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The Department of Administrative Hearings (DAH) was established in January 2005 as a major component of the City of Detroit's efforts to address blight in the city. The DAH is a quasi-judicial body that adjudicates blight violations in Detroit and is an independent department of the City of Detroit. The Director is appointed by the Mayor and serves as the Chief Hearings Officer, licensed attorneys serve as administrative hearing officers. Blight violations are civil cases, formerly processed as criminal misdemeanors, they were - until recently - adjudicated at the 36th District Court. Such violations often became part of a large backlog at that court, and many cases were not effectively prosecuted. The new method of handling blight violations, under the DAH, is designed to be more efficient.
The DAH is divided into three divisions: Property Maintenance, Zoning and Illegal Dumping/Solid Waste.
The Property Maintenance Division: hears cases filed by Buildings and Safety Engineering Department. In these cases, Blight Violation Notices are issued by building and health inspectors and by police officers. These cases violations include, but are not limited to:
• Failure to obtain certificate of compliance
• Failure to obtain a certificate of rental registration
• Rat harborage
• Failure to remove snow and ice
• Inoperable vehicles
• Failure to maintain exterior of property
• Failure to comply with emergency orders
The Zoning Division: hears cases filed by Buildings and Safety Engineering. In these cases, Blight Violation Notices are issued by building inspectors.
These cases violations include, but are not limited to:
• Violations of special land use grants
• Change of land use without a permit
• Change of building use without a permit
• Failure to obtain the required certificate of maintenance of grant conditions
The Illegal Dumping and Solid Waste Division: hears cases filed by the Department of Environmental Affairs. Blight Violation Notices in these cases are issued by health and environmental inspectors, and police officers. . These cases violations include, but are not limited to:
• Early or late placement of Courville containers at the curb
• Improper set-out of bulk waste
• Improper storage of solid waste
• Animal and fowl excrement violations
• Illegal dumping