Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 2. REGULATION OF RELATED BUSINESSES BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION [3901 - 5513]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 8. Charter-Party Carriers of Passengers [5351 - 5450]

  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146. )

ARTICLE 6. Fines and Penalties [5411 - 5420]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146. )

5411.
  

Every charter-party carrier of passengers and every officer, director, agent, or employee of any charter-party carrier of passengers who violates or who fails to comply with, or who procures, aids, or abets any violation by any charter-party carrier of passengers of any provision of this chapter, or who fails to obey, observe, or comply with any order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, or of any operating permit or certificate issued to any charter-party carrier of passengers, or who procures, aids, or abets any charter-party carrier of passengers in its failure to obey, observe, or comply with any such order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, requirement, or operating permit or certificate, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than three months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 328, Sec. 204. (SB 1330) Effective January 1, 2011.)

5411.3.
  

Every charter-party carrier of passengers, and every officer, director, agent, or employee of a charter-party carrier of passengers, who displays on any vehicle any identifying symbol other than one prescribed by the commission pursuant to Section 5385, or who fails to remove an identifying symbol when required by the commission, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 4. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5411.5.
  

(a) Whenever a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, arrests a person for operation of a charter-party carrier of passengers without a valid certificate or permit, the peace officer may impound and retain possession of the vehicle.

(b) Whenever a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, arrests a person for operating a charter-party carrier of passengers as a taxicab in violation of an ordinance or resolution of a city, county, or city and county, the peace officer may impound and retain possession of the vehicle.

(c) If the vehicle is seized from a person who is not the owner of the vehicle, the impounding authority shall immediately give notice to the owner by first-class mail.

(d) The vehicle shall immediately be returned to the owner if the infraction or violation is not prosecuted or is dismissed, the owner is found not guilty of the offense, or it is determined that the vehicle was used in violation of Section 5411 without the knowledge and consent of the owner. The vehicle shall be returned to the owner upon payment of any fine ordered by the court. If the vehicle is seized due to a violation of a person other than the owner of the vehicle, the vehicle shall be returned to the owner after all impoundment fees are paid. After the expiration of six weeks from the final disposition of the criminal case, unless the owner is in the process of making payments to the court, the impounding authority may deal with the vehicle as lost or abandoned property under Section 1411 of the Penal Code.

(e) At any time, a person may make a motion in superior court for the immediate return of the vehicle on the ground that there was no probable cause to seize it or that there is some other good cause, as determined by the court, for the return of the vehicle. A proceeding under this section is a limited civil case.

(f) No peace officer, however, may impound any vehicle owned or operated by a nonprofit organization exempt from taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code which serves youth or senior citizens and provides transportation incidental to its programs or services or a rented motor vehicle that is being operated by a hired driver of a charter-party carrier of passengers that is providing hired driver service.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 472, Sec. 10. (AB 2572) Effective January 1, 2011.)

5411.6.
  

Every charter party carrier of passengers and every officer, director, agent, or employee of a charter party carrier of passengers who knowingly and willfully makes a false statement of the carrier’s gross operating revenues in order to underpay the commission’s reimbursement fees is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 927, Sec. 13.)

5412.
  

Every corporation or person other than a charter-party carrier of passengers, who knowingly and willfully, either individually, or acting as an officer, agent, or employee of a corporation, copartnership, or any other person other than a charter-party carrier of passengers, violates any provision of this chapter or fails to observe, obey, or comply with any order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, or who procures, aids, or abets any charter-party carrier of passengers in its violation of this chapter, or in its failure to obey, observe, or comply with any such order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than three months, or both.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 5. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5412.2.
  

(a) When a person is convicted of the offense of operating a taxicab without a valid certificate or permit, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, if the court determines the operator has the ability to pay, the court shall impose a mandatory fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for a first conviction or five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a subsequent conviction.

(b) When a person is convicted of the offense of operating a charter-party carrier of passengers without a valid certificate or permit, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, if the court determines the operator has the ability to pay, the court shall impose a mandatory fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for a first conviction or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a subsequent conviction.

(c) As used in this section, “taxicab” means a passenger vehicle designed for carrying not more than eight persons, excluding the driver, and used to carry passengers for hire. “Taxicab” shall not include a charter-party carrier of passengers within the meaning of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 6. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5412.5.
  

Every officer or person employed by the commission who, except as authorized by the commission or a court, discloses any fact or information from an inspection of the accounts, books, papers, or documents of a charter-party carrier of passengers is guilty of a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than three months, or by both.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 472, Sec. 8.)

5413.
  

Every charter-party carrier of passengers and every officer, director, agent, or employee of any charter-party carrier of passengers who violates or who fails to comply with, or who procures, aids, or abets, any violation by any charter-party carrier of passengers of any provision of this chapter, or who fails to obey, observe, or comply with any order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, or of any operating permit or certificate issued to any charter-party carrier of passengers, or who procures, aids, or abets any charter-party carrier of passengers in its failure to obey, observe, or comply with any such order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, requirement, or operating permit, or certificate, is subject to a penalty of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each offense.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 7. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5413.5.
  

(a) Whenever the commission, after hearing, finds that any person or corporation is operating as a charter-party carrier of passengers, including a charter-party carrier operating a limousine, without a valid certificate or permit, or fails to include in any written or oral advertisement the number of the certificate or permit required by Section 5386, the commission may impose a fine of not more than seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) for each violation. The commission may assess the person or corporation an amount sufficient to cover the reasonable expense of investigation incurred by the commission. The commission may assess interest on any fine or assessment imposed, to commence on the day the payment of the fine or assessment becomes delinquent. All fines, assessments, and interest collected shall be deposited at least once each month in the General Fund.

(b) Whenever the commission, after hearing, finds that any person or corporation is operating a charter-party carrier of passengers as a taxicab without a valid certificate or permit in violation of an ordinance or resolution of a city, county, or city and county, the commission may impose a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each violation. The commission may assess the person or corporation an amount sufficient to cover the reasonable expense of investigation incurred by the commission. The commission may assess interest on any fine or assessment imposed, to commence on the day the payment of the fine or assessment becomes delinquent. All fines, assessments, and interest collected shall be deposited at least once each month in the General Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 8. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5414.
  

Every corporation or person other than a charter-party carrier of passengers who knowingly and willfully, either individually, or acting as an officer, agent, or employee of a corporation, copartnership, or any other person other than a charter-party carrier of passengers, violates any provision of this chapter or fails to observe, obey, or comply with any order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission, or who procures, aids, or abets any charter-party carrier of passengers in its violation of this chapter, or in its failure to obey, observe, or comply with any such order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement, is subject to a penalty of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each offense.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 263, Sec. 9. (AB 951) Effective January 1, 2010.)

5414.5.
  

Every corporation or person who knowingly and willfully issues, publishes, or affixes, or causes or permits the issuance, publishing, or affixing, of any oral or written advertisement, broadcast, or other holding out to the public, or any portion thereof, that the corporation or person is in operation as a charter-party carrier of passengers without having a valid certificate or permit issued under this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable, if an individual, by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or by both, or, if a corporation, by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 806, Sec. 3. Effective September 19, 1985.)

5415.
  

Every violation of the provisions of this chapter or of any order, decision, decree, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission by any corporation or person is a separate and distinct offense, and in case of a continuing violation each day’s continuance thereof is a separate and distinct offense.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146.)

5415.5.
  

When the executive director of the commission determines that any charter-party carrier of passengers, or any officer, director, or agent of any charter-party carrier of passengers, has engaged in, is engaged in, or is about to engage in, any acts or practices in violation of this chapter, or any order, decision, rule, regulation, direction, demand, or requirement issued under this chapter, the executive director may make application to the superior court for an order enjoining those acts or practices or for an order directing compliance. The court may grant a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order, including, but not limited to, an order allowing vehicles used for subsequent operations subject to the order to be impounded at the carrier’s expense and subject to release only by subsequent court order following a petition to the court by the defendant or owner of the vehicle, upon a showing by the executive director that a person or corporation has engaged in or is about to engage in these acts or practices. The commission may contract with the Department of the California Highway Patrol or a sheriff to assist in enforcement of an order for vehicle impound. Any costs incurred by the commission for that assistance are not assignable to the carrier as an expense of impound.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 797, Sec. 2. (SB 1474) Effective January 1, 2019.)

5416.
  

All penalties accruing under this chapter are cumulative, and a suit for the recovery of one penalty does not bar or affect the recovery of any other penalty or forfeiture or bar any criminal prosecution against any person or corporation, or any officer, director, agent of employee thereof, or any other corporation or person, or bar the exercise by the commission of its power to punish for contempt.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146.)

5417.
  

(a) Actions to recover penalties under this chapter shall be brought in the name of the people of the State of California, in the superior court of the county, or city and county, in which the cause or some part thereof arose, or in which the corporation complained of, if any, has its principal place of business, or in which the person, if any, complained of, resides. The action shall be commenced and prosecuted to final judgment by the attorney of the commission.

(b) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.

(Repealed (in Sec. 13) and added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 552, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2009. Section operative January 1, 2014, by its own provisions.)

5417.5.
  

(a) The commission shall ensure that this chapter is enforced and obeyed, and that violations thereof are promptly prosecuted and that penalty moneys due to the state are recovered and collected, and to this end it may sue in the name of the people of the State of California. Upon the request of the commission, the Attorney General or the district attorney of the proper county or city and county may aid in any investigation, hearing, or trial under this chapter. The Attorney General, a district attorney of the proper county or city and county, or a city attorney may institute and prosecute actions or proceedings for the violation of any law committed in connection with, or arising from, a transaction involving a charter-party carrier of passengers.

(b) For purposes of this section, “peace officer” means a person designated as a peace officer pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

(c) A peace officer may enforce and assist in the enforcement of Sections 5411 and 5412 resulting from a violation of Section 5371, 5379, 5385, 5385.7, or 5387, or more than one of those sections. A peace officer may additionally enforce and assist in the enforcement of Sections 5411.3 and 5414.5. In any case in which an arrest authorized by this subdivision is made for an offense declared to be a misdemeanor, and the person arrested does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, the arresting peace officer may, instead of taking such person before a magistrate, follow the procedure prescribed by Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code. The provisions of that chapter shall thereafter apply with reference to any proceeding based upon the issuance of a citation pursuant to this authority.

(d) The commission shall coordinate enforcement of this section with those peace officers likely to be involved in enforcing this section, including undertaking both of the following:

(1) Educational outreach to promote awareness among those peace officers about the requirements of Sections 5371, 5379, 5385, 5385.7, 5387, 5411, 5411.3, 5412, and 5414.5.

(2) Establishing lines of communication so that the commission is notified if an action is commenced to enforce the requirements of those sections specified in subdivision (c), so that the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine and penalty provisions of this article.

(e) The Attorney General, a district attorney of the proper county or city and county, or a city attorney may institute and prosecute actions or proceedings for the violation of any law committed in connection with, or arising from, a transaction involving the transportation of passengers by a charter-party carrier of passengers.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 718, Sec. 10. (SB 541) Effective January 1, 2016.)

5418.
  

In any such action, all penalties incurred up to the time of the commencement of the action may be sued for and recovered. In all such actions, the procedure and rules of evidence shall be the same as in ordinary civil actions.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146.)

5419.
  

All penalties recovered by the State in any action pursuant to this chapter, together with the costs thereof, shall be paid into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund. Any such action may be compromised or discontinued on application of the commission upon such terms as the court approves and orders.

(Added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2146.)

5420.
  

Whenever a written notice to appear has been mailed to the owner of a charter-party carrier of passengers motor vehicle, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice, when filed with the magistrate in lieu of a verified complaint, is a complaint to which the defendant may plead guilty.

If, however, the defendant fails to appear, does not deposit bail, or pleads other than guilty to the offense charged, a complaint shall be filed which conforms to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 948) of Title 5 of Part 2 of the Penal Code and which shall be deemed to be an original complaint, and thereafter the proceeding shall be held as provided by law, except that the defendant may, by an agreement in writing, subscribed by the defendant and filed with the court, waive the filing of a verified complaint and elect that the prosecution may proceed upon a written notice to appear.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1093, Sec. 13.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC6