(A)   When a Building Inspector finds a code violation while inspecting a structure, he or she shall note the violation on a multiple-copy violation notice and report form, indicating the name and address of the structure owner, a citation to the specific code provision or provisions alleged to have been violated, a description of the circumstances present that constitute the alleged violation, the date and time the violation was observed, the names of witnesses to the violation, and the address of the structure where the violation is observed.
   (B)   The violation report form shall be forwarded by the Building Inspector to the Code Hearing Department where a docket number shall be stamped on all copies of the report, and a hearing date noted in the blank spaces provided for that purpose on the form. The hearing date shall not be less than 30 nor more than 40 days after the violation is reported by the Building Inspector.
   (C)   One copy of the violation report form shall be maintained in the files of the Code Hearing Department and shall be part of the record of hearing; 1 copy of the report shall be returned to the Building Inspector so that he or she may prepare evidence of the code violation for presentation at the hearing on the date indicated; and 1 copy of the report form shall be served by first class mail on the owner of the structure, along with a summons commanding the owner to appear at the hearing. If the name of the owner of the structure cannot be ascertained or if service on the owner cannot be made by mail, service may be made on the owner by posting or nailing a copy of the violation report form on the front door of the structure where the violation is found, not less than 20 days before the hearing is scheduled.
   (D)   At any time prior to the hearing date, the hearing officer assigned to hear the case may, at the request of the Building Inspector or the attorney for the city, or the owner or his or her attorney, issue subpoenas directing witnesses to appear and give testimony at the hearing. If on the date set for hearing the owner or his or her attorney fails to appear, the hearing officer may find the owner in default and shall proceed with the hearing and accept evidence relevant to the existence of a code violation. The Building Inspector’s signed violation notice and report form shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the code violations described therein.
   (E)   No continuances shall be authorized by the hearing officer in proceedings under this subchapter except in cases where a continuance is absolutely necessary to protect the rights of the owner. Lack of preparation shall not be grounds for a continuance. Any continuance authorized by a hearing officer under this subchapter shall not exceed 25 days. The case for the city may be presented by the Building Inspector, by any other municipal employee, or by an attorney designated by the city. However, in no event shall the case for the city be presented by an employee of the Code Hearing Department. The case for the dwelling owner may be presented by the owner, his or her attorney, or any other agent or representative.
   (F)   No action for eviction, abatement of a nuisance, forcible entry and detainer or other similar proceeding shall be threatened or instituted against an occupant of a dwelling solely because the occupant agrees to testify or testifies at a code violation hearing.
   (G)   It shall be a defense to a code violation charged under this subchapter if the owner, his or her attorney, or any other agent or representative proves to the hearing officer’s satisfaction that:
      (1)   The code violation alleged in the notice does not in fact exist, or at the time of the hearing the violation has been remedied or removed;
      (2)   The code violation has been caused by the current building occupants, and in spite of reasonable attempts by the owner to maintain the dwelling free of those violations, the current occupants continue to cause the violations; or
      (3)   An occupant or resident of the dwelling has refused entry to the owner or his or her agent to all or a part of the dwelling for the purpose of correcting the code violation.
(ILCS Ch. 65, Act 5, §§ 11-31.1-4 through 11-31.1-6, 11-31.1-8, and 11-31.1-9) (1983 Code, § 6-18) (Ord. 2924, passed 3-8-2001) Penalty, see § 151.999