Stockton, CA asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California

Q: In California is there a notice posted on the building or served to a property owner before an abatement happens?

If a property owner was cited for various code violations but has corrected them as far as they can tell (some of the violations were written vaguely and a few were incorrect), and the code enforcement officer says they are still not correct, is there a hearing held before the abatement process he is threatening begins? If no hearing is required does a notice of such abatement have to be signed by a judge and posted on the building or served to the owner by certified mail or in person before it happens?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, before any abatement action is taken on a property due to code violations, the property owner is typically given notice and an opportunity to correct the violations. This is a fundamental part of ensuring due process. The specific procedure can vary by jurisdiction within the state, but generally, if violations are not corrected to the satisfaction of code enforcement, the property owner is usually notified of further enforcement actions.

If the code enforcement officer determines that the corrections are insufficient or if there are disputes about the violations, most jurisdictions provide for a hearing process before any abatement or penalties are enforced. This hearing allows the property owner to present their case, including any evidence or arguments against the alleged violations or the sufficiency of the corrections made.

Regarding the notice of abatement, yes, it typically must be provided to the property owner before any action is taken. This notice may be required to be posted on the property, sent by certified mail, or delivered in person, depending on the local ordinances. Some situations may require a judge's order, especially if entering the property is necessary to correct the violation. It's important for property owners to familiarize themselves with their local codes and procedures to ensure they respond appropriately to any code enforcement actions.

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