Abandoned shopping carts are a big problem in Long Beach

FAQs for Cart Owners

City of Long Beach

FAQs for Cart Owners City of Long Beach Home

Did you know?

According to Long Beach City Ordinance 8.61, you are responsible for containing all of your shopping carts on your business premises at all times.

Any time any of your shopping carts are found off your business premises, you are in violation of this ordinance.


What is considered my business premises?

Your business premises include where you do business, adjacent walkways, any loading areas and the parking lot. If your business is in a multi-store complex or shopping center, your parking lot includes the entire parking area used by the complex.


What happens if a cart is taken off my business premises?

Your business is required to have an on-site cart containment program. If a City Code Enforcement Officer notices one of your carts off your business property, you may be cited for being in violation of the City’s shopping cart ordinance.


What is an on-site cart containment program?

An on-site cart containment program means that your business has one or more of the following:

  • Disabling devices on all shopping carts that prevent them from being taken off your business premises
  • A security guard on-site to prevent customers from “borrowing” your shopping carts
  • A chained-in area or bollards around the business premises that prevents cart removal
  • Security deposits from customers to use shopping carts
  • Rental or sale of utility carts

Can I be exempt from having an on-site containment program?

Yes. You may not be required to have an on-site containment program if you provide proof of contracting with a qualified cart retrieval service that meets the standards of the City's Director of Development Services.


What is a qualified cart retrieval service?

A qualified cart retrieval service is a commercial, third party service, which you hire to retrieve and return your shopping carts. The retrieval service must actively locate shopping carts within a one-mile radius of the business, and respond to complaints from the public within twenty-four (24) hours.


Can I give my customers permission to take carts off the premises?

Yes. Your customers may take shopping carts off the premises with your written permission. Remember, though, it is still your responsibility to retrieve the cart, and you can be cited if you neglect to do so.


What if I need to have a cart repaired?

No written authorization is needed if the cart is removed for the purpose of repair or maintenance.


Do I need to post signs?

Yes. You must post cart removal warning signs that meet the following minimum specifications:

  • Sign is at least 18” x 24”
  • Block lettering at least ½” wide and 2” in height
  • Contains language that tells your customers that unauthorized removal of a shopping cart from the business premises, or possession of a shopping cart in a location other than on the business premises, is a violation of state law and City ordinance
  • List a local or toll-free telephone number for cart retrieval
  • Must be in at least two languages
  • Must be posted inside the building or permanently and prominently displayed within two feet of all customer entrances and exits

Do I need to label my carts?

Yes. Every shopping cart utilized must have a cart identification number and cart identification sign.


What is a cart identification number?

A cart identification number is a unique number assigned to each cart you own.


What is a cart identification sign?

A cart identification sign is a sign or engraved surface, permanently attached to the shopping cart that has the following information:

  • Business name and telephone number
  • Cart identification number
  • Toll-free phone number for cart retrieval
  • Procedure to obtain permission to take a cart off the business premises
  • Notice to the public that unauthorized removal is in violation of state law and City ordinance

What are the penalties if I am cited?

The fine is $100 for each violation. If payment is not received within thirty (30) days from the date of the citation, a late charge of 25% will be added to the fine.

If you receive more than ten citations in thirty (30) days, you will be referred to the City Prosecutor and may be required to install a physical containment system.


What is a physical containment system?

A physical containment system is:

  • A disabling device on the cart that locks the wheels or in any way prevents it from being moved off the premises

or

  • Any other approved system which physically contains shopping carts on the premises

Are physical containment systems required for new stores that have shopping carts.?

Yes, a physical containment system is required for new construction (including additions to existing facilities) of more than 5,000 square feet.


How will I know if the City impounds one of my shopping carts?

The administrative citation you receive will also serve as notice that the City has impounded one or more of your shopping carts. If you receive a citation, you must call (562) 570-2850 to make arrangements to pick-up your cart. You will be required to bring proof that you are the cart owner or an official representative of the cart owner. If you do not retrieve your cart within thirty (30) days, it will be crushed for recycling pursuant to state law.


How do I pay my fine?

You can either mail your fine using the envelope provided or pay in person at 333 W. Ocean Blvd, 1st Floor, Long Beach CA 90802. Payment may be made with personal check, cashier’s check or money order payable to the City of Long Beach. Please include the attached payment remittance slip and write your citation number on the check or money order. No cash will be accepted whether you mail your fine or pay in person.


What if I don’t pay my fine?

If you do not pay the fine and any accrued late penalties in a timely manner, the City may:

  • Impose a special assessment and/or lien against the real property on the business premises
  • File an action in Small Claims Court
  • Suspend or refuse any permit, license, entitlement or city approval pertaining to the business

What if an action is filed in Small Claims Court for failure to pay?

The only issue to be decided by the Small Claims Court is whether or not you paid the fine. You may only seek judicial review regarding the validity of the citation by first participating in an administrative appeal hearing. In the Small Claims Court action, the City may also recover its costs.


How do I appeal the citation?

In order to appeal your citation you must submit to the Department of Development Services (located at 333 W. Ocean Blvd, 3rd Floor, Long Beach CA 90802):

  • A completed Request for Hearing form, and...
  • A deposit in the total amount of your outstanding fines and late charges made payable to the City of Long Beach

Where do I get a Request for Hearing form?

You can get a Request for Hearing form at the Department of Development Services, Neighborhood Services Bureau, located at 444 W. Ocean Blvd, Suite 1700, Long Beach CA 90802 or click HERE to print a copy.


How long do I have to submit an appeal?

You have thirty (30) days from the date of service of the citation to submit an appeal. If you do not file an appeal within thirty (30) days, you lose any further right to appeal or to seek judicial review.


How will I be notified of the hearing date?

You will be notified in writing of the time and place at least ten (10) days prior to the appeal hearing.


How soon can I expect an appeal hearing date?

The appeal hearing will be set for no sooner than fifteen (15) days, and no more than sixty (60) days from the time you submit your completed request.


What can I expect at the appeal hearing?

The only evidence the hearing officer will consider is:

  • Whether you are responsible for the cart that was cited

or

  • Whether there was an actual violation of the shopping cart ordinance

What if I fail to appear at my hearing?

If you fail to appear at the hearing, you will forfeit your deposit and lose your future right to administrative remedies.


How will I be notified of the decision?

The hearing officer shall issue a written decision within fifteen (15) business days of the hearing.


What if my appeal is denied?

If your appeal is denied, the City will keep your deposit as payment for the fine.

What if my appeal is granted?

If your appeal is granted, the City will refund your deposit within thirty (30) business days of the final written decision.


If my appeal is denied, do I have any other options?

Yes. You may obtain a review of the decision by filing a Petition for Review with the Los Angeles Superior Court. Judicial review of a citation is not available unless all administrative remedies have been exhausted.


Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have any further questions, you may contact the Department of Development Services at (562) 570-1010.

 

 


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