Basic Legal Terminology

pg. 317
It is impossible for the Health Department to secure an inspection warrant for all regular private property inspections because there is usually no probable cause during the beginning of an routine inspection. In
the case of an inspection of a private property (i.e. homes: single family dwellings, etc.), the householder
must freely give consent for an inspection. After the inspector properly identifies himself, states the
reason for his visit and requests to inspect the dwelling, the resident must acknowledge with an approval
of consent. This can be a verbal “yes” or even a nod of the head. Once permission is granted, it cannot
be withdrawn., For most private property inspections it must be conducted between daylight hours (8 A.M. to 6 P.M.) unless the owner consents to the inspection after this time period. The Supreme Court has
indicated that an inspection of a private home must conform to certain standards to meet the requirements of due process:
1. Must have valid grounds for the inspection. A complaint gives probable cause.
2. Inspections must be conducted during daylight hours.
3. The occupant may not be inconvenienced unreasonably.
4. Cannot force entry without a warrant.
For businesses, inspections can be conducted any time during its operation (24 hours if necessary)
pg. 320
A court order for you to appear.
1. A court obtained injunction. This is when a court orders the halt of a particular action.
2. The duration and effect of injunction. The court can set the time and the effect of injunctions.
pg. 318
To confine or lock up for a certain amount of time until a legal decision is made (up to 30 days).
An embargo is an order prohibiting the removal or the use of a particular article. This is usually
accomplished by the affixing a tag (Le. red tag) or other appropriate markings. In the case of confiscated
goods, such as crates of products, the embargo method is used. The embargo method is used for large
objects that are seized prior to the legal disposition such as an oil tanker in the oil embargo. In the
embargo situation, the knowledge of what the cause of harm is usually known.
The disposition of the seized product can be a known or unknown. In the case of imported goods, illegal
or unknown products can be seized or confiscated until the government can determine it’s disposition. For
most illegally imported products, it is either returned to the country of origin or destroyed. At the time of
inspection or search, when a product is seized by an inspector, a documented notice/release form and a
receipt will be issued by the officer upon seizing the goods.
A permit is a written authorization to operate a specific business, issued by the local enforcement agency.
When a business obtains permits to operate a specified business within the local jurisdiction, a fee is paid
to the government agency and a set of regulations must be followed and abided while operating such a
business. In the case of a food establi$ment, the granting of a permit to operate a restaurant obligates
the owner to follow all applicable food laws as well as building codes and professional business ethics.
The owners will and permit any city official or inspector to inspect their facility at any time during their
operation. Access by the health officer is a condition of a license and refusal of access is often very rare.
If the restaurant is closed for business but food is being prepared prior to the opening of the restaurant,
this constitutes an open business to the inspector and the operators must permit the inspector to inspect
the facility.
A condemned product that is known to be adulterated (contaminated) and will have to be destroyed.
Salvaging condemned materials is illegal.
Voluntary Condemnation and Destruction
PG. 319
This action may result in an order for destruction, the denaturing, the re-export or the return of the product
or returning the goods to their owner or country of origin. Seizure can confiscate the goods due to the
harmful cause. Seizure and embargoing methods of offending goods is a preventative measure rather
than a punitive measure. The sole purpose is to prevent the distribution of goods to the public. However,
at the time of inspection, emotions may interfere in causing the owners or operators to believe that this
action is a punitive one. Prior to a summary seizure, the Food and Drug Administration attempts to have
the product destroyed by the manufacturer. Upon suspicion or the actual knowledge of a violation, the
state law permits the seizure or the embargo of the evidence as long as it is conducted in good faith. The
owner has the right to a hearing to contest the seizure prior to any final determinations of the disposition
of goods.
(not on list..)
A license is a formal permission to conduct a specific business which must conform to the satisfactory
requirements of the state or local codes. A license can impose a regular or annual fee for the government
agency to monitor a licensed business. The imposition of such a restraint is justified only by the strong
need of public health and safety and welfare. This enforcement is exercised by police power. Licensing
also can limit the number of persons who manually engage in a certain activity as well as imposing
necessary conditions on the licensed activity.