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Appeals Process

Published on: 10/22/2012 12:35 PM

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The Appeal Process is to contest fines only, not the violation. By the time you receive a fine(s) for a violation it has been verified by a County agency as a clear violation of one of the County Ordinances or Codes we uphold. The fine is what is being discussed via this process; the waiver, reduction of amount, or due date of same is what is being appealed.


The Administrative Fines listed on the Notice you receive are assessed pursuant to Division A37 of the Santa Clara County Ordinance Code. Each violation of any provision of this code and each separate offense designated by this code shall be subject to administrative fine. A separate violation occurs on each and every day or a portion thereof during which any violation is committed, continues to exist, or is permitted. Payment of an administrative fine shall not excuse the responsible person(s) from correcting the code violation and does not preclude the enforce-
ment officer or issuing department from taking any other enforcement action.

Pursuant to Section A37-8 are as follows:

Who Files: Any responsible person served with a notice of administrative fine and/or a notice of Regulatory fees may request an administrative hearing before a Hearing Officer to contest the imposition and/or the amount of the administrative fine and/or the regulatory fees, or that there was a violation of the code, or that he or she is a responsible party.

How to Request: The request must be made in writing and be filed with the department head within twenty (20) calendar days following service of the notice of administrative fine and/or the notice of regulatory fees and shall include a statement indicating the basis on which the responsible person(s) contests the imposition of the administrative fine and/or the regulatory fees, together with any evidence that the responsible person(s) wants the hearing officer to consider. The request shall also include:

  • The address of the responsible person(s) and
  • If available, the e-mail address, for the purpose of contact and correspondence by the Department Head and/or Hearing Officer.
  • The responsible person may request service of notices by e-mail.
  • A responsible person who requests an administrative hearing may also request waiver or reduction of the administrative fine. Waiver or reduction requests will be evaluated upon the nature and extent of the violation and the particular circumstance of the responsible person(s). Waiver or reduction requests must be:
    • Made in writing and
    • Must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit,
    • Together with supporting documents or materials, demonstrating the responsible person(s) financial inability to pay the administrative fine,
    • Or establishing other mitigating circumstances justifying a reduction of the amount of the fine(s).
    • Waiver or reduction requests must be filed at the same time as the request for an administrative hearing.
  • The request for administrative hearing shall be deemed filed on the date received by the Department Head.
  • After receiving a timely hearing request, the Department Head may correct or amend the Enforcement Officer’s notice of administrative fine or regulatory fees. In the alternative, the department shall schedule an administrative hearing.
  • The responsible person(s) shall be given not less than ten (10) calendar days prior written notice either by e-mail or requested by the notice of hearing, or by first class mail, postage prepaid, of the date, time, and place of the administrative hearing and the name of the Hearing Officer who will conduct the administrative hearing.

(Ord. No. NS-300.800, § 1, 3-24-09)

State law references:Government Code § 53069.4.