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City of Portland

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14B.60.040 Commencement of Actions; Remedies; Burden of Proof.

A.  The Commissioner in Charge may authorize the City Attorney to commence legal proceedings in the Circuit Court to abate Chronic Nuisance Property and to seek closure, the imposition of civil penalties against any or all of the Persons in Charge thereof, and, any other relief deemed appropriate.

B.  If the Court determines Property to be Chronic Nuisance Property, the Court shall order that the Property be closed and secured against all unauthorized access, use and occupancy for a period of not less than six (6) months, nor more than one (1) year.  The order shall be entered as part of the final judgment.  The Court shall retain jurisdiction during any period of closure. 

C.  If the Court determines a Property to be Chronic Nuisance Property, the Court may impose a civil penalty of up to $100 per day for each day Nuisance Activities occurred on the Property, following notice pursuant to Portland City Code 14B.60.030 B.; or, the cost to the City to abate the Nuisance Activities at the Property whichever is greater.  The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed against the Person in Charge and/or the Property and may be included in the City’s money judgment.

D.  If satisfied of the good faith of the Person in Charge, the Court shall not award civil penalties if the Court finds that the Person in Charge at all material times could not, in the exercise of reasonable care or diligence, determine that the Property had become Chronic Nuisance Property.

E.  In establishing the amount of any civil penalty, the Court may consider any of the following factors and shall cite those found applicable:

1.  The actions taken by the Person in Charge to mitigate or correct the Nuisance Activities at the Property;

2.  The financial condition of the Person in Charge;

3.  Repeated or continuous nature of the problem;

4.  The magnitude or gravity of the problem;

5.  The cooperation of the Person in Charge with the City;

6.  The cost to the City of investigating and correcting or attempting to correct the Nuisance Activities;

7.  Any other factor deemed relevant by the Court.

F.  The City shall have the initial burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the Property is Chronic Nuisance Property.

G.  Evidence of a Property’s general reputation and/or the reputation of persons residing in or frequenting it shall be admissible.