Recently, legislation was enacted which significantly impacts the Civil Fine program with regard to the appeal of fines associated with the operation of elevators beyond their expiration dates.  Specifically, the legislation allows the Department to establish factors which may be taken into consideration upon appeal of a fine issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 143 section 65.  Further, the legislation provides that these factors may be applied retroactively to January 1, 2013. 

As a result of the new law, the Department will be changing its appeal process, and is temporarily suspending all appeals of these fines as described in more detail below until new regulations, including these factors, are approved.  The regulation process typically takes 2-3 months.   Please note, however, that the $100/day fine remains in effect during this period and the Department will continue to issue violation notices during this period.  The appeal period will be suspended until the new regulations are in effect.  During the period of suspension, individuals who wish to appeal their fines will retain their right to do so, but the time for filing an appeal will not begin until the new regulations are in effect.

 With regard to appeals, the Department is taking the following steps:

  1. For all appeals in which a decision has been rendered: once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.
  2. For all appeals in which a hearing has been held, but the decision has not been rendered: once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.
  3.   For all appeal hearings which have been scheduled but not yet heard:  The Department has cancelled its upcoming hearings, and cancellation notices are being sent to all parties.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department will likely review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  4. For all appeals which have been received by the Department but not yet scheduled:  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  5. For all individuals who have received an invoice/notice to pay a fine and wish to appeal:  The Department is not accepting appeals until the new appeal process is established in the regulations.  The appeal period will not begin to run until the regulations are in effect.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  6. For all individuals who receive a notice to pay a fine in this interim period and wish to appeal:  The Department is not accepting appeals until the new appeal process is established in the regulations.  The appeal period will not begin to run until the regulations are in effect.  Once the new regulations are in effect, notices will be sent to all parties with an effective date of the regulations and the process for review of these cases.  Please note, however, that due to the large volume of cases that the Department anticipates that it will review in light of this legislation, the processing of these appeals will not take place until sometime in 2015.
  7. For all individuals who have received an invoice/notice to pay a fine and/or who receive such notice in this interim period and wish to pay: If you do not wish to appeal, the Department will  accept payments.  Please note, however, that payment of the fine waives any right to appeal.

Changes to Civil Fine Appeal Process - FAQs