The Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) Program was initiated by a motion Councilmember Koretz introduced in 2010. You can see a copy of the motion here. Three years later, the Los Angeles City Council passed an enabling ordinance which brought the program to life.
ACE is an alternative method of enforcement for violations of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. An administrative citation - a ticket - would be issued to a violator in place of a criminal citation or an arrest. The citation process results in a criminal conviction with penalties that may include probation, fines, and jail. An administrative citation, on the other hand, can be resolved through the payment of a fine and there is no resulting criminal record, probation, or threat of jail.
Administrative Citations are issued by enforcement officers of Los Angeles City Departments for violations of nuisance laws which are part of the City's Municipal Code. Currently the Police Department and the Department of Animal Services are issuing these citations. The citations are not handled by the Courts because the citations are non-criminal matters. They are administrative notices issued in the name of the City, similar to the way parking citations are issued. The City of Los Angeles issues notices to violators, assesses fines and collects the fines through a third party contractor. All payments received are deposited in a special code enforcement account administered by the City's Office of Finance as part of the City's General Fund. .
A review and due process citation appeal component is also available to each cited offender for each citation issued. Upon a request, a volunteer hearing officer will conduct an administrative hearing deciding the merits of the issued citation with the cited person present. An administrative hearing officer is empowered to dismiss, or to uphold the citation, or to reduce the fine that is to be imposed. Decisions of administrative hearing officers may be appealed to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The Police Department began issuing ACE citations in January, 2015. The Department of Animal Services joined the program in July, 2015.
The majority of the Police Department’s ACE citations have been issued for drinking in public, public possession of open alcoholic beverage containers, noise complaints, illegal vending and offenses related to the City's Parks.
The majority of ACE citations issued by the Department of Animal Services are for failure to properly license pets, failure to provide proof of sterilization of pets, and for failure to provide proof of rabies vaccination of the pets. Department of Animal Services ACE citations are generally "curable", meaning that if the cited person corrects the violation within a designated time period then the citation case is closed with no fine or penalty.
The City Council recently approved the expansion of the Administrative Citation Enforcement Program to include the Park Rangers of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department and the City's Fire Department. Citation enforcement policies and procedures are being developed by those two City Departments and enforcement should begin within the next couple of months.