November 24, 2017

Code Compliance Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay a fine?

Payment of Fines

  • Make checks payable to County of Kern and mailed to 
    • Citation Processing Center 
      P. O. Box 7275 
      Newport Beach, CA 92658
  • Cash will be accepted in person at 
    • 2700 “M” Street, 
      Bakersfield, CA 93301, 
      at the Cashier’s desk
  • VISA or Mastercard will be accepted online at www.citationinfo.com or by phone at 1(800) 861-7422 

How do I Appeal An Administrative Citation?

Any person disputing the issuance of an administrative citation may contest the citation by completing a request for hearing form and returning the form within fifteen (15) days from the date of the issuance of the administration citation. The initial appeal is handled by Revenue Experts, Inc. not the County of Kern. The County’s ordinance requires citations be paid even if the citizen wishes to appeal. Appeals are usually held at the Public Services building, however, citizens may also request a hearing be conducted via the telephone.

The Appeal Forms may be obtained:

  • By clicking here
  • By calling Code Compliance at (661) 862-8603 and ask them to mail an Appeal form to your home (the mail time will cut into your 15 day response time)
  • By picking up at the Public Services building located at 2700 “M” Street, Bakersfield at the Customer Service Center

If paying the penalty in advance causes a financial hardship the citizen may complete a “Hardship Waiver Request.” The form must be submitted to Revenue Experts within ten (10) days from the date the citation was issued. The Department issuing the citation will review the citizen’s request and the decision of the department is final.

Failure of the citizen to appear at the administrative citation hearing shall constitute a forfeiture of the fine and be deemed a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

Within ten (10) days of the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer will provide the citizen with a written decision. A decision in favor of the citizen shall constitute a dismissal of the administrative penalty and the County shall return any monies paid.

If the hearing officer renders a decision in favor of the County, the citizen must comply with the administrative order, including payment of any administrative penalty, or seek review under Section 8.54.100.

A citizen, who is subject to an administrative order issued by a hearing officer pursuant to Section 8.54.090, may contest the administrative order by filing an appeal with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. The appeal must be filed within seven (7) days from service of the administrative order. The Board of Supervisors may reverse, affirm wholly or partly, or modify the administrative order.

Any person who contests the final administrative order may seek judicial review of the order by filing an appeal with the Superior Court.

The complete Amended “Section 2. Chapter 8.54 of the Ordinance Code” can be found here.

What do I do if I receive an Administrative Citation?

The Administrative Citation will be issued when the citizen has failed after notification and a period of time to correct a violation of the Kern County Ordinance Code.

When an Administrative Citation is issued it is due and payable within thirty (30) days of the date issued. The first citation issued is $250.00. These fines are cumulative and citations may be issued every thirty (30) days the violation exists. In addition to the administration citation penalties other costs and fines leading up to the citation may be due regarding the code violation.

Charges:

1st citation $250.00
2nd citation $500.00 
3rd citation $1,000.00

Unlawful dumping - $250.00 per day for each day the violation exists

Additional administrative costs may be charged in addition to the citation charges.


Payment of Fines

  • Make checks payable to County of Kern and mailed to 
    • Citation Processing Center 
      P. O. Box 7275 
      Newport Beach, CA 92658
  • Cash will be accepted in person at 
    • 2700 “M” Street, 
      Bakersfield, CA 93301, 
      at the Cashier’s desk
  • VISA or Mastercard will be accepted online at www.citationinfo.com or by phone at 1(800) 861-7422 

Questions regarding citations should be referred to 1(800) 861-7422.

What do I do if I received a letter alleging a violation?

The first letter you should receive is mailed to you as a courtesy after we have received a complaint. It is intended to merely advise you that a violation of the Kern County Ordinance Code has been alleged. After receipt of the letter please contact the Code Compliance Units' Officer assigned the case at your earliest convenience to clear up any of the following:

  1. The information in the letter is incorrect.
  2. The violation no longer exists.
  3. You don't understand some part of the letter.
  4. You just need additional time to bring your property into compliance.
  5. If you want to talk about your options.

Once the allowable time specified on your first letter has expired, and if you have not contacted the Code Compliance Unit, an officer will inspect your property to verify the allegations.

If it is determined that the violation does not exist, the case will be closed and no further action will be taken. However, if a violation is found to exist, you will be notified by an "Official Notice To Comply." This notice will state specific code sections for which you are in violation, the remedies available to you, and any fines, charges and/or penalties that you will be assessed.

Please contact the Code Compliance Unit as soon as possible. We will be happy to discuss the information outlined in your notice with you and to go over any and all options available to you. Our first priority is to bring violations into compliance through voluntary measures whenever possible.

Why hasn't anything been done yet?

I turned in a complaint last week. Why hasn't the County done anything?

Most likely the County has started working with the property owner to resolve the violation. Typically the County will notify the owner that we have received a specific complaint alleging certain violations of the Kern County Ordinance Code exist on his or her property. We normally request that the property owner respond to us indicating they will resolve the violation in an acceptable time frame, that the violation has been resolved or that the property was not in violation. If the owner chooses not to work with the County to cooperatively resolve the violation, we begin a more formal legal process which may take an extended time to fully resolve. We request that in most nonhazardous situations that you wait a minimum of 30 days after filing the complaint before checking on the status of a complaint to allow us time to contact the property owner and attempt resolution of the violation.

Who enforces weeds?

Who should I contact if my neighbor has lots of weeds on his property that creates a fire hazard?

Complaints received by the Code Compliance Unit regarding weeds will be referred to the Fire Department for investigation. For faster resolution it is suggested that you call these complaints into the local Fire Department directly. If the weeds are not a fire hazard and they are more of a maintenance problem, the complaint should be submitted to the Code Compliance Unit.

Will the County resolve the dispute between me and my landlord?

The County is not a referee for tenant-landlord disputes. Generally these disputes are best resolved between the renter and property owner. The General Rule for maintenance of rented properties as presented by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs is: "When a landlord rents an apartment or a house to a tenant (renter), the rented property must be fit to live in. In other words, the rented property must be "habitable." During the time that the property is being rented, the landlord must do maintenance work and make repairs which are necessary to keep it habitable. However, the landlord is not responsible to the tenant for repairing damage caused by the tenant, or the tenant's guest, children or pets."

For information about your rights and suggestions on ways to resolve housing complaints between tenants and landlords, the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, 400 R Street, Suite 3090 Sacramento CA 95814-6200 (800) 952-5210 has published several guidelines: LT-3, LT-6 and LT-8 or additional assistance may be available through the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance Center, 615 California Avenue, Bakersfield, CA (661) 325-5943.

If you believe that you are being discriminated against, you can contact the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance Center at the above location or the Kern County Department of Housing, in the Community Development Program Department at (661) 862-5050 at 2700 M Street, Suite 250, Bakersfield, CA 93301. You can also e-mail them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have contacted your landlord and they are unwilling to make the property habitable, within the limits of their responsibility, you can submit a complaint through the County's Code Compliance Unit.

How do I submit a complaint?

If I suspect a violation how do I go about getting it resolved or reporting it?

You may make contact with the property owner directly and request that he resolve the violation, or you may report violations of the above codes to the Code Compliance Unit by calling our hotline at (661) 862-8603, faxing information to us at (661) 862-5149, by e-mailing your complaint to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or by submitting an Online Complaint.

When submitting a complaint, the reporting party must include their name and phone number, as anonymous complaints will not be processed. When processing a complaint, we do not provide the violator with the information about who reported the alleged violation. Additional information which must be provided is a description of what the alleged violation is, the location of the violation including the nearest cross-street and any other pertinent information which may be helpful.

What does the code compliance unit enforce?

The Code Compliance Unit enforces regulations relating to the following:

  1. Condition of existing structures that constitute a clear and present danger to the public.
  2. Building Code violations (building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, access, etc.) Including construction or change of occupancy without permits.
  3. California State Housing law (minimum standards for safe and sanitary housing).
  4. Illegal dumping.
  5. Liquid waste disposal.
  6. Zoning requirements for structures such as use, location, configuration, size and land use requirements.
  7. Abandoned vehicles.
  8. Occupied Recreational Vehicles.

Location

Public Services Building
2700 M Street, Suite 570
Bakersfield, CA 93301-2370
map 

Phone: 661-862-5100 
FAX: 661-862-5101 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.