County Licenses, Procedures – Criminal Penalty
Enacted March, 1980 by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
Section I. Application of ordinance
Section II. Definitions
Section III. Unlawful activities
Section IV. Misdemeanor
Section V. Citation
Section VI. Equitable relief
Section VII. Licensing procedures
Section VIII. Hearings
Section IX. Enforcement and inspection
Section X. Severability
Section XI. Provisions accumulative
Section XII. No consent
For Hennepin County
"The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners ordains:"
Section I: Application of ordinance
Where a provision of a Hennepin County Ordinance requiring a permit or license contains no procedure for issuance, revocation, suspension, renewal or fee, the provisions of this Ordinance shall apply.
B. Other provisions
Where provision of a Hennepin County Ordinance requiring a permit or license contains procedures for its issuance, revocation, suspension, renewal or fee, such provisions prevail over this Ordinance, and this Ordinance shall be effective to the extent, and only to the extent, that it does not conflict with such provisions.
Section II: Definitions
Shall mean the County of Hennepin
B. "County board"
Shall mean the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and their authorized representatives.
Includes the whole or part of any permit, certificate, approval, registration, or similar form of permission or renewal required by County Ordinance or State law administered by the County for the operation of any business, service or facility.
Shall mean the person who has been given the authority by the issuance of a license by the County to establish, operate, and/or maintain a facility or activity regulated by County Ordinances.
Shall mean any individual, firm partnership, organization, corporation, trustee, or association and with respect to acts prohibited or required herein, shall include employees or licensees.
Shall mean a separate part, division, bureau, sub-unit or branch of Hennepin County authorized by the County Board to carry out or enforce any provisions of a County Ordinance.
Section III: Unlawful activities
It is unlawful for any person:
To engage in any activity, trade, profession, business, or privilege or to operate any site, facility or establishment for which a license is required by any provision of a County Ordinance unless such person has first obtained such license.
To engage in any activity, trade, profession, business or privilege or operate any site, facility, or establishment in Hennepin County for which a license is required by any provision of a County Ordinance when any license granted for the conduct of such activity, trade, profession, business or privilege to operation of such site, facility or establishment has been revoked or suspended.
Who possesses a valid license issued pursuant to County Ordinance No. 1 to engage in any such activity, or operate any such licensed facility, establishment, profession, business, or privilege in such a way as to knowingly violate any requirement of any Hennepin County Ordinance applicable to such activity, trade, profession, business, privilege, site, facility or establishment.
To fail or refuse to correct any condition or method of operation which violates any Hennepin County Ordinance applicable to the conduct of any licensed activity, trade, profession, business, privilege, site, facility, or establishment after being ordered to do so by the County of Hennepin.
Section IV: Misdemeanor
Any person who violates the provisions of Hennepin County Ordinance No. 1 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished therefore as provided by law. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
Section V: Citation
The department or any of its duly authorized representatives charged with the responsibility of administration and enforcement of any Hennepin County Ordinance shall have the power to issue citations for violations of this Ordinance, but this shall not permit such representatives to physically arrest or take into custody any violators except on warrant duly issued.
A. Form of citations
Citations shall contain at least the following:
- The name and address of the person charged with the violation or the owner or person in charge of the premises at which the violation occurs.
- The date and place of the violation.
- A short description of the violation followed by the section of the Ordinance violated.
- The date and place at which the person receiving the citation shall appear and a notice that if such person does not respond, a warrant may be issued for such person's arrest.
- Such other information as the Courts may specify.
B. Issuance of citations
Whenever any representative of the department discovers any violation of this Ordinance, he may issue a citation to the person alleged to have committed the violation. Such citation shall be made out in quadruplicate (4). One copy thereof shall be issued to the person alleged to have committed the violation; one copy shall be filed with the Hennepin County Department charged with the enforcement of the Ordinance allegedly violated; two copies thereof shall be filed with the Hennepin County Ordinance Violation Bureau.
The citation shall be issued to the person charged with the violation, or in the case of a corporation or municipality, to any officer or agent expressly or impliedly authorized to accept such issuance.
After the issuance of the citation and within such time as shall be fixed by court rule, the person charged with the violation shall report to the Violation Bureau.
If the person charged with the violation does not appear at the Bureau within the time specified by court rule, the Bureau shall send him a notice directing him to respond to the citation within seven days of the date of the notice and if such person fails to respond, the Bureau shall cause a complaint to be signed and a warrant to be issued for the arrest of such person to compel his appearance in court.
Section VI: Equitable relief
In the event of a violation or a threat of violation of this Ordinance, the Hennepin County Attorney may take appropriate action to enforce this Ordinance including application for injunctive relief, action to compel performance or other appropriate action in district court, if necessary, to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such violations or threatened violations.
B. Costs as special assessment
If a licensee, owner, or operator of any activity, trade, profession, business, privilege, site, facility or establishment fails to comply with a Hennepin County Ordinance applicable thereto, Hennepin County may take the necessary steps to correct such violations or terminate the facility and the costs thereof may be recovered in a civil action or may be certified, at the discretion of the County Board, to the Finance Division Director as a special assessment against the real property.
Section VII: Licensing procedures
Application for a license or license renewal shall be made to the County Department charged with enforcement of the County Ordinance requiring the applicant to be licensed and shall be on forms furnished by the County Board. The applicant shall state the location of the proposed activity and such other facts as are required by the department for the granting of the license.
B. Bond and insurance
Required bonds, if any, shall be executed by a surety company, and be subject to approval of the County Board. Satisfactory evidence of coverage by bond or insurance shall be filed with the department to which application is made.
C. Payment of fee
The fees required for a license shall be paid at the office of the department to which application is made. No license fee shall be prorated for a portion of a year and no license fee shall be refunded. No license shall be issued until the fees therefore have been paid in full.
D. Penalty for late payment
Every person whose licensed activity, trade, profession, business, privilege, site, facility or establishment is licensed by the County other than one who has been closed down or who has not operated such activity in the County after the expiration of the licensing year, shall pay to the County Board the regular license fee and in addition thereto the following penalty for late application for renewal license.
- One to seven days late, a twenty-five percent penalty.
- Eight to thirty days late, a fifty percent penalty.
- After expiration of thirty days from the due date, the activity for which a license is required shall cease. No new license or permit for such activity shall be considered until the owner of the business personally appears before the County Board. If the new license or permit is approved, the fee shall consist of the amount set forth for new licenses and permits, plus late penalty fee that was not paid for the old license.
E. Late payment of the license fee with penalty no bar to prosecution for operating without a license
The late payment of the license or permit for such activity shall be considered until the owner of the business personally appears before the County Board. If the new license or permit is approved, the fee shall consist of the amount set forth for new licenses and permits, plus the late penalty fee that was not paid for the old license.
F. Issuance of denial of license
- Unless otherwise provided in the Ordinance under which a license is issued, the Department shall have 30 days to issue or deny the license or renewal. Failure by the Department to act on an application within the 30 days shall constitute a denial without prejudice to the applicant's right to file further application.
- Once the Department has decided on the disposition of the license application or renewal application, the applicant shall be notified in writing of its decision.
- Where a license is denied, the Department shall state the factual basis for its decision and notice of its decision shall be personally served on the applicant or shall be served by registered or certified mail to said applicant at the address designated in the license application. The applicant shall have ten working days, exclusive of the day of service, to request a hearing. The request shall be in writing stating the grounds for appeal and served personally or by registered or certified mail on the Department by midnight of the tenth County working day following service of the notice of denial. If the applicant fails to request an appeal within the specified time period, any opportunity for a hearing is forfeited and the Department's decision is final. After receipt of an appeal request, the Department shall set a time and place for the hearing.
- Any license required under County Ordinance may be suspended by the Department for violation of any provision of this Ordinance or of the Ordinance under which the license was issued. Upon written notice to the licensee said license may be suspended by the Department for a period not longer than 60 days or until the violation is corrected.
- Such suspension shall not occur earlier than ten working days after written notice of suspension has been served personally or by registered or certified mail on the licensee or, if a hearing is requested, until written notice of the County Board action has been served personally or by registered or certified mail to said applicant at the address designated in the license application. Such written notice of departmental suspension shall contain the effective date of the suspension, the nature of the violation or violations constituting the basis for the suspension, the facts which support the conclusion that a violation or violations has occurred, and a statement that if the licensee desires to appeal, he must within ten County working days, exclusive of the day of service, file a request for a hearing. The hearing request shall be in writing stating the grounds for appeal and served personally by registered or certified mail on the Department by midnight of the tenth County working day following service. Following receipt of a request for a hearing, the Department shall set a time and a place for the hearing.
- If said suspension is upheld and the licensee has not demonstrated within the 60-day period that the provisions of the Ordinance have been complied with and that such compliance will continue, the Department may serve notice of continued suspension for up to 60 days or initiate revocation procedures.
H. Summary suspension
- If the Department finds that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action, and incorporates a finding to that effect in its order, summary suspension of a license may be ordered by the Department. Written notice of such summary suspension shall be personally served on the licensee, or shall be served by registered or certified mail to said licensee at the address designated in the license application. In addition, the Department may post copies of the notice of summary suspension of the license on the licensed facility or property being used for the licensed activity. Said posting shall constitute the notice required under this section.
- The written notice in such cases shall state the effective date of the suspension and the nature of the violation requiring emergency action, the facts which support the conclusion that a violation or violations have occurred and a statement that if the licensee desires to appeal he must, within ten County working days, exclusive of the day of service, file a request for a hearing. The hearing request shall be in writing stating the grounds for appeal and served personally or by registered or certified mail on the Department by midnight of the tenth County working day following service. Following receipt of a request for an appeal, the Department shall set a time and a place for the hearing.
- The summary suspension shall not be stayed pending an appeal or informal review by the Department Head, but shall be subject to dismissal on reinspection by the Department.
I. Suspensions, reinspection
Upon written notification from the licensee that all the violations for which a suspension or summary suspension was invoked have been corrected, the Department shall reinspect the facility or activity within a reasonable length of time, but in no case more than three County working days after receipt of the notice from the licensee. If the Department finds upon such reinspection that the violations constituting the grounds for the suspension have been corrected, the Department shall immediately dismiss the suspension by written notice to the licensee.
- Any license granted pursuant to County Ordinance may be revoked by the Department for violation of any provision of said Ordinance or this Ordinance.
- Revocation shall not occur earlier than ten County working days from the time that written notice of revocation is served personally or by registered or certified mail on the licensee. Such written notice of Departmental revocation shall contain the effective date of the revocation, the nature of the violation or violations constituting the basis for the revocation, the facts which support the conclusion that a violation or violations has occurred and a statement that if the licensee desires to appear, he must within ten working days, exclusive of the day of service, file a request for a hearing. The hearing request shall be in writing stating the grounds for appeal and served personally or by registered or certified mail on the Department by midnight of the tenth County working day following service. Following receipt of a request for a hearing, the Department shall set a time and a place for the hearing.
Section VIII: Hearings
If any applicant or licensee properly requests a hearing on a Departmental denial, suspension, or revocation of license, such hearing shall be held before the County Board and shall be open to the public.
Unless an extension of time is requested by the appellant in writing directed to the Chair of the County Board, the hearing will be held no later than forty-five (45) calendar days after the date of service of request for a hearing, exclusive of the date of such service. In any event, such hearing shall be held no later than ninety (90) calendar days after the date of service of request for a hearing, exclusive of the date of such service.
The County Board shall mail notice of the hearing to the appellant and to the Department at least fifteen working days prior to the hearing. Such notice shall include:
- A statement of time, place and nature of the hearing.
- A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held.
- A reference to the particular section of the Ordinance and rules involved.
The County Board may by resolution appoint an individual learned in the law, to be known as the hearing examiner, to conduct the hearing to make findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations to the County Board. The hearing examiner shall submit the findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations to the County Board in writing. When the County Board exercises the authority to appoint a hearing examiner, the County Board shall accept the hearing examiners report in lieu of conducting a County Board hearing for findings of fact, conclusions or recommendations.
All witnesses shall testify under oath or affirmation with full penalty for perjury. All parties shall have full opportunity to respond to and present evidence, cross examine witnesses, and present argument. The hearing shall be tape recorded and minutes be kept, unless a party requests a transcript, in which case a verbatim transcript shall be made by a qualified court reported at the expense of the requesting party.
The Department shall have the burden of proving its position by clear and convincing evidence and all findings of fact, conclusions, and decisions by the County Board shall be based on evidence presented and matters officially noticed.
The Rules of Evidence, as applied in the courts, shall not apply to the hearing, but irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded. The hearing shall be confined to the matters raised in the Department's written notice of suspension, summary suspension or termination or in the appellant's written request for a hearing.
A pre-hearing conference shall be held at least five working days prior to the hearing with a designated representative of the County Board. At the conference each party shall:
- Provide ten copies of any documentary evidence in the possession of that part and two copies of any photographs, slides, or demonstrative evidence. If the demonstrative evidence is not capable of reproduction, the party possessing it shall bring the original, or two copies of an accurate photograph and ten copies of a thorough written description thereof.
- State the full name and address of all witnesses who will be called at the hearing and a brief description of the facts and opinions to which each is expected to testify. If the names and addresses are not known, the party shall describe them thoroughly by job duties and involvement with the facts in issue.
The representative of the County Board at the pre-hearing conference shall cause one copy of any documentary, photographic, or demonstrative evidence to be delivered promptly to the adverse party. All remaining copies shall be delivered promptly to the Chair of the County Board for distribution among Board members and the Board's legal counsel, and/or for inclusion in the official record.
Evidence not divulged at the pre-hearing conference, as provided above, shall be excluded at the hearing unless the party advancing the evidence took all reasonable steps to divulge it to the adverse party prior to the hearing and:
- The evidence was not known to the party at the time of the pre-hearing conference; or
- The evidence is in rebuttal to matters raised for the first time at or subsequent to the pre-hearing conference.
Section IX: Enforcement and inspection
Routine inspection and evaluation of activities, trades, professions, businesses, privileges, sites, facilities and establishments shall be made by the Department charged with enforcement of the particular Ordinance in such frequency as to insure consistent compliance by the applicant or licensee with the provisions of the County Ordinance. The licensee shall be provided with written and documented notice of when the corrections shall be accomplished. The licensee shall be required to allow free access to authorized representatives of the Department, County Board, or to authorized representatives of any other governmental agency at any time for the purpose of making such inspections as may be necessary to determine compliance with the requirement of this Ordinance, or any other applicable statute, ordinance or regulation. Failure of the applicant or licensee to permit such inspection shall be grounds for revocation, suspension or denial of license.
The County shall have the right to inspect private property to determine if applicant or licensee is in compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance.
Section X: Severability
If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, said invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and for this purpose the provisions of this Ordinance are severable.
Section XI: Provisions accumulative
The provisions of this Ordinance are cumulative and are additional limitations upon all other laws and ordinances heretofore passed covering any subject matter.
Section XII: No consent
Nothing contained in this Ordinance shall be deemed to be consent, license, or permit to locate, construct, or maintain any site, facility, or establishment, or to carry on any activity, trade, profession or privilege.
This ordinance was current when published on the web site. To be certain that it has not been amended please contact the Hennepin County Taxpayer Services Department.