§ 30.040  APPEAL PERMITTED.
   (a)   Any party who is harmed by any action or decision of any agency or major organizational unit of the city concerning an administrative decision of a city official or officials from which an appeal is not otherwise provided may appeal the decision. The party who wishes to appeal is referred to as the “appellant.” An independent hearing examiner, who must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of South Dakota, shall be assigned to hear the appeal.
   (b)   Appeals shall be commenced by filing a written notice of appeal with the responsible agency or major organizational unit either in person or postmarked within 15 days of the decision. The written notice of appeal shall be printed legibly or typed and contain the following information:
      (1)   The reasons the appellant believes the administrative citation or decision is objectionable, incorrect or illegal;
      (2)   The amount and type of claim or dispute involved and the time during which it accrued or occurred;
      (3)   The name, address and telephone number of the appellant;
      (4)   The number of the citation being appealed, if applicable;
      (5)   A statement indicating whether the appellant desires the administrative appeal hearing to be open or closed to the public. All administrative appeal hearings are presumed to be open to the public. If either party requests a hearing that is closed to the public, the party requesting the closed hearing must present good cause to the hearing examiner that the public interest in having an open hearing is outweighed by the privacy interest involved in a particular case or that a closed hearing is legally required based upon the nature of the evidence to be presented at the administrative appeal hearing;
      (6)   If the appellant is to be represented by a legal representative, the name, address and telephone number of the representative; and
      (7)   The signature of the appellant, legal representative and/or corporate agent.
   (c)   A processing fee of $50 shall be paid by cash, check or certified funds simultaneously with the filing of the notice of appeal. Any party who requests a hearing to contest an administrative citation and/or decision and is financially unable to pay the processing fee may file a request for a hardship waiver in lieu of the processing fee. The request for hardship waiver must be filed simultaneously with the filing of the notice of appeal. The party requesting the hardship waiver must submit a sworn affidavit, together with any supporting documents, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the independent hearing examiner the party’s financial inability to deposit with the city the full amount of the processing fee. Written proof of financial hardship at a minimum must include tax returns, financial statements, bank account records, salary records or similar documentation demonstrating that the party is unable to pay the processing fee. The hearing examiner shall issue a written decision specifying the reasons for granting or denying a hardship waiver. The decision of the independent hearing examiner regarding the hardship waiver shall be final and shall be mailed by first class mail to the party requesting the waiver. If the request for a hardship waiver of the processing fee is denied, the party shall pay the $50 processing fee within five days of the written decision or prior to the administrative appeal hearing, whichever occurs first. If the processing fee is not paid in full pursuant to these provisions, the request for hearing shall be deemed incomplete and waived and the administrative decision shall be deemed final. The processing fee is not refundable except as provided in § 30.045. Compliance with the above time limit, notice of appeal contents and payment of the processing fee or granting of a hardship waiver shall be jurisdictional prerequisites to any appeal. Failure to comply with any of these requirements shall be deemed to waive the right to a hearing.
   (d)   If the appellant complies with the jurisdictional requirements for an appeal, then the city will take no further action to enforce the fine, penalty or result until the hearing examiner renders a final decision. However, the provisions for prior notice and hearing may be dispensed with when, in the opinion of the director of the responsible agency or major organizational unit of the city, immediate action is necessary to summarily abate a dangerous condition on public or private property or there is an imminent threat to life or safety on public or private property. The director shall take only such action as is reasonably necessary to summarily abate the danger, and then the city will take no further action to enforce the fine, penalty or result until the hearing examiner renders a final decision.
   (e)   The director of the responsible agency or major organizational unit, or his or her designee, shall immediately deliver a copy of the appeal to the city attorney who will act as legal counsel.
(1992 Code, § 2-60)  (Ord. 70-96, passed 6-17-1996; Ord. 53-11, passed 7-11-2011)