Q: Disputing an alleged short term rental ad breach claim by Cathedral City. New ordinance as of Jan. 1 has a $5,000 fine.

The fine was disputed at a virtual hearing a week ago, with compelling factual written appeal rebuttal provided in advance. There was a hearing officer (layperson) from a company in California that acts for smaller city ordinance collection efforts being disputed, as well as the CC ordinance ticket breach employee giving "evidence". Decision "guilty as charged" The defendant has about 10+ days to file an appeal to the court to challenge the decision. Affected property owner wants to dispute the "hearing judgment" as being inequitable and inaccurate. Wants a legal unbiased, impartial court adjudication. Would like to know the process and the possible cost range to dispute please. Thank you.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Arbitration & Mediation Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the property owner wishes to appeal the decision made by the hearing officer and challenge the fine in court, they will need to file an appeal within the specified timeframe (which you mentioned as 10+ days) and pay the required filing fees. The exact process and cost of an appeal can vary depending on the location and specific circumstances of the case.

Generally, the appeal process will involve filing a notice of appeal with the court, which will then schedule a hearing. The property owner or their legal representative will need to present evidence and arguments to support their case, and the hearing will be presided over by a judge. The outcome of the appeal will depend on the judge's decision, and it is possible that the fine may be upheld, reduced, or dismissed entirely.

The cost of appealing a fine can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the location of the court, and the fees charged by the legal representative (if one is hired). It is recommended that the property owner consult with a local attorney who is experienced in property and ordinance law to get a more accurate estimate of the potential costs involved.

It is important to note that appealing a fine can be a time-consuming and stressful process, and there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome. However, if the property owner believes that the decision made by the hearing officer was inaccurate or unjust, then an appeal may be their best option for seeking a fair and unbiased adjudication of the dispute.

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