§2575.6. Additional administrative adjudication procedures in the city of New Orleans; nuisance, sanitation, and litter violations; ticket procedures; appeals; penalties
A. The city of New Orleans may prescribe civil fines for violations of nuisance, sanitation, and litter ordinances on immovable property pursuant to the procedures for administrative adjudication provided in this Chapter.
B. The city of New Orleans may adopt ordinances establishing an administrative adjudication hearing procedure under the provisions of this Chapter to enforce violations of nuisance, sanitation, and litter ordinances by the owners of immovable property or their agents, tenants, or representatives noticed via the issuance of a sanitation ticket. Each ordinance shall provide a reasonable time period for a hearing under the provisions of this Chapter, which in no event shall be less than fifteen days from sanitation ticket issuance. The ordinance shall provide for appointment of hearing officers who shall have been licensed to practice law in Louisiana for no less than two years, and who shall have authority to administer oaths and affirmations and to issue orders compelling the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents. Any order compelling the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents may be enforced by the municipal court of the municipality or the district court in which the municipality is located. The ordinance shall provide that the city bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the person receiving the sanitation ticket is responsible for the sanitation or litter violation.
C. The sanitation ticket shall also provide information as to the time and place of an administrative adjudication hearing, at which the city official issuing the sanitation ticket will be present. The failure of any person charged with a violation to appear at the hearing shall be considered an admission of liability for the charged violation. The original sanitation ticket or any true copy of the ticket shall be deemed a record kept in the ordinary course of business of the municipality, and shall be rebuttable proof of the facts contained in the ticket.
D. Any administrative adjudication hearing held under the provisions of this Section shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Testimony by any person shall be taken under oath or by affirmation. The person who received the sanitation ticket may present any relevant evidence and testimony at such hearing; however, his physical presence shall not be required at the hearing if documentary evidence is submitted to the hearing officer prior to the date of the hearing.
E. The hearing officer shall issue an order stating whether or not the person who received the sanitation ticket is liable for a violation of the nuisance, sanitation, or litter ordinance at the property and the amount of any fine, penalty, cost, or fee assessed against him, which order may be filed in the mortgage or conveyance office of the city. Any such order filed shall constitute a lien and privilege against the property, be placed on the ad valorem tax bill, and be paid the same as taxes.
F. Any order of the hearing officer filed under the provisions of this Section shall be maintained in a separate index and file. These orders or decisions may be recorded utilizing computer printouts or other similar data processing techniques.
G. The ordinance shall provide for the amount and disposition of fines, penalties, costs, and fees. No fine shall exceed a maximum of five hundred dollars per violation.
H. Any owner of immovable property or their agents, tenants, or representatives determined by the hearing officer to be in violation of a nuisance, sanitation, or litter ordinance may appeal this determination to the appropriate district court. Such appeal shall be instituted by filing, within thirty days of the filing of the order of the hearing officer, a petition with the clerk of court for the district court along with payment of such reasonable costs as may be required by the clerk. After filing a petition for appeal the clerk of court of the district court shall schedule a hearing and notify all parties of the date, time, and place of such hearing. Service of notice of appeal under this Subsection shall not stay the enforcement and collection of the judgment unless the person who files the appeal posts bond prior to filing notice of appeal with the agency of the municipality designated by ordinance to accept payments of violations of nuisance, sanitation, or litter ordinances.
Acts 2014, No. 828, §1.