Blight violations are civil cases. Formerly processed as criminal misdemeanors, they were - until recently - adjudicated at the 36th District Court. Such violations often became part of a large backlog at that court, and many cases were not effectively prosecuted. The new method of handling blight violations, under the DAH, is designed to be more efficient. Cases that come before the Department include violations of property maintenance, zoning, solid waste, and illegal dumping ordinances.
Blight Violation Notices are issued by building and health inspectors and by police officers. Violations in these cases include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to obtain certificate of compliance
- Failure to obtain a certificate of rental registration
- Rat harborage
- Failure to remove snow and ice
- Inoperable vehicles
- Failure to maintain exterior of property
- Failure to comply with emergency orders
Blight Violation Notices are issued by building inspectors. Violations in these cases include, but are not limited to:
- Violations of special land use grants
- Change of land use without a permit
- Change of building use without a permit
- Failure to obtain the required certificate of maintenance of grant conditions
SOLID WASTE AND ILLEGAL DUMPING
Blight Violation Notices in these cases are issued by health and environmental inspectors, and police officers. Violations in these cases include, but are not limited to:
- Early or late placement of courville containers at the curb
- Improper set-out of bulk waste
- Improper storage of solid waste
- Animal and fowl excrement violations
- Illegal dumping
The City will actively and aggressively pursue violators, and the collection of fines. Fines are outlined for specific violations in the Detroit City Code and listed on each Blight Violation Notice. Hearing officers cannot impose jail time for any violations. The maximum fine that can be imposed is $10,000.
If a citizen ignores a Blight Violation Notice, a decision and order of default will be issued finding the citizen responsible for the violation alleged in the Blight Violation Notice.
Failure to pay fines, fees and costs will result in collection actions being started against the violator, which may include garnishment of wages and/or judgment liens being placed upon property.
There are various payment options for a Blight Violation Notice (BVN). Payments can be made in person at the Department of Administrative Hearings (DAH) during business hours, by mail, or via telephone for credit card payments. The DAH accepts cash, personal checks, money orders, certified checks, and VISA, Mastercard and Discovery cards.
Payment discount and penalty - Timely payment is essential:
- A FINE paid BEFORE the scheduled hearing date will be reduced by 10%
- A FINE paid AFTER the scheduled hearing date will be increased by 10%
NOTE: The date of receipt of the payment by the DAH determines whether a discount or penalty applies.
Administrative fee mandated by law:
There is a legislatively-mandated $30 administrative fee ($20 city administrative fee and $10.00 State Justice assessment) for the processing and adjudication of this Blight Violation Notice.
The Blight Violation Notice (ticket) states the specific violation, the date, time, and place that the alleged violation occurred and payment options concerning the fine.
An appearance at a hearing is required to contest the alleged violation. Blight Violation Notices also state the date, time and place of the scheduled hearing. Questions must be directed to the department that issued the violation. If it is believed that the citation was issued by mistake, it is strongly recommended to have all concerns addressed during the scheduled hearing. The consequences of ignoring a Blight Violation Notice may result in an uncontested decision and order of default being issued against the alleged violator.
Contact the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED) and ask to speak to the Property Maintenance Division supervisor.
If you do not appear at your hearing or ignore a Blight Violation Notice, a hearing officer will enter a decision and order of default against you, based upon the violations alleged in the notice. A decision and order of default can be used to place a lien on your property, garnish your wages, and/or affect your credit. The city usually requests that the maximum fine be imposed in default matters if the violation alleged in the notice was subject to a range of fines.