Ordinance Violations and Hearings

Saper Law attorneys deal with a wide variety of Chicago ordinance violations and have represented many new or small businesses that are unaccustomed to legal proceedings. Our team will walk you through the process and help you present your case in the best way possible.

If you received an ordinance violation citation and want to discuss your options, call us at (312) 527-4100 or click here to schedule a consultation.

IMPORTANT: The Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings now requires that an attorney must represent all businesses at administrative proceedings, including ordinance citation hearings. Click here to read more.

How Chicago Ordinance Citation Hearings Work

At most hearings, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will decide whether the City has enough evidence to go to trial (though sometimes a settlement can be reached with the city attorney before the case goes before the ALJ). A court will dismiss the case if the facts are insufficient to support the violation recipient’s liability or if the City improperly documents the Administrative Notice of Ordinance Violation (ANOV). Otherwise, the recipient will be given a chance to explain and defend his case before the ALJ determines whether the recipient is liable.

Common Ordinance Violations

Building Code Violations

The City of Chicago’s Buildings Hearings Division hears the cases brought on by the Building, Fire and Zoning Departments. The most common violations that a building owner will receive are for unkempt state; improper permit for advertising; or safety, structural, plumbing or electrical problems in the building. However, they are mostly concerned with structural problems that pose a risk to public safety. Since this is so important, fines are frequently given and can reoccur daily as long as the violation hasn’t been fixed.

Business Violations

When companies fail to obtain a license or improperly display it, the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) steps in. They also issue tickets for deceiving business practices and overweight vehicles. The BACP will issue an Administrative Notice of Ordinance Violation (ANOV) for violating one of the codes of the Chicago Municipal Code. The City of Chicago Environmental Safety & Consumer Affairs Hearings Division then hears these cases.

Common business ordinance violations include:

  • No Business License (MCC 4-4-020(a))
  • Failure to Display Business License Insignia (MCC 4-4-210)
  • Deceptive Practices (MCC 4-276-470)
  • Overweight Vehicle (MCC 9-72-080(a))
  • Interfering with Official Duties (MCC 2-25-080)

CDOT Violations

This violation pertains to any public way such as roads or sidewalks, addressed by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT). A CDOT inspector will issue an ANOV when: a street is not properly asphalted, when street maintenance violates the terms of a permit or lacks a permit entirely, or an unpermitted dumpster box is on the street.

Common CDOT Violations include:

  • Pavement Restoration (MCC 10-20-155)
  • Tearing Up Public Ways without a Permit (MCC 10-20-160)
  • Placing an Object upon the Public Way (MCC 10-28-040)
  • Advertising Signs (MCC 10-28-064)
  • Failure to Obtain or Amend Public Protection Permits (MCC 10-28-281.5)
  • Regarding the Construction and Maintenance of Public Protection Canopies (MCC 10-28-283)
  • Dumpster on Public Way (MCC 10-28-281.5)
  • Snow and Ice Removal (MCC 10-8-180)

Health Code Violations

The City of Chicago Department of Public Health will issue an ANOV when a Public Health inspector finds a food establishment in violation of the public health ordinances. These types of violations are commonly given to restaurants and grocery stores for inadequate temperature of food and facilities, poor hygiene, rodent or bug infestation and lack of food manager.

Common Health Code violations include:

  • Improper Food Protection (MCC 7-38-005(B)(B-2))
  • Improper Facility Temperature (MCC 7-38-005(A))
  • No Safe Hot/Cold Water (MCC 7-38-030)
  • No Working Toilets or Hand Soap/Hand Towels (MCC 7-38-030)
  • Certified Manager Not Present When Food Prepared/Served (MCC 7-38-012)

Street & Sanitation Violations

Violation of any ordinances that concern the maintenance of cleanliness or trash disposal under the Streets and Sanitation ordinance of the Chicago Municipal Code can receive an ANOV. Residents of Chicago can receive this notice if they do not ensure the following: garbage is in a designated trash container, trash bags are tightly closed, large items are arranged to be separately picked up, discarded building materials are disposed of properly, and materials stored on private property are neatly organized and at least eighteen inches off the ground. Additionally, owners of vacant lots are responsible for the preservation of their lots, guaranteeing that no litter or abandoned vehicles accumulate. Further, owners are to ensure that weeds do not exceed ten inches in height.

Common Street & Sanitation Violations include:

  • High Weeds (MCC 7-28-120(a))
  • Accumulation of Refuse (MCC 7-28-261)
  • Garbage Dumping (MCC 7-28-710)
  • Accumulation of Junk (MCC 7-28-720)
  • Lot Maintenance (MCC 7-28-740)
  • Noncombustible Fence Required for Open Lot (MCC 7-28-750)

City Licensing

Attaining a City of Chicago business license can be a tedious task. The City can deny an application or revoke a license for tobacco violations, failing to pay City debt such as parking tickets, or a variety of other reasons. When renewing a license, unpaid fines, debt, disciplinary action, or the lack of signature on a permit can delay the process.