Administrative Citation FAQ's

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  1. What is an administrative citation?
  2. What is the difference between an administrative citation and a criminal citation?
  3. What should I do now that I have been cited?
  4. How do I pay the citation fine?
  5. Can I use a credit card to pay the fine?
  6. What happens if I fail to pay the fine?
  7. What if I need more time to complete the corrective action described in the citation?
  8. What happens if I fail to take the corrective action?
  9. How do I appeal the citation?
  10. What if I want to appeal but I can't afford to pay the fine in advance?
  11. Can I send a Notice of Appeal to the City by fax or email?
  12. What happens at the appeal hearing?
  13. Where can I find the provisions of the Brisbane Municipal Code relating to citations?

1. What is an administrative citation?
An administrative citation is issued by a City Enforcement Officer to a person who is deemed responsible for a violation of the Brisbane Municipal Code.  There are two types of citations.  The first type (Form CE-2) requires payment of an administrative fine.  The second type (Form CE-3) requires that certain corrective action be taken, as specified in the citation.  Failure to complete the corrective action within the time set forth in the citation will result in the imposition of an administrative fine.

2. What is the difference between an administrative citation and a criminal citation?
An administrative citation is a civil citation and is not punishable by jail and does not appear on a criminal record.  Administrative citations are processed entirely by the City and do not involve court proceedings.

3. What should I do now that I have been cited?
Depending upon the type of citation you received, you must either pay the fine or complete the corrective action specified in the citation.  If you dispute the determinations by the Enforcement Officer that a violation has occurred and that you are a person responsible for such violation, you can file an appeal to have the matter heard by an independent Hearing Officer.  For instructions on how to file an appeal, see the Section entitled How do I appeal the citation?

4. How do I pay the administrative fine?
The amount of the administrative fine will be set forth on the first page of the citation.  This fine must be paid by cash, personal check, cashier's check, or money order, payable to "City of Brisbane" and must be received by the City's Finance Department no later than the date specified in the Citation.  Payment can be personally delivered or mailed to City of Brisbane, Finance Department, 50 Park Place, Brisbane, CA 94005.

5. Can I use a credit card to pay the fine?
Yes, but only by special arrangement with the City's Finance Department.  An additional processing fee will be charged for payments made by credit card.  For more information on credit card payments contact the Finance Department at (415) 508-2150.

6. What happens if I fail to pay the fine?
Administrative fines that are not paid by the deadline date specified in the citation are subject to a late charge of 1% per month.  You may also become responsible for administrative costs incurred by the City and legal action can  be commenced by the City against you for collection of the fine and costs.

7. What if I need more time to complete the corrective action described in the citation?
Citations that require corrective action to be taken (Form CE-3) will require that such action be completed by the deadline date set forth in the citation.  If you need more time to complete the corrective action, you should contact the Enforcement Officer whose name and telephone number will be shown at the bottom of the citation.  The City's primary goal is to obtain voluntary compliance and the Enforcement Officer will be prepared to grant extensions of time as long as it appears you are making reasonable efforts to correct the violation in a timely fashion.

8. What happens if I fail to take the corrective action?
If the corrective action required by Form CE-3 is not completed by the deadline date specified in the citation, an administrative fine will become immediately due and payable.  The amount of the fine will be indicated on page 1 of the citation.  To avoid this fine, you should either complete the corrective action by the specified time or obtain an extension of the deadline date from the Enforcement Officer.  The Municipal Code states that each day a violation continues constitutes a separate offense.  Consequently, you can be cited multiple times for the same violation and the administrative fine will be increased with each successive citation.  Once an administrative fine has been imposed, it must still be paid even if the corrective action is later completed.

9. How do I appeal the citation?
If you dispute either or both of the determinations of the Enforcement Officer that a violation of the Brisbane Municipal Code has occurred and that you are a person responsible for such violation, you may file a written notice of appeal with the City Clerk for the matter to be heard by a Hearing Officer.  The notice of appeal must be filed not later than 10 calendar days from the date you were served with the citation.  The information required to be included in the notice of appeal is indicated on page 2 of the citation.  You can prepare your own notice of appeal or you can use the suggested form (Form CE-5), which can be obtained from the City Clerk or downloaded by clicking here.
If an administrative fine has been imposed by the citation, the total amount of such fine must be deposited with your notice of appeal, unless you have obtained an advance deposit hardship waiver.  See the next section to determine if you are qualified to apply for this waiver.

10. What if I want to appeal but I can't afford to pay the fine in advance?
An advance deposit of the administrative fine is normally required to be delivered with the Notice of Appeal.  However, this requirement can be waived if the responsible person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the City Manager that he or she is financially unable to make the deposit.  Financial inability is demonstrated by showing that the responsible person has qualified, or would be qualified, for participation in any public or private program available only to persons with low or very low income, such as subsidized housing, food stamps, SSI, Medi-Cal, or California LifeLine.  The Application for an Advance Deposit Hardship Waiver (Form CE-6) must be submitted with the Notice of Appeal.  This form can be obtained from the City Clerk or downloaded by clicking here.

11. Can I send a Notice of Appeal to the City by fax or email?
No.  The original, signed Notice of Appeal and either the cash deposit for the fine or a completed Application for Advance Deposit Hardship Waiver must be mailed or delivered to the City Clerk.

12. What happens at the appeal hearing?
The appeal hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer, appointed by the City Manager, who may or may not be an employee of the City but will not be a supervisor of the Enforcement Officer.  You can elect to be represented at the hearing by an attorney or any other person.  Formal rules of evidence will not be applied but the Hearing Officer will have authority to exclude materials or testimony not deemed relevant to the proceeding.  The appeal hearing is open to the public but is not a public hearing, which means that only witnesses will be allowed to speak and not members of the general public.  Following the conclusion of the hearing, a written decision will be issued by the Hearing Officer that will either uphold, reverse, or modify the citation.  The decision of the Hearing Officer will be final, unless you seek judicial review by the San Mateo County Superior Court.

13. Where can I find the provisions of the Brisbane Municipal Code relating to citations?
Administrative citations are governed by Chapter 1.16 of the Brisbane Municipal Code.  To view or download these provisions, click here.