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ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

 ANCHORAGE MUNICIPAL CHARTER CODE AND REGULATIONS Municipality of ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Supplement No. MA 3 (All ordinances and resolutions passed and approved through December 31, 1997.)

TITLE 8 PENAL CODE

Chapter 8.05 CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS AND PROPERTIES

8.05.375. Graffiti and related vandalism

A. Purpose and intent. It is the purpose and intent of this section to prevent graffiti and to promote its eradication, and to prevent related vandalism, as graffiti and related vandalism adversely affects property, both public and private. It is the further intent of this section to fight against blight, to preserve the value of property, both public and private, and to promote the security of the community, all of which are threatened by graffiti and graffiti-related vandalism.

B. Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

1. Aerosol paint container means any canister, can, bottle, container or other receptacle which contains any substance commonly known as paint, stain, dye or other pigmented substance which is or can be modified to contain pressure, or be pressurized, in order to impel or propel any such substance.

2. Graffiti means any inscription, symbol, design or configuration of letters or numbers written, drawn, etched, marked, painted, stained, stuck on or adhered to any surface on public or private property without the express permission of the owner of such property, including but not limited to trees, signs, poles, fixtures, utility boxes, walls, paths, walks, streets, underpasses, overpasses, bridges, trestles, buildings or any other structures or surfaces.

3. Graffiti implement means any implement capable of marking a surface to create graffiti, including but not limited to aerosol paint containers, markers and gum labels.

4. Gum label means any material such as, but not limited to, decals, stickers, posters or labels which contain a substance commonly known as adhesive or glue, which cannot be removed from the surface in an intact condition and with minimal efforts.

5. Marker means any indelible or permanent marker, or similar implement containing an ink that is not water soluble.

C. Prohibition of graffiti. It shall be unlawful for any person to commit any overt act resulting in or attempting to result in application of graffiti on any surface on public or private property without the express permission of the owner of such property, including but not limited to trees, signs, poles, fixtures, utility boxes, walls, paths, walks, streets, underpasses, overpasses, bridges, trestles, buildings or any other structures or surfaces.

D. Possession of graffiti implements. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any graffiti implement while on public or private property without the express consent of the owner of such property, in a manner that warrants a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of property in the vicinity. Among the circumstances which may be considered by the enforcement officer in determining whether such alarm or immediate concern is warranted, is the fact that the person takes flight upon appearance of an enforcement officer, refuses to identify himself, or manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or the graffiti implement. Prior to any citation being issued to a person for a violation of this subsection, such person shall be afforded an opportunity by the enforcement officer to dispel any alarm or immediate concern which could otherwise be warranted by requesting such person to identify himself and explain his presence and conduct.

E. Parental civil liability. Any act in violation of subsection C or D of this section committed by a minor under the age of 18 years shall be imputed to that minor’s parent or legal guardian. A parent or legal guardian of a minor who violates subsection C or D of this section shall be liable for the payment of any civil fine and the expense of restoration as set forth in subsection F of this section.

F. Penalty. Any person who commits a violation of subsection C of this section, or, in the case of a violator under 18 years of age, the parent or legal guardian, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 for a first offense, and of not more than $1,000.00 for a second or subsequent offense. In addition to such punishment, the violator, or the minor’s parent or legal guardian, shall also be responsible for repaying the cost of restoration to the property owner, pursuant to subsection G of this section, for such completed restoration. Any person who commits a violation of subsection D of this section, or, in the case of a violator under 18 years of age, the parent or legal guardian, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 for each offense.

G. Civil remedies. As an alternative to other penalty provisions of this section, any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to and shall pay to the municipality civil penalties equivalent to and on the same basis as the monetary penalties provided for in subsection F of this section. Any person, including the municipality, may seek appropriate injunctive relief for the enforcement of this section, its penalties and remedial provisions, including but not limited to actions for abatement, prevention of violations, and enforcement of all remedial and preventive provisions of this section as may be appropriate. The monetary civil penalties provided for in this subsection may also be enforced as civil fines by the administrative hearings officer under title 14.

H. Graffiti removal. A person, and, in the case of a minor, the parent or legal guardian, violating this section shall, in addition to all other penalties provided for in this section, remove or cause removal of the graffiti at their sole expense and at the direction and under the supervision of the property owner. If the person, including a minor and the minor’s parent or legal guardian, fails to remove the graffiti, the property owner may cause the graffiti to be removed and charge the person responsible for doing so for the removal expenses incurred, to include suing in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover such expenses. Graffiti on any public or private property visible from any public right-of-way, including but not limited to any street, highway, road, alley or walkway, is declared a public nuisance. The municipality shall give notice to the property owner requesting the owner to remove or cause to be removed such graffiti.

I. Anti-graffiti trust fund. There is hereby created the municipal anti-graffiti trust fund. All civil fines paid by violators of this section and ultimately received by the municipality shall be placed in the fund. The fund may also receive monetary donations from citizens, businesses and other organizations. The mayor, or his designee, shall direct the expenditure of monies in the fund. Such expenditures shall be limited to the payment of rewards under subsection J of this section and restoration costs.

J. Reward for providing information. Any person who shall provide information which leads to the actual payment of a fine by a violator of subsection C of this section, is entitled to receive from the municipality a monetary reward of up to $500.00. The mayor, or his designee, shall determine the actual amount of reward and whether a particular reward shall be divided among persons based on the information provided and the number of persons providing the information. In no event shall the total reward relating to a particular violation exceed $500.00.

K. Mandatory juvenile community service. Any minor (under the age of 18) violating this section shall perform community service, including graffiti removal service, of not less than 20 hours and not more than 100 hours, in addition to all other fines, penalties and restoration work. At least one parent or legal guardian shall be present at the community service site for at least one-half of the community service hours required of the minor.  (AO No. 94-134(S), 1, 9-8-94)

14.60.030. Fine schedule

Code Section Offense

8.05.375.G Graffiti:

First offense: $500.00

Second and subsequent offenses:  $1,000.00

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

City of Los Angeles Municipal Code - 03/31/99

CHAPTER IX - Building Regulations

ARTICLE 1 - Buildings [Building Code] (Article I, Chapter IX, Amended by Ordinance No. 170,953, Eff. 3/17/96, Oper. 1/1/96, incorporating by reference portions of the 1994 Edition of the Uniform Building Code and the 1995 Edition of the California Building Code.)

SEC. 91.8904. SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR VACANT PROPERTY GRAFFITI REMOVAL.  

(Title and Section Amended by Ord. No. 171,175, Eff. 7/25/96.) 

91.8904.1.  Duties of the Owner of Vacant Property.

It shall be unlawful for the owner or person in control to permit the accumulation of trash, debris, vehicle parts, rubbish, excessive vegetation or other similar nuisance conditions on the parcel or in and around any building or structure located on the parcel.  The Department may order the fencing of such a parcel in the manner described below.

It shall be unlawful for the owner or person in control of a parcel of land, to allow to exist a vacant building or structure which is open to unauthorized entry on such land.  The owner or person in control of a vacant building, structure, or lot which is open to unauthorized entry shall secure all openings, accessible for entry from the exterior of the building or structure, and where appropriate, the entire lot itself, with one of the following methods:

1.  Minimum 3/4-inch exterior grade plywood.  The plywood shall have a positive connection to the building or structure using minimum 1/2-inch bolts which shall not be removable from the outside.

2.  Minimum 16-gauge steel mesh attached to a minimum one inch by 1/8-inch angle iron frame.  The frame shall have a positive connection to the building or structure using minimum 1/2-inch bolts which shall not be removable from the outside.

3.  Other means of barricading as directed or approved by the Department including wrought iron fencing of the lot.  The Department may, working in cooperation with the Police Department, develop standards for alternative fencing.

4.  The entire building or structure shall be securely maintained

Unless directed otherwise by the Department, the owner or person in control also shall erect a maximum ten foot high unobstructed chainlink fence complete with lockable gates.  The fence, once constructed, shall become the property of the owner of the property upon which it is constructed and, all structures on the property, including the fence shall be maintained in good repair.  In the event that the fence or other barriers cannot be maintained in good repair, the Department may order an alternative method of barricading.  The property so fenced shall be conspicuously posted with a “No Trespassing” sign pursuant to Section 41.24 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

It shall also be unlawful for the owner or person in control to allow to exist any graffiti on a building or fence when such graffiti, as defined in Section 49.84 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, is visible from a public street or alley.  It shall also be unlawful if such owner or person refuses to consent to the removal of the graffiti by the City after being notified by the Department that the City wishes to remove the graffiti.

Owners, whose property displays graffiti, shall completely remove the graffiti by washing, sandblasting or chemical treatment or shall completely and uniformly cover or otherwise obscure the graffiti with paint or other approved materials.

(Amended by Ord. No. 171,175, Eff. 7/25/96.)

 91.8904.1.1.  Procedure for Securing Vacant Property and Removing Graffiti - Notification.  The City Council finds that the following conditions constitute a public nuisance:  the maintenance of vacant buildings or structures open to unauthorized entry; the storage and accumulation of trash, debris, vehicle parts or other items prohibited under Section 91.8904 of this Code; and the maintenance of vacant or occupied property with graffiti visible from a public street or alley as described by Section 91.8904 of this Code.

If the property owner or person in control consents to the removal of the graffiti, the City may enter upon the property and remove such graffiti.

If the owner or person in control refuses to remove the graffiti, or if any of the public nuisance conditions above-described exist, then the Department of Building and Safety may issue an order by certified mail, return receipt requested, or may deposit an order in the United States mail in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, to the owner as shown on the last equalized assessment roll to abate these conditions.  A copy of the order shall also be posted on the subject property.  The order may give no more than ten days from the date the notice was mailed to perform the work.

However, if the order is served by way of personal service, the order may give no more than five days from the date the order was served to perform the work.

91.8904.1.2  Abatement by the City. (Amended by Ord. No. 171,400, Eff. 12/20/96.)  In the event the nuisance, including graffiti, is not removed or otherwise eliminated or abated by the date specified in the notice, the City, or its contractor, may enter upon the parcel and remove or eliminate the nuisance.  Abatement may be accomplished by contract or work order and may be performed by a private contractor submitting a competitive sealed bid, a public entity performing under a Memorandum of Understanding or by means of an Annual Awarded Contract.

For the purposes of this section, an Annual Awarded Contract shall mean one or more 12-month contracts awarded by the Department after competitive bidding.  The contracts may be based upon both stipulated prices and unit cost for the fencing of vacant or vacated property; for removal of graffiti visible from a public street or alley; for draining swimming pools; for the securing of vacant buildings open to unauthorized entry; for the removal of debris, rubbish, excessive vegetation or similar nuisance conditions on property containing a vacant building, when and as directed by the Department by means of a work order.  No work order shall be executed except in conjunction with the necessary contract or contracts.

If abatement is performed by a City department other than the Department of Building and Safety, that department shall bill the owner for the cost of removal, or other elimination or abatement of the nuisance, including administrative costs.  An itemized written report showing the date and cost of abatement work done by the City or its contractor, together with a proposed assessment with respect to the parcel involved, shall be submitted to the Department.  Payment for the cost of abatement and recovery of the cost from the property owner shall be pursuant to Section 91.8906 of this Code.

If the building again becomes open to unauthorized entry, or graffiti is again visible from a public street or alley, or the building’s premises or vacant parcel again contain debris, rubbish, excessive vegetation or other similar nuisance conditions, the Department may, upon 3 days notice to the owner, execute a contract or work order to have the required work performed by one of the methods provided by this section.  The cost of performing the work may be paid from the “Repair and Demolition Fund” as established in Section 91.8906 of this Code.  Further, the provisions of Sections 91.8903.4, 91.8903.5 and 91.8903.6  shall apply to this section.

The above abatement procedures are in addition to any other remedy the Department may choose to pursue to eliminate the nuisance conditions

CHAPTER IV - PUBLIC WELFARE

ARTICLE 14 - LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF GRAFFITI (Article 14 Added by Ord. No. 168,886, Eff. 8/13/93.)  

SEC. 49.84.  DEFINITION

(Added by Ord. No. 168,886, Eff. 8/13/93.)

"Act of graffiti" means an act which causes any form of unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design to be marked, etched, scratched, drawn, sprayed, painted or otherwise affixed on any structural component of any building, structure or other facility or upon any other property, regardless of its content or nature and regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component or property.

SEC. 49.85.  CIVIL LIABILITY

(Added by Ord. No. 168,886, Eff. 8/13/93.)

Irrespective of and cumulative to any criminal conviction for an act of graffiti or any final adjudication by the Juvenile Court or placement on a supervised program by the probation officer under the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions Code of the State of California for such act, any person who commits an act of graffiti visible from a public street, alley or way, including a public freeway, shall be liable in a civil action brought by the City Attorney in an amount not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), due consideration being given to the following factors in determining the amount of penalty:

A.  Costs to the City relating to cleanup of graffiti caused by such person.

B.  Special costs to the City in the form of the payment of any reward in connection with any criminal action against such person.

C.  In addition to A and/or B above, the degree of offense to the public as determined by the magnitude, form and visual prominence of the graffiti.

D.  In addition to A and/or B above, the history of previous violations by the person committing graffiti.

(Added by Ord. No. 168,886, Eff. 8/13/93.)

CHAPTER IX - Building Regulations

ARTICLE 1 - Buildings [Building Code] (Article I, Chapter IX, Amended by Ordinance No. 170,953, Eff. 3/17/96, Oper. 1/1/96, incorporating by reference portions of the 1994 Edition of the Uniform Building Code and the 1995 Edition of the California Building Code.)

SEC. 91.208. G.  

GRAFFITI shall mean any unauthorized inscription, work, figure of design which is marked, etched, scratched, drawn or painted on any structural component of any building, structure or other facility regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component. Graffiti shall constitute a nuisance.

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COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Title 13 PUBLIC PEACE, MORALS AND WELFARE

Chapter 13.12 GRAFFITI PREVENTION, PROHIBITION AND REMOVAL

13.12.020. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title, the following words shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section:

"Aerosol paint container" means any aerosol container which is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray painting, or other substance capable of defacing property.

"Felt-tip marker" means any indelible marker or similar implement with a tip which, at its broadest width, is greater than one-eighth of an inch, containing ink or other pigmented liquid which is not water soluble.

"Graffiti" means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, painting or other defacement that is written, marked, etched, scratched, sprayed, drawn, painted, or engraved on or otherwise affixed to or on any surface of county-owned property or non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county by or with, but not limited to, any of the following: felt-tip marker, paint stick or graffiti stick, or graffiti implement, to the extent that the same was not authorized in advance by the owner or occupant thereof, or, despite advance authorization, is otherwise deemed by the board to be a public nuisance.

"Graffiti implement" means an aerosol paint container, a felt-tip marker, gum label, paint stick or graffiti stick, etching tool, or any other device capable of scarring or leaving a visible mark on glass, metal, concrete or wood or any other surface.

"Paint stick" or "graffiti stick" means any device containing a solid form of paint, chalk, wax, epoxy, or other similar substance capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application, of leaving a mark at least one-eighth of an inch in width. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.030. Unlawful to apply graffiti -- Prohibition of defacement

A. It is unlawful for any person to apply graffiti to any trees or structures including, but not limited to, buildings, walls, fences, poles, and signs, ("structures" hereinafter in the chapter) on any county-owned property or without the permission of the owner or occupant, on any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county.

B. It is also unlawful for any person to intentionally deface, tear down, obliterate or destroy any copy, transcript or extract of or from any ordinance of the county of Los Angeles posted in any public place or any proclamation, advertisement or notice set up at any place by authority of any ordinance of the county before the expiration of the time such notice was to remain set up.

C. It is also unlawful for any person to erect, construct, place or maintain any signboard, billboard, sign or advertisement in, over or on any public highway of the county of Los Angeles with the exception of public transportation signs as provided in Section 22.52.970 of Title 22 of this code and signs and advertisements of a temporary or seasonal nature and of general community interest that may be authorized as provided in Title 16, Division 1 of this code.

D. The sheriff and the road commissioner shall remove every unauthorized sign, handbill, or advertisement affixed to or posted contrary to the provisions of this section.

E. Violation of subsection A of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

F. Violation of subsection B or C of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $250.00. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.040. Possession of graffiti implements by minors prohibited

It is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen years to have in his or her possession any graffiti implement while on any school property, grounds, facilities, buildings, or structures, or in areas immediately adjacent to these specific locations upon public property, or upon private property without the prior written consent of the owner or occupant of such private property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the possession of felt-tip markers by minors attending, or travelling to or from school at which the minor is enrolled, if the minor is participating in a class at said school which formally requires the possession of felt-tip markers. The burden of proof in any prosecution for violation of this section shall be upon the minor student to establish the need to possess a felt-tip marker. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.050. Possession of graffiti implements prohibited in designated public places

It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any graffiti implement while in or upon any public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility, or other public building owned or operated by the county or while in or within 100 feet of an underpass, bridge abutment, storm drain, or similar types of infrastructure unless otherwise authorized by the county. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.060. Limiting access to graffiti implements -- Furnishing to minors prohibited

It is unlawful for any person, other than a parent or legal guardian, to sell, exchange, give, loan or otherwise furnish or cause to permit to be exchanged, given, loaned, or otherwise furnished, any graffiti implement to any minor without the consent of the parent or other lawfully designated guardian, which consent shall be given in advance in writing. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.070. Display for sale -- Requirements

A. Every person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling graffiti implements shall display and store or cause such implements to be displayed and stored in areas which may be viewable by, but shall not be accessible to the public without employee assistance, pending legal sale or disposition of such implements.

B. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00, or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

C. Civil Responsibility for Damages for Wrongful Display or Storage. Any person who displays or stores, or permits the display or storage, of any graffiti implement in violation of the provisions of this section shall be personally liable for any and all costs, including attorney’s fees and court costs, incurred by any party in connection with the removal of graffiti, the repair of any property containing graffiti, or such party’s prosecution of a civil claim for reimbursement or damages resulting from such graffiti removal or property repair, arising from the use by any person of such wrongfully displayed or stored graffiti implement in violation of the provisions of any of the sections of this chapter. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.090. Graffiti declared public nuisance

The existence of graffiti on any county-owned property, or without the permission of the owner or occupant, on any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county is expressly declared to be a public nuisance.

A. 1. The board of supervisors hereby declares and finds graffiti to be a nuisance subject to abatement according to the provisions and procedures herein contained.

2. It is the duty of both the owner of the property to which the graffiti has been applied, and any person who may be in possession or who has the right to possess such property, to at all times keep such property clear and free of graffiti.

B. The existence of any surface of a structure on any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county where such surface has been defaced with graffiti after removal more than five times in 12 months is hereby deemed to be a nuisance, and may be abated by the county requiring modifications thereto, or the immediate area surrounding same, according to the provisions and procedures adopted by the county. Such modifications may include, but are not limited to: retrofitting of such surfaces at the expense of the property owner(s) of said lot, not to exceed a total cost of $500.00, or at the cost to the county at the county’s option, with such features or qualities as may be established by the county as necessary to reduce the attractiveness of the surface for graffiti, or as necessary to permit more convenient, expedient or efficient removal of graffiti therefrom.

C. No person shall post, affix, or attach any handbill, poster, or placard on any county-owned property, or without the permission of the owner or occupant, on any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county. The sheriff, the director, department of public works, and any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, is authorized to order removal of such posters, with the owner or occupant’s permission. The decision to remove such posters shall not be based on content. Any person who is actually or constructively responsible for the posting, creating, printing, or copying of such posters shall be liable for the costs incurred in the removal thereof and the sheriff, the director, department of public works, and any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, is authorized to effect the collection of such costs. Such costs shall be the actual or reasonable costs attributable to the removal of such posters. Persons billed for such removal costs may appeal such cost assessment to the building rehabilitation appeals board in accordance with rules adopted by that board. The decision of this board will be final for purposes of Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.5, judicial review, unless the board of supervisors within 90 days of that decision is made, grants, in its sole discretion, a hearing on the appeal.

D. For purposes of subsection C of this section, there shall be a presumption that a person (corporate or individual), whose name or telephone number or address or notice of public or private appearance or business location appears on the poster is a person responsible for posting the poster.

E. Any person violating subsection C of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of $100.00 for the first infraction, $200.00 for the second infraction in one year, and $500.00 for each infraction thereafter within one year. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.100.  Removal of graffiti by perpetrator

Any person applying graffiti on county-owned property or within the unincorporated area of the county shall have the duty to remove same within 24 hours after notice by the county or private owner of the property involved. Such removal shall be done in a manner prescribed by the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, and may be deemed by the county to satisfy any payment or penalty that might otherwise be imposed. Any person applying graffiti shall be responsible for such removal or for the payment therefor. Failure of any person to so remove graffiti or pay for its removal shall constitute an additional violation of this chapter. Where graffiti is applied by an unemancipated minor, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) shall also be responsible for such removal or for the payment therefor. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors may convert such payment into equivalent forms of community service hours. Such payments or equivalent forms of community service hours shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.110. Removal provisions

Graffiti may be removed by either of the following methods:

A. It is unlawful for any person who is the owner, or who has primary responsibility for control of property or who has primary responsibility for repair or maintenance of property in the unincorporated area of the county, hereinafter referred to in this section as the "responsible party," to permit said property which is defaced with graffiti to remain so defaced for a period of 10 days after service by first-class mail of notice of same, unless (1) said person shall demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she does not have the financial ability to remove the defacing graffiti, or (2) it can be demonstrated by the responsible party that the responsible party has an active program for the removal of graffiti and has scheduled the removal of the graffiti as part of that program, in which case it shall be unlawful to permit such property to remain defaced with graffiti for a period of 15 days after service by first-class mail of notice of same.

B. Right of County to Remove.

1. Whenever the county becomes aware, or is notified and determines that graffiti is located on county-owned property or non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county that is viewable by persons utilizing any public right-of-way in the county, the county shall secure the consent of the property owner and the county shall be authorized to use public funds to provide for the painting or repairing of same, but shall not authorize or undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti is located, unless the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, determines in writing that a more extensive area is required to be repainted or repaired in order to avoid aesthetic disfigurement to the neighborhood or community, or unless the responsible party agrees to pay for the costs of repainting or repairing the more extensive area.

2. Right of Entry on Private Property.

a. Prior to entering upon private property or property owned by a public entity other than the county, for purposes of removal of graffiti, the county shall secure the consent of the responsible party, and a release of the county from any liability.

C. If a responsible party fails to remove the offending graffiti within the time herein specified, or if the county shall have requested consent to remove or paint over the offending graffiti and the responsible party has refused to grant consent for entry on terms acceptable to the county consistent with the terms of this section, the county may commence abatement and cost-recovery proceedings for the removal of the graffiti pursuant to the provisions of this chapter which procedures authorize the recovery of all costs incurred by the county in abating graffiti, including the recordation of a lien as to the affected property. Notwithstanding the foregoing, owner-occupied single-family residences are excluded from such cost recovery proceedings, including the recordation of a lien on the property.

1. Whenever the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, determines that graffiti has been applied to non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county, the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, determines that the graffiti is obnoxious and that it is in the interest of the county of Los Angeles to remove such graffiti through the use of county resources, then the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, may use county resources to remove the graffiti provided that the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, obtains the consent of the private property owner and release of the county from liability.

2. a. Whenever the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, determines that graffiti is being maintained upon any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county in violation of this chapter, the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, may issue a written notice and order to abate the graffiti. The notice shall be issued to the owner of the property and shall inform the owner that the owner is maintaining graffiti which constitutes a public nuisance and that maintenance of the graffiti is a violation of the Los Angeles County Code. The notice shall state that the graffiti must be removed within 10 days from the date of the notice and that if the graffiti is not removed within that time, then the county proposes to remove the graffiti and the cost of such removal, if not paid by the owner, shall be made a lien upon the property. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a notice of graffiti nuisance shall not be issued to the owner of a single-family residence which is owner-occupied.

b. The notice shall also inform the property owner that if the graffiti is not removed within the specified 10-day period, then a hearing shall be held before the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, to hear any protest of the property owner. The notice shall specify the time and place at which the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, shall hold such hearing pursuant to subsection (C)(4) of this section. Such hearing shall be scheduled not less than 10 days after the date of the notice.

c. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, may extend the time period allotted for abatement of the graffiti if the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, determines that compliance within the time specified in the notice would place an undue burden on the property owner.

3. a. The notice issued pursuant to subsection (C)(2) of this section shall be addressed to the owner of the property as shown on the latest tax assessment roll at the owner’s last known address and shall be delivered by depositing a copy of the notice in the United States mail, postage paid, or personally delivering a copy of the notice to the owner. Notice shall also be posted in a conspicuous place on the subject property. Except no such notice shall be either mailed to or posted on an owner-occupied single-family residence.

b. The failure of any person to receive notice shall not affect the validity of any proceeding under this chapter.

4. Before any abatement of any graffiti, the sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, shall hold a hearing regarding the proposed abatement to determine whether the graffiti constitutes a public nuisance and whether abatement is appropriate. The hearing officer shall receive and consider all relevant evidence presented at the hearing. Any interested person shall be given an opportunity to be heard.

5. The hearing officer shall provide notice of the hearing officer’s decision and shall provide an order to abate the graffiti, if appropriate, to the owner of the subject property as shown in the latest tax assessment as shown in subsection (C)(3) of this section.

6. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, may order that the county abate any graffiti that has been determined to be a public nuisance and that remains unabated at least seven days after the hearing officer gives notice of the hearing officer’s decision and issues an order to abate under subsection (C)(5) of this section.

7. a. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, shall keep an account of the costs, including incidental expenses, of abating such graffiti on each separate property where the work is done and shall render an itemized report in writing to the board of supervisors showing the cost of abatement of the graffiti. The term incidental expenses shall include but is not limited to the actual expenses and costs of the county in the preparation of notices, title searches, specifications and contracts, inspection of the work, the cost of posting and mailing required under this chapter, any attorney’s fees expended in the abatement of the nuisance, all costs and expenses for which the county may be liable under state law arising from or related to the nuisance abatement action, and all costs or expenses to which the county may be entitled under state law. Costs and expenses for which the county may be reimbursed begin to accrue at the time the county first receives a complaint regarding the graffiti. Costs and expenses may be recovered once it has become necessary for the county to conduct an abatement hearing. Notwithstanding the foregoing, costs and expenses of abatement may not be recovered from the owners of single-family residences that are owner-occupied.

b. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, shall notify, in writing the owner or possessor of the property upon which graffiti has been abated by the county, the cost of said abatement in accordance with Section 25845 of the Government Code. Within 10 days of the mailing of such notice, any such party concerned and any other person having any right, title, or interest in the property, may file with the said county a written request for a hearing on the correctness, reasonableness or both of such claim of abatement costs. The sheriff, the director, department of public works or his or her designee or any additional county department head, as authorized by the board of supervisors, shall then cause notice of the time and place of the hearing before the director of the department of public works or his or her designee to be given to the owners and possessors of the property, and to any other interested person requesting the same by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person at his/her last-known address at least five days in advance of the hearing.

c. At the time and place fixed for receiving the report, the director of the department of public works or his or her designee shall hear and pass upon the report together with any objections or protests raised by any of the persons liable for the cost of abating the nuisance. Thereupon, the director of the department of public works or his or her designee shall make such revision, correction and modification to the report as it may deem just, after which the report as submitted, or as revised, corrected or modified, shall be confirmed. The decision of the director of the department of public works or his or her designee is final.

8. If the total cost of the abatement of the graffiti by the county is not paid to the county within 10 days after the date of the notice of the cost of the abatement, the county shall record, in the office of the county recorder, a statement of the total balance due to the county, a legal description of the property, and the name of the owner concerned. From the date of such recording, the balance due will constitute a lien on the property. The lien will continue in full force and effect until the entire amount due, together with interest as the maximum legal rate accruing from the date of the completion of the abatement, is paid in full. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no lien shall be placed on a single-family residence which is owner-occupied.

9. The county may also, in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the state of California, cause the amount due to the county by reason of its abating graffiti together with interest at the maximum legal rate, accruing from the date of the completion of the abatement, to be charged to the owners of the property, on the next regular bill. All laws of the state of California applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of the county taxes are hereby made applicable to the collection of these charges. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no charges shall be added to the tax bill of an owner of a single-family residence which is owner-occupied.

10. The board of supervisors may bring appropriate actions, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to collect any amounts due by reason of the abatement of graffiti by the county and to foreclose any existing liens for such amounts. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the county may bring the appropriate civil and criminal action in a court of competent jurisdiction for abatement of any nuisance within the county pursuant to any other provision of the law.

D. Ease of Removal Provisions.

1. Any gas, telephone, water, sewer, cable, telephone or other utility operating in the county, other than an electric utility, shall paint their above-surface metal fixtures which are installed after the effective date of this chapter with a uniform paint type and color as directed by the director of public works or his or her designee.

2. Encroachment permits issued by the county may, among other things, be conditions on (a) the permittee applying an anti-graffiti material to the encroaching object or structure of a type and nature that is acceptable to the director of public works or his or her designee; (b) the immediate removal by the permittee of any graffiti; (c) the right of the county to remove graffiti or to paint the encroaching structure; (d) the permittee providing county with sufficient matching paint and/or anti-graffiti material on demand for use in the painting of the encroaching object or structure containing graffiti.

3. In imposing conditions upon conditional use permits, variances, building permits to the extent permitted by this code, or other similar land use entitlement or development or design applications, the county may impose any or all of the following conditions or other similar or related conditions:

a. Applicant shall apply an anti-graffiti material of a type and nature that is acceptable to the director of public works or his or her designee to such of the publicly viewable surfaces to be constructed on the site deemed by the director or designee, to be likely to attract graffiti ("graffiti-attracting surfaces");

b. Applicant shall grant in writing, the right of entry over and access to such parcels, upon 48 hours’ posted notice, by authorized county employees or agents, for the purpose of removing or painting over graffiti on graffiti-attracting surfaces previously designated by the director of public works or his or her designee. Such grant shall be made an express condition of approval and shall be deemed to run with the land;

c. Applicant, and any and all successors in interest, shall, for a period of two years after approval, provide the county with sufficient matching paint and/or anti-graffiti material on demand for use in the painting over or removal of designated graffiti-attracting surfaces;

d. Persons applying for subdivision maps shall, as part of any conditions, covenants and restrictions, covenant, which covenant shall run with the land in a form satisfactory to the county, that the owners of the lots shall immediately remove any graffiti placed on publicly viewable trees and structures thereon to county’s satisfaction. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.120. Rewards for information

A. Pursuant to Section 53069.5 of the Government Code, the county may offer a reward in an amount to be established by resolution of the board of supervisors for information leading to the identification and apprehension of any person who wilfully damages or destroys any county-owned property, or without the permission of the owner or occupant, any non-county-owned property within the unincorporated area of the county, by the use of graffiti. In the event of damage to public property, the offender or the parent or legal guardian of any unemancipated minor must reimburse the county for any reward paid. In the event of multiple contributors of information, the reward amount shall be divided by the county in the manner it shall deem appropriate. For the purposes of this section, diversion of the offending violator to a community service program, or a plea bargain to a lesser offense, shall constitute a conviction.

B. Claims for rewards under the section shall be filed with the county in the manner specified by the board of supervisors.

C. No claim for a reward shall be allowed unless the county investigates and verifies the accuracy of the claim and determines that the requirements of this section have been satisfied. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.130. Penalties and civil liability of parents

It is the county’s intent that pursuant to California Penal Code Section 640.6(a), all acts of graffiti vandalism occurring within the county shall be prosecuted as misdemeanors pursuant to California Penal Code Section 594, et seq., or this chapter.

A. Criminal Penalties. Except for violations of Sections 13.12.030B, 13.12.030C, 13.12.070 and 13.12.080 which shall be punishable as infractions, any violation of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor punishable by either six months in jail, a $500.00 fine, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and by the performance of community service in the form of graffiti clean-up to the maximum extent permitted by law. Each person, firm, corporation, or partnership shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or any portion thereof during which any violation of the provisions of this code is committed, continued, or permitted by such a person, firm, corporation, or partnership, and shall be deemed punishable thereof as provided in this section.

B. Parental Liability. Any parent or legal guardian having custody and control of a minor who violates any section of this chapter, shall be personally liable for any and all costs to the county or any person or business incurred in connection with the removal of graffiti caused by conduct of said minor, and for all attorney’s fees and court costs incurred in connection with the civil prosecution of any claim for damages or reimbursement not to exceed $10,000.00 for each violation of the minor. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.140. Violations--Civil remedies available

A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a nuisance and may be abated by the county through civil process by means of a restraining order, preliminary or permanent injunction, or in any manner provided by law for the abatement of such nuisance. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

13.12.150. Severability

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason deemed or held to be invalid by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this chapter. The board of supervisors hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more of the sections, subsections, phrases, clauses, or portion might subsequently be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. 93-0072 1 (part), 1993.)

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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA

SAN JOSE MUNICIPAL CODE 1979

Title 9 HEALTH AND SAFETY Chapter 9.58 GRAFFITI ABATEMENT 9.58.030. Graffiti "Graffiti" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, design or other inscribed material that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on any real or personal property.  (Ord. 25118.) 9.58.040. Graffiti abatement costs and expenses "Graffiti abatement costs and expenses" includes the following costs and expenses incurred by the city in abating graffiti: A. The costs and expenses of having graffiti removed from the defaced property; and B. The costs and expenses of having the defaced property repaired or replaced when the city determines that removal of the graffiti would not be cost effective; and C. The law enforcement costs and expenses incurred in identifying and apprehending a responsible party; and D. The related administrative, overhead, and incidental costs incurred in performing or causing the performance of the enforcement, abatement or collection procedures described in this chapter; and

E. Related court costs and attorneys’ fees.

9.58.050. Responsible party

A. "Responsible party" means any person, including a minor, who has been determined to have placed graffiti on the real or personal property of another person. B. "Responsible party" includes a minor who has confessed to, admitted to, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, a violation of Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6 or 640.7 of the Penal Code, or who has been convicted by final judgment of a violation of Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6 or 640.7 of the Penal Code, or who has been declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code by reason of the commission of an act prohibited by Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6 or 640.7 of the Penal Code, or who has been determined to have been responsible for graffiti by the hearing board designated under Part 3 of this chapter, in connection with a particular property. C. The parents or guardians having custody and control of a minor who is a responsible party also are responsible parties for the purposes of this chapter.  (Ord. 25118.)

9.58.060. Public nuisance

The placement of graffiti on the real or personal property is hereby declared to be a public nuisance that may be abated pursuant to this part.  (Ord. 25118.)

9.58.110. Joint and several liability

All responsible parties for graffiti in a particular property shall be jointly and severally liable for the graffiti abatement costs and expenses.  (Ord. 25118.)

9.58.120. Responsibility for graffiti abatement costs and expenses

Any responsible party must pay for the graffiti abatement costs and expenses for which he or she is liable pursuant to this chapter.  (Ord. 25118.)

9.58.200. Confirmation hearing

C. The hearing board may assess administrative costs of the city against a responsible party when the hearing board confirms the director’s report that the person is a responsible party and liable for graffiti abatement costs and expenses.

D. The hearing board shall confirm or reject the director’s report, as may be modified or amended, by resolution.

E. The failure of any responsible party to appear at the public hearing shall constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.  (Ord. 25118.)

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DENVER, COLORADO

TITLE II REVISED MUNICIPAL CODE

Chapter 34 MINORS

ARTICLE IV. OFFENSES BY MINORS  

Sec. 34-66. Possession of graffiti materials by minors prohibited  

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen (18) years to possess any can of spray paint, broad tipped marker pen, glass cutting tool, or glass etching tool or instrument.  

(b) A broad tipped marker pen is one with a tip that exceeds one-quarter (1/4) inch in width.  

(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to charges under this section that the person possessing the materials was:  

(1) Within their home; 

(2) At their place of employment; or  

(3) Upon real property with permission from the owner, occupant, or person having lawful control of such property, to possess such materials.  (Ord. No. 424-95, 1, 6-12-95)  

TITLE II REVISED MUNICIPAL CODE  

Chapter 38 OFFENSES, MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS*  

ARTICLE IV. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY*  

DIVISION 1. GENERALLY

Sec. 38-102. Possession of graffiti materials prohibited  

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess graffiti materials.  

(b) A person possesses graffiti materials when they possess any paint, marking pen, materials, instrument or other article adapted, designed or commonly used for committing or facilitating the commission of an offense involving damaging, defacing, or destroying public or private property, and they intend to use the thing possessed in the commission of such offense, or know that some other person intends to use the thing possessed in the commission of such an offense.

(c) Defacing as used in subsection (b) above shall include, but not be limited to, the writing, painting, inscribing, drawing, scratching or scribbling upon any wall or surface owned, operated or maintained by any person or the city unless the city or the property owner grants written permission for such writing, painting, inscribing, drawing, scratching or scribbling.  (Ord. No. 424-95, 2, 6-12-95)

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 THORNTON, COLORADO

Chapter 38 LAW ENFORCEMENT, OFFENSES AND TRAFFIC*

ARTICLE X. NUISANCES*

DIVISION 1. GENERALLY

Sec. 38-397. Graffiti.

(a) Legislative intent. The City Council finds and declares that defacing of public or private property by painting, drawing, writing, etching, or carving, by use of paint, spray paint, ink, knife or any similar method, commonly referred to as "graffiti vandalism," constitutes a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the residents of the City; that graffiti vandalism contributes substantially to the spread of gang activity, violence and crime; and that prompt eradication of graffiti vandalism is necessary to control the spread of graffiti vandalism, and promote the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the residents of the City.

(b) Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Deface means to alter the appearance of something by removing, distorting, adding to, or covering all or a part of.

Gang means a group of three or more individuals with a common interest or bond and engaging in activity specifically characterized by an intent to commit criminal acts.

Graffiti vandalism means defacement of public or private property by means of painting, drawing, writing, etching, or carving, by use of paint, spray paint, ink, knife, or any similar method.

Owner or property owner means any person leasing, occupying, having the right to possession and/or control of any property real or personal located within the City boundaries.

(c) Declaration of public nuisance. All property defaced by graffiti vandalism which is visible to public view is declared to be a public nuisance, and in the interest of public health, safety, morals, and general welfare, shall be abated as set forth in this article.

(d) Concurrent remedies. The abatement procedures set forth in this article for defaced property shall not be exclusive and shall not restrict the City from concurrently enforcing other City ordinances, or pursuing any other remedy provided by law.

(e) Enforcement. Only police officers or Code enforcement officers are authorized to cause the removal of graffiti vandalism. Once the notice of nuisance has been given to the property owner, and the property owner has failed to comply or request a hearing, as set forth in Subsection (f)(5) of this section, abatement procedures or any other remedy provided by law may be commenced.

(f) Notification of nuisance. The owner of any property defaced by graffiti vandalism, which is located within the City, shall be notified of such graffiti vandalism by the City prior to any abatement procedures. Such notice shall be in written form and shall direct the property owner to remove or eradicate the graffiti vandalism from the property within ten days from the date of such notice. The notice shall contain:

(1) A description of the property upon which the graffiti vandalism occurred and a description of the nature of the vandalism.

(2) A demand that the owner remove or eradicate the graffiti vandalism from the property within ten days from the date of such notice.

(3) A statement that the owner may voluntarily agree to immediate removal or eradication of the graffiti vandalism by the City, with the costs assessed against the property owner.

(4) A statement that warns that the owner’s failure or refusal to remove or eradicate the graffiti vandalism may result in commencement of abatement procedures by the City, in addition to any other available remedies, and if the cost of such abatement, including up to 15 percent for inspection and incidental costs, is not paid to the City within 30 days after a notice of assessment is mailed to the property owner, such costs will be certified to the County Treasurer and may be assessed as a lien against the property pursuant to the terms of this article, and collected in the same manner as real estate taxes against the property.

(5) A statement that the owner may make written demand to the Police Department, for a hearing before abatement procedures are commenced. The hearing shall be conducted by the City Manager, provided the written demand for such hearing is made within ten days from the date of the notice of nuisance, and provided the written demand for a hearing contains the owner’s current address and a telephone number where such owner can be reached between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Written demand for a hearing shall be sent to the Code Enforcement Supervisor, City of Thornton, 9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, Colorado 80229.

(g) Abatement procedure. If the property owner fails or refuses to remove or eradicate the graffiti vandalism as directed by the notice of nuisance within the time permitted, the City is authorized to have the graffiti vandalism removed or eradicated by appropriate means. Police officers or Code enforcement officers and those persons designated by the City to execute abatement are expressly authorized to enter upon private property for the purpose of causing the removal or eradication of graffiti vandalism. The landowner shall be responsible for all associated costs of abatement, including attorney fees and court costs, if applicable.

(h) Assessment policies. Assessments imposed under this section shall be collected in the same manner as outlined in Section 18-598, which procedures are incorporated in this section by reference.  (Code 1975, 34-3; Ord. No. 2240, 3-29-93)

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CLEARWATER, FLORIDA

CODE OF ORDINANCES City of CLEARWATER, FLORIDA

PART II CODE OF ORDINANCES

Chapter 20 NUISANCES

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

Sec. 20.05. Graffiti prohibited; removal required

(1) As used in this section:

(a) Graffiti means one or more letters, symbols, or other markings painted, drawn or otherwise applied to a wall, post, column, or other building or structure, or to a tree, or other exterior surface, publicly or privately owned. The term does not include signs authorized pursuant to, or exempt from the provisions of chapter 44. The term is the plural of "graffito" but, for the purposes of this section, the singular and the plural forms shall be deemed synonymous;

(b) Owner means as defined by section 1.02.

(c) Remove means to clean away, cover with paint matching the background color, scrape off, or otherwise cause graffiti to be no longer visible from a distance of 10 feet or more.

(2) It shall be a violation of this section for any person to paint, draw, or otherwise apply graffiti to any wall, post, column, or other building or structure, or to a tree, or other exterior surface, publicly or privately owned, within the City of Clearwater.  (Ord. No. 5492-93, 1, 12-2-93)

 

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DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA 

CODE of METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA Codified through Ord. No. 97-198, adopted November 4, 1997. (Supplement No. 22)

PART III CODE OF ORDINANCES

Chapter 21 OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

ARTICLE IV. MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 21-30.01. Graffiti

(a) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following terms apply.

(1) "Broad tipped indelible marker" means any felt tip marker, or similar implement, which contains a fluid which is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface one-half inch or greater;

(2) "Bona fide evidence of majority" means a document issued by a federal, state, county, or municipal government or agency thereof, including but not limited to, a motor vehicle operator’s license, or registration certificate issued under the Federal Selective Service Act, a passport, or an identification card issued to a member of the armed forces which identifies an individual and provides proof of the age of such individual.

(3) "Corrective action" mean an act required to remove or effectively obscure graffiti that is visible from the right-of-way.

(4) "Director" mean the Director of the Public Works Department or his or her designee.

(5) "Owner" means any and all persons with legal and/or equitable title to real property in Dade County as their names and addresses are shown upon the records of the Property Appraiser Department.

(6) "Supervising adult" means an individual twenty-one (21) years of age or older who has been given responsibility by the minor’s parents, legal guardian, or other lawful authority to supervise the minor.

(7) "Used or intended to be used" includes usage in the course of a violation or usage to transport a violator to or from the scene of a violation.

(c) Graffiti prohibited.

(1) No person shall write, paint, or draw any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or structure or other real or personal property, owned, operated, or maintained by a governmental entity or any agency or instrumentality thereof or by any person, firm, or corporation, unless the express prior written permission of the owner, owner’s agent, manager or operator of the property has been obtained and filed with the Public Works Department, Graffiti Coordinator. No filing is required if the owner, owner’s agent, manager or operator of the property has obtained a valid painting permit in accordance with other pertinent law.

(2) Any person violating this subsection shall be punished by a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) for the first offense; five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the second offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each subsequent offense or by imprisonment in the County jail for a term not to exceed sixty (60) days or by both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

(I) In the case of a minor, the parents or legal guardian shall be jointly and severably liable with the minor for payment of all fines.

(II) Failure of the parents or legal guardian to make payment, will result in the filing of a lien on the parents or legal guardian’s property to include the fine and administrative costs.

(III) Upon an application and finding of indigency, the court may decline to order fines against the minor or parents.

(3) In addition to any punishment listed in subsection (c)(2), the court shall order any violator to make restitution to the victim for damages or loss caused directly or indirectly by the defendant’s offense in the amount or manner determined by the court.

(I) In the case of a minor, the parents or legal guardian shall be ordered jointly and severably liable with the minor to make such restitution.

(4)  In addition to any punishment listed in subsection (c)(2) or restitution ordered under subsection (c)(3), the court shall order any violator to perform monitored community service in the removal of graffiti of not less than forty (40) hours and not more than one hundred (100) hours.

(5) Forfeiture of personal property. All personal property, including, but not limited to automobiles and bicycles, used or intended to be used in violating this subsection, shall be forfeitable to Dade County. In forfeiting such personal property, the County shall follow the procedures outlined in Section 31-116 et seq. of the Dade County Code concerning forfeitures of passenger motor vehicles for violation of the transportation code, except that one (1) violation of this subsection shall be the basis for forfeiture; the County Manager or his designee shall act as the party for the County in lieu of CSD as recipient of all request for hearings and for all other purposes under the procedure; the property subject to forfeiture shall be personal property as described above. In any forfeiture under this section, the court shall not order a forfeiture unless it finds that the forfeiture is commensurate with the severity of the violation to the extent required by Florida and Federal Constitution.

(I) Municipalities may establish their own system for the forfeiture of personal property.

(e) Possession of spray paint and markers.

(1) Possession of spray paint and markers with intent to make graffiti is prohibited. No person shall carry an aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker with the intent to violate the provisions of subsection (c)(1).

(2) Possession of spray paint and markers by minors on public property prohibited. No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall have in his or her possession any aerosol container of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible marker while on any public property, highway, street, alley or way except in the company of a supervising adult.

(3) Possession of spray paint and markers by minors on private property prohibited without consent of owner. No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall have in his or her possession any aerosol container of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible marker while on any private property unless the owner, agent, or manager, or person in possession of the property knows of the minor’s possession of the aerosol container or marker and has consented to the minor’s possession while on his or her property.

(4) Any person violating this subsection (e)(1), (2) or (3) shall be punished by a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) for a first offense, and five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a second offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each subsequent offense, or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a term not to exceed sixty (60) days, or by both fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.

(I) In the case of a minor, the parents or legal guardian shall be responsible for payment of all fines.

(II) Failure of the parents or legal guardian to make payment will result in the filing of a lien on the parents or legal guardian’s property to include the fine and administrative costs.

(5) In addition to any punishment, the court shall order any person found in violation of subsection (e)(1), (2) or (3) to make restitution to the victim for damage or loss caused directly or indirectly by the defendant’s offense in a reasonable amount or manner to be determined by the court.

(I) Where the defendant is a minor, the parent or legal guardian shall be jointly and severably liable with the minor to make such restitution.

(6) In addition to any punishment listed in subsection (e)(5) or restitution ordered under subsection (e)(6), the court shall order any person found in violation of subsection (e)(1), (2), or (3) to perform monitored community service in the removal of graffiti of not less than forty (40) hours and not more than one hundred (100) hours.

(f) Storage and sale of spray paint and markers.

(1) Sale to minors prohibited. No person or firm shall sell or cause to be sold to any person under the age of eighteen (18) years, and no person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall buy any aerosol container of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible markers. Evidence that a person, his or her employee, or agent demanded and was shown bona fide evidence of majority and acted upon such evidence in a transaction or sale shall be a defense to any prosecution thereof.

(2) Display of spray paint and markers. Every person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling aerosol containers of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible markers shall:

(I) Place a sign in clear public view at or near the display of such products stating:

"GRAFFITI IS A CRIME. ANY PERSON DEFACING REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY NOT HIS OR HER OWN WITH PAINT OR ANY OTHER LIQUID OR DEVICE IS GUILTY OF A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT OF UP TO 60 DAYS AND/OR A FINE UP TO $1,000.00."

(II) Place a sign in the direct view of such persons responsible for accepting customer payment for aerosol containers of spray paint or broad-tipped indelible markers.

"IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE LAW TO SELL AEROSOL CONTAINERS OF SPRAY PAINT OR BROAD-TIPPED INDELIBLE MARKERS TO PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL FINE OF $100.00."

(III) Store or cause such aerosol containers or marker pens to be stored either (a) in the direct line of sight from the cash-register work station or any other work station that is normally continuously occupied while the store is open, or (b) in a place not accessible to the public in the regular course of business without employee assistance, pending legal sale or disposition of such marker pens or paint containers.

(3)  Violation of subsection (f)(1) or (2) shall result in a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense and two hundred dollars ($200.00) for subsequent offenses. When three (3) violations of subsection (f)(1) or (2) occur within any calendar year at a commercial establishment, that establishment shall be subject to an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction forbidding the sale of aerosol containers of spray paints and broad-tipped indelible markers for a period up to two (2) years. Violation of such injunction shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day of violation in addition to any other penalties levied by the Court. Failure to make payment of fines will be subject to an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction forbidding the sale of aerosol containers of spray paints and broad-tip indelible markers until payment of the fine, attorney’s fees and costs.

Sec. 30-384. Impounding vehicles

(a)   Police officers or such other employees as may be designated by the County Manager are authorized to remove a vehicle to the nearest garage or other place of safety, or to a garage designated or maintained by the County or by a municipality under the circumstances hereinafter enumerated.

(12) When a vehicle is used by a person engaging in the commission of a violation of subsections (1) or (2) of Section 21-30.01 of the Dade County Code relating to graffiti.  (Ord. No. 94-199, 2, 11-1-94; Ord. No. 94-239, 1, 12-20-94; Ord. No. 96-133, 1, 9-10-96)

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HIALEAH GARDENS, FLORIDA

CODE OF ORDINANCES CITY OF HIALEAH GARDENS, FLORIDA

PART II CODE OF ORDINANCES

Chapter 34 MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES*

Sec. 34-3. Graffiti.

(a) No person shall write, paint, or draw any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other real or personal property owned, operated, or maintained by a governmental entity or any agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any person, unless the express permission of the owner or operator of the property has been obtained.

(b) No person shall carry an aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker with the intent to violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. For the purpose of this section, the term "broad-tipped indelible marker" means any felt-tipped marker, or similar implement, which contains a fluid which is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface one-quarter inch or greater.

(c) No person shall sell an aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker to a minor with the intent to violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) No person shall purchase an aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker for a minor for the purpose of violating the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

(e) No minor shall be in possession of an aerosol spray paint can or broad-tipped indelible marker with the intent to violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. For the purpose of this section, the term "minor" means persons who are under 18 years of age.

(f) In addition to any punishment for violation of this section, the court may order the defendant to make restitution to the victim for damage or loss caused directly, or indirectly, by the defendant’s offense in a reasonable amount or manner to be determined by the court. Where the defendant is a minor, the court may order the parent or legal guardian of such minor to make such restitution.

(g) In addition to any punishment provided for violation of this section, the court may in its discretion order the defendant to perform monitored community service.

(j) Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this section, or any part thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250.00 for a first offense, and of not more than $500.00 for a second or subsequent offense, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 60 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court. Where a minor is found to have violated subsection (a), (b), (c) and/or (d) of this section, the fine imposed by this subsection shall be assessed against such minor’s parent or legal guardian.(Ord. No. 90-41, 1, 3, 9-3-91)

State law reference(s) -- Graffiti prohibited, F.S. 806.13.

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HONOLULU, HAWAII

Revised Ordinances of the City and County of Honolulu 1990

Chapter 40  PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES IN THE CITY

Article 11.  Regulation of Distribution, Acquisition, Possession and Use of Graffiti Implements

Sec. 40-11.1 Definitions.

"Adult" means a natural person other than a minor.

"Glass cutter" means a metal tool or instrument equipped with a blade or a sharp edge to cut, score, or grind glass.

"Graffiti implement" means any of the following implements capable of marking or scarring or being used to mark or scar a glass, metal, concrete, wood, plastic, or other solid surface to create graffiti, as that term is defined in Section 40-12.1: spray paint, wide-tipped markers, glass cutters, paint sticks, or spray actuators.

"Minor" means a natural person below the age of 18 years.

"Paint stick" means any device containing a solid form of paint capable of being applied to a surface by pressure, and upon application leaving a mark at least one-sixteenth of an inch in width.

"Person" means the same as defined in Section 41-25.1.

"Spray actuator" (also known as a "spray tip," "nozzle" or "button") means an object which is capable of being attached to an aerosol paint container for the purpose of spraying the substance contained therein.

"Spray paint" means paint contained in an aerosol container.

"Wide-tipped marker" means any marker, pen, or similar implement which contains a fluid which cannot be removed with water after it dries and which has a tip, point, brush, applicator or other writing surface which, at its broadest, is one-fourth inch or greater in width.

(Added by Ord. 95-46; Am. Ord. 97-67)

Sec. 40-11.2 Restrictions on sale and use.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to sell, give away, or in any way furnish any graffiti implement to any minor; provided that any graffiti implement may be sold, given away or furnished to a minor by an adult parent, legal guardian, employer, or teacher of the minor, or another adult authorized by a parent or legal guardian to supervise the minor.

(b) It is unlawful for a minor to purchase or otherwise acquire any graffiti implement; provided that the acquisition, whether by purchase or other means, of any graffiti implement shall not be prohibited when it is acquired from an adult parent, legal guardian, employer, or teacher of the minor, or by another adult authorized by a parent or legal guardian to supervise the minor.

(c) It is unlawful for a minor to possess, have under the minor’s control or use any graffiti implement while on public or private property without the express permission of the owner, lessee or manager of the property; provided that a minor may possess, have under the minor’s control or use any graffiti implement in the immediate presence and under the supervision of an adult parent, legal guardian, employer, or teacher of the minor or of another adult authorized by a parent or legal guardian to supervise the minor.

(Added by Ord. 95-46; Am. Ord. 97-67)

Sec. 40-11.3  Violation--Penalty.

Notwithstanding the civil penalties of Section 40-12.2 for violations of the prohibitions against placing graffiti on public property, any person convicted of violating any provision of Section 40-11.2 shall be punished for each violation by a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or by both. Each sale, gift or furnishing of a group of graffiti implements to a minor in a single transaction shall constitute a single violation of Section 40-11.2. Each purchase or acquisition by other means of a group of graffiti implements in a single transaction by a minor shall constitute a single violation of Section 40-11.2. (Added by Ord. 95-46; Am. Ord. 97-67

Article 12.  Graffiti Damage to Public Property

Sec. 40-12.1  Definitions.

For the purposes of this article:

"Director" means the director and building superintendent of the city, with respect to public property under the management of the city.

"Graffiti" means any unauthorized drawing, inscription, figure, or mark of any type intentionally created by paint, ink, chalk, dye, or similar substances.

"Public property" means any real or personal property owned, managed, or maintained by the city.

(Added by Ord. 96-12; Am. Ord. 97-02)

Sec. 40-12.2  Violation--Penalty--Liability of parent or guardian.

(a) Any person who places graffiti on public property shall be deemed to have committed a civil violation and shall be subject to the following:

(1) When the cost of repairing, cleaning or replacing the damaged property is $250.00 or less, a civil fine of not less than $250.00 and not more than $1,000.00;

(2) When the cost of repairing, cleaning or replacing the damaged property is more than $250.00, a civil fine of not less than the cost of repairing, cleaning or replacing the damaged property and not more than $1,000.00; or

(3) When the cost of repairing, cleaning or replacing the damaged property is $1,000.00 or more, a civil fine equal to the cost of repairing, cleaning or replacing the damaged property.

(b) Any parent or guardian having custody of a minor who violates subsection (a) shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any civil fine imposed under this article.

(Added by Ord. 96-12)

Sec. 40-12.3 Enforcement.

(a) Issuance of Notice of Violation and Order. If the director determines that any person has violated Section 40-12.2, the director may have the person served, by registered or certified mail, delivery, or publication in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the city, with a written notice of violation and order. If a minor has committed the violation, the director also shall serve the parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody of the minor.

(1) Contents of the Notice of Violation. The notice shall include at least the following information:

(A) Date of the notice;

(B) The name and address of the person given notice;

(C) The section number of the ordinance which has been violated;

(D) The nature of the violation; and

(E) The location of the violation and the date that the violation was discovered.

(2) Contents of the Order. The order shall require the person to pay a civil fine in a stated amount, determined by the director in accordance with Section 40-12.2(a), in the manner, at the place, and before the date specified in the order. The order shall advise the person that the order shall become final 30 days after the date of its mailing, delivery, or publication unless written request for a hearing is mailed or delivered to the director within said 30 days. The order shall further advise that any parent or guardian having custody of a minor who has committed the violation is jointly and severally liable for the fine.

(b) Effect of Order -- Right to Hearing. The provisions of the order issued by the director under this section shall become final 30 days after the date of mailing, delivery, or publication of the order unless within those 30 days the person subject to the order requests in writing a hearing before the director. The request for a hearing shall be considered timely if the written request is delivered or mailed and postmark dated to the director within said 30 days.

Upon receipt of the written request for a hearing, the director shall specify a time and place for the person subject to the order to appear and be heard. The hearing shall be conducted by the director or the director’s designee in accordance with the provisions of HRS Chapter 91. Following said hearing, the director may affirm, modify, or rescind the order as in the opinion of the director may be appropriate.

(c) Judicial Enforcement of Order. The director may institute a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of any civil fine imposed by order issued pursuant to this section. Where such civil action has been instituted, the director need only show that a notice of violation and order was served, a hearing was held or the time allowed for requesting a hearing expired without such a request, that a civil fine was imposed and that the fine imposed has not been paid.

(d) Nonexclusiveness of Remedies. The remedies provided in this article for enforcement of the provisions of this article, or any rule adopted hereunder, shall be in addition to any other remedy as may be provided by law.

(e) Appeal in Accordance with Statute. If any person is aggrieved by the order issued by the director pursuant to this section, the person may appeal the order in the manner provided in HRS Chapter 91, provided that no provision of such order shall be stayed on appeal unless specifically ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Added by Ord. 96-12)

Sec. 40-12.4  Rules.

The director is authorized to adopt rules in accordance with HRS Chapter 91 that the director may deem necessary for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this article. (Added by Ord. 96-12)

Sec. 40-12.5  Collection of unpaid civil fines by addition to taxes, fees, and charges; Rules.

The director and the director of the department of finance may adopt rules in accordance with HRS Chapter 91 to enable the director and the director of the department of finance to administratively add, pursuant to Chapter 1, Article 19, any unpaid civil fines imposed under this article to taxes, fees, or charges collected by the city. The adoption of any of the foregoing rules shall not be a prerequisite to liability under Section 40-12.2. (Added by Ord. 96-12)

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CHICAGO RIDGE,  ILLINOIS

Chapter 50 OFFENSES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS*

ARTICLE III. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY

DIVISION 3. GRAFFITI

Sec. 50-106. Definitions

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Graffiti means any sign, symbol, marking, drawing, name, initial, word, diagram, sketch, picture or letter placed, without the express, written permission of the owner, upon the real or personal property of the owner.  (Code 1978, 10-3-19(A))

Cross reference(s)--Definitions generally, 1-2.

Sec. 50-107. Placement on property of another

It shall be unlawful for any person to place graffiti upon the property of another, whether publicly or privately owned, real or personal.  (Code 1978, 10-3-19(A))

Sec. 50-108. Property owner prohibitions

It shall be unlawful for the owner and/or occupant of the property which is in the public view to place or give permission to place any graffiti on such property if such graffiti incites violence by reference to gang or criminal activity, depicts or expresses obscenity by referring to sexual activity, or contains defamatory material about a private person.  (Code 1978, 10-3-19(B))

Sec. 50-109. Possession of implements or materials with intent to violate sections 50-107 and 50-108

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess spray paint containers, paint, ink, marking pens which contain a non-water-soluble fluid, brushes, applicator or other materials for marking, scratching or etching with the intent to use such materials to violate sections 50-107 and 50-108.  (Code 1978, 10-3-19(C))

Sec. 50-110. Removal; penalty for failure to remove

Upon notification by the village, the owner of property upon which graffiti has been illegally placed shall remove the graffiti within ten days of the date of notice. Failure to remove the graffiti within the specified time shall cause the summary abatement of this nuisance, and costs shall be assessed to the owner. The penalty, upon conviction, for the offense of failure to remove graffiti shall be a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than as provided in section 1-10 for each offense. Each day such failure shall continue shall be considered a separate offense and fines shall be assessed accordingly. (Code 1978, 10-3-19(D))

Sec. 50-111. Penalties for violations of division

(a) Penalty for violation of section 50-107 shall be a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than as provided in section 1-10. In addition to such fine, the offender may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the property owner for the costs of restoring the property to its original state prior to the application of the graffiti.

(b) Penalty for a violation of section 50-108 shall consist of a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than as provided in section 1-10 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

(c) Penalty for violation of section 50-109 shall be a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than as provided in section 1-10.

(d) In addition to or in lieu of fines or penalties as described in subsections (a), (b) and (c) of this section, persons convicted of a violation of sections 50-107, 50-108 and 50-109 may be required by the court to perform public service work including, but not limited to, cleaning up graffiti at locations within the village.  (Code 1978, 10-3-19(E)--(H))

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

CODE OF ORDINANCES City of MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA Codified through Ord. No. 98-Or-045, enacted May 8, 1998 (Supplement No. 15, Update 7)

CODE OF ORDINANCES

Title 5 BUILDING CODE*

85.100. Exterior maintenance of buildings

(e)   No person shall willfully or wantonly damage, mutilate or deface any exterior surface of any structure or building on any private or public property by placing thereon any marking, carving or graffiti.

CODE OF ORDINANCES City of MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA Codified through Ord. No. 98-Or-045, enacted May 8, 1998 (Supplement No. 15, Update 7)

CODE OF ORDINANCES

Title 12 HOUSING*

 244.495. Defacement of property.

No person shall willfully or wantonly damage, mutilate or deface any exterior surface of any structure or building on any private or public property by placing thereon any marking, carving, or graffiti.

It shall be the responsibility of the owner to restore said surface to an approved professional state of maintenance and repair. (82-Or-106, 15, 6-11-82)  

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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Revised Code Chapter 15.19 INSTITUTIONAL VANDALISM AND BIAS CRIMES

DIVISION II. DISCRIMINATION 

15.19.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter the following terms shall have the meaning given in this section:

A. Of Another. Property is that “of another” if any natural person, corporation, partnership, association, governmental subdivision or instrumentality, other than the actor, has a possessory or proprietary interest therein.

B. “Tamper” means to interfere with something improperly, to meddle with it, displace it, make unwarranted alterations in its existing condition, or to deprive, temporarily, the owner or possessor of that thing.  

C. “Deface” means to place on any public or private property any symbol, object, characterization, appellation, or graffiti, including, but not limited to a burning cross or Nazi swastika.

D. “Bias crime” means a criminal act or ordinance violation committed as a result of any motive or intent relating to, or antipathy, animosity or hostility based upon, the race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, handicap or health-related condition of an individual or group of individuals. (Ord. 61277 1, 1989.)

15.19.020 Institutional vandalism.   

No person shall knowingly vandalize, deface or otherwise damage:

A. Any church, synagogue or other building, structure or place used for religious worship or other religious purpose;

B. Any cemetery, mortuary, military monument or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead;

C. Any school, educational facility, community center, hospital or medical clinic owned or operated by a religious or sectarian groups;

D. The grounds adjacent to, and owned or rented by, any institution, facility, building, structure or other place described in subsections A, B or C of this section; or

E. Any personal property contained in any institution, facility, building, structure or place described in subsection A, B or C of this section or on the grounds of such places. (Ord. 61277 2, 1989.)

15.19.030. Ethnic or racial intimidation   

No person shall, by reason of any motive or intent relating to, or any antipathy, animosity or hostility based upon, the race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, handicap or health-related condition of another individual or group of individuals:

A. Purposely cause physical injury to another; or

B. Attempt to cause physical injury to another; or

C. Threaten to cause physical injury to another; or

D. Purposely place another in apprehension of immediate physical danger; or

E. Knowingly cause physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative;

F. Knowingly damage or threaten to damage the personal or real property of another; or

G. Tamper with the personal or real property of another for the purpose of causing substantial inconvenience to that person or another; or

H. Trespass on the property of another in violation of Section 15.74.120 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis; or

I. Commit an act of vandalism, as that term is defined by Section 15.78.010 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis; or

J. Knowingly assemble with six (6) or more persons and agree with such persons to violate any of the criminal laws of the State of Missouri or of the United States with force or violence; or

K. Discharge or shoot a firearm or threaten to discharge or shoot a firearm into or inside of any building, railroad, train, boat, aircraft or motor vehicle; or

L. Discharge a firearm within one hundred yards of any church, synagogue or other building, structure or place used for religious worship or other religious purpose or within one hundred (100) yards of any school, education facility, community center, hospital or medical clinic owned or operated by a religious or sectarian groups; or

M. Carry a firearm or other weapon of lethal use into any church, synagogue or other building, structure or place used for religious worship or other religious purpose or within one hundred (100) yards of any school, education facility, community center, hospital or medical clinic owned or operated by a religious or sectarian groups; or

N. Brandish a firearm or other weapon in a threatening manner; or

O. Deface the property of another; or

P. Communicate in writing or by telephone a threat to commit a misdemeanor involving violence or property damage or to commit any felony; or

Q. Make an anonymous telephone call; or

R. Make repeated telephone calls. (Ord. 61277 3, 1989.)

15.19.040. Police to provide information relating to bias crime to Civil Rights Enforcement Agency   

A. Whenever any police officer has identified a victim or victims of a possible bias crime, committed within the City, the Police Department shall, to the extent known, supply the name, address and phone number of the victim(s) to the Executive Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, together with other relevant information concerning the victim(s).   

B. The Police Department shall on at least a monthly basis, prepare a statistical summary concerning all criminal acts and ordinance violations committed within the City during the previous month which there is reason to believe have been committed as a result of any motive or intent relating to, or any antipathy, animosity or hostility based upon, the race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability, handicap or health-related condition of an individual or group of individuals. A copy of this report shall be forwarded to the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency. This report shall be in a form approved by the Police Department and the Executive Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency but shall, in no event, include the names of persons who are suspected or accused of having committed crimes or ordinance violations. (Ord. 61277 4, 1989.)

15.19.050. Civil Rights Enforcement Agency—Assistance to victims of bias crime—Investigations   

A. Whenever the Police Department has provided information concerning a victim of a possible bias crime to the Executive Director of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, either the Director or a person designated by him shall make reasonable efforts to contact the victim for the purpose of offering to help the victim deal with the Police Department, prosecutors and other interested agencies.

B. In furtherance of the function of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency set out in Section 3.44.040, the Director of the Agency may conduct investigations of possible bias crimes to determine if the crime is related to a pattern of discrimination or if, due to bias-related tensions in the area where the crime was committed, further bias crimes or acts of violence are likely to occur if remedial action is not taken. The Director of the Agency may also conduct investigations to determine if there is a pattern of discrimination or bias-related tensions in an area where he has reason to believe that such patterns or tensions exist, even though no bias crimes have been committed within such area. The Director shall present the findings of his investigation to the Commission of the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency.

C. Upon recommendation of the Director, or upon its own motion, the Commission may call a hearing to investigate bias crimes or to address perceived patterns of discrimination or bias-related tensions. For such purpose, the Commission shall be empowered to employ a hearing examiner and/or other employees necessary for such purpose. For the purpose of such hearing, the Commission is empowered to:

1. Receive evidence and hear testimony related to bias crime, patterns of discrimination, and bias-related tensions;

2. Compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence relevant to the matter in question, for investigatory and determinative purposes, by subpoena issued by the commission, and enforce such subpoena in circuit court; and

3. Issue findings and recommendations concerning ways in which bias crimes, discriminatory patterns and bias-related tensions can be reduced in the affected area.

D. The Civil Rights Enforcement Agency is hereby authorized to develop and initiate educational and other programs designed to reduce bias-related tensions and the incidence of bias crimes, either in particular areas or on a City-wide basis. (Ord. 61277 5, 1989.)

15.19.060. Penalty for violation

Any person convicted of violation of Sections 15.19.020 or 15.19.030 shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 61277 7, 1989.)

St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 11.33.  CONDUCT ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Prior history: 1948 C. Ch. 46 71: 1960 C. 792, Ord. 58128.

11.33.030. Prohibited acts

The following acts are prohibited to the extent provided in this section:

I.  No person on or in any facility or conveyance shall:

9. Destroy, mark, soil or paint, or draw, inscribe, write, spray paint or place graffiti upon, or remove, injure or tamper with any facility, conveyance, sign, advertisement or notice of the Agency or authorized by the Agency.   

J. No weapon or other instrument intended for use as a weapon may be carried in or on any facility or conveyance, except by law enforcement personnel. For the purposes hereof, a weapon shall include, but not be limited to, a firearm, switchblade knife, sword, or any instrument of any kind known as blackjack, billy club, club, sandbag, metal knuckles, leather bands studded with metal, wood impregnated with metal filings or razor blades; except that this subsection shall not apply to a rifle or shotgun which is unloaded and carried in any enclosed case, box or other container which completely conceals the item from view and identification as a weapon.

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OMAHA, NEBRASKA

MUNICIPAL CODE City of OMAHA, NEBRASKA  Codified through Ord. No. 34926, enacted June 22, 1999. (Supplement No. 10)

PART II  MUNICIPAL CODE

Chapter 18  NUISANCES* 

ARTICLE VII.  GRAFFITI  

Sec. 18-60.  Intent and purpose of article

Graffiti on public and private property is a blighting factor, which not only depreciates the value of the property which has been the target of such malicious vandalism, but also depreciates the value of the adjacent and surrounding properties, and in so doing negatively impacts upon the entire community. The city has in the past undertaken to remove graffiti from public property but has been unable to mount a successful program for encouraging the owners of private property to undertake to remove graffiti and other inscribed materials from walls, structures, etc. The legislation of the state has authorized the city to define, regulate, suppress and prevent nuisance and to declare what shall constitute a nuisance and to abate and remove the same.

(Code 1980, 18-60) 

Sec. 18-61.  Findings and determination

The city council finds and determines that graffiti is a nuisance, and, unless it and other inscribed material is removed from public and private properties, it tends to remain, and other properties are then the target of graffiti with the result that entire neighborhoods and indeed the community is depreciated in value and made a less desirable place to be. The city council therefore determines that it is appropriate that the city develop procedures to implement the provisions of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943, as amended, and provide for the removal of graffiti and other inscribed material from both public and private property under the circumstances set forth hereinafter. The city council hereby declares as a matter of legislative determination that:  

(1)  The increasing incidents of the defacement of public and private property through the application of graffiti upon walls, rocks, bridges, buildings, fences, gates, other structures, trees, and other real and personal property within the corporate boundaries of the city constitute a blight on this community; and, in the interests of the health, safety and general welfare of the residents and taxpayers of the city, immediate steps must be taken to remove this blight.

(2)  When appropriate, the courts should require those who commit acts of defacement of public or private property through the application of graffiti to restore the property so defaced, damaged or destroyed.

(3)  Obtaining convictions for the application of graffiti is difficult due to the fact that the offense can be committed so very quickly and secretively that witnesses to the act are frequently nonexistent.

(4)  The public should be encouraged to cooperate in the elimination of graffiti by reporting to the proper authorities the incidents of the application of graffiti which they observe.

(Code 1980, 18-61)

Sec. 18-62.  Definitions

Whenever the following terms are used in this article, they shall have the meanings established by this section:

(a)  Graffiti means the defacing, damaging or destroying by the spraying of paint or marking of ink, chalk, dye or other similar substances on public and private buildings, structures and places.

b)  Graffiti abatement procedure means an abatement procedure which identifies graffiti to the property owner, issues notice to the property owner, allows the property owner to grant permission to the city to abate the graffiti at no expense to the owner, or to elect to abate the graffiti at owner’s expense or upon failure to abate at owner’s expense within seven calendar days of notification, the city subsequently abates the graffiti in the absence of the owner response, and the property owner is responsible for the cost of the city’s expense of the abatement.

(c)  Private contractor means any person with whom the city shall have duly contracted to remove graffiti.

(d) City forces means city employees and equipment available to abate graffiti

(Code 1980, 18-62; Ord. No. 34479, 1, 2-24-98)

Cross reference(s)--Definitions and rules of construction generally, 1-2

Sec. 18-63. Application of graffiti--Prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person to write, paint or draw upon any wall, rock, bridge, building, fence, gate, other structure, tree, or other real or personal property, either publicly or privately owned, any drawing, inscription, figure or mark of the type which is commonly known and referred to as "graffiti" within the city.

(Code 1980, 18-63)

Sec. 18-64. Same--Penalty; restoration of property

Any person who is convicted of violating section 18-63 shall be punished in accordance with section 1-10. In addition to such punishment, the court may, in imposing sentence, order the defendant to restore the property so defaced, damaged or destroyed.

(Code 1980, 18-64; Ord. No. 33765, 5, 12-19-95)

Sec. 18-65. Notice to remove

Whenever a property owner, citizen or city official determines that graffiti exists on any public or private building, structure and places which are visible to any person utilizing any public right-of-way, he shall notify the Omaha Police Department and the city public works director or their designated representatives. Further, if seasonal temperatures permit the painting or abating of exterior surfaces, the public works director or his designated representative is authorized and directed to obtain a signed "Notification, Consent and Release of Liability Form" or cause a notice to be issued to abate such nuisance and the city’s intent to remove the graffiti within seven days, and to cause the graffiti to be abated by city forces or private contract at no expense to the owner, and the city or its private contractor is expressly authorized to enter upon such premises for such purpose. The property owner shall have seven calendar days after the date of the notice to remove the graffiti, or the conditions will be subject to abatement by the city at the owner’s expense.

The notice to abate graffiti pursuant to this section shall cause a written notice to be served upon the owner(s) of the affected premises, as such owner’s name and address appears on the last property tax assessment rolls of the county. if there is no known address for the owner, the notice shall be sent in care of the property address. The notice required by this section may be served in any one of the following manners:

a.  By personal service on the owner, occupant or person in charge or control of the property.

b.  By registered or certified mail addressed to the owner at the owner’s last-known address. If this address is unknown, the notice will be sent to the property address.

All reasonable efforts to minimize damage from such entry shall be taken by the city, and any paint or other abatement methods used to obliterate graffiti shall be as close as practicable to background color(s). If the public works director provides for the removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material, he shall not authorize nor undertake to provide for the painting or repair of any more extensive area than that where the graffiti or other inscribed material is located.

(Code 1980, 18-65; Ord. No. 34479, 2, 2-24-98)

Sec. 18-66. Private property owner notification; consent and release from liability forms

When the public works director, or his designated representative, becomes aware of a location with graffiti, immediate administrative steps shall be taken to identify the legal owner of record. The city representative will make every effort to contact the owner immediately, to include a visit to the structure or location where a notice may be posted, in addition to other notification methods. For the purpose of the graffiti abatement, notification or notice time lines will start the date the notice to abate is issued by either certified or registered mail, or the date the notification consent and release from liability form is signed, or the date notice is personally served on the owner, occupant or person in charge or control of the property. A written notification, consent and release from liability form may be signed by the property owner and abatement can proceed immediately, or a notice is served pursuant to the notification provisions in section 18-65 whereby the owner shall have seven days, before further action can be taken.

The Consent and Release from Liability Forms shall identify the legal owner, the property address and the specific location of the graffiti proposed to be abated. The form shall specify the method of abatement (i.e., over-paint; sanding; sandblasting; or other, with general description). The form shall offer the property owner the choice to consent to abatement by city forces or private contractor and release from liability for the city to take immediate steps to abate the graffiti (weather conditions permitting) at no cost to the owner, or to decline the city offer, at which time the property owner shall have seven calendar days to abate the graffiti at owner’s expense. Failure to do so within seven calendar days after the date of notification or service pursuant to section 18-65 means the city is expressly authorized to enter the property and abate the graffiti by the method proposed by the initial offer.

When the owner declines the city’s offer to abate the graffiti at city expense and then subsequently fails to comply within seven days, or fails to acknowledge receipt of notification within seven days, the expense of abatement shall be at owner’s expense. If there is no acknowledgement of the notice of graffiti within seven days, the city shall be authorized to enter the property for the purpose of graffiti abatement and the expense shall be charged to the owner. Any and all costs incurred by the city in the abatement of the graffiti nuisance under this provisions of this article may constitute a lien against the property upon which such nuisance existed.

(Code 1980, 18-66; Ord. No. 34480, 1, 2-24-98)

Sec. 18-67. Appeals

Within seven days of notification of graffiti, as defined in this article, or within seven from the mailing or personal service of the notice, the owner or person occupying or controlling such premises or lot affected may appeal to the administrative appeals board. A copy of such appeal will also be sent to the public works director or his designated representative as shown on the Notification, Consent and Release from Liability Form.

(Code 1980, 18-67; Ord. No. 34480, 2, 2-24-98)

Sec. 18-68. Removal by city

Once a Written Notification, Consent and Release from Liability Form is signed by the property owner or the seven calendar days after owner notification has been served and not acted upon, abatement by city forces or privately contracted forces can commence immediately. All reasonable efforts to minimize damage from such entry shall be taken by the city, and any paint used to obliterate graffiti shall be as close as practicable to background color(s).

(Code 1980, 18-66; Ord. No. 34480, 3, 2-24-98)

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RENO, NEVADA

PART 2 RENO MUNICIPAL CODE

Title 8 PUBLIC PEACE, SAFETY AND MORALS*

CHAPTER 8.22. ABATEMENT OF NUISANCES*

ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 8.22.020. Purpose and scope

(a) It is determined and declared as follows:

(1) The city has a substantial and legitimate interest in seeing that its community, including property, buildings and premises within its limits, is kept in a safe and aesthetically pleasing condition;

(2) The keeping or maintaining of property, buildings and premises at variance with the level of maintenance of surrounding properties will result in blighting and/or unsafe conditions and substantial diminution in the employment, use, aesthetic and property values of such surrounding properties;

(3)  It is desirous to promote the maintenance of property, buildings and premises in order to enhance the livability, community appearance, and the safe, social and economic conditions of the community;

(4) The increase of graffiti on both public and private buildings, structures and places is creating a condition of blight within the city which results in the deterioration of property and business values for adjacent and surrounding properties, all to the detriment of the city;

(5) A significant portion of the graffiti now appearing is related to the activities of youth gangs and that the prompt elimination of such graffiti from public view would contribute to the city’s efforts to control and minimize the presence of youth gangs within the community; and

(6) The graffiti is obnoxious constituting a nuisance which must be abated so as to avoid the detrimental impact of such graffiti upon the city and to prevent the further spread thereof.

(b) The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Reno and to promote the maintenance of property, buildings and premises in order to enhance the livability, community appearance, and the safe, social and economic conditions of the community.

(c) This chapter shall apply to all property, buildings and premises within the city without regard to the use, the date of construction or alteration.  (Ord. No. 4651, 1, 7-9-96)  

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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

CODE City of CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA  Codified through Ord. No. 1345, adopted September 13, 1999.

PART II  CODE OF THE CITY

Chapter 10  HEALTH AND SANITATION*

ARTICLE II.  SOLID WASTE SERVICES*

DIVISION 1.  PURPOSE AND DEFINITIONS

Sec. 10-17. Definitions

Graffiti shall mean writings, drawings, inscriptions, figures or marks of paint, ink, chalk, dye or other similar substances on public or private building, structures or places which are not authorized or permitted by the property owner or possessor. For the purpose of this chapter, graffiti shall include drawing, writings, markings or inscriptions regardless of the content or the nature of materials used in the commission of the act.

CODE City of CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA  Codified through Ord. No. 1345, adopted September 13, 1999. 

PART II  CODE OF THE CITY

Chapter 10  HEALTH AND SANITATION*

ARTICLE II.  SOLID WASTE SERVICES*

DIVISION 6.  MAINTENANCE OF PREMISES AND LITTER CONTROL

Sec. 10-83. Graffiti  

(a) Graffiti prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to write, paint, inscribe, scratch, scrawl, spray, place or draw graffiti of any type on any public or private building, structure or any other real or personal property. Any person convicted of a violation of this paragraph shall be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for a first offense and five hundred dollars ($500.00) for second and subsequent offenses.

Exemption: This paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit temporary, easily removable chalk or other water soluble markings on public or private sidewalks, streets or other paved surfaces which are used in connection with traditional children’s activities, such as drawings or bases for stick ball, kick ball, handball, hopscotch or similar activities, nor shall it be construed to prohibit temporary, easily removable chalk or other water soluble markings used in connection with any lawful business or public purpose or activity.

(b) Removal of graffiti. It shall be unlawful for any person owning property, acting as manager or agent for the owner of property, or in possession or control of property to fail to remove or effectively obscure any graffiti upon such property. Any such person convicted of a violation of this paragraph shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00). In determining the fine to be imposed, the court may consider the efforts, if any, taken by the violator to remove or effectively obscure the graffiti during the preceding calendar year. The mandatory fine provided in this section shall not apply to a property owner, agent, manager, or possessor of property if such property owner, agent, manager or possessor has been victimized two (2) or more times by graffiti within any calendar year and, during such time, has removed or effectively obscured such graffiti from the property in a timely manner.

(c) Restitution. In addition to any other punishment imposed, the court shall order the person convicted of a violation of this section to make restitution to the victim for the damage or loss suffered by the victim as a result of the offense. The court may determine the amount, terms, and conditions of the restitution.

(d) Severability. The provisions of this section shall be deemed severable. If any portion of this section is deemed unconstitutional, it shall not affect the constitutionality of any other portion of this section.

(Ord. No. 1026, 2, 4-13-98)

Sec. 10-84. Providing notice to property owners or their agents or managers

(a) Notice. Whenever the city becomes aware of the existence of graffiti on any property, the city is authorized to remove the graffiti as set forth in this section after giving, or causing to be given, written notice to remove or effectively obscure such graffiti to the property owner, such property owner’s agent or manager, or any other person in possession or control of the property. If the city intends to place a lien on the property, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, it must also notify all other persons whose names appear on the tax rolls of Mecklenburg County as having an interest in the property. Notice shall be given by personal service or certified mail, except that notice may be given by first class mail to those persons, other than the property owner, whose names appear on the tax rolls of Mecklenburg County as having an interest in the property. All notices shall state the procedure for appeals under this section.

(b) Costs and liens. If the person owning the property, acting as manager or agent for the owner of the property, or in possession or control of the property fails to remove or effectively obscure the graffiti within seven (7) days from receipt of the notice described in paragraph (a) of this section, the city may cause the graffiti to be removed or effectively obscured and charge the property owner, or the property owner’s manager or agent, or the person in possession or control of the property, for the expenses incurred by the city in removing the graffiti. The city may sue in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover all such expenses, which shall include, but not be limited to, all administrative personnel costs, attorney’s fees and costs related to enforcing this section; and/or the city may record a lien in the public records of Mecklenburg County, which lien shall be for all such expenses, and the amount of the lien shall bear interest from the date of recording.

(c) Appeal procedure. Appeals may be taken to city council or its designee by the person owning the property, acting as manager or agent for the property, or in possession or control of the property to prevent the removal of any graffiti, within seven (7) days of having received notice from the city that the graffiti must be removed. Appeals shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the appeal. If the party filing the appeal requests a hearing, such hearing shall be held at the next scheduled business meeting of the city council. If, on appeal, the city council or its designee determines that the graffiti must be removed, council or its designee may set a new deadline date for compliance or authorize the city to proceed to remove or obscure the graffiti. The city shall not remove or obscure any graffiti during the pendency of an appeal.

(d) Emergency removal. If the city determines that any graffiti is a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public and is unable to provide notice by personal service after at least two (2) attempts to do so, then forty-eight (48) hours after either (1) the mailing of the notice described in paragraph (a) by certified and first class mail to the person owning the property, acting as agent or manager for the owner of such property, or in possession or control of such property, or (2) the posting of the notice in a conspicuous place on the property, the city may remove or cause the graffiti to be removed at its expense.

(e) Repair/restoration. In no case shall the city paint or repair any area obscured by graffiti more extensively than where the graffiti itself is located. The city shall not be required to restore the obscured area to its original condition (i.e., color, texture, etc.).

(Ord. No. 1026, 2, 4-13-98)

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY MUNICIPAL CODE 1999  Codified through Ord. No. 21343, adopted October 26, 1999. 

Chapter 35  NUISANCES*

ARTICLE V.  GRAFFITI*

 35-142. Legislative findings 

(2) that graffiti on public and private property within the City is often related to criminal street gang activity, with graffiti being used to convey information to gang members and mark gang territory;

(3) that gang-related graffiti often provides a catalyst for gang-related criminal violence within the City;

(4) that gang-related graffiti constitutes a growing blight on and a substantial detriment to the health and safety of the residents of our community; and

(5) that by reason of the foregoing findings, graffiti constitutes a public nuisance to our community.

(Code 1980, 35-81; Ord. No. 19862, 1, 12-8-92)

State law reference(s)--Authority to define, prevent, remove and abate nuisances, 11 O.S. 22-121

35-143. Purpose and intent

The purpose of this article is to provide for the prevention and removal of graffiti within the City. The intent of the Council is to prevent and remove a public nuisance that is a growing blight on and a substantial detriment to the health, safety and general welfare of our community and its inhabitants.

(Code 1980, 35-82; Ord. No. 19862, 1, 12-8-92)

35-144. Definitions

For the purpose of this article, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:

(1) Advertising means any letter, word, name, number, symbol, slogan, message, drawing, picture, writing, or other mark of any kind lawfully placed on property by an owner or occupant of the property, or an agent of such owner or occupant, for the purpose of promoting products or services or conveying information to the public.

(2) Applies graffiti, apply graffiti or applying graffiti means the act of drawing, painting, chiseling, scratching or etching graffiti on public or private property within the City.

(3) Director means the Director of the Public Works Department, or his designee.

(4) Graffiti means, without limitation, any letter, word, name, number, symbol, slogan, message, drawing, picture, writing, or other mark of any kind visible to the public that is drawn, painted, chiseled, scratched or etched on a rock, tree, wall, bridge, fence, gate, building or other structure; provided, however, that this definition shall not include advertising or any other letter, word, name, number, symbol, slogan, message, drawing, picture, writing, or other mark of any kind lawfully placed on property by an owner of the property, an occupant of the property, or by an authorized agent for such owner or occupant.

(5) Occupant means any person shown by the records of the county clerk’s office as a tenant of property, or any person in actual physical possession of property.

(6) Owner means any person shown by the records of the county clerk’s office as the owner of a fee simple interest in property.

(7) Removal, remove, or removed, when used in relation to the eradication of graffiti, means the act of taking graffiti off of or masking the presence of graffiti on, a rock, tree, wall, bridge, fence, gate, building or other structure.

(Code 1980, 35-83; Ord. No. 19862, 1, 12-8-92)

Cross reference(s)--Definitions and rules of construction generally, 1-2.

35-145. Declaration of public nuisance

The Council hereby declares that graffiti on public or private property within the City constitutes a public nuisance to the detriment of the City and its inhabitants and visitors. The provisions for prevention and removal of such public nuisance are set forth in 35-146 and 35-147 of this article.

(Code 1980, 35-84; Ord. No. 19862, 1, 12-8-92)

35-146. Application of graffiti prohibited; offense; penalty

(a) No person shall apply graffiti to public or private property within the City.

(b) Any person who applies graffiti to public or private property within the City shall be deemed guilty of a class "b" offense. Each act of applying graffiti shall constitute a separate offense.

(c) Any person convicted of the offense of applying graffiti to public or private property within the City shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $750.00, excluding costs, or imprisonment not to exceed six months in the city jail or both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Police Department.

(Code 1980, 35-85; Ord. No. 19862, 1, 12-8-92; Ord. No. 20462, 1, 10-24-95)

State law reference(s)--Penalty for ordinance violations, 11 O.S. 14-111

35-147. Allowing graffiti to remain on private property

(a) No person shall allow graffiti to remain on private property within the City longer than 20 days after receiving a notice to remove graffiti.

b) Graffiti allowed to remain on private property within the City longer than 20 days from the date of the notice to remove graffiti, shall be subject to removal by the City.

(Ord. No. 21075, 1, 6-30-98)

35-148. Removal of graffiti from private property

The director may cause graffiti to be removed from private property located within the City in accordance with the following procedure:

(a) Removal of graffiti with or without consent of owner; procedure.

(1) The property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, may give their written consent to the City authorizing removal of the graffiti. By giving such written consent, the owner and the tenant and/or occupant each waive the right to notice and a hearing as otherwise required by this section;

(2) If the consent of the property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, to remove graffiti from the property cannot be obtained, the director may remove the graffiti without such consent pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section;

(3) To remove graffiti from property without the consent of the property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, at least ten days’ notice shall be given by mail directed to the address shown by the current year’s tax rolls in the county treasurer’s office. Notice to the tenant and/or occupant, if any, shall be given by mail directed to the property address. The notice shall order the property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, to remove graffiti from the property and shall further state that unless such work is performed within 20 days of the date of the notice the work shall be done by the City. At the time of mailing of notice to the property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, the Director shall obtain a receipt of mailing from the postal service, which receipt shall indicate the date of mailing and the name and address of the mailee(s). In addition, notice shall be given by posting a copy of the notice on the property at least one time not less than ten days prior to any hearing or action by the City. Any accumulations of graffiti on the property occurring within one year from and after the date of the notice may be summarily abated by the City without a hearing and further prior notice to the property owner, tenant and/or occupant, if any, except by posting of notices at least one time on the property not less than two business days prior to such summary abatement;

(4) A hearing may be held by the City Council to determine whether the accumulation of graffiti on the property has caused the property to become detrimental or a hazard to the health, safety, or general welfare of the public and the community; and

(5) Upon finding that the condition of the property constitutes a detriment or hazard, and that the property, the public, and the community would be benefitted by removal of such conditions, the director may enter onto the property for the removal of the graffiti thereon.

(b) Right of appeal of order to remove graffiti. The property owner and the tenant, if any, shall have a right of appeal to the City Council from any order of the Director. Such appeal shall be taken by filing written notice of appeal with the City Clerk within ten business days after the administrative order is rendered.

(c) Summary abatement. If a notice is given by the City to a property owner and tenant, if any, ordering graffiti to be removed from property within the City limits in accordance with the procedures provided for in subsection (a) of this section, any subsequent accumulations of graffiti on the property occurring within a one-year  period may be summarily abated without further prior notice to the property owner or the tenant, if any. However, prior to the summary abatement by the City, notice thereof shall be posted at least one time on the property not less than two business days prior to such summary abatement. This subsection shall not apply if the records of the county clerk show that the ownership and/or tenancy of the property was transferred after notice was given pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Cost of removal of graffiti. Removal of graffiti by the City pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be performed at the sole expense of the City. In removing the graffiti, the City shall restore the property as nearly as possible to the condition as it existed immediately prior to the graffiti being placed on the property.

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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON  

Seattle Municipal Code     

SMC 10.07.010. Definitions   

A. "Abate" means to remove the graffiti by such means, in such a manner and to such an extent as the Director or the Hearing Examiner reasonably determines is necessary to remove the graffiti from public view.   

B. "Director" means the Director of Seattle Public Utilities or his or her designee.   

C. "Graffiti" means unauthorized markings, visible from premises open to the public, that have been placed upon any property through the use of paint, ink, chalk, dye or any other substance capable of marking property.   

D. "Graffiti nuisance property" means property upon which graffiti has not been abated after the abatement date established pursuant to subsection 10.07.030 B.   

E. "Hearing Examiner" means The City of Seattle Hearing Examiner and the office thereof established pursuant to Seattle Municipal Code, Chapter 3.02.   

F. "Owner" means any entity or entities having a legal or equitable interest in real or personal property including but not limited to the interest of a tenant or lessee.   

G. "Premises open to the public" means all public spaces, including but not limited to streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, and public open space, as well as private property on to which the public is regularly invited or permitted to enter for any purpose.   

H. "Property" means any real or personal property and that which is affixed, incidental or appurtenant to real property, including but not limited to any structure, fence, wall, sign, or any separate part thereof, whether permanent or not.   

I. "Responsible party" means an owner, or an entity or person acting as an agent for an owner by agreement, who has authority over the property or is responsible for the property’s maintenance or management. Irrespective of any arrangement to the contrary with any other party, each owner shall always be a responsible party for the purposes of this chapter. There may be more than one responsible party for a particular property.   

J. "Unauthorized" means without the consent of a responsible party. (Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)

SMC 10.07.030. Notice

When the Director has reason to believe that a property within the City may be a potential graffiti nuisance property, the Director shall: 

A. Identify a responsible party and send that party an informational letter describing the nature and location of the graffiti and requesting that the graffiti be removed promptly. The letter shall explain the problems caused by the continued presence of graffiti and the need for its prompt removal, describe the resources available to aid in graffiti removal, and give notice that failure to remove graffiti is a violation of City law that may lead to legal action to remove the graffiti at the expense of the responsible party and may subject the responsible party to civil penalties. 

B. If the graffiti is not promptly removed after the information letter has been sent, the Director shall notify the responsible party in writing, by certified mail, that the property has been identified as a potential graffiti nuisance property. The notice shall contain the following information: 

1. The street address or description of the property reasonably sufficient for identification of the property; 

2. A concise description of the conditions leading the Director to believe that the property may be a graffiti nuisance property; 

3. A description of what must be done to abate the graffiti; 

4. A statement that the graffiti must be abated within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the letter, and a statement that if the graffiti is not abated within that time the property will be a graffiti nuisance property subject to abatement in accordance with Section 10.07.070, and the responsible party will be subject to monetary penalties and costs in accordance with Sections 10.07.050, 10.07.060 and 10.07.070. 

C. The notice referred to in subsection B of this section shall be mailed by certified mail to the responsible party at that party’s last known address. The notice shall also be posted at the property. As an alternative to mailing the notice, the Director may cause a copy of the notice to be personally served on the responsible party in the manner authorized by statute for personal service. 

D. If, after proper notification has been given and the specified time period has elapsed, the graffiti has not been abated, the Director shall serve a notice of civil violation and hearing on the responsible party directing that party to appear before the City’s Hearing Examiner. 

E. Once a responsible party has been notified pursuant to subsection A and B of this section that a specified property is a potential graffiti nuisance, the Director may thereafter issue a notice of civil violation and hearing for that property pursuant to Section 10.07.040 without further notice.

(Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)

SMC 10.07.040. Notice of civil violation and hearing

A. The notice of civil violation and hearing shall include the following: 

1. The name and address of the responsible party; 

2. The street address or description sufficient for identification of the property which constitutes the graffiti nuisance property; 

3. A statement that the property is a graffiti nuisance property and a description of the graffiti constituting the graffiti nuisance; 

4. A statement describing what must be done to abate the graffiti; 

5. A statement that the costs and expenses of abatement incurred by the City pursuant to Section 10.07.070 and monetary penalties as specified in Section 10.07.050 and 10.07.060 may be assessed against the responsible party; 

6. The date, time and location of a hearing before the Hearing Examiner at which the responsible party shall have the opportunity to contest the existence of the graffiti, to contest his or her responsibility for the graffiti nuisance property, and to raise any other defenses to liability or considerations by way of mitigation; and 

7. A statement that the hearing will be canceled and no monetary penalty will be assessed if the Director approves the completed abatement at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled commencement of the hearing. 

B. Notwithstanding Seattle Municipal Code subsection 3.02.090 A, the date set for the hearing before the Hearing Examiner shall be no sooner than ten (10) and no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date the notice of civil violation and hearing is issued. 

C. The Director shall serve the notice of civil violation and hearing in the manner described in subsection 10.07.030 C of this chapter. If an address for mailed service cannot, after due diligence, be ascertained and the person to whom the notice is issued cannot, after due diligence, be personally served within King County, notice shall be served by posting a copy of the notice conspicuously at the graffiti nuisance property. Proof of service shall be made by a written declaration under penalty of perjury executed by the person effecting the service, declaring the time and date of service, the manner by which the service was made, and, if by posting, the facts showing that due diligence was used in attempting to serve the person personally or by mail.

(Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)

SMC 10.07.050. Hearing before the Hearing Examiner

A. The Hearing Examiner shall conduct a hearing on the civil violation pursuant to the rules of procedure of the Hearing Examiner for the conduct of hearings. The Director and the person to whom the notice of civil violation and hearing was issued are parties to the hearing and each may call witnesses. 

B. The Director shall have the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the property contains graffiti, that the person issued the notice is a responsible party, that the required abatement is reasonable, and that the required abatement has not been completed prior to the date established in the notice issued pursuant to subsection 10.07.030 B. 

C. If the Hearing Examiner finds that the property contains graffiti, that the person issued the notice is a responsible party, but that the abatement required by the Director is not reasonable, then the Examiner shall modify the abatement so that it is reasonable. 

D. The Hearing Examiner shall issue to the responsible party a decision and order containing the following information: 

1. The decision and order regarding the alleged graffiti nuisance property, including findings of fact and conclusions in support of the decision and order; 

2. Any required abatement action and the date by which the abatement must be completed; 

3. Any monetary penalties assessed based on subsection F of this section which shall be due ten (10) calendar days after the date of the decision and order; 

4. A description of the additional civil penalties which will automatically accrue pursuant to subsection I of this section if the responsible party fails to abate the graffiti nuisance property by the date established in the decision and order; 

5. The date after which the City may abate the graffiti nuisance property pursuant to Section 10.07.070 if the required abatement is not completed; and 

6. Notice that judicial review of the decision and order may be sought pursuant to subsection K of this section. 

E. Monetary penalties assessed by the Hearing Examiner shall accrue in the amount up to One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per day beginning on the correction date set by the Director or on a subsequent date set by the Hearing Examiner, provided that the maximum monetary penalty shall be Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). In the alternative, the Hearing Examiner may choose to assess no monetary penalties. 

F. In determining the monetary penalty assessment, the Hearing Examiner shall consider the following factors: 

1. Whether the responsible party cooperated with efforts to abate the graffiti nuisance property; 

2. Whether the responsible party failed to appear at the hearing; 

3. Whether the responsible party made substantial progress in abating the graffiti nuisance property; and 

4. Any other relevant factors. 

G. The Hearing Examiner shall mail a copy of the decision and order to the person to whom the notice of civil violation and hearing was issued and to the Director within ten (10) working days of the close of the hearing record. If an address for mailing cannot after due diligence be ascertained, a copy of the decision and order shall be posted conspicuously at the property. 

H. If the person to whom the notice of civil violation and hearing was issued fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall, upon submittal of sufficient evidence by the Director, enter a decision and order finding that the property is a graffiti nuisance property, the person to whom the notice was issued is a responsible party, the required abatement is reasonable, and the required abatement action had not been completed prior to the date established in the notice; and assessing the appropriate monetary penalty and costs. 

I. If the responsible party fails to abate the nuisance as ordered by the Hearing Examiner, monetary penalties in addition to any monetary penalties already assessed by the Hearing Examiner shall automatically accrue in the amount of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per day until the abatement is complete and shall be due immediately upon accrual. 

J. The City will carry out the Hearing Examiner’s decision and order and recover all monetary penalties and costs. 

K. Any review of the decision and order of the Hearing Examiner must be by land use petition filed within twenty-one (21) days of issuance of the decision and order as provided in Chapter 347 of the Laws of 1995.

(Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)

SMC 10.07.060. Monetary penalty

A. Payment of a monetary penalty pursuant to this chapter does not relieve the responsible party of the duty to abate the graffiti nuisance. 

B. The monetary penalty constitutes a personal obligation of the responsible party to whom the notice of civil violation and hearing is issued. 

C. Any monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter shall accrue interest from the date payment is due at the maximum rate authorized by law for interest on civil judgments, and there shall be added to such penalty the reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in collecting it.

(Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)

SMC 10.07.070. Abatement by the City

A. The Director may abate the graffiti nuisance property when a decision and order has been issued by the Hearing Examiner pursuant to Section 10.07.050 of this chapter and any required abatement is not complete by the date specified in the decision and order. 

B. The Director may call upon other City departments and other agencies and resources for assistance in abating a graffiti nuisance property. 

C. Using any lawful means, the Director may enter upon the graffiti nuisance property and abate the graffiti. The Director may seek such judicial process as is deemed necessary to carry out the abatement. 

D. The costs of correcting the violation shall be billed to the responsible party and shall be due and payable to the City within ten (10) days calendar days. Costs include both the value of the use of City staff and equipment and payments made to third parties, including but not limited to: 

1. Personnel costs, both direct and indirect, including attorneys’ fees and costs and administrative overhead; 

2. Costs incurred in documenting the violation; 

3. Hauling, storage and disposal expenses; 

4. Actual expenses and costs of the City in preparing notices, specifications and contracts, and in accomplishing or contracting and inspecting the work; and 

5. The costs of any required printing and mailing.

(Ord. 118082 Section 1(part), 1996.)


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