A. An alarm user may challenge the validity of a false alarm determination by appealing the determination. The appeal request must be in writing (email or standard mail) and must be submitted to the System Administrator within ten days of the alarm user having received Notice of False Alarm. Failure to contest the determination in the required time period results in a conclusive presumption that the alarm was false and waiver of any claims or defenses regarding the false alarm or penalties therefore.
1. All first time offenses shall be considered a warning and no economic penalty will be applied. Because there are no economic damages, no appeal of a first offense warning will be allowed.
2. However, first offenses will count toward the cumulative number of offenses in any permit year. Should an alarm user wish to raise on appeal the impropriety of the first offense for purposes of having it not count toward the cumulative permit year total, the alarm user may challenge the validity of their first offense in addition to the validity of the offense that they are currently appealing. The effect of a finding that the first offense was improper shall only act to strike that offense from the permit year total; no economic or other relief is available.
B. Appeal requests must include all documentation that a cited alarm user wishes the System Administrator to review. An alarm user appellant may include in this documentation a written statement setting forth their arguments as to facts and defenses. Any written statement shall not exceed 15 pages.
C. The Appeal request and all documentation will be reviewed and decided by the System Administrator or designee. In no event will the person reviewing and deciding the appeal also be the person that issued the false alarm determination. The appeal will be decided solely on the documentation presented without testimony, except as noted in Subsection D. below.
D. Alarm users over the age of 62 who have obtained a senior permit and alarm users with a verifiable disability may, as part of their Appeal Request, ask for a telephonic hearing in lieu of submitting written documentation. (Deaf persons or persons with a hearing impairment may also request additional accommodations such as an in-person hearing with the presence of a sign-language interpreter.)
1. If the request for a telephonic hearing is made and approved, the Alarms Administration Unit will contact the requester by telephone or email to schedule a hearing. While the Alarm Administration Unit will schedule the hearing, the alarm user is obligated to attend or call in to the hearing. An alarm user’s failure to do so waives their right to present any additional information for consideration of the appeal and will be justification for dismissal of the appeal.
2. In any case where a telephonic hearing (or in-person hearing as a reasonable accommodation) has been held, the appeal will be decided on the basis of the testimony provided and any other relevant documentation submitted, but alarm users will not also be allowed to present a written statement for consideration.
3. Any hearing held shall be informal and not subject to Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure or Oregon Rules of Evidence. The appellant is limited to giving a statement and/or submitting additional documentary evidence and will not engage is eliciting direct testimony or conducting cross-examination.
4. The hearing will be audio tape recorded, but not transcribed. The alarm user may request a copy of the audiotape to be transcribed at their own cost.
E. The System Administrator or designee deciding the appeal will render a decision within 30 days after receipt of the appeal request or after any hearing, as applicable. The System Administrator shall document the decision in writing, setting forth the reasons for the decision, and take any further steps necessary to effectuate their decision. The System Administrator shall, contemporaneously with rendering the written decision, send a copy of the written decision to the alarm user either via regular mail or email (as indicated in their permit application).
F. If the appeal is granted and it is determined that the false alarm at issue did not occur, then the findings will be waived and expunged from an alarm user’s record as appropriate, and will not be counted toward the yearly permit amount for any other purposes of this Chapter. If the appeal is denied and the false alarm designation remains on the alarm user’s record, the Administrator may pursue fine collection and/or permit cancellation as set out in this Chapter.