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Enforcing failure to have an occupancy permit

January 19th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

I received a request that I post this question for all of my readers to answer.  Do any of your jurisdictions have an ordinance allowing you to shut down a business if it is occupying the space without a certificate of occupancy?  Certainly if the work is hazardous, an inspector can use emergency powers to do so.  However, most of the cases don’t fall into this category.  The way I usually handle those cases is to recommend that the inspector ticket the owner every day the business remains open.  If that doesn’t work in a couple of days, the inspector starts giving tickets to the managerial staff, and if that doesn’t work, the inspector gives tickets to the employees (it doesn’t usually go that far).  In Illinois, a defendant who commits an ordinance violation can also be arrested. I actually had a case where we gave the person a ticket in the morning, told them not to reoccupy the space, and then arrested him in the afternoon when the inspector found the business still operating.  If anyone has something to share, I will post it and give you credit.

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