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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 114040
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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We recently received an arrest citation by the Atlanta

Customer Question

Hi Pearl, we recently received an arrest citation by the Atlanta Department of Revenue for operating without a business license paid. But a staff member also received an arrest citation. We think they might rescind the citations but if they don't and we have to go to court, how might this affect either us or the staff member?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: This happened in Atlanta Georgia on July 27
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: The organization has not and neither has the staff member but she wants to. I'm just trying to see if I can get an assessment on any real impact of an arrest citation over a business license.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: We've made numerous communications to the manager of the code enforcement officer to explain the situation and that there was no notice of impending arrest citations and that bills would just say that they were due but not state that arrests and court dates were possible results. They are supposed to give the citation to a person acting in authority but that was not made clear to the staff person or she wouldn't have given her information to the code enforcement officer. We were also in communication with the Atlanta office over an error in the bill and that's why it hadn't gotten paid but there was no awareness of that by the code enforcement officer but we had no way of knowing that. We thought we were still resolving the issue and got no advice to just go ahead and pay the bill in full.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The department can seek to close your business down when you go to court if you are found to owe the money and do not pay. As you are a business, you will need to get yourself a local attorney to represent you in any court matters and if there is a discrepancy in what they say you owe and what you actually owe, you need to get the attorney to negotiate that as well to get a resolution. The last thing the department wants is a court case, they want their money, so you need to have an attorney negotiating a resolution with them to get this matter resolved or they will close your business down and you would not have any income any longer from the business.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We have paid the bill at this point and received a copy of the business license. We can show that in court. This isn't trial court according to the FAQ sheet that was provided. Why would we need a lawyer to represent us when we can just show that we've paid the bill, have the license, and have never had this issue come up in over 30 years? And what are the ramifications for the citation that was issued to the staff person just for being there? The code enforcement officer says that the second citation which goes to a staff person in authority usually just gets dismissed at court time.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is an administrative summons for an administrative hearing. If you cannot get the city to rescind the summons, all businesses must be represented by a local attorney. So you need to contact the code enforcement office to resolve it on your own and get the summons removed, or if you have to go to a hearing you need to get some local attorney to represent you in that hearing.
A summons can be issued to any employee that is working and running the business at the time. So you need to resolve the matter or you will have to respond to the summons and if you end up having to respond to the summons by appearing at that point you would need an attorney.