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California Municipal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Autopay (water bill) with a credit card & paperless billing since 2008: Can city now charge fee for credit card use?

The city gets to save money with paperless billing. The customers set up auto pay with a credit card. This was a win-win. But the city now wants to change terms saying they will charge customers for credit card fees. This eliminates the incentive for the city to use a low cost credit card... View More

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answered on Mar 27, 2024

In California, businesses, including cities providing utilities, have the discretion to charge fees for credit card transactions, subject to state regulations and any agreements they may have with customers. The legality of introducing a new fee after a service has been provided under certain terms... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Towing company refused to provide written authorization for grounds of tow. What can I do?

Hi! I was towed around 10:30 pm in Los Angeles County, California, for being parked in a private commercial / residential parking lot (spot read 2 hour customer parking, but I was outside of the plaza). I was in the wrong here, but I had a confusing experience releasing my car.

The towers... View More

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answered on Mar 15, 2024

Under California law, particularly Vehicle Code 22658(l)(3), you indeed have the right to request a copy of the written authorization for towing from the property owner or their agent. This authorization should have been obtained by the towing company before they towed your vehicle. The law states... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can Edison charge to move an electric pole in my property? can I force Edison to move them for free?

I bought four years ago a 4 acres of land without any easement on the title. There is a pole in the center of the land with transformer and a hight voltage line crossing my lot and it belongs to Southern California Edison.

Edison wants to charge me $30,000.00 to move the pole. This is a... View More

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answered on Mar 7, 2024

Under California law, utilities like Southern California Edison generally have the right to install and maintain their infrastructure on private properties through easements or utility rights-of-way. However, if there was no easement recorded on your property title at the time of purchase, this... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: If an escooter/bike is on a sidewalk do they have to abide by pedestrian rules?

I read that in California it is legal for a bike or e-scooter to enter a sidewalk when the bike lane is blocked or nonexistent, if they were to enter the sidewalk would they have to abide by pedestrian rules such as not crossing when the no walking sign is up? Also if they were to be hit by a car... View More

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answered on Mar 6, 2024

In California, when bicycles or e-scooters are allowed to ride on sidewalks due to bike lane obstructions or absence, they must generally follow the same rules as pedestrians. However, local laws may vary, so it's important to check the specific regulations in your city or county.

When...
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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Re: 72 chevelle ss - Police won't let me make report. Title was changed from my name but i never authorized that.?

Since i don't know whose name it was changed to i can't get any info. I've been to dmv, police depts, AAA, no one will give me the name it was transferred to. I would know that if it was legit. So if you can tell me who i need to talk to or where i need to go to get some... View More

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answered on Mar 5, 2024

Hi Leslie,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation with your 1972 Chevelle SS. It sounds like you're dealing with a case of potential title fraud. Here are some steps you can take to try to resolve this issue:

1. File a complaint with the California DMV Investigations...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a police officer tow your parked covered car from private property. Just because he wants to

I had my car parked on private property with a car cover over it . It was registered to me but the tags where out of date. The company where my car was parked didn't authorize the police officer tow my car from there property.

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answered on Mar 5, 2024

In California, law enforcement has the authority to tow vehicles from private property under specific circumstances, such as when a vehicle is evidence of a crime, poses an immediate threat to public safety, or is in violation of certain laws. However, for a car that is simply parked on private... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: I'm just trying to get a waiver for my court order classes
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

Under California law, obtaining a waiver for court-ordered classes often involves demonstrating to the court that attending these classes would cause undue hardship or that equivalent alternative measures can achieve the same objectives. You may need to file a formal request or motion with the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: My vehicle was stolen from my apartment complex on 1-31-23.

On 2-14-24 CHP called to notify me that the vehicle had been located and was at a towing yard in Folsom California. As the tow yard office was closed, I called them the next morning and was told to retrieve the vehicle I must pay in tow fees and storage fees nearly $600. Everyday this fee has... View More

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answered on Mar 4, 2024

In California, when a stolen vehicle is recovered and towed, the vehicle owner is typically responsible for the towing and storage fees. This situation can indeed be frustrating, especially after the distress of having your vehicle stolen. However, there are a few steps you might take to address... View More

Q: City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage.

City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage. They want me to hire a contractor to pay for the damage caused to the road and the berm. This is outside of my property line, and seems like they should be contacting the waste... View More

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answered on Mar 1, 2024

In California, it's important to understand that while property taxes contribute to the maintenance of public spaces, including roads, the responsibility for damages caused by specific actions or entities can be allocated differently. If a waste management company truck is alleged to have... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Our road was washed away leaving us stranded without electricity and no propane deliveries. We had to evacuate.

When we evacuated we had to hike out across a raging river and had to leave our vehicle. We could not purchase any items without road acess.

Was our home considered uninhabitable?

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answered on Feb 28, 2024

Under California law, the term "uninhabitable" refers to a living condition that fails to meet basic safety, health, and structural standards set by state and local housing codes. Given the severe circumstances you've described, where your road was washed away, leaving you without... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
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... View More

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answered on Feb 20, 2024

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,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Do landlord tenant laws apply or does municipal code apply to tenants of 4 years if landlord/city gives 1 week notice?

We have stayed on commercial property in RV for past 4 years with owner permission, but now city is only giving us 1 week to move out because they are enforcing municipal code regarding living in RV in city limits. Our agreement with the owner of the property has been we get to stay here in... View More

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answered on Feb 21, 2024

In California, the legal protections available to tenants, including those living in non-traditional dwellings like RVs, can be complex and vary based on the specifics of each situation. While landlord-tenant laws typically govern residential leases, living in an RV on commercial property with the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Federal Crimes, Criminal Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Is it illegal to put up and turn on red and blue lights when in a parking lot(ralphs, movie theater). in California

If I were to put these lights up only when in the parking lot for a car show and take them down after would that be illegal in california. These would be for display purposes only and would not be used for police impersonating or pulling people over.

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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Yes, it would still be illegal to display flashing red and blue lights in a parking lot in California, even if it's for a car show and you don't intend to impersonate police.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 25269, it is prohibited for any vehicle to “display a flashing...
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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for California on
Q: this is about dog barking law complaint in a city,

I made a dog barking complaint in my city they took it but said that they cant do anything about it cause it takes 2 or more people for them to move forward with complaint because that is thier policy but the county and state law say 1 or more person to make a complaint.question is can a city make... View More

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answered on Feb 3, 2024

Under California law, cities are generally granted the authority to create local ordinances and policies to address specific issues within their jurisdiction. However, these local policies must not conflict with or override state or county laws. In your situation, if state and county laws... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: In California, can code enforcement cite & abate our RV for living in our RV if it's being used for storage only?

The city municipal code says it is unlawful to occupy any camp car or trailer for living or sleeping purposes in the city. If it's being used for storage only is that a violation? The code enforcement officer said it's a violation to occupy it, and stepping 1 foot into the trailer is... View More

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answered on Jan 26, 2024

In California, local municipal codes often regulate the use of RVs within city limits. If your city's code prohibits occupying camp cars or trailers for living or sleeping purposes, using the RV strictly for storage should not be a violation of this particular code. However, it's... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Energy, Oil and Gas and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can municipal utility in CA charge res. customers w/ identical condos in a building different electric base rates?

My condo building has 14 identical units. Local utility company implemented a new electric service billing method with a fixed base rate per EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit) plus a usage rate per kwh. To determine what an EDU is under their scheme, they took the average annual kwh for each customer... View More

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answered on Jan 25, 2024

Under California law, particularly referencing the California Public Utilities Code 453(a), utility companies are generally prohibited from discriminating between customers in similar circumstances. This includes charging different base rates for electricity to customers in identical living... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can county inspectors enter private property to do an inspection of a business onsite with no permission or warrant?

County inspectors arrived to my private property unannounced and walked past a closed gate with a posted "private property, no trespassing" sign and helped themselves to an inspection of an onsite business for code violations. They never even attempted to contact me beforehand, had no... View More

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answered on Jan 18, 2024

Under California law, county inspectors generally need either permission or an administrative warrant to enter private property for inspections. This is especially true for areas not open to the public or where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, there are exceptions depending on... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California on
Q: In California if code enforcement puts the wrong code number(s) on a citation they claim are being violated is it valid?

Code enforcement officers showed up unannounced recently, & proceeded to walk around the property asking questions and taking pictures. They were unprofessional and disrespectful, & making sarcastic comments. A few days later the owner of the property received citations for some... View More

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answered on Jan 16, 2024

In California, the validity of a code enforcement citation with incorrect code numbers can be a matter of legal interpretation. Generally, a minor clerical error, like a missing digit in a code number, does not automatically invalidate a citation. However, if the error prevents you from... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Municipal Law and Traffic Tickets for California on
Q: If I am driving without a license in my moms car who has a handicap registration can an officer tow my carp
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answered on Jan 14, 2024

In California, driving without a valid driver's license is a violation of vehicle code. If you are caught driving without a license, law enforcement has the discretion to tow the vehicle. This applies regardless of whether the car has a handicap registration or not.

The handicap...
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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Civil Rights and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Is it legal for the cops to tow your vehicle if your driving with no license and are homeless living in your vehicle?
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answered on Jan 13, 2024

Under California law, the legality of towing a vehicle in which someone is living, particularly if they are homeless and driving without a license, can be complex and depends on several factors. First, driving without a valid driver's license is illegal in California. If law enforcement stops... View More

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