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City of Portland

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3.30.070 Inspections

A. Definitions. The terms used in this Section shall be defined as provided in this subsection, unless the context requires otherwise:

1. Building Regulations means any city code title listed in 3.30.010, or any other safety or health statute, ordinance, regulation, rule, standard or order the Director is authorized to enforce.

2. Property means real property and all improvements or structures on real property, from property line to property line.

B. Warrants. Whenever an inspection is necessary to enforce any of the provisions authorized by this Title, or whenever the Director has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or upon any property any condition which makes such property substandard as defined in any building regulations, the Director may request any Circuit Court judge to issue an inspection warrant for the inspection or investigation of any building or upon any property as required or authorized by city code or by statute. The inspection warrant is an order authorizing a safety or health inspection or investigation to be conducted at a designated building or property.

C. Grounds for Issuance of Inspection Warrants; Affidavit.

1. Affidavit. An inspection warrant shall be issued only upon cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the applicant's status in applying for the warrant, the statute, ordinance or regulation requiring or authorizing the inspection or investigation, the building or property to be inspected or investigated, and the purpose for which the inspection or investigation is to be made including the basis upon which cause exists to inspect. In addition, the affidavit shall contain either a statement that entry has been sought and refused or facts or circumstances reasonably showing that the purposes of the inspection or investigation might be frustrated if entry were sought without an inspection warrant.

2. Cause. Cause shall be deemed to exist if reasonable legislative or administrative standards for conducting a routine, periodic or area inspection are satisfied with respect to any building or upon any property, or there is cause to believe that a condition of nonconformity with any building regulations exists with respect to the designated property, or an investigation is reasonably believed to be necessary in order to discover or verify the condition of the property for conformity with any building regulations.

D. Procedure for Issuance of Inspection Warrant.

1. Examination. Before issuing an inspection warrant, the judge may examine the applicant and any other witness under oath and shall be satisfied of the existence of grounds for granting such application.

2. Issuance. If the judge is satisfied that cause for the inspection or investigation exists and that the other requirements for granting the application are satisfied, the judge shall issue the warrant, particularly the person or persons authorized to execute the warrant, the property to be entered, and the purpose of the inspection or investigation. The warrant shall contain a direction that it be executed on any day of the week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., or where the judge has specially determined upon a showing that it cannot be effectively executed between those hours, that it be executed at any other time of the day or night.

E. Execution of Inspection Warrants.

1. Occupied Property. Except as provided in subsection 2. of this section, in executing an inspection warrant, the person authorized to execute the warrant shall, before entry into the occupied premises, make a reasonable effort to present the person's credentials, authority and purpose to an occupant or person in possession of the property designated in the warrant and show the occupant or person in possession of the property the warrant or a copy thereof upon request.

2. Unoccupied Property. In executing an inspection warrant on unoccupied property, the person authorized to execute the warrant need not inform anyone of the person's authority and purpose, as prescribed in subsection 1. of this section, but may promptly enter the designated property if it is at the time unoccupied or not in the possession of any person or at the time reasonably believed to be in such condition. In such case a copy of the search warrant shall be conspicuously posted on the property.

3. Police Assistance. In issuing an inspection warrant, the judge may authorize any peace officer, as defined in Oregon Revised Statutes, to enter the described property to remove any person or obstacle and assist the building inspector or representative of the bureau inspecting the property in any way necessary to complete the inspection.

4. Return. An inspection warrant must be executed within 10 working days of its issue and returned to the judge by whom it was issued within 5 working days from its date of execution, unless such judge before the expiration of such time extends the time for five days. After the expiration of the time prescribed by this subsection, the warrant unless executed is void.