Code Violation Process
The following information is a review of the code violation process. As time is required to allow the property owners to correct any violations, it is important for anyone reporting an issue to understand the necessary steps required to have violations corrected.
Who are the Enforcement Officers?
An enforcement officer is any City employee or agent of the City with the authority to enforce any provision of the Redlands Municipal Code (RMC) including, but not limited to, the City Attorney, Development Services Director, Animal Control Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, NPDES Inspector, any Fire official or Police Officer, any of their respective designees. While all enforce the RMC, most of the enforcement activity is carried out by Code Enforcement officers.
What is the Process?
General enforcement practices include educational contact and warning, except when life and safety issues are present. When initial efforts fail to achieve compliance, three primary tools for code enforcement are used: Criminal, Civil, and Administrative.
Code Enforcement in the City of Redlands is primarily a complaint-driven process but violations that are noted by City staff will be in investigated and considered for enforcement action on case-by-case basis. After a complaint is made, the information provided is entered into our records for tracking. An inspection is scheduled.
The code enforcement officer conducts a site visit of the property and will attempt to make contact with the resident to inform them of the purpose of the visit. The resident has the right to deny access to the property. If they do, our investigation will be limited to what can be viewed from the street or public sidewalk/area.
If the complaint cannot be verified, the investigation comes to an end and the case is closed. If the complaint appears valid, the Code Enforcement Officer may take photographs and make notes to document what they witnessed.
A formal written Notice of Violation (NOV) will be prepared and mailed to the property owner and/or resident(s). This NOV provides a period for which the responsible person(s) are to bring the property into compliance.
Compliance or Citation
Our preference is for the property owner/resident to comply voluntarily. Occasionally our efforts result in a “quick fix” but this is the exception. Upon expiration of the Notice of Violation (NOV) (15 days from the date of mailing of the violation), a final inspection of the property will be conducted. At this time, should there be a failure in compliance; an Administrative Citation will be issued to all responsible parties (Property owner(s) and/or residents/tenants).
Note: a continuing violation of any provision of this code constitutes a separate and distinct violation each and every day that the violation exists.
The City may collect any past due administrative citation fines, including a late payment fine at the legal rate of interest compounding monthly and costs of collection by all available legal means. The fines levied by administrative citation, or by administrative hearing order, constitute a special assessment against each lot or parcel of land upon which the violation existed, and as thus made and confirmed shall also become the personal obligation of each lot or parcel of land. If a full compliance is verified, the case will be noted and closed accordingly.
Some violations that may require a more involved resolution are given a compliance date that is appropriate given the situation and its complexity.
Administrative remedies include Administrative Citations and referrals to the Nuisance Abatement Board. Administrative Citations may be appealed to an Administrative Hearing Officer while the Nuisance Abatement Board has the authority to order the nuisance abated. This administrative step occurs before the involvement of the City Attorney, providing a service to the community and saving time and expenses for the City.
Current criminal remedies include infraction and misdemeanor prosecutions in Municipal Court. An infraction conviction can result in a fine. Misdemeanor prosecutions of the municipal codes are rare and provide up to six months of jail time. Infraction citations (a court action resulting in a fine) are currently used as a final tool for obtaining compliance.
Civil remedies are civil injunctions, or court orders, obtained from a Superior Court, that require a specified action by the violator to correct a code violation. An injunction can compel a party to correct a zoning violation or fix unsafe building conditions and may result in severe penalties if the court order is violated.
Any violation of this code that is punishable as an infraction shall be subject to a fine in the following amounts (subject to change; see Redlands Municipal Code Chapter 1.22.060 for current rates):
A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) per code provision violated for the first administrative citation;
A fine not exceeding two hundred ($200.00) per code provision violated for a second administrative citation for violation of the same code provision issued within a twelve (12) month period; and
A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) per code violated in any subsequent administrative citation issued for violation of the same code provision within a twelve (12) month period.
Any violation of this code that is punishable as a misdemeanor shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one thousand ($1,000.00) per code provision violated. (Ord. 2792, 2013)