[Added by Ord. 399-89, App. 11/6/89; amended by Ord. 161-92, App. 6/4/92; Ord. 123-93, App. 4/29/93; Ord. 355-93, App. 11/12/93; Ord. 350-95, App. 11/3/95; Ord. 382-96, App. 10/3/96; Ord. 418-97, App. 10/31/97; Ord. 256-07, App. 11/6/07]
(a) Criminal Penalty for Violation; Citations.
(1) Any person or entity who violates, disobeys, omits, fails, neglects or refuses to comply with, or who resists or opposes the execution of any of the provisions of this Code, or any notice or order of the Director of the Department of Building Inspection made pursuant to this Code, relating to fire safety, the provision of heat or hot water, or the existence of conditions that endanger the life, limb, health or safety of any person or the public may be charged with a misdemeanor pursuant to Section 204(b). The penalty upon conviction thereof shall be a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000, or imprisonment, no part of which may be suspended. A person convicted of violating this Code shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for every day such violation, disobedience, omission, failure, neglect or refusal shall continue. Any person who shall do any work in violation of any of the provisions of this Code, or any order of the Director of the Department of Building Inspection made pursuant to this Code, and any person having charge of such work who shall permit it to be done, shall be liable for the penalty provided.
(2) Any person or entity who violates, disobeys, omits, fails, neglects or refuses to comply with any provision of this Code, or any notice or order of the Director of the Department of Building Inspection made pursuant to this Code which is not chargeable under Section 204(a)(1) may be charged with an infraction, and a citation may be issued pursuant to Section 204(b). Pursuant to California Government Code Section 36900 and 36901, the fine for infractions shall be as follows:
(i) A fine not exceeding $100 for the initial violation;
(ii) A fine not exceeding $200 for the second violation of the same section of the Code within one year of the first violation;
(iii) A fine not exceeding $500 for each additional violation of the same section of the Code within one year of the first violation.
(b) Department Members as Public Officers. In the performance of their duties of monitoring and enforcing compliance with the provisions of this Code, all persons authorized by the Housing Inspection Division of the Department of Building Inspection to conduct on-site inspections shall have the power, authority and immunity of a public officer and employee as set forth in California Penal Code Section 836.5, to make arrests without a warrant whenever such employees have reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this Code has taken place in their presence; provided, however, that no such arrest shall be made until the time period for compliance provided in the initial notice of violation has expired. In any case in which a person is arrested pursuant to this authority and the person arrested does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, the public officer or employee making the arrest shall prepare a written notice to appear and shall release the person on their promise to appear as prescribed by Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.6) of the California Penal Code.
The Director of the Department of Building Inspection, in coordination with the Chief of Police, shall establish and cause to be administered an enforcement training program designed to instruct each employee so authorized by this Section to exercise arrest and citation authority. Such training shall include guidance and instruction regarding the evidentiary prerequisites to proper prosecution of violations thereof; the appropriate procedures for making arrests or otherwise prudently exercising such arrest and citation authority; and the legal and practical ramifications and limitations relevant to exercising enforcement authority.
(c) Presumption of Noncompliance with Order; Civil Penalty for Violation of Code.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, any person or entity served, in any manner permitted for service of process under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, with a notice or order by the Director of the Department of Building Inspection setting forth the nature of the violation of this Code, demanding correction of such violation, and specifying the time within which such violation must be corrected, shall be presumed, in civil proceedings, to have failed to comply with said notice or order at and after the time given in said notice or order for correction of such violation has expired without correction of said violation.
(2) Any person or entity violating this Code shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue, which penalty shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the City and County of San Francisco by the City Attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction. There shall be no more than one violation per building per day. In assessing the amount of the civil penalty, the court shall consider any one or more of the relevant circumstances presented by any of the parties to the case, but not limited to, the following: the nature and seriousness of the misconduct, the number of violations, the persistence of the misconduct, the length of time over which the misconduct occurred, the willfulness of the defendantís misconduct, and the defendantís assetís, liabilities and net worth. Any penalty assessed and recovered in an action brought pursuant to this paragraph shall be paid to the City Treasurer and credited to the Department of Building Inspectionís Special Fund.
(3) The remedies in this Section are in addition to any other remedies provided by law. No provision in this Section shall preclude prosecution of actions for civil criminal penalties concurrently, sequentially or individually.
(d) Civil Remedies for Violation of Section 503(d). In addition to the penalties specified in Subsection (a) of this Section, Section 503(d) of this Code may also be enforced by a civil action authorized under this subsection.
(1) Any aggrieved person may enforce Section 503(d) of this Code by means of a civil action.
(2) Any person who violates Section 503(d) of this Code or who aids in the violation of Section 503(d) of this Code shall be liable for three times the amount of special and general damages, or three times the amount of one monthís rent that the landlord charges for the unit in question. The court may award in addition thereto, not less than $200 but not more than $400, together with punitive damages. The interested party instituting a civil proceeding, or the City suing to enforce Section 503(d), if prevailing parties, shall be entitled to the costs of enforcing Section 503(d), including reasonable attorneyís fees, pursuant to a court order.
(3) Any person who commits, or proposes to commit, an action in violation of Section 503(d) may be enjoined therefrom by any court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) Any action under this subsection may be brought by any aggrieved person, by the District Attorney, by the City Attorney, or be any interested party on behalf of the aggrieved person.
(5) Any action brought under this subsection shall be filed within one year of the alleged violation.
(e) Special Assessment Lien to Recover Fees or Costs. Any person, the owner or their authorized agent, who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, or refuses to comply with, or who resists or opposes the execution of any order of the provisions of this Code or any order of the Director of the Department of Building Inspection made pursuant to this Code, will be subject to the placement of a special assessment lien in the amount of the fee owed or delinquent, plus accrued interest, against the real property regulated under this chapter, for failure to pay items, including but not limited to: (1) required annual apartment/hotel license fees per Section 302 of this Code; (2) reinspection fees; and, (3) assessment of costs, pursuant to Sections 102A, 108A and 110A of the San Francisco Building Code.
(f) Annual Report to Board of Supervisors.
(1) Six months from the effective date of this ordinance, the Director of the Department of Building Inspection shall provide the Board of Supervisors with information on the implementation of this Section.
(2) Each annual report of the Department of Building Inspection transmitted to the Board of Supervisors shall contain a statistical report detailing the number of citations issued during the preceding year, correlated with a general description of the types of violations for which they were issued.
(g) Partial Appropriation of Fines Collected. Up to 25 percent of the monies collected pursuant to Section 204(a), other than monies mandated by State law to be appropriated for specific purposes, shall be deposited directly to the Department of Building Inspectionís Special Fund to partially offset the costs incurred by the Department of Building Inspection in issuing citations pursuant to this Section.