapter shall be served on the responsible party as follows:

1.    The citation and any notices may be served upon the responsible party in person by either the enforcement officer, the city clerk or any police officer of the city of Winters.

2.    The citation and notices may be served by depositing same in the United States Postal Service mail, first class mail, postage prepaid, at Winters, California, and addressed to party to be cited at the address of that party known to the enforcement officer or the city clerk, or, if that address is not known, as that address appears on the last equalized assessment roll of Yolo County if the party to be served with the citation or notice is the owner of real property within the city and that real property is the situs of the ordinance violation charged in the citation.

B.    Failure to receive any notice in this chapter does not affect the validity of proceedings conducted hereunder. (Ord. 2016-11 § 3 (part))