Citations

Have you received an Administrative Citation for violation(s) of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) Reusable Bag Ordinance?  You can pay the fine online by visiting the Citation Processing Center or by mailing a check payable to “ACWMA – Citation Processing Center” to the address below:

ACWMA – Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 7275
Newport Beach, CA 92658-7275

Please include your citation number with the payment.

Toll-free number for fine payment questions: (800) 969-6158.

Additional payment instructions are available in the “How can I clear the citation?” section below.

If you have additional questions specific to the Reusable Bag Ordinance or your violations, please review the Q&A below for information. If you have any questions not addressed here, please complete the Contact Us form or leave a message for a call back on the Reusable Bag Information line at (510) 891-6575.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I clear the citation?

To clear the citation you must pay the fine listed on your citation letter. To reduce the likelihood of future citations, correct the violations and remain in compliance with the requirements of the Ordinance by providing compliant paper or reusable bags, charging each time a bag is provided to a customer, and listing the bag charges on the customer receipt. Compliance will be determined upon re-inspection of your site.

You can pay the fine online or by mailing a check.

To pay online:

  1. Visit the Citation Processing Center and click “Citation Search”.
  2. Scroll down to the 4th set of boxes, “Search by Date & Citation Number – Parking and Administrative Citations”.
  3. Using your Administrative Citation as reference, enter the Citation Number and for Date of Violation enter in your Date of Citation (mm/dd/yy) [found at the top of the citation] and click “Search”.
  4. Click “Pay Citation by Credit/Debit Card” in the upper left side of the page. Please note that there is a nonrefundable processing fee of $3.50 to pay online by credit/debit card.
  5. Enter payment information and click “I Authorize This Transaction” once.
  6. A confirmation/receipt page and number will be provided on the next screen, which you may choose to print for your records. If you provided your email address with payment information, a copy of the receipt for your online payment will be emailed to you.

To pay by check:

  1. Mail a check made out for the amount of the “Total Fine” shown on the Administrative Citation and made payable to “ACWMA-Citation Processing Center” to the address below:

ACWMA – Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 7275
Newport Beach, CA 92658-7275

Include your citation number with the payment.

Toll-free number for fine payment questions: (800) 969-6158.

Can I appeal the fine?

You have the right to appeal the citation within 30 calendar days of the date on which you received the citation letter.

An appeal may be requested using the Request for Appeal of Administrative Citation Form. The completed form, along with any supporting documentation and the appeal fee, should be mailed to “ACWMA – Citation Processing Center” at P.O. Box 7275, Newport Beach, CA 92658-7275. At this time, the appeal cannot be submitted online at www.CitationProcessingCenter.com, but is anticipated to be available in the future.

Note that you must submit payment of the Total Fine amount with your appeal letter in order to be granted a citation appeal hearing. Note: if you choose to appeal the citation, you will be required to put on deposit the amount of the fine shown on your citation as a bond. You may include the Total Fine amount in a check made payable to “ACWMA – Citation Processing Center” with your Request for Appeal of Administrative Citation Form. Alternatively, you may pay by credit/debit card online at www.CitationProcessingCenter.com and then mail in your completed appeal form. Please see the above “How do I clear the citation?” section for more detailed instructions for online payment of the fine.

If you win the appeal, the bond amount on deposit will be returned to you. If you lose the appeal, the bond amount on deposit will be forfeited and your fine paid. Once your appeal request is received, you will be sent a written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing by certified mail. The notice will be sent at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing date.

How can I get help to correct the violation(s)?

We cannot provide direct assistance until the citation is paid or successfully appealed. However, information on how to comply and correct violations can be found by visiting the Listing of Violations page. For downloadable resources, view our Support Materials for Retailers and Restaurants.

If you have already cleared the citation, using this online form you can request assistance to select compliant bag(s), set up your register to itemize bag charges properly, and help educate your employees to ask customers if they want bags prior to finalizing customers’ sales. Correcting the violation(s) will reduce the likelihood of future citations.

Where can I find more information about the requirements of the Reusable Bag Ordinance?

Click here to view ACWMA Reusable Bag Ordinance 2016-02. For more information about the specific bag requirements, check out these resources. You can also visit the General FAQs.

Why am I being fined?

Citations are issued to retail businesses and eating establishments found to be in violation of the Reusable Bag Ordinance. Administrative Citations are issued after at least two official notices have been mailed to the business. If you need copies of previously sent enforcement letters—the Official Notification letter or Notice to Correct Violation letter—please complete the Contact Us form.

Citations may be issued for:

  1. Providing single-use plastic bag(s),
  2. Failure to charge minimum amount ($0.10) for recycled paper bag(s) or reusable bag(s)  [retail stores] or failure to charge minimum amount ($0.10) for reusable bag(s) [eating establishment], or
  3. Failure to itemize the charge for reusable bags on customer receipt.

Please refer to the table on page 1 of your citation letter to determine which specific violation(s) was/were witnessed at your location.

On the date of the citation inspection (listed on your citation letter) an Authority Representative observed that your business was in violation of one or more of the Ordinance requirements. Subsequently, the inspection was approved by enforcement staff, a representative from the jurisdiction the business is located in, and, finally, the Enforcement Officer before the citation was issued.

How was the fine amount assessed?

The Reusable Bag Ordinance Section 7 has a fine schedule for violations of the Ordinance. Separate fines are imposed for each requirement of the Ordinance that is violated. Please refer to the table on page 1 of your citation letter to determine which specific violation(s) were witnessed at your location.

Fines for violations are assessed at $100 per violation.  These violations are those that are witnessed on the day of inspection, but may not persist after the inspection has concluded.

Additional inspections will be conducted to verify compliance. If violations persist after a citation is issued, subsequent Administrative Citations will be issued. Fines will double for each subsequent citation within one year. The fine will increase to $200 per violation on the second citation within one year, and $400 per violation for each subsequent citation within one year.

The maximum total fine if all possible violations are in evidence for the first citation is $300. The maximum fine doubles to $600 and $1,200 if there is a second citation, or subsequent citations within a year and all possible violations are in evidence for each citation.

When do I have to pay the fine and what happens if I don’t?

The fine must be paid within 30 calendar days of the date on which you received the Administrative Citation. Citations are either delivered personally by an ACWMA representative or delivered by certified mail. Note the receipt date is not listed on your citation letter. If you need to know the date in which your letter was received, please complete the Contact Us form.

Failure to pay the fine within 30 days of receipt could result in additional fines and charges including but not limited to attorney fees, interest and recovery fees.

I didn’t get the first two letters. Do I have to pay the fine?

It is highly unlikely that you received a citation letter but not the first two letters, as citations have been issued only to businesses that have been issued at least two prior enforcement letters. If you would like to get copies of those letters, please complete the Contact Us form or leave a message for call back on the Reusable Bag Information line at (510) 891-6575.

If you would like to appeal the citation, you will need to follow the appeal process outlined below.

I completed the actions required to cure my violation(s). Do I have to pay the fine?

Yes, payment of the fine must be completed within 30 calendar days of the letter receipt date. Failure to do so may result in additional fines and charges including, but not limited to, attorney fees, interest and recovery fees. For a list of actions required to cure your violation(s), see the table on page 2 of your Administrative Citation.

If you would like to appeal the citation, you will need to follow the appeal process outlined below.