Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 5. WEIGHTS AND MEASURES [12001 - 13800]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43. )

CHAPTER 2. Administration [12100 - 12246]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43. )

ARTICLE 2. Local Administration [12200 - 12215]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43. )

12200.
  

There is in each county the office of county sealer of weights and measures. The county sealer shall be appointed by the board of supervisors, except in chartered counties where a different method of appointment is prescribed. The term of office of such sealer is four years from and after his appointment and until his successor is appointed but he may be removed as hereinafter provided.

In addition to his salary each sealer is entitled to his necessary traveling and other expenses incurred in the performance of his duties.

A county sealer may, with the consent of the power appointing him, appoint deputies or inspectors when necessary or expedient to carry out the duties of his office. Such deputies or inspectors shall serve at the pleasure of the county sealer.

The sealer may employ such clerks and employees as may be approved by the appointing power. Any such clerk or employee shall not have authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

A county may in its discretion refer to a deputy county sealer as a weights and measures inspector.

(Amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 83.)

12201.
  

If from any cause a vacancy occurs in the office of county sealer, the secretary upon learning of the vacancy shall immediately transmit to the board of supervisors or other appointing power a list of persons licensed by him or her for the position. If the appointing power fails to appoint a county sealer within 60 days after the receipt of the list, the secretary shall appoint a county sealer from that list. A person holding the position of Deputy State Sealer shall be appointed the county sealer of weights and measures for, and an employee of, the county to which he or she is assigned. The secretary shall issue to him or her a license that is valid only for the county he or she is serving. He or she shall become subject to this code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 29. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12201.1.
  

The salary and other compensation provided for the county sealer, deputy county sealers and inspectors and clerks shall be paid out of the county treasury in the same manner and at the same time as other county officers are paid. The county sealer, deputy county sealers and inspectors shall each be entitled to receive his traveling and incidental expenses incurred in the performance of his duties.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 1600.)

12201.2.
  

If the position of sealer cannot be filled by the board of supervisors or other appointing power or by the secretary as provided in Section 12201, then it shall be the duty of the secretary to perform the duties of sealer in the same manner, to the same extent, and with the same authority as if he or she had been the duly appointed sealer therein. The board of supervisors of the county shall reimburse the department for all expenses incurred by the secretary in fulfilling his or her responsibilities under the provisions of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 30. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12202.
  

(a) The secretary shall cause to be examined persons desiring to become county sealers, deputy county sealers, or inspectors and shall adopt rules and regulations governing these examinations given for the purpose of determining the fitness, experience, and qualifications of candidates for these positions. The secretary may provide for inspectors qualified to be employed in designated categories. Successful candidates shall be given a license that shall be good for five years unless revoked. Licenses of incumbent county sealers, deputy county sealers, or inspectors shall be renewed upon expiration without further examination.

(b) The secretary may charge each candidate a fee to cover the actual cost of providing the license examination.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 31. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12203.
  

Except as provided in this section, no person shall hereafter be appointed to the office of county sealer, deputy county sealer, or inspector unless he or she has a license issued by the secretary as provided in Section 12202. If there is no person available for the position of county sealer who holds a license, the appointing power may make a temporary appointment of a person recommended in writing by the secretary. If the appointing power does not make a temporary appointment and no person can be appointed from the eligible list by the secretary, then the secretary may make a temporary appointment of a person competent to carry on the duties of the office. Any temporary appointment shall be for a period not exceeding six months or until the next license examination is held. If the position of deputy county sealer or inspector cannot be filled from the lists, a temporary appointment may be made, upon the written recommendation of the secretary for a period not exceeding six months.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 32. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12204.
  

In chartered counties providing for the civil service examination of sealers, deputy sealers, or inspectors the secretary shall issue a license without further examination upon presentation of a certificate showing the candidate has passed the examination. In these counties the board or commission responsible for the civil service examination may require a license from the secretary as a minimum qualification.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 573, Sec. 48. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12205.
  

For the purpose of receiving advice on the best and most efficacious methods of performing his or her duties and conducting his or her office, every county sealer serving in a county shall attend the annual meeting of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association and other meetings as the department or the board of supervisors requires.

The county sealer shall be allowed all actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred while on any service that requires him or her to go outside the county. Those expenses shall be a charge against the county in which the county sealer is employed.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 33. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12206.
  

The jurisdiction of a county sealer appointed by a county or the secretary extends over the entire territorial limits of the county.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 573, Sec. 49. (SB 800) Effective January 1, 2018.)

12207.
  

The department shall furnish an identification card to each sealer. The identification card shall be a form as prescribed by the department and shall be returned to the department by the sealer upon termination of his duties as a sealer.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 87.)

12209.
  

Every sealer shall:

(a) Carefully preserve all copies of the standards of weights and measures in his possession;

(b) Keep the copies in a safe and suitable place when not actually in use;

(c) Annually and at such other times as the department requires file with the department a written report of the work done by him, of the weights, measures, weighing and measuring instruments inspected or tested by him, the result of such inspection, of all prosecutions instituted by him for violations of the provisions of this division and of all other matters and things pertaining to his duties or which may be required by the department.

(Added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43.)

12209.5.
  

Each sealer may, when so directed by the board of supervisors, issue and cause to be distributed to such persons as he may deem proper illustrative material or statements best adapted to insure the correct use of weights and measures and weighing and measuring devices and may prepare exhibits designed to inform the public for its protection of the duties performed by weights and measures officials.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 303.)

12209.6.
  

(a) A county sealer may test and certify the accuracy of all parking meters located in the county in which the sealer has jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, parking meters owned or operated by a city, county, or a city and county.

(b) If the county sealer determines that a specific parking meter is inaccurate, the sealer shall notify the owner or operator of the meter, may immediately close the meter, and any person may park a vehicle free of charge in the parking space to which the inaccurate meter corresponds until the owner or operator replaces or repairs the inaccurate parking meter.

(c) For purposes of this section, an “inaccurate parking meter” means a parking meter that provides less time than is paid for by a person using the metered parking space.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 511, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)

12210.
  

(a) Each sealer shall, within his or her county inspect, try and test all weights, scales, beams, measures of any kind, instruments or mechanical devices for weighing or measurements, and tools, appliances and accessories connected with any or all such instruments or measures, sold, or used by any proprietor, agent, lessee or employee for commercial purposes, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 12500.

(b) Each sealer shall, when so directed by the board of supervisors of his or her county, and only upon the written request of any person, firm or corporation, calibrate, test, weigh, and measure, and certify to the accuracy of, noncommercial weights and measures and weighing and measuring devices, and instruments, tools, and accessories connected therewith. The board of supervisors may authorize the sealer to establish from time to time a schedule of fees to cover the cost of such service and to charge and collect the fees.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 178, Sec. 1.)

12210.3.
  

(a) A county sealer who possesses the appropriate equipment to perform tests on water submeters shall inspect, test, and certify to the accuracy of a water submeter, within his or her county and upon written request of the owner, user, or operator of the water submeter, if any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The service is requested to be performed in addition to, or according to a schedule different from, any inspection frequency established by regulations adopted pursuant to Section 12212.

(2) The requested service pertains to a water submeter not intended to be placed into service in the county within six months.

(3) The requested service pertains to a water submeter intended to be placed into service in a different county.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 12210.5, the board of supervisors may authorize the sealer to establish, from time to time, a schedule of fees to cover the cost of services provided under subdivision (a) and to charge and collect the fees. The fee schedule shall be limited to the actual cost of performing those services.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 539, Sec. 1. (AB 2451) Effective January 1, 2015.)

12210.5.
  

(a) Any county which inspects or tests any weighing or measuring device or instrument used commercially, at the request of the owner or user of that device, when inspection or testing of the device could legally be performed by a registered service agency, as defined in Section 12531, may, if authorized by the county board of supervisors, collect from the requesting owner or user thereof a fee.

(b) That fee shall be based upon a uniform schedule of fees, which shall be prescribed by the secretary for use by the counties. The secretary shall prepare the schedule of fees to be comparable with the rates charged by the industry’s registered service agencies. All fees collected shall be credited to the general fund of the county in which collected and used only for the administration and enforcement of laws pertaining to weights and measures.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 662, Sec. 1. (AB 1181) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12210.7.
  

A county sealer shall, within his or her county and upon written request of the owner, user, or operator of the water submeter, authorize the installation of a water submeter that has been inspected, tested, and sealed by the county sealer of another county if all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The meter bears a seal that represents the most recent seal of the county in which the water submeter was inspected, in accordance with the provisions of Section 12505.

(b) The water submeter is installed no later than 12 months after the water submeter was inspected, tested, and sealed.

(c) The county sealer does not have reason to believe the water submeter has been tampered with, damaged, or otherwise rendered inoperable since the inspection, testing, and sealing by the other county sealer.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 539, Sec. 2. (AB 2451) Effective January 1, 2015.)

12211.
  

Each sealer shall, from time to time, weigh or measure packages, containers, or amounts of commodities sold, or in the process of delivery, in order to determine whether they contain the quantity or amount represented and whether they are being sold in accordance with law.

The secretary shall adopt necessary regulations governing the procedures to be followed by sealers in connection with the weighing or measuring of amounts of commodities in individual packages, containers, or lots of packages or containers, including the procedures for sampling a lot, and for determining whether any package, container, or a lot of packages or containers complies with this section.

In adopting those regulations, the secretary shall adopt by reference the package checking procedures recommended by the National Conference on Weights and Measures and published in the current edition of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 133, “Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods,” and any subsequent amendments thereto, except insofar as those requirements are specifically modified, amended, or rejected by a regulation adopted by the secretary.

Any lot, package, or container of any commodity that conforms to this section shall be deemed to be in conformity with this division relating to stated net weights or measures.

Whenever a lot, package, or container of any commodity is found to contain, through the procedures authorized in this section, a less amount than that represented, the sealer shall order, in writing, that lot, package, or container of commodity off sale and require that an accurate statement of quantity be placed on each package or container before it may be released for sale by the sealer in writing. The sealer may seize as evidence any package or container that is found to contain a less amount than that represented.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 156, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1996.)

12212.
  

(a) The secretary shall adopt necessary regulations governing the inspection frequency of all commercially used weights, measures, and weighing and measuring apparatus in the state.

(b) The sealer of each county shall perform such inspections as may be required by the secretary. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sealer from inspecting a device more frequently than required if he or she deems those tests to be necessary.

(c) Any regulation shall be adopted by the secretary in conformity with the provisions of Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11371) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(d) In counties where the secretary finds that the sealer, because of lack of equipment, is unable or fails to perform the tests as required herein, the secretary may enter into a contract with the board of supervisors of each of those counties to perform the tests. Those contracts shall provide that the county shall pay the cost of those services based upon a uniform schedule of fees developed by the secretary. The fee schedule shall be based on the approximate cost of performing those services. The contracts shall also provide that the secretary shall periodically render a bill to each county so served for the cost of services rendered, and the auditor of the county so billed shall pay the charge in the same manner in which other claims against the county are paid.

(e) All fees collected under the provisions of this section shall be credited to the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 35. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12213.
  

Each sealer may, in the general performance of his duty, without formal warrant, enter or go into or upon, any stand, place, building or premises or stop any vendor, peddler, junk-dealer, driver of a coal, ice, delivery, or other wagon or vehicle, containing commodities for sale or delivery and, if necessary, require him to proceed with the commodity to some place which the sealer may specify for the purpose of making the proper tests.

(Added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43.)

12214.
  

(a) Upon satisfactory evidence presented to the secretary that the county sealer of any county is guilty of neglect of duty, incompetence, or misconduct in office, the trial board hereinafter provided for shall hold a hearing or hearings at times and places that it shall provide.

(b) The secretary and the president of the voluntary association of the sealers of the state shall select an impartial third person who, with them, shall compose a county sealer’s trial board to determine whether the sealer is guilty of the charges presented.

(c) At least 10 days prior to the date of hearing, the secretary shall give notice in writing to the sealer of the time and place of hearing and any information as to the nature of the charges that will enable the sealer to make a defense thereto.

(d) At the hearing or hearings, the trial board shall hear evidence that is offered and thereafter, within 30 days, make an order dismissing the charges or an order disqualifying the sealer.

(e) In case the order disqualifies the sealer, the secretary shall forthwith revoke the sealer’s license and declare the office vacant and a copy of the order shall be immediately transmitted by the secretary to the board of supervisors and the auditor of the county in which the sealer held office.

(f) The license of a deputy sealer or inspector may be revoked in the same manner and for the same causes that a license of a sealer may be revoked.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 661, Sec. 36. (SB 1576) Effective January 1, 2013.)

12215.
  

A county sealer who receives information or evidence indicating that any weighing or measuring device, parking meter, or other installation under the county sealer’s jurisdiction has been altered in such a way as to facilitate any type of fraud shall coordinate with the appropriate law enforcement authorities as needed in investigating and prosecuting the fraudulent activity.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 329, Sec. 1. (AB 2307) Effective January 1, 2017.)

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