Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 4. FORESTS, FORESTRY AND RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4001 - 4958]

  ( Division 4 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

PART 2. PROTECTION OF FOREST, RANGE AND FORAGE LANDS [4101 - 4789.7]

  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 8. Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 [4511 - 4630.2]

  ( Chapter 8 repealed and added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )

ARTICLE 8. Penalties and Enforcement [4601 - 4611]
  ( Article 8 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 880. )

4601.
  

Any person who willfully violates any provision of this chapter or rule or regulation of the board is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punishable 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 such fine and imprisonment. The person is guilty of a separate misdemeanor offense under this section for each day in which an order for corrective action issued pursuant to Section 4605 or 4608 is violated.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 340. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)

4601.1.
  

(a) (1) In addition to any other penalty, any person who intentionally, knowingly, or negligently violates this chapter or a rule or regulation adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter is subject to a civil penalty imposed by a court in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation. For purposes of this section, damage that occurs over multiple days that results from a single action shall not be considered a continuing violation. For purposes of this section, each specific act that results in a violation of this chapter or a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, including an act that is repeated on separate days, shall be considered a separate violation.

(2) The Attorney General or district attorney, upon request of the director, shall petition the superior court to impose, assess, and recover a civil penalty pursuant to this subdivision. In determining the appropriate amount, the court shall consider all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, persistence, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation, the length of the time over which the violation occurred, whether any substantial damage caused by the violation is susceptible to corrective action, whether the violation was willful or caused by negligence, and, with respect to the violator, the ability of the violator to pay any fines or penalties, the effect on the ability to continue in business, the corrective action, if any, taken by the violator, whether the violator has any prior history of violations, the degree of culpability, economic savings, if any, resulting from the violation, and such other matters as justice may require.

(b) A civil penalty may also be administratively imposed by the department in accordance with Section 4601.2 on any person who intentionally, knowingly, or negligently violates this chapter or a rule or regulation adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation of a separate provision. For purposes of this section, damage that occurs over multiple days that results from a single action shall not be considered a continuing violation. For purposes of this section, each specific act that results in a violation of this chapter or a rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter, including an act that is repeated on separate days, shall be considered a separate violation.

(c) No person is subject to both a civil penalty imposed by the superior court under subdivision (a) and a civil penalty administratively imposed under subdivision (b) for the same act or failure to act.

(d) Any money recovered by the department pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the General Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 762, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4601.2.
  

(a) The director may issue a complaint and proposed order to any person on whom an administrative penalty may be imposed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4601.1. The complaint and order shall allege the act or failure to act that constitutes a violation, include a citation to the provisions authorizing the civil penalty to be imposed, and include the proposed civil penalty.

(b) In determining the amount of any administrative civil penalty, the department shall consider all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the extent of harm caused by the violation, the nature, persistence, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation, the length of time over which the violation occurred, whether any substantial damage caused by the violation is susceptible to corrective action, whether the violation was willful or caused by negligence, and, with respect to the violator, the ability of the violator to pay any fines or penalties, the effect on ability to continue in business, the corrective action, if any, taken by the violator, whether the violator has any prior history of violations, the degree of culpability, economic savings, if any, resulting from the violation, and such other matters as justice may require.

(c) The complaint shall be served by personal notice or certified mail, and shall inform the party so served that, upon the request of the party made within 10 days of such service, a hearing shall be conducted before the board or an administrative law judge within 180 days from the date that the party is served. The chairperson of the board may delegate the conduct of the hearing to a committee of the board, which shall be composed of at least three members of the board, or elect to utilize an administrative law judge assigned in accordance with Section 11370.3 of the Government Code. If the chairperson delegates the matter to a committee of the board, a majority of the committee members shall not have a financial interest in the forest products or range industry. The committee may exercise any power the board may exercise.

(d) The party charged with a violation may waive a right to a hearing, in which case the board shall not conduct a hearing, and the order of the director shall become final.

(e) After a hearing, the board or an administrative law judge may adopt, with or without revision, the proposed order of the director.

(f) An order setting an administrative civil penalty shall become effective and final upon its adoption pursuant to subdivision (e), and any payment shall be made within the time period provided by subdivision (b) of Section 4601.3. Copies of the order shall be served by personal service or by registered mail upon the party served with the complaint and upon other persons who appeared at the hearing and requested a copy.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 582, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4601.3.
  

(a) Any party who is aggrieved by a final order issued by the board or an administrative law judge under Section 4601.2 may obtain review of the order in the superior court in the county in which the violation occurred by filing a petition for a writ of mandate with the court within 30 days from the date of service of the order on the party. If the aggrieved party does not petition for a writ of mandate within that 30-day period, the order of the board or an administrative law judge is not thereafter subject to review by any court.

(b) After the time for judicial review has expired, or where the party has not requested a review of the order, the administrative penalty shall be due and payable to the department within 20 days. The department may apply to the clerk of the appropriate court in the county in which the civil penalty was imposed for a judgment to collect the penalty. The application, which shall include a certified copy of the action by the board or the administrative law judge, constitutes a sufficient showing to warrant issuance of the judgment to collect the penalty. The court clerk shall enter the judgment in conformity with the application. Any judgment so entered by the court clerk shall have the same force and effect as, and is subject to the laws relating to, a judgment in a civil action, and may be enforced in the same manner as any other judgment of the court in which it is entered.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 582, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4601.4.
  

(a) The violation of any rule or regulation adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter prescribing any procedural requirement that does not result in, or cause, any environmental damage, and is not a violation of Section 4571 or 4581, is an infraction punishable pursuant to Section 4601.5.

(b) The board shall designate those rules and regulations by section number that prescribe procedural requirements, the violation of which does not result in, or cause, environmental damage.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 582, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4601.5.
  

(a) Any person who violates a rule or regulation of the board, the violation of which is an infraction as described in Section 4601.4, shall, upon conviction of the infraction, pay a fine in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) A fine of one hundred dollars ($100) shall be imposed for the first conviction of an infraction.

(2) A fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) shall be imposed for a second or subsequent conviction for the same violation within a three-year period.

(b) The board may provide, by regulation, that certain violations of a rule or regulation that would constitute an infraction, if prosecuted, are correctable and not subject to prosecution, if the violation is corrected within 10 working days from the date of the violation.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 582, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4602.5.
  

(a) This section provides an administrative procedure to suspend timber operations temporarily while judicial remedies are pursued pursuant to this article.

(b) An inspecting forest officer may issue a written timber operations stop order if, upon reasonable cause, the officer determines that a timber operation is being conducted or is about to be conducted in violation of this chapter or of forest practice rules adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter and that the violation or threatened violation would result in imminent and substantial harm to soil, water, or timber resources, or to fish and wildlife habitat. A stop order shall apply only to those acts or omissions that are the proximate cause of the violation or threatened violation. The stop order shall be effective immediately and throughout the next day.

(c) A supervising forest officer may, after an onsite investigation, extend a stop order issued pursuant to subdivision (b) for up to five days, excluding Saturday and Sunday, provided that he or she finds that the original stop order was issued upon reasonable cause. A stop order shall not be issued or extended for the same act or omission more than one time.

(d) (1) Each stop order shall identify the specific act or omission that constitutes the violation or threatened violation, any timber operation that is to be stopped, and any corrective or mitigative actions that may be required.

(2) The department may terminate the stop order if the responsible parties enter into a written agreement with the department assuring that the parties will resume operations in compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted by the board and will correct the violations. The department may require a reasonable cash deposit or bond payable to the department as a condition of compliance with the agreement.

(e) Notice of the issuance of a stop order or an extension of a stop order shall be deemed to have been made to all persons working on a timber operation when a copy of the written order is delivered to the person in charge of operations at the time the order is issued or, if no persons are present at that time, then by posting a copy of the order conspicuously on the yarder or log loading equipment at a currently active landing on the timber operations. If no persons are present at the site of the timber operation when the order is issued, the issuing officer shall deliver a copy of the order to the timber operator either in person or to the operator’s address of record prior to the commencement of the next working day.

(f) As used in this section, “forest officer” means a registered professional forester employed by the department in a civil service classification of forester I or higher grade.

(g) (1) Failure of the timber operator or an employee of the timber operator, after receiving notice, to comply with a stop order is a violation of this chapter and is punishable as provided in Section 4601; provided, however, that in all cases the timber operator, and not another person or the employee, shall be charged with this violation.

(2) In determining the penalty for any timber operator found guilty of violating a validly issued stop order, the court shall take into consideration all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:

(A) The extent of harm to soil, water, or timber resources or to fish and wildlife habitat.

(B) Corrective action, if any, taken by the defendant.

(3) Each day or portion of the day that the violation continues shall constitute a new and separate offense.

(h) Nothing in this section shall prevent a timber operator from seeking an alternative writ as prescribed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1084) of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or as provided by any other provision of law.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 349, Sec. 9. (AB 3257) Effective January 1, 2019.)

4602.6.
  

(a) If a timber operator believes that a forest officer lacked reasonable cause to issue or extend a stop order pursuant to Section 4602.5, the timber operator may present a claim to the Department of General Services pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code for compensation and damages resulting from the stopping of timber operations.

(b) If the Department of General Services finds that the forest officer lacked reasonable cause to issue or extend the stop order, the department shall award a sum of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day the order was in effect.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 269. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)

4603.
  

The Attorney General may, on his or her own motion or at the request of the board, bring an action to enforce compliance with the rules and regulations of the board and this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 584, Sec. 28. (AB 1414) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4604.
  

(a) The department shall provide an initial inspection of the area in which timber operations are to be conducted within 10 days from the date of filing of the timber harvesting plan or nonindustrial timber management plan, or a longer period as may be mutually agreed upon by the department and the person submitting the plan, except that the inspection need not be made pursuant to the filing of a timber harvesting plan if the department determines that the inspection would not add substantive information that is necessary to enforce this chapter. The department shall provide for inspections, as needed, as follows:

(1) During the period of commencement of timber operations.

(2) When timber operations are well under way.

(3) Following completion of timber operations.

(4) At any other times as determined to be necessary to enforce this chapter.

(b) (1) The Department of Fish and Game, the California regional water quality control boards, or the State Water Resources Control Board, if accompanied by Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel and after 24-hour advance notification is given to the landowner, may enter and inspect land during normal business hours at any time after commencement of timber harvest plan activities on the land and before the director issues a report of satisfactory completion of stocking pursuant to Section 4588 or at any time before the end of the first winter period following the filing of a work completion report pursuant to Section 4585, whichever is later. Any member of the inspection party may utilize whatever measurement and evaluation devices, including, but not limited to, photographic equipment and temperature measurement devices, that are determined to be necessary, when participating in an inspection of an area pursuant to subdivision (a) or after commencement of timber harvesting plan activities pursuant to this subdivision.

(2) Photographs taken during inspections shall be clearly labeled as to time, date, and location and shall be the property of the department and part of the inspection record. The inspection record shall be subject to all provisions of the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(3) This subdivision is not a limitation upon the authority of any agency to inspect pursuant to any other provision of law.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1991, or on the effective date of the rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Senate Bill 1566, whichever date occurs first.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 972, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 1999.)

4605.
  

The department may bring an action to enjoin the violation, or threatened violation, of any provision of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the board. Any such proceedings shall be in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 525) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If in such a proceeding it shall appear from facts shown by affidavit or verified complaint that any such violation has occurred or is threatened, the court may issue a temporary restraining order restraining and ordering the immediate discontinuance of any timber operation in which such violation has occurred or is threatened pending a hearing on the matter.

The court may, upon a finding that immediate and irreparable harm is threatened to soil resources or the water of the state by virtue of erosion, pollution, or contamination, order the defendant to take appropriate emergency corrective action, authorize the department to order the defendant to take such action, or authorize the department to take emergency action to correct a violation of this chapter. Any expenses incurred by the department in taking action in conformity with such order shall be a lien upon the property upon which such action was taken when notice of the lien is recorded. Such lien shall be subject to the provisons of Section 4608.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4606.
  

If upon a hearing to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not be issued, or upon a hearing of any motion for a preliminary injunction, or if the court should find in any such action that any such defendant is violating, threatens to violate, or has violated, any provision of this chapter or rules and regulations of the board, the court may not only order the discontinuance of any timber operations in which the violation has occurred, is threatening to occur, or is occurring, but may also enjoin any further timber operations by the defendant in this state until the violations complained of have been corrected or until satisfactory provisions have been approved by the court for the violations to be corrected at a specified date. Any defendant in such proceedings may enter into a written agreement with the department assuring that such defendant will resume operations in compliance with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the board and correct the violations on such reasonable terms and conditions as the department may require. Upon approval by the court, any temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction may include or be amended to include an order that any defendant entering into such an agreement comply with the terms of the agreement as a condition for engaging in any timber operations enjoined by the temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction. The court may require a bond payable to the department in such amount as the court deems proper to insure correction of any such violation in accordance with the agreement or any other provisions required by the court. The court may make any other orders reasonable and necessary to carry out the intent of this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 517, Sec. 352.)

4607.
  

The department may take such appropriate steps as are necessary and incur expenses to correct any violation.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4608.
  

Prior to taking any corrective action, other than under Section 4605, the department shall serve a written notice upon the person responsible for the violation. The notice shall include a statement of the corrective action to be taken, a date not less than 30 days from the date of service of the notice by which such corrective action is to be taken, and a statement that if such corrective action is not taken on or before the date specified the department may take corrective action and charge such person for the costs thereof pursuant to Section 4610. The notice shall also include a statement that if such person disagrees for any reason with the proposed corrective action or with the charging of such person with the costs thereof, he may, within 10 days from the service of the notice, request of the board a public hearing before the board.

The department may record such notice in each county wherein the land in violation is situated, together with a statement that any and all expenses incurred by the department in taking corrective action pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be a lien against the land. Upon satisfactory proof that corrective action has been completed, the department shall record a notice to that effect.

Any expenses incurred by the department in taking such corrective action shall be a lien upon the real property upon which such action was taken when notice of the lien is recorded. Notice of the lien, particularly identifying the real property upon which such action was taken and the amount of such lien and naming the owner of such property, shall be recorded by the department, in the office of the county recorder of each county in which such property is situated within one year after the first item of expenditures by the department or within 90 days after the completion of such action, whichever first occurs. Upon such recordation, the lien shall have the same force, effect, and priority as a judgment lien, except that it shall attach only to the real property described in such notice and shall continue for 10 years from the time of the recording of such notice, unless sooner released or otherwise discharged. The lien may, within 10 years of the time of such recording, or within 10 years from the date of the last extension of the lien in the manner herein provided, be extended by recording a new notice in the office of the county recorder where the original notice is recorded, and from the time of such recordation the lien shall be extended as to such real property for 10 years, unless sooner released or otherwise discharged. The department may at any time release all or any portion of the real property subject to such lien from the lien or subordinate it to other liens and encumbrances, if it determines that the amount owed is sufficiently secured by a lien on other property or that the release or subordination of such lien will not jeopardize the collection of such amount owed. A certificate by the department to the effect that any real property has been released from such lien or that such lien has been subordinated to other liens and encumbrances shall be conclusive evidence that the real property has been released or that the lien has been subordinated as provided in such certificate.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4609.
  

If the corrective action is not taken on or before the date specified in the notice served pursuant to Section 4608, the department may take, or contract for the taking of, such corrective action and recover the expenses of the corrective action as provided in Section 4610. Where the person responsible makes a request for public hearing, the board, after at least 15 days written notice, shall hold a public hearing to hear the objections to the proposed action. The board may, but need not, conduct the hearing in accordance with the applicable provisions of Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board may make an order specifying the action to be taken by the person responsible to correct the violation, setting the time limits for such action, and authorizing the taking of such action by the department if the person responsible does not do so within the specified time.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4610.
  

The expenses incurred by the department in taking any corrective action pursuant to this article shall be increased by two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or 10 percent, whichever sum is higher, as administrative costs and shall constitute a debt of the person responsible, and, if not paid within 10 days after written demand therefor, may be recovered by the department in a civil action.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

4611.
  

Neither the board, the department, nor any person authorized by the board or the department to enter upon any lands for the purpose of taking any corrective action pursuant to this article is liable to civil action for trespass for any acts which are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC8.