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NEW LAW WITH HEAVY FINES FOR DISTURBING THE PUBLIC

City Council Bill 10-0618

Now in effect as

Article 19. Police Ordinances Subtitle 43B.

 NEIGHBORHOOD NUISANCES – CITATIONS

This law defines a neighborhood nuisance as “any premises on or in which an owner, operator, tenant, or occupant of the premises:

1.     Acts in a disorderly manner that disturbs the public….or

2.     Creates or maintains conditions that lets others to act in a disorderlymanner that disturbs the public….” (Emphasis Added)

First offense can result in a $500 environmental citation to Property Owners, Operators, Tenants, and/or Occupants.  Subsequent offenses within 12 months are each $1000.

Citations are triggered by a police report and enforced by the Baltimore City Housing Department and the Environmental Control Board. A police report describing the violations at the premises is, by itself, good and sufficient evidence to establish that the premise is a “Neighborhood Nuisance”.

Environmental citations are a lien against a property.

The law applies to property owners, tenants, occupants, of a property AND to owners, whether or not “… the owner, operator, tenant, or occupant knew of the existence of the neighborhood nuisance.” 43B-6 (C)

(Writing a citation, by the way, does not prevent an officer from also making arrests and using other additional enforcement procedures.)

The law provides owners and occupants a defense to a citation if, upon receipt of a citation, they can prove that they have already evicted the offending tenants or have already filed eviction court proceedings; and, that the court has already entered a judgment in such case. 

If eviction court proceedings are still pending at the time of the citations, the Environmental Control Board will postpone its [appeal] proceedings [for owners and operators] until the court eviction proceedings have concluded.