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A. The hearing officer shall conduct an orderly proceeding and accept evidence on which persons commonly would rely in the conduct of their business affairs. The technical rules of evidence shall not apply, except that irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. All evidence shall be received only on oath or affirmation. The hearing shall be informally conducted.
B. During the hearing, the city manager and/or enforcement officer shall present information or testimony relating to the violation and the appropriate means of correcting the violation. The owner, agent, party responsible for the violation, or any other interested person may present testimony or evidence concerning the violation and the means and time frame for correction.
C. Each party shall have the right to: 1) call and examine witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing; 2) introduce documentary and physical evidence; 3) cross examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues of the hearing, subject to the manner allowed by the hearing officer; 4) impeach any witness regardless of which party first called the witness to testify; 5) rebut the evidence; and 6) be represented by anyone who is lawfully permitted to do so. The hearing officer shall direct the order of the proceedings.
D. The hearing officer may take official notice, either during the hearing, or after submission of the matter for decision, of any fact which may be judicially noticed by the courts of this state or of official records, regulations, rules, and decisions of state and local agencies, boards and departments and of city and county ordinances. In addition, the hearing officer may take official notice of matters in its own files and of prior proceedings under this chapter involving the same issues. If applicable, the hearing officer may also take official notice of any generally accepted technical or scientific matter within the hearing officer's expertise. The parties present at the hearing shall be informed of the matters to be noticed, and those matters should be noted in the record, referred to therein, or appended thereto. Any such party shall be given a reasonable opportunity on request to refute the officially noticed matters by evidence or by written or oral presentation of authority.
E. The hearing shall be recorded. A party, at their sole expense, may have the hearing recorded by a certified shorthand reporter.
F. At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer may sustain the citation, not sustain the citation, and may reduce, waive or conditionally reduce the fine stated in the citation. The hearing officer may also impose conditions and deadlines by which to correct the violation or pay any outstanding fine.
G. The decision of the hearing officer regarding any appeal is the final administrative order and decision. There are no appeals to the city council. Judicial review may be had only in accordance with the provisions of California Government Code section 53069.4.
H. The decision of the hearing officer shall be in writing and shall be served upon the responsible party in the same manner as a notice of the hearing is required to be served and is effective upon the date of service. The decision shall contain a statement advising of the right to judicial review, and shall be in substantially the following form:
This decision is the final decision of the City. You have a right to seek judicial review of the decision pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4 by filing an appeal with the Superior Court. The time to file the appeal is twenty (20) days after service of this decision. These are your only rights to judicial review. If you fail to file an appeal within the prescribed time, you will be barred from seeking judicial review.
I. The time to pay a fine following an administrative hearing is five (5) calendar days after service of the hearing officer's decision unless the hearing officer provides for a longer time. (Ord. 2013-003, 6-25-2013)