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 City of sacramento CANNABIS ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY APPEAL HEARING RULES OF PROCEDURE

 Filing an appeal

To file an administrative penalty, a completed Appeal Request Form must be submitted to the City Clerk along with proof of payment of the appeal fee. The information needed to complete the Appeal Request form is:

  • A brief statement setting forth the interest the appealing party has in the matter relating to the imposition of the penalty;
  • A brief statement, in ordinary and concise language, of the material facts which the appellant claims support his, her or its contention that no administrative penalty should be imposed or that an administrative penalty of a different amount is warranted; and
  • An address at which the appellant agrees notice of any additional proceeding or an order relating to the imposition of the administrative penalty may be received by first class mail.
  • A valid email address at which the appellant agrees to receive the virtual hearing link.

Who can file the appeal?

Appeals can be submitted by the following:

  • Any party listed on the administrative penalty
  • An attorney representing a party listed on the administrative penalty along with a notice of representation
  • A non-attorney representative for a party listed on the administrative penalty along with a notarized document recognizing them as the representative
What is the time frame to file an appeal?

An appeal of an administrative penalty is considered timely when it is submitted within twenty (20) days of the date of service of the administrative penalty.

Where is an appeal filed?

The appeal is to be filed with the City Clerk's Office by USPS mail or delivery to:

City of Sacramento
Attn: Office of Cannabis Management, Hearing Examiner
Office of the City Clerk
915 I Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
What is the appeal fee and how is it paid?

The appeal fee is intended to cover the costs, expenses and city employees’ time incurred by the city in processing, preparation for, and hearing of the appeal, and shall be refunded to the appellant if the hearing examiner determines that imposition of the penalty is not warranted or is not in the interest of justice. No notice of appeal is valid unless accompanied by proof of payment of the appeal fee.

Appeal fees may be paid as follows:

 The amount of the appeal fee is as follows:

  1. For violations of sections 8.132.030 or 8.132.040, the appeal fee is $250. (SCC § 8.132.050.E.2.)

  2. For any other violation of the Sacramento City Code, the appeal fee is determined by the level of violation:

    1. Level A violation: $500

    2. Level B violation: $250

    3. Level C violation: $100

    4. Level D violation: $ 50

If you believe that you qualify for a Waiver of Appeal Fees under Chapter 1.24.100, please complete and submit a Waiver of Appeal Fees Request Form when filing the appeal request.

PREPARING For an appeal hearing

Once an appeal request has been accepted, it is important review the City of Sacramento Cannabis Administrative Penalty Appeal Hearing Rules of Procedure. Notices of the appeal hearing will be sent out by the Office of Cannabis Management twenty (20) days before the hearing by first class mail at the address provided on the Appeal Request Form.

Does the appellant need an attorney for the administrative penalty appeal hearing?

The Office of Cannabis Management cannot advise appellants whether or not to obtain an attorney for the administrative penalty appeal hearing. If an appellant chooses to be represented by an attorney, they are responsible for finding and paying for the attorney at their own expense. When an appellant is represented by an attorney, the attorney shall file a notice of appearance with the hearing examiner and serve a copy of the notice on the City at the earliest possible time in the proceedings. Once the hearing examiner is notified that the appellant is represented by an attorney, hearing and other notices will be sent to both the appellant and the attorney.

The appellant may request that an individual or firm (other than an attorney) be formally recognized as its representative through a notarized document submitted to the hearing examiner and served on the City prior to the hearing. After filing the request, hearing and other notices will be sent only to the representative. The representative shall have the same rights as the appellant and the appellant shall be bound by the statements made by its representative.

Will an interpreter be provided at the hearing?

If a party does not proficiently speak or understand the English language, he or she may provide an interpreter, at that party’s own cost, to translate for the party. Failure to make arrangements to have an interpreter present is not good cause for a continuance.

An interpreter shall not have had any personal involvement in the issues of the case prior to the hearing. In the alternative, the hearing examiner has the discretion to allow an interpreter who takes an oath that, to the best of the interpreter's ability, a true interpretation will be made that is understandable for the person utilizing the interpreter, and that the interpreter will repeat statements verbatim in English to the hearing examiner and the other parties.

While interpreters do not need to licensed, they will be expected to repeat all statements at the hearing to the appellant.

What evidence can be presented at the hearing?

The Office of Cannabis Management cannot advise appellants on the types of evidence to present to support their position.   

Copies of all evidence (including exhibits and briefs) to be entered into the record of the appeal hearing must be filed with the hearing examiner and served on the City no later than five (5) business days prior to the hearing date during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm) pursuant to Rule 1.05. Documents filed later than this time period may only be considered if the hearing examiner grants an exception to these Rules based on good cause.

Can continuances of the appeal hearing date be requested?

Once the hearing has been set for a specific date, the hearing examiner may, upon request of the appellant or the City, or upon his or her own motion, grant continuances from time to time for good cause shown or by mutual agreement of the parties.

Good cause for the request for a continuance includes military service, imprisonment, pending criminal hearing for the same violation, illness, or other unforeseen circumstance preventing the appearance of the appellant, his or her attorney or representative, City staff, or a material witness. Mere inconvenience, avoidable scheduling conflicts, or difficulty in appearing shall not constitute “good cause.” Since this is an administrative matter for which an attorney is not required, a continuance will not be granted based solely on an attorney’s scheduling conflict with another client’s matter; in such cases, the attorney should either withdraw from the case, or arrange for another attorney or paralegal to attend the scheduled appeal hearing and represent the appellant.

day of the appeal hearing

The administrative penalty appeal hearings are currently held virtually via an online platform. 

What time should parties arrive at the appeal hearing?

If the appellant has not joined the hearing within 15 minutes, with or without notification to the hearing secretary, after the scheduled start time for their case, the hearing examiner may continue or proceed to hear the matter and will consider the written appeal petition and any documents submitted prior to the hearing before rendering a decision.

How long should parties plan to be at the appeal hearing?

Hearings are scheduled for two hours.

What is the format of the hearing?

Administrative penalty appeal hearings, while informal proceedings, shall have a structured format to promote due process, fairness, efficiency, and the orderly presentation of evidence and argument.

The order of presentation at the hearing shall be the following:

1. Oath or affirmation;
2. Hearing examiner's introductory statement;
3. Parties' opening statements (optional);
4. City’s presentation of evidence;
5. Appellant’s presentation of evidence; and
6. Parties’ closing arguments (optional).

Each party shall have these rights:

1. To call and examine witnesses;
2. To cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination;
3. To impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him or her to testify; and
4. To rebut the evidence.

If appellant does not testify in his or her own behalf, he or she may be called and examined as if under cross-examination.

What are the rules of conduct at the appeal hearing?

All hearing participants are cautioned to not speak over each other and to limit background noise (to the extent possible) in order to maintain a clear hearing record and orderly proceedings. At any time, the hearing secretary may mute a participant’s microphone and require requests to speak and objections to be noticed by the “raise your hand” function on the online platform to insure a clear hearing record.

 

Location:

Hearings are currently being held virtually via an online platform
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of each week, excluding holidays

 

2020 Hearing Calendar

Appeal Request Form