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Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works (DPW) issues Notices of Violation to property owners, tenants and others for violating the provisions of the Litter Control Administration Act concerning storage and handling of waste and recycling.  DPW then files these Notices with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Persons receiving such Notices file their responses and payments with the Office of Administrative Hearings, which resolves any challenges to the Notices.  The instructions on the Notices explain that you can “admit” (take responsibility and pay the fine), “admit with explanation” (take responsibility but offer an explanation that the administrative law judge might take into account in deciding a fine) or “deny” (take no responsibility).  If you “admit with explanation,” DPW will be given a chance to respond to your explanation and then the administrative law judge will decide the case based on the papers submitted.  If you “deny,” an in-person hearing is scheduled at which DPW and you can present evidence.

Close attention should be paid to the instructions on the Notices of Violation.  There are deadlines for responding to the notices.  There is a penalty for responding after the deadline.  There is also a penalty if you “deny,” a hearing is scheduled, and you fail to appear for the hearing.

Sample Decisions

Sample Decisions

Administrative law judges issue a written decision for every case that is contested. The decisions below are examples of some issues raised in Office of Administrative Hearings’ cases involving this agency. You can review these decisions to get a sense of how prior cases were decided.

Please note that the facts of each case are different. These cases should be used for informational purposes only.

  • Dep’t of Public Works v. T. Jones, March 14, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for violating 21 DCMR 700.3 by failing to properly store solid waste and not liable for violating 21 DCMR 705.1 by failing to have a solid waste collector)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. The Current Newspaper, June 19, 2012 (dismissing Notices of Violation because newspapers in question were not solid waste (21 DCMR 700.4))
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. McCabe, February 22, 2012 (dismissing Notice of Violation as property owner is not strictly liable for solid waste adjacent to property under 21 DCMR 700.3)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Lemucchi, May 30, 2012 (finding a violation of 21 DCMR 700.3 at a commercial property but suspending fine)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Littlejohn, March 29, 2012 (on a plea of Admit with Explanation to four Notices of Violation, finding liability for violations of 21 DCMR 700.3, 24 DCMR 102.1 and 21 DCMR 702.1 at a commercial property but reducing fines based on corrective actions taken)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Nour Assoc., LLC, June 14, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for violating 21 DCMR 700.3 by failing to properly store solid waste at a commercial property and dismissing violation of 21 DCMR 2022.4 for lack of evidence that there were insufficient containers for separated recyclables)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. CAS 4000 Kansas, LLC, February 8, 2012 (on pleas of Admit with Explanation to 12 Notices of Violation, finding no violation of 21 DCMR 705.2, requiring commercial buildings to have trash collected at least twice weekly, and finding Respondent liable for 11 violations of 21 DCMR 700.3 for failing to store solid waste properly; imposing fines for failure to file pleas in a timely manner)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Baysmore, June 20, 2012 (on pleas of Admit with Explanation to three Notices of Violation, finding violations of 21 DCMR 700.3 for failing to properly store solid waste and of 21 DCMR 702.1 for failing to maintain abutting public space in clean condition; no statutory penalties for late filing imposed)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Rainbow, April 2, 2012 (granting motion for reconsideration, vacating Final Orders and imposing reduced fines on pleas of Admit with Explanation for violations of 21 DCMR 2022.1, failing to separate recyclables from solid waste)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Battino, March 29, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for two Notices of Violation for failing to separate recyclables from solid waste (21 DCMR 2022.1); finding Inspector’s entry onto property to inspect trash cans not an unreasonable search; and reducing fines)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Samaritan Inns, Inc., January 3, 2012 (finding Respondent in default for failure to respond to Notice of Violation properly served and valid on its face)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Newton Towers, LLC, June 25, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for violating 21 DCMR 2022.1 (failing to separate recyclables from solid waste) and 21 DCMR 2022.4 (failing to have a sufficient number of containers) and imposing penalties for late answers and failing to appear for a scheduled hearing)
  • Dep’t of Pub. Works v. Georgia Ave. Laundromat, December 28, 2011 (finding Respondent liable for failing to separate recyclables from solid waste (21 DCMR 2022.1) and reducing fines)
  • Dep't of Pub. Works v. Bojan, April 13, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for failing to separate recyclables from solid waste (21 DCMR 2022.1) and imposing penalty for untimely plea)

Agency LawAgency Law

Administrative law judges base their decisions upon many sources of law, chief among them the District of Columbia laws (DC Official Code) and the District of Columbia regulations (DCMR). Depending on the type of case, federal law (US Code) and federal regulations (CFR) may also be relevant. Cases decided on the issues in other courts, especially the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, are relevant.

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