(a) Every hearing for the adjudication of an administrative citation under this article must be held before a hearing officer. A hearing cannot be held without the presence of the person charged or the person's attorney.
(b) At a hearing under this article, the administrative citation is rebuttable proof of the facts that it states. Evidence of compliance with the ordinance after the administrative citation was issued can be taken into consideration by the hearing officer when assessing a reasonable administrative penalty, but the evidence is not considered rebuttal evidence nor does it refute or contradict the allegations made in the citation.
(c) The formal rules of evidence do not apply to the hearing, and any relevant evidence will be deemed admitted if the hearing officer finds it competent and reliable. The hearing officer shall make a decision based upon a preponderance of the evidence presented at the hearing, after giving due weight to all rebuttable proof established by this article or other applicable law.
(d) Each party shall have the right to call and examine witnesses, to introduce exhibits, to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues, and to rebut evidence; except that, if the person charged fails to make a timely, written request to have the inspector who issued the citation present at the hearing, the person charged will be deemed to have waived the right to call and examine that inspector.
(e) The hearing officer may examine any witness and may consider any evidence offered by a witness or person charged with a violation, giving due weight to all testimony and evidence offered.
(f) If requested by the hearing officer or any party to the hearing prior to commencement of the hearing, the administrative hearing will be recorded electronically. Failure to timely request that the administrative hearing be electronically recorded constitutes a waiver of the right to have a record of the hearing. The person charged may, at his expense, have a court reporter present in the hearing room during the proceedings.
(g) After hearing all the evidence, the hearing officer shall immediately issue an order in writing, either:
(1) finding the person charged liable for the violation, assessing the applicable administrative penalties, fees, and court costs, and notifying the person of the right of appeal to municipal court; or
(2) finding the person charged not liable for the violation.
(h) The hearing officer shall assess an additional $36 administrative penalty for each violation (other than a violation of Section 49-21.1 of this code) for which a person is found liable, which amount will be placed in the Dallas Tomorrow Fund or the Dallas Animal Welfare Fund, as applicable. In no case may the total amount of administrative penalties, including the $36 administrative penalty, assessed against a person for a violation be more than the maximum penalty or less than the minimum penalty established by city ordinance for the particular violation.
(i) A person who has been found liable for a violation may, after the hearing officer has issued an administrative order but prior to the conclusion of the hearing, assert financial inability to bring the property or premises into compliance with the order. At that time, the hearing officer shall suspend enforcement of the administrative order for a specific time not to exceed 30 days and set the matter for an indigency hearing pursuant to Section 27-16.19(e), if, in the interests of justice, the attorney for the city believes that a further extension should be granted, the attorney for the city can make a motion to extend the suspension period for a specific time and present the motion to the hearing officer for a ruling.
(j) An administrative order of the hearing officer must be filed with the municipal court clerk. (Ord. Nos. 25927; 29403; 29618; 30236)