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A. Imposition. Pursuant to Government Code Section 53069.4, and in addition to any other remedies provided by County Code or state law, there is imposed an administrative civil penalty of up to $5,000 dollars for each separate violation of this Chapter. Notice of any administrative civil penalty shall be served and proof of service shall be made in the same manner as provided in subsection 9-6.04(F) of this Chapter.
The Sheriff shall determine and notify the violator of the time within which the violator must correct or remedy the violation. The violation notice shall state that an administrative civil penalty will be imposed if the violation is not remedied or corrected within the time stated. The notice shall state that any administrative civil penalty may be appealed and administratively reviewed by a hearing officer.
B. Administrative Review. Enforcement of the administrative civil penalty imposed by the Sheriff shall be by written order issued by the hearing officer following notice and an opportunity for hearing. Procedures concerning notice, conduct of the hearing, and service are provided below. The order of the hearing officer concerning the administrative civil penalty shall be in writing resolving the essential issues raised and confirming, amending or rejecting the administrative civil penalty imposed by the Sheriff. In reaching a decision concerning any administrative civil penalty, the hearing officer shall be guided by factors including, but not limited to: the danger to public health, safety and welfare represented by the violation, recidivism, and any economic benefit associated with non-compliance.
C. A hearing officer designated by the County Administrator shall conduct those administrative hearings required by this section.
1. Hearings--Generally. At the time set for hearing, the hearing officer shall hear the testimony of the enforcing department(s), the owner, and other competent persons respecting the condition of the vessel, and other relevant facts concerning the matter.
2. Record of Oral Evidence at Hearing. The proceedings at the hearing may be reported by a tape recorder.
3. Continuances. The hearing officer may, upon request of the owner of the vessel or upon request of the enforcing department, grant continuances from time to time for good cause shown, or upon his/her own motion.
4. Oaths; Certification. In any proceedings under this Chapter, the hearing examiner has the power to administer oaths and affirmations and to certify to official acts.
5. Evidence Rules. California Government Code Section 11513, subsections (a), (b) and (c), as presently written or later amended, shall apply to hearings conducted under this Chapter.
6. Rights of Parties. Each party may represent themselves, or be represented by anyone of their choice who is lawfully permitted to do so.
7. Official Notice. In reaching a decision, official notice may be taken, either before or after submission of the case for decision, of any fact which may be judicially noticed by the courts of this state or which may appear in any of the official records of the County or any of its departments.
8. Inspection of Vessels. The hearing officer may inspect the vessel involved in the hearing prior to, during or after the hearing, provided that:
a. Notice of such inspection shall be given to the parties before the inspection is made;
b. The parties are given an opportunity to be present during the inspection; and
c. The hearing officer shall state for the record during the hearing, or file a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record, upon completion of the inspection, the material facts observed and the conclusion drawn therefrom.
d. Each party then shall have a right to rebut or explain the matters so stated by the hearing examiner either for the record during the hearing or by filing a written statement after the hearing for inclusion in the hearing record.
9. Form and Contents of Decision; Finality of Decision. If it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the condition of the vessel violates the provisions of this Chapter:
a. The decision of the hearing officer shall be in writing and shall contain findings of fact and a determination of the issues presented. The decision shall also require the owner to commence abatement of the nuisance not later than ten days after the issuance of the decision, and that the abatement be completed within such time as specified by the hearing officer, or in the alternative, within the time designated by the Sheriff. The decision shall inform the owner that if the nuisance is not abated within the time specified, the nuisance may be abated by the County in such manner as may be ordered by the Sheriff and the expense thereof made a lien on the property involved.
b. The decision shall also inform the owner that the time for judicial review is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6. Copies of the decision shall be delivered to the parties personally or sent to them by certified mail. The decision shall be final when signed by the hearing officer.
10. Service of the Hearing Officer's Decision. Upon issuance of the decision, the Sheriff shall post a copy of the decision conspicuously on the vessel involved, if possible, and shall serve a copy on the record owner by first class mail and one copy shall be served on each of the following, if known to the Sheriff or disclosed from official public records: the owner or holder of any lease of record; and the holder of any other estate or legal interest of record in the vessel.
11. Judicial Review. The manner of contesting the final order of the hearing officer concerning any administrative civil penalty is governed by Government Code Section 53069.4, or any successor provision thereto. Service of the notice of appeal authorized by Government Code Section 53069.4 on the County shall be served upon the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
12. Separate Offense for Each Day of Violation/Continuing Violation. Each person violating this Chapter shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this Chapter is committed, continued, or permitted by any such person. Any violation which persists for more than one day is deemed a continuing violation for the purpose of this Chapter.
13. Collection. In addition to all remedies contained in this Chapter, the County may pursue all reasonable and legal means in collecting those sums authorized and due.
(§ 3, Ord. 1476, eff. December 22, 2016, as amended by § 2, Ord. 1513, eff. October 24, 2019)