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(A) Appeal of fine, suspension, or revocation. A decision of the Finance Department to impose a fine or to revoke or suspend a license may be appealed to the Appeals Board. The appellant must file a written notice of appeal with the City Clerk's office within ten days after service of the notice of the decision. Failure to file an appeal within ten days waives any right to further challenge the Finance Department's decision. "File" means delivered to the City Clerk's office in the Riverbank City Hall. The filing of a notice of appeal automatically stays the Finance Department's decision, until the Appeals Board has served its final decision on the appeal. The Appeals Board may reverse, modify or uphold the Finance Department's decision.
(B) Notice of hearing, If a notice of appeal is timely filed, the City Clerk shall provide written notice to the appellant of the date, time, and place of the hearing in the manner specified in this chapter. A hearing may not be conducted less than 20 days after notice is given to the appellant.
(C) Hearing. The Appeals Board rules governing the conduct of its hearings shall include the following:
(1) The Finance Department shall submit evidence at the hearing substantiating its decision. Such evidence may include testimony, police or other reports of the incident, witness statements and other documents. Not less than ten days prior to the scheduled hearing, the City Clerk must notify the appellant of the name, address and phone number of any witness to the violation, and furnish the appellant with a copy of any document it intends to submit at the hearing. Not less than seven days prior to the hearing, the appellant may request the Finance Department to produce at the hearing any witness the department intends to rely upon to substantiate the violation. The written request must name the witness or witnesses who are requested to attend the hearing. The Finance Department may not rely on the testimony of any witness (including such testimony contained in reports or written witness statements) whose appearance at the hearing is required by this section, if that witness fails to appear.
(2) Not less than ten days prior to the hearing, the appellant must notify the City Clerk in writing of the name, address and phone number of any witness the appellant intends to call as a witness at the hearing, provide a brief description of the proposed testimony, and furnish the City Clerk with a copy of any document the appellant intends to offer as evidence at the hearing. The appellant may not call any witness to testify at the hearing who was not identified as required by this section or offer any document as evidence at the hearing that was not provided to the Finance Department as required by this section.
(3) At the hearing, the appellant may be represented by an attorney, at appellant's expense. Both the Appeals Board and the appellant shall have the right to examine and cross-examine any witness produced at the hearing. The rules of evidence that normally apply in court shall not apply in a hearing before the Appeals Board but the Appeals Board shall only consider evidence which would be relied upon by reasonable people making an important decision, and shall disregard evidence which by its nature is unreliable or not credible.
(4) The entire hearing shall be electronically or stenographically recorded. The Appeals Board shall base its decision exclusively on the evidence presented at the hearing and shall issue a written decision, which includes a statement of the relevant facts which the committee finds to be true and explains how the facts support its decision. For example, if the Finance Department finds that the appellant sold cigarettes or e-cigarettes to a minor, but this was the first violation committed by the appellant within 36 months, the decision would explain that § 123.12(B)(2)(a) requires a 14-day suspension of the appellant's license to sell tobacco and e-cigarette products at the licensed location, and on that basis, the facts support a 14-day suspension of the license for that location. The record of the hearing shall be preserved for not less than six months after the decision is served on the appellant.
(D) Hearing decision. The chairperson of the Appeals Board shall issue the written decision required by division (C)(4) of this section. Copies of the decision shall be served in accordance with § 123.12(A)(1). The hearing decision shall include notice of the appellant's right to seek review of the decision pursuant to Cal. Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1094.5 and 1094.6.
(E) Finality of the Appeals Board's decision. The decision of the Appeals Board shall be the final decision for the city.
(F) Appeal to Superior Court. Judicial review of the Appeal Board's decision shall be governed by the Cal. Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1094.5 and 1094.6.
(G) Enforcement of decision. Unless stayed by a court, any final decision of the Appeals Board is effective immediately and may be implemented and enforced by the department.
(Ord. 2015-018, passed 11-24-15)