(a) A party shall be provided with the opportunity for a hearing during which they may be represented by counsel, present witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses. A party may request the Hearing Officer to issue subpoenas to direct the attendance and testimony of relevant witnesses and the production of relevant documents. Hearings shall be scheduled with reasonable promptness, except that for hearings scheduled in all nonemergency situations the alleged violator, if he or she requests, shall have at least 14 days after service of process to prepare for the hearing. For purposes of this subsection, NONEMERGENCY SITUATION means any situation that does not reasonably constitute a threat to the public interest, safety, or welfare. If service is provided by first class mail, the 14-day period begins to run on the day that the notice is deposited in the mail.
(b) In an administrative hearing under this section, the rules of evidence as applied in a nonjury civil case in Circuit Court shall be followed as far as practicable, but the Hearing Officer may admit and give probative effect to evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. Irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded. Effect shall be given to the rules of privilege recognized by law. Objections to offers of evidence may be made and shall be noted in the record. Subject to these requirements, the Hearing Officer, for the purpose of expediting hearings and when the interests of the parties will not be substantially prejudiced thereby, may provide in an administrative hearing or by rule for submission of all or part of the evidence in written form.
(c) Any final decision by a Hearing Officer that a blight violation does or does not exist constitutes a final decision and order for purposes of judicial review and may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment entered by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
(Ord. 3772, passed 6-28-2010)