California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 11106.7

(a) The Department of Justice may establish, by regulation, a system for the issuance to a permittee of a citation which may contain an order of abatement or an order to pay an administrative fine assessed by the Department of Justice, if the permittee is in violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted by the Department of Justice pursuant to this chapter.

(b) The system shall contain the following provisions:

(1) Citations shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including specific reference to the provision of law or regulation of the department determined to have been violated.

(2) Whenever appropriate, the citation shall contain an order of abatement fixing a reasonable time for abatement of the violation.

(3) In no event shall the administrative fine assessed by the department exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation.  In assessing a fine, due consideration shall be given to the appropriateness of the amount of the fine with respect to such factors as the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the permittee, and the history of previous violations.

(4) An order of abatement or a fine assessment issued pursuant to a citation shall inform the permittee that if the permittee desires a hearing to contest the finding of a violation, that hearing shall be requested by written notice to the department within 30 days of the date of issuance of the citation or assessment.  Hearings shall be held pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code .

(5) In addition to requesting a hearing, the permittee may, within 10 days after service of the citation, request in writing an opportunity for an informal conference with the department regarding the citation.  At the conclusion of the informal conference, the department may affirm, modify, or dismiss the citation, including any fine levied or order of abatement issued.  The decision shall be deemed to be a final order with regard to the citation issued, including the fine levied and the order of abatement.  However, the permittee does not waive its right to request a hearing to contest a citation by requesting an informal conference.  If the citation is dismissed after the informal conference, the request for a hearing on the matter of the citation shall be deemed to be withdrawn.  If the citation, including any fine levied or order of abatement, is modified, the citation originally issued shall be considered withdrawn and a new citation issued.  If a hearing is requested for a subsequent citation, it shall be requested within 30 days of service of that subsequent citation.

(6) Failure of a permittee to pay a fine within 30 days of the date of assessment or comply with an order of abatement within the fixed time, unless the citation is being appealed, may result in disciplinary action being taken by the department.  If a citation is not contested and a fine is not paid, the full amount of the assessed fine shall be added to the renewal of the permit.  A permit shall not be renewed without payment of the renewal fee and fine.

(c) The system may contain the following provisions:

(1) A citation may be issued without the assessment of an administrative fine.

(2) Assessment of administrative fines may be limited to only particular violations of the law or department regulations.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a fine is paid to satisfy an assessment based on the finding of a violation, payment of the fine shall be represented as satisfactory resolution of the matter for purposes of public disclosure.

(e) Administrative fines collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the General Fund.

(f) The sanctions authorized under this section shall be separate from, and in addition to, any other administrative, civil, or criminal remedies;  however, a criminal action may not be initiated for a specific offense if a citation has been issued pursuant to this section for that offense, and a citation may not be issued pursuant to this section for a specific offense if a criminal action for that offense has been filed.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the department from serving and prosecuting an accusation to suspend or revoke a permit if grounds for that suspension or revocation exist.


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