California Public Utilities Code Section 99581
(a) For a period of 21 calendar days from the issuance to aperson of the notice of fare evasion or passenger conduct violation,the person may request an initial review of the violation by theissuing agency. The request may be made by telephone, in writing, orin person. There shall be no charge for this review. If, followingthe initial review, the issuing agency is satisfied that theviolation did not occur or that extenuating circumstances makedismissal of the administrative penalty appropriate in the interestof justice, the issuing agency shall cancel the notice. The issuingagency shall advise the processing agency, if any, of thecancellation. The issuing agency or the processing agency shall mailthe results of the initial review to the person contesting thenotice. (b) If the person is dissatisfied with the results of the initialreview, the person may request an administrative hearing of theviolation no later than 21 calendar days following the mailing of theresults of the issuing agency's initial review. The request may bemade by telephone, in writing, or in person. The person requesting anadministrative hearing shall deposit with the processing agency theamount due under the notice for which the administrative hearing isrequested. The issuing agency shall provide a written procedure toallow a person to request an administrative hearing without paymentof the amount due upon satisfactory proof of an inability to pay theamount due. Notice of this procedure shall be provided to all personsrequesting an administrative hearing. An administrative hearingshall be held within 90 calendar days following the receipt of arequest for an administrative hearing, excluding time tolled pursuantto this chapter. The person requesting the hearing may request onecontinuance, not to exceed 21 calendar days. (c) The administrative hearing process shall include all of thefollowing: (1) The person requesting a hearing shall have the choice of ahearing by mail or in person. An in-person hearing shall be conductedwithin the jurisdiction of the issuing agency. If an issuing agencycontracts with a private vendor pursuant to paragraph (1) ofsubdivision (c) of Section 99580, hearings shall be held within thejurisdiction of the issuing agency. (2) The administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordancewith written procedures established by the issuing agency andapproved by the governing body or chief executive officer of theissuing agency. The hearing shall provide an independent, objective,fair, and impartial review of contested violations. (3) The administrative review shall be conducted before a hearingofficer designated to conduct the review by the issuing agency'sgoverning body or chief executive officer. In addition to any otherrequirements of employment, a hearing officer shall demonstrate thosequalifications, training, and objectivity prescribed by the issuingagency's governing body or chief executive as are necessary and whichare consistent with the duties and responsibilities set forth inthis chapter. The hearing officer's continued employment, performanceevaluation, compensation, and benefits shall not be directly orindirectly linked to the amount of fare evasion or passenger conductviolation penalties imposed by the hearing officer. (4) The person who issued the notice of fare evasion or passengerconduct violation shall not be required to participate in anadministrative hearing. The issuing agency shall not be required toproduce any evidence other than the notice of fare evasion orpassenger conduct violation. The documentation in proper form shallbe prima facie evidence of the violation pursuant to paragraph (1) ofsubdivision (d) of Section 99580. (5) The hearing officer's decision following the administrativehearing may be personally delivered to the person by the hearingofficer or sent by first-class mail. (6) Following a determination by the hearing officer that a personcommitted the violation, the hearing officer may allow payment ofthe fare evasion or passenger conduct penalty in installments ordeferred payment if the person provides satisfactory evidence of aninability to pay the fare evasion or passenger conduct penalty infull. If authorized by the issuing agency, the hearing officer maypermit the performance of community service in lieu of payment of thefare evasion or passenger conduct penalty.