Chapter 8.35
ADMINISTRATIVE CODE ENFORCEMENT HEARING PROGRAM

Sections:

Article I. General Provisions and Definitions

8.35.010    Short title.

8.35.020    Declaration of purpose.

8.35.030    Scope.

8.35.040    Existing law continued.

8.35.050    Criminal prosecution right.

8.35.060    Effect of heading.

8.35.070    Validity of chapter – Severability.

8.35.080    No mandatory duty – Civil liability.

8.35.090    General rules of interpretation of ordinances.

8.35.100    Definitions applicable to chapter generally.

8.35.110    Acts include causing, aiding, and abetting.

8.35.120    Service of process.

8.35.130    Constructive notice of recorded documents.

8.35.140    General enforcement authority.

8.35.150    Adoption of policy and procedures.

8.35.160    Authority to inspect.

8.35.170    Power to arrest.

8.35.180    False information or refusal prohibited.

8.35.190    Failure to obey a subpoena.

Article II. Administrative Code Enforcement Procedures

8.35.200    Administrative abatement.

8.35.210    Emergency abatement.

8.35.220    Demolitions.

8.35.230    Administrative citations.

Article III. Administrative Code Enforcement Hearing Procedures

8.35.240    Declaration of purpose.

8.35.250    Authority and scope of hearings.

8.35.260    Request for administrative code enforcement hearing.

8.35.270    Default hearings and orders.

8.35.280    Notification of administrative code enforcement hearing.

8.35.290    Appointment and qualifications of hearing officer.

8.35.300    Disqualification of code enforcement hearing officer.

8.35.310    Powers of hearing officer.

8.35.320    Procedures at administrative code enforcement hearing.

8.35.330    Failure to attend administrative code enforcement hearing.

8.35.340    Administrative code enforcement order.

8.35.350    Failure to comply with order.

8.35.360    Appeal of administrative code enforcement hearing decision.

Article IV. Administrative and Judicial Remedies

8.35.370    Recordation of notices of violation.

8.35.380    Administrative civil penalties.

8.35.390    Abatement of violation.

8.35.400    Costs.

8.35.410    Administrative fees.

8.35.420    Civil violations – Injunctions.

8.35.430    Performance bond.

Article V. Recovery of Code Enforcement Penalties and Costs

8.35.440    Code enforcement tax liens.

8.35.450    Writ of execution.

8.35.460    Writ of garnishment.

8.35.470    Location of funds collected under administrative code enforcement hearing program.

Article I. General Provisions and Definitions

8.35.010 Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the administrative code enforcement hearing program (A.C.E. hearing program). This chapter shall also be known as Chapter 8.35 RCC. It may be cited or pleaded under either designation. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-1.]

8.35.020 Declaration of purpose.

The Riverton City council finds that the enforcement of the Riverton City Code and applicable state and county codes throughout the city is important to the health, safety, and quality of life of the citizens of Riverton City. The city council recognizes that enforcement starts with the drafting of precise regulations that can be effectively applied in both administrative code enforcement hearings and judicial proceedings. The city council further finds that a comprehensive code enforcement system that uses a combination of judicial and administrative remedies is critical to gain compliance with these regulations. Failure to comply with an administrative code enforcement action may require the city to file a judicial action to gain compliance. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-2.]

8.35.030 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter may be applied to all violations of the Riverton City Code. It has been designed as an additional remedy for the city to use in achieving compliance with its ordinances. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-3.]

8.35.040 Existing law continued.

The provisions of this chapter do not invalidate any other title or ordinance, but shall be read in conjunction with those titles and ordinances as an additional remedy available for enforcement of those ordinances. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-4.]

8.35.050 Criminal prosecution right.

The city has the sole discretion in deciding whether to file a civil or criminal case for the violation of any of its ordinances. The city may choose to file both, or one or the other. The enactment of this administrative remedy shall in no way interfere with the city’s right to prosecute city ordinance violations as criminal offenses. The city may use any of the remedies available under the law in both civil and criminal prosecution. If the city chooses to file both civil and criminal charges for the same day of violation, no civil penalties may be assessed, but all other remedies are available. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-5.]

8.35.060 Effect of heading.

Article and section headings contained herein shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify, or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any article or section hereof. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-6.]

8.35.070 Validity of chapter – Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, portion, or provision of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter. The city council hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, portion, or provision thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, clauses, phrases, portions, or provisions be declared invalid or unconstitutional. This section shall apply to all amendments heretofore or hereafter made to this chapter. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-7.]

8.35.080 No mandatory duty – Civil liability.

It is the intent of the city council that in establishing performance standards or establishing an obligation to act by a city officer or employee, these standards shall not be construed as creating a mandatory duty for purposes of tort liability if the officer or employee fails to perform his or her directed duty or duties. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-8.]

8.35.090 General rules of interpretation of ordinances.

For purposes of this chapter:

(1) Any gender includes the other gender.

(2) “Shall” is mandatory; “may” is permissive.

(3) The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

(4) Words used in the present tense include the past and future tense, and vice versa.

(5) Words and phrases used in this chapter and not specifically defined shall be construed according to the context and approved usage of the language. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-9.]

8.35.100 Definitions applicable to chapter generally.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall be construed as defined in this section, unless a different meaning is specifically defined elsewhere in this chapter and specifically stated to apply:

“Abatement” means any action the city may take on public or private property and any adjacent property as may be necessary to remove or alleviate a violation of city ordinance, including, but not limited to, demolition, removal, repair, boarding, and securing or replacement of property.

“Administrative code enforcement order” means an order issued by an A.C.E. hearing officer. The order may include an order to abate the violation, pay civil penalties and administrative costs, or take any other action as authorized or required by this chapter and applicable state or county codes.

“City” means the area within the territorial city limits of Riverton City, and such territory outside of this city over which the city has jurisdiction or control by virtue of any constitutional or incorporation provisions or any law.

“City council” means the city council of Riverton City.

“Code enforcement lien” means a lien recorded to collect outstanding civil penalties, administrative fees, and costs.

“Code enforcement performance bond” means a bond posted by a responsible person to insure compliance with the Riverton City Code, applicable state and county titles, a judicial action, or an administrative code enforcement order.

“Enforcement officer” means any person authorized to enforce violations of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes, including the ordinance enforcement officer, building official, building inspector, fire inspector, and animal control officer.

“Financial institution” means any person that holds a recorded mortgage or deed of trust on a property.

“Good cause” means incapacitating illness; death; lack of proper notice; unavailability due to unavoidable, unpreventable, or extenuating emergency or circumstance; if a required act causes an imminent and irreparable injury; and acts of nature adverse to performing required acts.

“Imminent life safety hazard” means any condition that creates a present, extreme, and immediate danger to life, property, health, or public safety.

“Legal interest” means any interest that is represented by a document, such as a deed of trust, quitclaim deed, mortgage, judgment lien, tax or assessment lien, mechanic’s lien, or other similar instrument that is recorded with the county recorder.

“Notice of compliance” means a document issued by the city, representing that a property complies with the requirements outlined in the notice of violation.

“Notice of satisfaction” means a document or form approved by the city, which indicates that all outstanding civil penalties and costs have been either paid in full, or that the city has negotiated an agreed amount, or that a subsequent administrative or judicial decision has resolved the outstanding debt. In addition to the satisfaction of the monetary debt, the property must also be in compliance with the requirements outlined in the notice of violation.

“Notice of violation” means a written notice prepared by an enforcement officer that informs a responsible person of ordinance violations and orders them to take certain steps to correct the violations.

“Ordinance enforcement officer” means the employee of Riverton City sworn, and responsible for enforcing the Riverton City Code.

“Person” means any natural person, firm, joint venture, joint stock company, partnership, association, club, company, corporation, business trust, organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, sergeant, officer, or employee of any of them, or any other entity that is recognized by law as the subject of rights or duties.

“Property owner” means the owner of record of real property based on the county assessor’s records.

“Public nuisance” means any condition caused, maintained, or permitted to exist that constitutes a threat to the public’s health, safety, and welfare, or that significantly obstructs, injures, or interferes with the reasonable or free use of property in a neighborhood or community or by any considerable number of persons, or is otherwise injurious, deleterious, noxious or unsightly. A public nuisance also has the same meaning as set forth in the Utah Code Annotated 1953.

“Responsible person” means a person who is responsible for causing or maintaining a violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes. The property owner, tenant, person with a legal interest in the real property, or a person in possession of the real property shall be liable for any violation maintained on the property. In all cases, the property owner shall be considered a responsible person.

“Written” includes handwritten, typewritten, photocopied, computer printed, or facsimile. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-10.]

8.35.110 Acts include causing, aiding, and abetting.

Whenever any act or omission is made unlawful in this chapter, it shall include causing, permitting, aiding, or abetting such act or omission. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-1-11.]

8.35.120 Service of process.

(1) Whenever service is required to be given under this chapter for enforcement purposes, the document shall be served by any of the following methods, unless different provisions are otherwise specifically stated to apply:

(a) Regular mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the owner(s) or other responsible person(s);

(b) Posting the notice conspicuously on or in front of the property. If not inhabited, the notice must also be mailed as in subsection (1)(a) of this section. The city manager or his designee shall approve the form of the posted notice;

(c) Personal service pursuant to the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4(e)(1) or Rule 4(e)(5); or

(d) Published in a newspaper of general circulation where the identity or whereabouts of the person to be served are unknown and cannot be ascertained through reasonable diligence, where service is impracticable under the circumstances, or where there exists good cause to believe that the person to be served is avoiding service of process.

(2) Service by regular mail in the manner described in subsection (1) of this section shall be deemed served on the third day after the date of mailing.

(3) If service complies with the requirements of this section, it shall be deemed a valid service even if a party claims not to have received the service and it shall not affect the validity of any proceedings taken under this chapter.

(4) The failure to serve all responsible person(s) shall not affect the validity of any proceedings. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-2-1.]

8.35.130 Constructive notice of recorded documents.

Whenever a document is recorded with the county recorder as authorized or required by this chapter or applicable state or county codes, recordation shall provide constructive notice of the information contained in the recorded documents. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-2-2.]

8.35.140 General enforcement authority.

Whenever a designated enforcement officer finds that a violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes has occurred or continues to exist, the appropriate administrative enforcement procedure may be used as outlined in this chapter. Any designated enforcement officer has the authority and power necessary to gain compliance with the provisions of the Riverton City Code and applicable state and county codes. These powers include the power to issue notices of violation and administrative citations, inspect public and private property, abate public and private property, and use whatever judicial and administrative remedies are available under the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-1.]

8.35.150 Adoption of policy and procedures.

The city manager or his designee shall develop policies and procedures relating to the hearing procedures, scope of hearings, subpoena powers, and other matters relating to the administrative code enforcement hearings program. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-2.]

8.35.160 Authority to inspect.

Any designated enforcement officer is authorized to enter upon any property or premises to ascertain whether the provisions of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes are being obeyed and to make any examinations and surveys as may be necessary in the performance of the enforcement duties. This may include the taking of photographs, samples, or other physical evidence. All inspections, entries, examinations, and surveys shall be done in a reasonable manner based upon cause. If the responsible person refuses to allow the enforcement officer to enter the property, the enforcement officer shall obtain a search warrant. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-3.]

8.35.170 Power to arrest.

Any designated enforcement officer is authorized to arrest, without a warrant, any person whenever there is a reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes in the enforcement officer’s presence. The enforcement officer can arrest a person only by issuing a misdemeanor citation or administrative citation. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-4.]

8.35.180 False information or refusal prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully make a false statement or refuse to give his or her name or address with intent to deceive or interfere with a city employee when in the performance of his or her official duties under the provisions of this chapter. A violation of this section is a class B misdemeanor. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-5.]

8.35.190 Failure to obey a subpoena.

It is unlawful for any person to refuse or fail to obey a subpoena issued for an administrative code enforcement hearing. Failure to obey a subpoena constitutes contempt and may be prosecuted as a class B misdemeanor. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-1-3-6.]

Article II. Administrative Code Enforcement Procedures

8.35.200 Administrative abatement.

(1) Authority. Any condition caused, maintained or permitted to exist in violation of any provision of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes that constitutes a violation may be abated by the city pursuant to the procedures set forth in this article.

(2) Notice of Violation.

(a) Whenever any designated ordinance enforcement officer determines that a violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes has occurred or continues to exist, the enforcement officer may choose to proceed under the administrative abatement procedures. If this procedure is used, a notice of violation shall be issued to a responsible person. The notice of violation shall include the following information:

(i) Name of property owner/resident;

(ii) Street address of violation;

(iii) Date violation observed;

(iv) All ordinance sections violated and description of condition of the property that violates the applicable ordinances or codes;

(v) A statement explaining the type of remedial action required to permanently correct the violations, which may include corrections, repairs, demolition, removal, or other appropriate action;

(vi) Specific date by which the listed violations must be corrected, which date shall be at least 10 days from the date of service;

(vii) Explanation of the consequences should the responsible person fail to comply with the terms and deadlines as prescribed in the notice of violation, which may include, but is not limited to, criminal prosecution, civil penalties, revocation of permits, recordation of the notice of violation, withholding of future municipal permits, abatement of the violation, costs, administrative fees, and any other legal remedies;

(viii) That civil penalties may begin to accrue immediately on expiration of the date to correct violations;

(ix) The amount of the civil penalty on each violation, and that the penalty may accrue daily until the property is brought into compliance;

(x) That only one notice of violation is required for any 12-month period, and that civil penalties begin to accrue immediately upon any subsequent violations of the notice. The responsible person may request a hearing on the renewed violations by following the same procedure as provided for in the original notice;

(xi) Procedures to request a hearing as provided in RCC 8.35.260, and consequences for failure to request a hearing.

(b) The notice of violation shall be served by one of the methods of service listed in RCC 8.35.120.

(c) More than one notice of violation may be issued against the same responsible person, if it encompasses different dates or different violations.

(3) Failure to Bring Property into Compliance.

(a) If a responsible person fails to bring a violation into compliance by the date given for correction of the violation, civil penalties shall be owed to the city for each and every subsequent day of violation.

(b) Failure to comply with the notice of violation is a class B misdemeanor.

(4) Inspections. It shall be the duty of the responsible person served with a notice of violation to request an inspection when his or her property has been brought into compliance. It is prima facie evidence that the violation remains on the property if no inspection is requested. Civil penalties accumulate daily until the property has been inspected and a notice of compliance is issued. Reinspection fees shall be assessed pursuant to RCC 8.35.400, Costs, if more than one inspection is necessary. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-1.]

8.35.210 Emergency abatement.

(1) Authority.

(a) Whenever an enforcement officer determines that an imminent life safety hazard exists that requires immediate correction or elimination, the enforcement officer may exercise the following powers without prior notice to the responsible person:

(i) Order the immediate vacation of any tenants, and prohibit occupancy until all repairs are completed;

(ii) Post the premises as unsafe, substandard, or dangerous;

(iii) Make any minimal emergency repairs as necessary to eliminate any imminent life safety hazard;

(iv) Board, fence, or secure the building or site;

(v) Raze and grade that portion of the building or site to prevent further collapse, and remove any hazard to the general public;

(vi) Take any other action appropriate to eliminate the emergency.

(b) Any designated ordinance enforcement officer has the authority, based on cause, to enter the property without a search warrant or court order to accomplish the acts listed in subsection (1)(a) of this section to abate the safety hazard.

(c) The responsible person shall be liable for all costs associated with the abatement of the life safety hazard. Costs may be recovered pursuant to this chapter.

(2) Procedures. The ordinance enforcement officer shall pursue only the minimum level of correction or abatement as necessary to eliminate the immediacy of the hazard. Costs incurred by the city during the emergency abatement process shall be assessed and recovered against the responsible person through the procedures outlined in Articles IV and V of this chapter (remedies).

(3) Notice of Emergency Abatement. After an emergency abatement, the ordinance enforcement officer shall notify the owner or responsible person of the abatement action taken. This notice shall be served within 10 days of completion of the abatement. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-2.]

8.35.220 Demolitions.

(1) Authority. Whenever the ordinance enforcement officer, building official, or fire inspector determines that a property or building requires demolition, pursuant to Chapter 15.35 RCC any one of them may demolish or remove the offending structure, or exercise any or all of the powers listed in RCC 8.35.210 once appropriate notice has been given to a responsible person pursuant to the Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings or International Fire Code as required under state law. The responsible person shall be liable for all costs associated with the demolition. Costs may be recovered pursuant to Articles IV and V of this chapter.

(2) Procedures. Once the ordinance enforcement officer has determined that the city has complied with all of the notice requirements of the applicable laws, the property may be abated pursuant to the abatement remedy. Other applicable remedies may also be pursued. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-3.]

8.35.230 Administrative citations.

(1) Declaration of Purpose.

(a) The city council finds that there is a need for an alternative method of enforcement for minor violations of the Riverton City Code and applicable state and county codes. The city council further finds that an appropriate method of enforcement is an administrative citation program.

(b) The procedures established in this article shall be in addition to criminal, civil, or any other legal remedy established by law that may be pursued to address violations of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(2) Authority.

(a) Any person violating any minor provision of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes may be issued an administrative citation by an ordinance enforcement officer as provided in this article.

(b) A civil penalty shall be assessed by means of an administrative citation issued by an ordinance enforcement officer, and shall be payable directly to the city finance department.

(c) Penalties assessed by means of an administrative citation shall be collected in accordance with the procedures specified in Articles IV and V of this chapter (remedies).

(3) Procedures.

(a) Upon discovering any violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes, an enforcement officer may issue an administrative citation to a responsible person in the manner prescribed in this article or as prescribed in RCC 8.35.120. The administrative citation shall be issued on a form approved by the city manager or his designee.

(b) If the responsible person is a business, the enforcement officer shall attempt to locate the business owner and issue the administrative citation to the business owner. If the enforcement officer can only locate the manager of the business, the administrative citation may be given to the manager of the business. A copy of the administrative citation may also be mailed to the business owner or any other responsible person in the manner prescribed in RCC 8.35.120.

(c) Once the responsible person has been located the enforcement officer shall attempt to obtain the signature of that person in the appropriate place on the administrative citation. If the responsible person refuses or fails to sign the administrative citation, the failure or refusal to sign shall not affect the validity of the citation and subsequent proceedings.

(d) The administrative citation shall also contain the signature of the enforcement officer.

(4) Contents of Administrative Citation.

(a) The administrative citation shall refer to the date and location of the violations and the approximate time the violations were observed.

(b) The administrative citation shall refer to the sections of the Riverton City Code, or applicable state or county codes, violated and the titles of those sections.

(c) The administrative citation shall state the amount of penalty imposed for the violations.

(d) The administrative citation shall explain how the penalty shall be paid, the time period by which the penalty shall be paid, and the consequences of failure to pay the penalty.

(e) The administrative citation shall identify the right and procedures to request a hearing.

(f) The administrative citation shall contain the signature of the enforcement officer and the signature of the responsible person, if he or she can be located, as outlined in subsection (3) of this section.

(5) Civil Penalties Assessed.

(a) The city manager or his designee shall establish policies to assist in the assessment of civil penalties for administrative citations.

(b) Civil penalties shall be assessed immediately for each violation listed on the administrative citation.

(c) Payment of the penalty shall not excuse the failure to correct the violations, nor shall it bar further enforcement action by the city. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-4.]

Article III. Administrative Code Enforcement Hearing Procedures

8.35.240 Declaration of purpose.

The city council finds that there is a need to establish uniform procedures for administrative code enforcement hearings conducted pursuant to the Riverton City Code. It is the purpose and intent of the city council to afford due process of law to any person who is directly affected by an administrative action. Due process of law includes notice, and opportunity to participate in an administrative hearing, and an explanation of the reasons justifying the administrative action. These procedures are also intended to establish a forum to efficiently, expeditiously, and fairly resolve issues raised in any administrative code enforcement action. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-1.]

8.35.250 Authority and scope of hearings.

The city manager or his designee shall develop policies and procedures to regulate the hearing process for any violation of the Riverton City Code and applicable state and county codes that are handled pursuant to the administrative abatement procedures, the emergency abatement procedures, the demolition procedures, or the administrative citation procedures. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-2.]

8.35.260 Request for administrative code enforcement hearing.

(1) A person served with one of the following documents or notices has the right to request an administrative code enforcement hearing, if the request is filed within 10 calendar days from the date of service of one of the following:

(a) Notice of violation;

(b) Notice of itemized statement of costs;

(c) Administrative citation;

(d) Notice of emergency abatement;

(2) The request for hearing shall be made in writing and filed with the administrative hearing officer. The request shall contain the case number, the address of the violation, and the signature of the responsible party.

(3) As soon as practicable after receiving the written notice of the request for hearing, the hearing officer shall schedule a date, time, and location for the hearing.

(4) Failure to request a hearing as provided shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing and a waiver of the right to challenge the action. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-3.]

8.35.270 Default hearings and orders.

(1) If the responsible person fails to request a hearing before the expiration of the 10-day deadline, the case shall be set for a default hearing. The hearing officer shall schedule a default hearing. The responsible person shall be notified of the date, time, and location of the hearing by one of the methods listed in RCC 8.35.120.

(2) A default hearing shall be scheduled for all cases that have outstanding or unpaid civil penalties, fines, fees, and/or costs due to the city before collection, if a hearing on that case has not already been held.

(3) At the default hearing, the responsible person shall have the opportunity to present evidence to show that good cause exists, as defined in this chapter, to do one or more of the following:

(a) Waive or reduce the fines which have accumulated;

(b) Postpone an abatement action by the city; or

(c) Excuse the responsible person’s failure to request a hearing within the 10-day period.

(4) If the responsible person fails to establish good cause to take one or more of the actions set forth in subsection (3) of this section, the hearing officer shall review the notice of violation and any other relevant information included in the case file. The hearing officer shall not accept any other evidence.

If the evidence shows that the violations existed, the hearing officer may enter an order requiring abatement of the violations, and the payment of all fines and fees. Fines shall run until the city issues a notice of compliance stating when the violations were actually abated. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-4.]

8.35.280 Notification of administrative code enforcement hearing.

(1) Written notice of the day, time, and location of the hearing shall be served to a responsible person as soon as practicable prior to the date of the hearing.

(2) The format and contents of the hearing notice shall be in accordance with rules and policies promulgated by the city manager or his designee.

(3) The notice of hearing shall be served by any of the methods of service listed in RCC 8.35.120. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-5.]

8.35.290 Appointment and qualifications of hearing officer.

(1) The city manager or his designee shall appoint hearing officers to preside at administrative enforcement hearings.

(2) A hearing officer:

(a) Shall have no personal or financial interest in the matter for which he is conducting a hearing; and

(b) May be a city employee. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-6.]

8.35.300 Disqualification of code enforcement hearing officer.

The hearing officer is subject to disqualification for bias, prejudice, interest, or any other reason for which a judge may be disqualified in a court of law. The city manager or his designee shall promulgate rules and procedures for disqualification and replacement. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-7.]

8.35.310 Powers of hearing officer.

(1) The hearing officer has the authority to hold hearings, determine if violations of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes exist, order compliance with such ordinances or codes, and enforce compliance as provided in this chapter on any matter subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The hearing officer may continue a hearing based on good cause shown by one of the parties to the hearing. The hearing officer must enter on the record the good cause on which a continuance is granted.

(3) The hearing officer, at the request of any party to the hearing, may sign subpoenas for witnesses, documents, and other evidence where the attendance of the witness or the admission of evidence is deemed necessary to decide the issues at the hearing. All costs related to the subpoena, including witness and mileage fees, shall be borne by the party requesting the subpoena. The city manager or his designee shall develop policies and procedures relating to the issuance of subpoenas in administrative code enforcement hearings, including the form of the subpoena and related costs.

(4) The hearing officer has continuing jurisdiction over the subject matter of an administrative code enforcement hearing for the purposes of granting a continuance; ordering compliance by issuing an administrative code enforcement order using any remedies available under the law; ensuring compliance of that order, which includes the right to authorize the city to enter and abate a violation; modifying an administrative code enforcement order; or, where extraordinary circumstances exist, granting a new hearing.

(5) The hearing officer has the authority to require a responsible person to post a code enforcement performance bond to insure compliance with an administrative code enforcement order. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-8.]

8.35.320 Procedures at administrative code enforcement hearing.

(1) Administrative code enforcement hearings are intended to be informal in nature. Formal rules of evidence and discovery do not apply; however, an informal exchange of discovery may be required. The request must be in writing. Failure to request discovery shall not be a basis for a continuance. Complainant information is protected and shall not be released unless the complainant is a witness at the hearing. The procedure and format of the administrative hearing shall follow the procedures promulgated by the city manager or his designee.

(2) The city bears the burden of proof at an administrative code enforcement hearing to establish the existence of a violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(3) The standard of proof to be used by the hearing officer in deciding the issues at an administrative hearing is whether the preponderance of the evidence shows that the violations exist.

(4) Each party shall have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence in support of his or her case. A written declaration signed under penalty of perjury may be accepted in lieu of a personal appearance. Testimony may be given by telephone or other electronic means.

(5) All hearings are open to the public. They shall be recorded by audiotape. Hearings may be held at the location of the violation.

(6) The responsible person has a right to be represented by an attorney. If an attorney will be representing the responsible person at the hearing, notice of the attorney’s name, address, and telephone number must be given to the city at least three days prior to the hearing. If notice is not given, the hearing may be continued at the city’s request, and all costs of the continuance assessed to the responsible person.

(7) No new hearing shall be granted, unless the hearing officer determines that extraordinary circumstances exist which justify a new hearing.

(8) The burden to prove any raised defenses shall be upon the party raising any such defense. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-9.]

8.35.330 Failure to attend administrative code enforcement hearing.

Any party whose property or actions are the subject of any administrative code enforcement hearing and who fails to appear at the hearing is deemed to waive the right to a hearing and may result in a default judgment for the city; provided, that proper notice of the hearing has been provided. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-10.]

8.35.340 Administrative code enforcement order.

(1) The parties may enter into a stipulated agreement, which must be signed by both parties. This agreement shall be entered as the administrative code enforcement order. Entry of this agreement shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing and the right to appeal.

(2) Once all evidence and testimony are completed, the hearing officer shall issue an administrative code enforcement order that affirms, modifies, or rejects the notice or citation. The hearing officer may increase or decrease the total amount of civil penalties and costs that are due pursuant to the city’s fee schedule and the procedures in this chapter.

(3) The hearing officer may order the city to enter the property and abate all violations, which may include removing animals kept in violation of the Riverton City Code.

(4) The hearing officer may revoke a kennel permit, an animal license, or the right to possess animals (as provided in Chapter 6.05 RCC).

(5) As part of the administrative code enforcement order, the hearing officer may condition the total or partial assessment of civil penalties on the responsible person’s ability to complete compliance by specified deadlines.

(6) The hearing officer may schedule subsequent review hearings as may be necessary or as requested by a party to the hearing to ensure compliance with the administrative code enforcement order.

(7) The hearing officer may order the responsible person to post a performance bond to insure compliance with the order.

(8) The administrative code enforcement order shall become final on the date of the signing of the order.

(9) The administrative code enforcement order shall be served on all parties by any one of the methods listed in RCC 8.35.120. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-11.]

8.35.350 Failure to comply with order.

(1) Upon the failure of the responsible person to comply with the terms and deadlines set forth in the administrative code enforcement order, the city may use all appropriate legal means to recover the civil penalties and administrative costs to obtain compliance.

(2) After the hearing officer issues an administrative code enforcement order, the ordinance enforcement officer shall monitor the violations and determine compliance. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-5-12.]

8.35.360 Appeal of administrative code enforcement hearing decision.

(1) Any person adversely affected by any decision made in the exercise of the provisions of this chapter may file a petition for review of the decision or order by the district court within 30 days after the decision is rendered.

(2) No person may challenge in district court the administrative code enforcement hearing officer’s decision until that person has exhausted his or her administrative remedies.

(3) In the petition the plaintiff may only allege that the administrative enforcement order was arbitrary, capricious, or illegal.

(4) Within 120 days after submitting the petition for appeal, the party petitioning for appeal shall request a copy of the record of the proceedings, including transcripts of hearings when necessary. The hearing officer shall not submit copies of files or transcripts to the reviewing court until the party petitioning for appeal has paid all required costs. The petitioning party’s failure to properly arrange for copies of the record, or to pay the full costs for the record, within 180 days after the petition for review was filed shall be grounds for dismissal of the petition.

If a transcript of a hearing cannot be prepared because the tape recording is incomplete or unintelligible, the district court may, in its discretion, remand the matter to the hearing officer for a supplemental proceeding to complete the record. The district court may limit the scope of the supplemental proceeding to issues that, in the court’s opinion, need to be clarified.

(5)(a) The district court’s review is limited to the record of the administrative decision that is being appealed. The court shall not accept nor consider any evidence that is not part of the record of that decision.

(b) The courts shall:

(i) Presume that the administrative code enforcement hearing officer’s decision and orders are valid;

(ii) Review the record to determine whether or not the decision was arbitrary, capricious, or illegal; and

(iii) Affirm the administrative enforcement order if it is supported by substantial evidence in the record.

(6) The filing of a petition does not stay the execution of an administrative enforcement order. Before filing a petition, a responsible person may request the hearing officer to stay an administrative enforcement order. Upon receipt of a request to stay, the hearing officer may order the administrative enforcement order to be stayed pending district court review if the hearing officer finds such stay to be in the best interest of the city. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-2-6-1.]

Article IV. Administrative and Judicial Remedies

8.35.370 Recordation of notices of violation.

(1) Declaration of Purpose.

(a) The city council finds that there is a need for alternative methods of enforcement for violations of the Riverton City Code and applicable state and county codes that are found to exist on real property. The city council further finds that an appropriate method of enforcement for these types of violations is the issuance and recordation of notices of violation.

(b) The procedures established in this article shall be in addition to criminal, civil, or any other remedy established by law that may be pursued to address the violation of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(2) Authority. Whenever the ordinance enforcement officer determines that a property or violation has not been brought into compliance as required by this chapter, the ordinance enforcement officer has the authority to record the notice of violation or administrative code enforcement order with the recorder’s office of Salt Lake County.

(3) Procedures for Recordation.

(a) Once the ordinance enforcement officer has issued a notice of violation to a responsible person, and the property remains in violation after the deadline established in the notice of violation, and no request for an administrative hearing has been filed, the ordinance enforcement officer shall record a notice of violation with the recorder’s office of Salt Lake County.

(b) If an administrative hearing is held, and an order is issued in the city’s favor, the ordinance enforcement officer shall record the administrative code enforcement order with the recorder’s office of Salt Lake County.

(c) The recordation shall include the name of the property owner, the parcel number, the legal description of the parcel, and a copy of the notice of violation or order.

(d) The recordation does not encumber the property, but merely places future interested parties on notice of any continuing violation found upon the property.

(4) Service of Notice of Recordation. A notice of recordation shall be served on the responsible person and the property owner pursuant to any of the methods of service set forth in RCC 8.35.120.

(5) Failure to Request. The failure of any person to file a request for an administrative code enforcement hearing when served with a notice of violation shall constitute a waiver of the right to an administrative hearing and shall not affect the validity of the recorded notice of violation.

(6) Notice of Satisfaction – Procedures.

(a) When the violations have been corrected, the responsible person or property owner may request an inspection of the property from the ordinance enforcement officer.

(b) Upon receipt of a request for inspection, an ordinance enforcement officer shall reinspect the property as soon as practicable to determine whether the violations listed in the notice of violation or the order have been corrected, and whether all necessary permits have been issued and final inspections have been performed.

(c) The ordinance enforcement officer shall serve a notice of satisfaction to the responsible person or property owner in the manner provided in RCC 8.35.120, if the ordinance enforcement officer determines that:

(i) All violations listed in the recorded notice of violation or order have been corrected;

(ii) All necessary permits have been issued and finalized;

(iii) All civil penalties assessed against the property have been paid or satisfied; and

(iv) The party requesting the notice of satisfaction has paid all administrative fees and costs.

(d) If the ordinance enforcement officer denies a request to issue a notice of satisfaction, upon request the ordinance enforcement officer shall serve the responsible person with a written explanation setting forth the reasons for the denial. The written explanation shall be served by any of the methods of service listed in RCC 8.35.120.

(7) Prohibition Against Issuance of Municipal Permits. The city may withhold business licenses; permits for kennels; or permits for any alteration, repair, or construction pertaining to any existing or new structures or signs on the property, or any permits pertaining to the use and development of the real property or the structure. The city may withhold permits until a notice of satisfaction has been issued by the ordinance enforcement officer. The city may not withhold permits that are necessary to obtain a notice of satisfaction or that are necessary to correct serious health and safety violations.

(8) Cancellation of Recorded Notice of Violation. The ordinance enforcement officer or responsible person shall record the notice of satisfaction with the county recorder’s office. Recordation of the notice of satisfaction shall have the effect of canceling the recorded notice of violation. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-1.]

8.35.380 Administrative civil penalties.

(1) Authority.

(a) Any person violating any provision of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes may be subject to the assessment of civil penalties for each violation.

(b) Each and every day a violation of any provision of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes exists is a separate violation subject to the assessment of civil penalties.

(c) Civil penalties cannot be assessed when a criminal case has been filed for the same date and violation, because fines may be assessed with the criminal case.

(d) Interest shall be assessed per city policy on all outstanding civil penalties balances until the case has been paid in full.

(e) Civil penalties for violations of any provision of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes shall be assessed pursuant to the city’s fee schedule.

(2) Procedures for Assessing Civil Penalties.

(a) If a responsible person fails to bring a violation into compliance by the date prescribed on the notice of violation or administrative enforcement order, civil penalties shall be owed to the city for each and every subsequent day of violation.

(b) Civil penalties shall continue to accrue until the violation(s) has/have been brought into compliance with the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(3) Modification of Civil Penalties.

(a) Upon completion of the notice of violation or administrative enforcement order, the hearing officer may modify the civil penalties on a finding of good cause.

(b) Civil penalties may be waived or modified by the hearing officer if there is a finding of good cause based on the responsible person’s claim of nonconforming use or conditional use and:

(i) The city’s verification of the claim; or

(ii) The responsible person’s filing of an application for either use before expiration of the date to correct.

(4) Failure to Pay Penalties. The failure of any person to pay civil penalties assessed within the specified time may result in the city’s pursuing any legal remedy to collect the civil penalties as provided in the law. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-2.]

8.35.390 Abatement of violation.

(1) Authority to Abate. An ordinance enforcement officer is authorized to enter upon any property or premises to abate the violation of the Riverton City Code and applicable state or county codes. An ordinance enforcement officer is authorized to assess all costs for the abatement to the responsible person and use any remedy available under the law to collect the costs. If additional abatements are necessary within two years, treble costs may be assessed against the responsible person(s) for the actual abatement.

(2) Procedures for Abatement.

(a) Once the procedures set forth in this chapter have been completed, the violation may be abated by city personnel or by a private contractor acting under the direction of the city.

(b) City personnel or a private contractor may enter upon private property in a reasonable manner to abate the ordinance violation as specified in the notice of violation or administrative enforcement order.

(c) If the responsible person abates the violation before the city performs the actual abatement pursuant to a notice of violation or administrative enforcement order, the ordinance enforcement officer may still assess all costs incurred by the city against the responsible person.

(d) When the abatement is completed, a report describing the work performed and an itemized account of the total abatement costs shall be prepared by the ordinance enforcement officer. The report shall contain the names and addresses of the responsible persons of each parcel and the tax parcel number.

(e) The ordinance enforcement officer shall serve the notice of costs and the itemized bill of costs by registered mail to the last known address of the responsible person(s). The notice shall demand full payment within 20 days to the city finance department.

(f) The hearing officer shall schedule an itemized bill for costs hearing, if requested in writing by any or all responsible persons.

(g) The written request for an itemized bill for costs hearing must be filed within 10 calendar days from the date of service of the itemized bill for costs. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-3.]

8.35.400 Costs.

(1) Declaration of Purpose.

(a) The city council finds that there is a need to recover costs incurred by enforcement officers and other city personnel who spend considerable time inspecting and reinspecting properties throughout the city in an effort to ensure compliance with the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(b) The city council further finds that the assessment of costs is an appropriate method to recover expenses incurred for actual costs of abating violations, reinspection fees, filing fees, attorney fees, hearing officer fees, title search, and any additional actual costs incurred by the city for each individual case. The assessment and collection of costs shall not preclude the imposition of any administrative or judicial civil penalties or fines for violations of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(2) Authority.

(a) Whenever actual costs are incurred by the city to bring a property into compliance with provisions of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes, the ordinance enforcement officer may assess costs against the responsible person.

(b) Once a notice of violation has been issued, the property will be inspected one time. Any additional inspections shall be subject to reinspection fees pursuant to the city fee schedule.

(3) Notification of Assessment of Reinspection Fees.

(a) Notification of reinspection fees shall be provided to the responsible person(s).

(b) Reinspection fees assessed or collected pursuant to this article shall not be included in any other costs assessed.

(c) The failure of any responsible person to receive notice of the reinspection fees shall not affect the validity of any other fees imposed under this article.

(4) Failure to Timely Pay Costs. The failure of any person to pay assessed costs by the deadline specified in the invoice shall result in a late fee pursuant to city policy. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-4.]

8.35.410 Administrative fees.

The ordinance enforcement officer or code enforcement hearing officer is authorized to assess administrative fees for costs incurred in the administration of this program, such as investigation of violations, preparation for hearings, hearings, and the collection process. The fee assessed shall be the amount set in the city fee schedule. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-5-1.]

8.35.420 Civil violations – Injunctions.

In addition to any other remedy provided under the Riverton City Code or any state or county codes, including criminal prosecution or administrative remedies, any provision of the Riverton City Code may be enforced by injunction issued in the Third District Court upon a suit brought by the city. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-6-1.]

8.35.430 Performance bond.

(1) As part of any notice, order, or action, the administrative code enforcement hearing officer has the authority to require responsible persons to post a performance bond to insure compliance with the Riverton City Code, applicable state or county codes, or any judicial action.

(2) If the responsible person fails to comply with the notice, order, or action, the bond may be forfeited to the city. The bond will not be used to offset the other outstanding costs and fees associated with the case. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-3-7-1.]

Article V. Recovery of Code Enforcement Penalties and Costs

8.35.440 Code enforcement tax liens.

(1) Declaration of Purpose. The city council finds that recordation of code enforcement tax liens will assist in the collection of civil penalties, administrative costs, and administrative fees assessed by the administrative code enforcement hearing program or judicial orders. The city council further finds that collection of civil penalties, costs, and fees assessed for code enforcement violations is important in deterring future violations and maintaining the integrity of the city’s ordinance enforcement system. The procedures established in this article shall be used to complement existing administrative or judicial remedies that may be pursued to address violations of the Riverton City Code or applicable state or county codes.

(2) Procedures for Tax Liens without a Judgment.

(a) Once the city has abated a property for weeds, garbage, refuse, or unsightly or deleterious objects or structures, the ordinance enforcement officer shall prepare three copies of the itemized statement of costs incurred in the removal and destruction of the violations and deliver them to the city finance department within 10 days after completion of the work of removing the violations.

(b) The ordinance enforcement officer shall send, by registered mail to the property owner’s last known address, a copy of the itemized statement of costs informing him or her that a code enforcement tax lien is being recorded for the amount of actual costs of abatement. Payment shall be due within 20 calendar days from the date of mailing.

(c) Upon receipt of the itemized statement of costs, the city finance department shall record a code enforcement tax lien against the property with the county treasurer’s office.

(d) The failure of any person with a financial interest in the property to actually receive the notice of the lien shall not affect the validity of the lien or any proceedings taken to collect the outstanding costs of abatement.

(3) Procedures for Tax Liens with a Judgment. Once a judgment has been obtained from the appropriate court assessing costs against the responsible person(s), the ordinance enforcement officer may record a code enforcement tax lien against any real property owned by the responsible person(s).

(4) Cancellation of Code Enforcement Tax Lien. Once payment in full is received for the outstanding civil penalties and costs, or the amount is deemed satisfied pursuant to a subsequent administrative or judicial order, the ordinance enforcement officer shall either record a notice of satisfaction of judgment, or provide the property owner or financial institution with the notice of satisfaction of judgment so that it can record this notice with the county recorder’s office. The notice of satisfaction of judgment shall include the same information as provided for in the original code enforcement tax lien. Such notice of satisfaction of judgment shall cancel the code enforcement tax lien. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-4-1.]

8.35.450 Writ of execution.

After obtaining a judgment, the ordinance enforcement officer may collect the obligation by use of all appropriate legal means. This may include the execution on personal property owned by the responsible person by filing a writ with the applicable court. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-4-2.]

8.35.460 Writ of garnishment.

After obtaining a judgment, the ordinance enforcement officer may collect the obligation by use of all appropriate legal means. This may include the garnishment of paychecks, financial accounts, and other income or financial assets by filing a writ with the applicable court. [Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-4-3.]

8.35.470 Location of funds collected under administrative code enforcement hearing program.

(1) Abatement Superfund. There is hereby established a revolving fund to be known as the abatement superfund to defray costs of administrative and judicial abatements. The fund shall be reimbursed by collection from the property or property owner as specified in this chapter and by the courts. The city finance director shall establish accounting procedures to ensure proper account identification, credit, and collection. This fund may be operated and used in conjunction with procedures ordered or authorized under the abatement provisions of this chapter.

(2) Repayment to Abatement Superfund. All moneys recovered from the sale or transfer of property or by payment for the actual abatement costs shall be paid to the city finance department, who shall credit the appropriate amount to the abatement superfund.

(3) Code Enforcement Administrative Fees and Cost Fund. Administrative fees and administrative costs, except for actual abatement costs, collected pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the code enforcement administrative fees and costs fund, as established by the ordinance enforcement officer in conjunction with the city finance director, for the enhancement of the city’s ordinance enforcement efforts and to reimburse city departments for investigative costs and costs associated with the hearing process. Fees and costs deposited in this fund shall be appropriated and allocated in a manner determined by the ordinance enforcement officer. The city finance director shall establish accounting procedures to ensure proper account identification, credit, and collection.

(4) Allocation of Civil Penalties. Civil penalties collected pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the general fund of the city. Civil penalties deposited in this fund shall be appropriated and allocated in a manner determined by the city manager and city council. The city finance director shall establish accounting procedures to ensure proper account identification, credit, and collection. [Amended during 2011 recodification; Ord. 12-17-02-2 § 1. Code 1997 § 13-5-4-4.]