520 CMR 1.00: Enforcement of Civil Fines   

520 CMR 16.00: Enforcement of Civil Fines for Expired Elevator Certificates

520 CMR 16.00: Appeal Form pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form

Civil Fine FAQs - AAB

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What types of violations of the Architectural Access Board’s regulations can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 521 CMR, including violations related to: failure to maintain accessibility features; jurisdiction; retail establishments, commercial buildings, restaurants and transient lodging facilities; public common use space within multiple dwellings; care facilities: educational, medical care, and detention facilities; places of assembly and houses of worship; transportation terminals; accessible recreation facilities; accessible route, including: an unobstructed path, curb cuts, walkway accessibility, ramps, doorway accessibility, stairs, etc.; parking and passenger loading zone; elevators, including, service to every floor, operation accessibility, wheelchair lifts; public toilet, bathing, and dressing, changing, and fitting rooms; kitchens, including: clear space requirements, sinks, countertops, etc.; storage; tables and seating; public convenience, including: drinking fountains, telephones, ATMs; controls, alarms and

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Amusements

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the Amusement regulations or statute may result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 520 CMR 5.00 or M.G.L. c. 140 § 205A, including but not limited to: installation or operation of a ride without a permit or license; failure to present a certificate of examination or liability insurance; failure to notify the Commissioner of the dates and location of a traveling carnival; continuing to operate following an injury without authorization; failure to pay the inspection fee following a reportable incident; failure to notify the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee of a reportable injury;  failure to notify the Commissioner or to close a device following cancellation or expiration of insurance; failure to display braking procedures; failure to maintain records; failure to obtain and conduct required inspections; failure to maintain permanent and extensive training, inspection, and maintenance policies for routine and emergency safety; failure to employ emergency personnel or an ambulance service; failure to employ a Certified Maintenance Mechanic who is certified by the Commissioner to oversee operation, maintenance and inspection; allowing a minor to operate a ride; or failure to maintain a drug and alcohol policy.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.  The determination of whether a first offense will result in a warning or a fine is at the discretion of the inspector.

Q:  Will violations occurring on multiple devices during the same inspection be deemed multiple offenses?

A:  Yes.  Offenses relate to a specific statute or code violation.  Therefore, it is possible that there may be multiple notices issued against several devices at a single location if there are violations of more than one section of the statute or code. 

Q:  Is it possible to receive multiple violation notices for the same device?

A:  Yes.  As stated above, offenses relate to a specific statute or code violation.  Therefore, it is possible for multiple violation notices to be issued for several statute or code violations on a single device.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Tramway

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the Recreational Tramway statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of M.G.L. c.143, §§ 71K or 71N including: operation of a tramway without a license; failure to warn of maintenance or snow-making equipment usage; failure to mark trail maintenance and emergency vehicles; failure to mark snow-making hydrants locations; failure to post the limitations on actions against ski area operators; or failure to maintain signs properly.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner or a designee of the Recreational Tramway Board. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $500-$1,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined $1,000 per offense.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.  The determination of whether a first offense will result in a warning or a fine is at the discretion of the inspector.

Q:  Will violations occurring on multiple devices during the same inspection be deemed multiple offenses?

A:  Yes.  Offenses relate to a specific statute or code violation.  Therefore, it is possible that there may be multiple notices issued against several devices at a single location if there are violations of more than one section of the statute or code. 

Q:  Is it possible to receive multiple violation notices for the same device?

A:  Yes.  As stated above, offenses relate to a specific statute or code violation.  Therefore, it is possible for multiple violation notices to be issued for several statute or code violations on a single device.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Building

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the Building Code, Construction Supervisor License regulations or statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 780 CMR 110.R5 or M.G.L. c. 143 §§ 3V, 9, 50, or 94, including: failure to possess a valid Construction Supervisor License; failure to properly supervise work where one is the sub-contractor, contractor, or permit holder; failure to produce a license; failure to notify a building official of violations of the building permit; noncompliance with notice requirements regarding an unsafe structure; or hindering an inspector from entering a building or enclosure.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.  The determination of whether a first offense will result in a warning or a fine is at the discretion of the authorized individual.

Q:  Will multiple violations occurring during the same inspection be deemed multiple offenses?

A:  Yes.  For example, a construction supervisor could be fined for failure to possess or produce a current license and failure to supervise a project, each constituting a separate offense.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Elevators

520 CMR 1 Civil Fines – Elevator FAQs

Q1:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings pursuant to M.G.L. c. 22 § 22 and 520 CMR 1.

Q2:  What violations of the elevator statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of M.G.L. c. 143 §§ 62, 64, 65, 71, or 71D including: failure to obtain a permit; failure to arrange annual (or biennial) inspection; operation without a valid inspection certificate (only if not cited under 520 CMR 16); failure to post a certificate of inspection; removing notice of unsafe condition; failure to report an unsafe condition and/or accident; or working on an elevator without a license. 

Q3:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q4:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000. 

Q5:  Will an individual be subject to a second offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline or while the appeal is pending?

A:  No, a second offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q6:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. However, prior offenses will still remain a part of the Department’s records.

Q7:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q8:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q9:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Engineering

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the hoisting statutes and regulations can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 520 CMR 6 and M.G.L. c. 146 §§ 53, or 54, including: operation of hoisting equipment without a license; failure to follow special requirements for cranes, derricks, pile drivers, lift trucks, excavating machines, rigging, material platform on bucket hoist and signal systems; failure of short-term rental company to follow Department-approved training program; failure of short-term rental company to have a facilitator in possession of a MA hoisting license; failure of an exempt company (Ex. Public utility company) to have Department-approved training program in place; or allowing an unlicensed person to operate hoisting equipment.

Q:  What violations of the Boiler regulations and statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 522 CMR or M.G.L. c. 146 §§ 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 22, 24, 27, 29, 32, 37, 40, 54A, 70-72, 74, 76, 78, or 79, including: failure to notify the Department of a steam boiler incident resulting in hospitalization or damage in excess of $10,000; failure to post certificate of inspection; performing welded repairs without prior approval of an authorized inspector; failure to have a steam boiler inspected annually; failure to have a hot water boiler inspected internally every 3 years and externally annually; for operating unsafely in relation to excess temperature or pressure; failure to report a boiler location; removing or tampering with safety appliance or boiler tag; acting as an insurance company boiler inspector without a certificate of competency; failure to notify of a safety defect; preventing an inspector’s entrance onto premises, or failure to pay any fees.

Q:  What violations of the Pipefitter, Refrigeration Technician, or Sprinkler Fitter statute can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of M.G.L. c. 146 § 89, including: operating/working as a pipefitter, refrigeration technician, or sprinkler fitter without a license.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - S-License and Warehouse

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the Public Warehouse statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of M.G.L. c. 105 §§ 1, 2, or 64, including: operating a public warehouse without a license, or disposing of receipt after attachment.

Q:  What violations of the S-License statutes can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of M.G.L. c. 147, §§ 57 or 60, including: engaging, advertising, or holding oneself out as in the business of installing, repairing or offering maintenance for security systems without an S-License; engaging, advertising, or holding oneself out as in the business of installing, repairing, or offering maintenance for security systems with a fraudulent S-license; installing, repairing, or maintaining a security system with a fraudulent certificate of clearance; Falsely stating or representing oneself to acquire a certificate of clearance; or allowing an employee to work without a Certificate of Clearance.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Horse and Carriage

Q:  What is a civil fine?

A:  A civil fine is a monetary fine that may be assessed for a violation of certain statutes and regulations as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

Q:  What violations of the horse drawn carriage regulations can result in fines?

A:  Any violation of 520 CMR 13.00, including, but not limited to: operation of a horse drawn carriage for public hire without a license; failure to obey all local and state traffic laws and regulations; failure to keep daily work records and submit annually to the Department; failure of driver to wear uniform photo identification badge; failure of driver to carry Certificate of Competency and valid Driver’s License while operating horse drawn carriage; leaving horses unattended; allowing someone other than an employed groom or apprentice to occupy the driver’s seat while the carriage is not in operation; failure to submit to the Commissioner and local police department a written report within 72 hours of any accident injury involving property, passengers, driver, or horse.

Q:  Who may issue or assess fines?

A:  Fines may be issued and assessed by the Commissioner, the Commissioner’s designee, or other authorized persons such as certain authorized inspectors. See M.G.L. c. 22 § 22.

Q:  How much can I be fined?

A:  For the first offense you can either be given a warning, or fined up to $1,000 per violation; for the second offense you can be fined anywhere ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per violation; and for the third offense and any subsequent offenses you can be fined anywhere ranging from $3,000 - $5,000.  These fine ranges are applicable to all offenses unless specifically stated to be different.

Q:  Will an individual be subject to a subsequent offense fine for a violation occurring before the appeal deadline?

A:  No, a subsequent offense fine will not be issued until the preceding fine has been adjudicated through the appeals process.

Q:  If I am issued a fine by the Department of Public Safety, how long can that offense be used for the purpose of determining whether a subsequent offense fine will be issued?

A:  Subsequent offenses may be considered for a period of up to three years from the date of the initial offense in determining the penalty for a second or third offense. 

Q:  What factors are considered when determining the amount of the fine?

A:  The following factors may be considered by the Department of Public Safety and/or the authorized designee in determining the amount of the penalty:  the willfulness of the violation; previous violations resulting in the imposition of penalties; whether the violation resulted in an accident involving bodily injury or death; the actual or potential danger posed to the public; whether the violator had done everything reasonable to attempt to comply with the law or regulation; whether imposition of the penalty is likely to deter future noncompliance; and the interests of public safety.

Q:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Failure to pay or appeal any violation within the 120 day time period will result in the Department referring all outstanding debts to the Office of the State Comptroller which is authorized to initiate collection proceedings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 7A, § 3; M.G.L. c. 7A, § 18 and 815 CMR 9.00.

Q:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form within 120 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  Warnings are not subject to appeal.

Civil Fine FAQs - Expired Elevator Certificates

520 CMR 16 Fines for Expired Certificates – FAQs

Q1:  What fines will be issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 143 § 65 and 520 CMR 16?

A:  The Department will assess a fine of $100 per day to elevator owners for every day that a unit is operated beyond its certification expiration date.

Q2:  How are certificate expiration dates determined?

A:  Certificate expiration dates are set at the last day of a month.  The expiration date for all elevators not located in single-family owner-occupied homes will be one year (for a passenger elevator or escalator) or two years (for a LULA, VRC, dumbwaiter or wheelchair lift) from the month in which the elevator has its first installation or modernization acceptance inspection.  Thereafter the next expiration date will generally be the same as the last expiration date, except:

  •     If the annual (or biennial inspection takes place more than six months after an expiration date, the next expiration date will be set from the inspection date rather than from the last expiration date. 
  •     For placarded elevators, the expiration date is set from the date the elevator passes inspection and is re-certified.

However, it is the owner’s responsibility to look at the certificate to determine the next expiration date, and to ensure that an inspection application is timely filed (up to 90 days before the expiration date). 

Q3:  Where can I find certificate expiration dates for the elevators I own or service?

A:  Certificates issued since 2015 are available on the Department’s Inspections and Permitting System (IPS) online customer portal (https://massdpsportal.secure.force.com/home/home.jsp ).

Q4:  What happens if an elevator owner applies for an annual (or biennial) inspection after the expiration date of the certificate?

A:  When the application is received after the expiration of the certificate, the owner will be assessed a $100 fine for each day that the elevator was in operation beyond the expiration date of the certificate.  The fines will stop accruing upon the Department’s receipt of the application.  Note that because the program was established on July 1, 2013, fines were not calculated prior to that date.   For certificate expiration dates after July 1, 2013, fines begin to accrue on the day after the expiration date.  For example, if your certificate expired on September 1, 2015 and your application is received on September 2, 2015, you will be assessed a fine of $100.

Q5: Is there a maximum fine that may be assessed for operating a unit beyond the certificate expiration date?

A:  In accordance with M.G.L. c. 143 § 64, the maximum fine for any elevator type located in a single-family owner-occupied residence is $5,000.  The maximum fine for a LULA, VRC, dumbwaiter or wheelchair lift not located in a single-family owner-occupied residence is also $5,000. For all other units, the maximum fine is $20,000.

Q6:  When is payment of a fine due?

A:  Unless an appeal is timely filed, payment of a fine is due within 30 days of receipt of the notice of violation.

Q7:  Can I appeal the notice of fine?

A:  Yes, written requests for an administrative appeal must be filed with the Department on the appropriate form Appeal Form – Civil Fine for Expired Elevator Certificates pdf format of Civil Fine Appeal Form  within 30 days of receipt of the notice of violation.  After an administrative review, the Department will issue a written decision.  If you would like a hearing after this review, you may request one within 30 days of receipt of the written decision.  Payment of the fine or failure to appeal within 30 days constitutes a waiver of the right to administrative review.  If an appeal is not made and the fine is not paid, the Department is authorized to shut down the unit as a result.  

Q8:  What factors will the Department consider in deciding an appeal?

A:  The Department may consider (a) the willfulness of the violation; (b) previous violations resulting in the imposition of administrative penalties; (c) clerical errors; (d) inaccurate assessments; (e) lack of prior use; (f) de minimis risk of injury to the public; and/or (g) severe financial hardship.

Q9:  I have a contractual relationship with my elevator contractor that requires it to apply for the annual inspection.  Is this relationship relevant to an appeal?

A:  The Department may consider evidence about an owner’s contractual relationship in assessing the willfulness of the violation and any affirmative steps that the owner may have taken to ensure that the application was submitted timely .

Q10:  What evidence will be considered in order to determine that an inaccurate assessment was made by the Department?

A:  Substantial evidence of an inaccurate assessment will be limited to evidence that a fine was issued in excess of statutory authority, regulation or based on incorrect information.

Q11:  What evidence will be considered in order to determine lack of prior use?

A:  Substantial evidence of lack of prior use shall include proof that the unit was not capable of being operated at the time that the fine was assessed. The fact that the unit was rarely or never used will not be considered as a mitigating factor.

Q12:  What evidence will be considered in order to determine a de minimis risk of injury to the public?

A:   Substantial evidence of de minimis risk of injury to the public shall include proof that the elevator was inaccessible to the public.

Q13:  I am an individual who owns the elevator(s).  What documentation must I submit to prove financial hardship?

A:  You must at least submit (1) a listing of all assets and liabilities greater than $1,000, including valuations for any companies owned; (2) an affidavit from you or your representative asserting that payment of the fine would cause severe financial hardship; and (3) any and all other documentation you would like the Department to consider.

Q14:  I am a corporate entity, organization, municipality, or religious institution that owns the elevator(s).  What documentation must I submit to prove financial hardship?

A:  You must at least submit (1) a current annual operating budget; (2) a listing of all assets and liabilities greater than $1,000; (3) an affidavit from the owner or the owner’s representative asserting that payment of the fine would cause severe financial hardship; and (4) any and all other documentation you would like the Department to consider.

Q15:  If my fine is upheld on appeal, when is payment due?

A:  If a fine is upheld on appeal, payment is due within 30 days of the date of the decision. 

Q16:  Will the Department allow extensions of time within which to pay?

A:  The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee may allow an extension of up to six months from the date of the decision in only those cases where the owner has submitted evidence of financial hardship pursuant to 520 CMR 16.03(5)(g). 

Q17:  My appeal was denied and I filed an appeal under M.G.L. c. 30A.  Is my fine stayed?

A:  No.

Q18:  How do I request a hearing after receiving a written decision upon administrative review?

A:  Hearing requests must be in writing, include the case docket number and should be addressed to:

Sebastian Giuliano
Civil Fine Administrator
Department of Public Safety
One Ashburton Place, Room 1301
Boston, MA 02108