October 24, 2014
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

2001 Final Report:

Sequoia Hospital Parking Citations

Summary | Background | Findings | Recommendations | Responses

Summary:

A citizen complained that Sequoia Hospital's private security force was still issuing parking citations, even though the hospital ceased to be a public entity in 1996. The 2001-2002 Grand Jury found that the ordinance allowing citations to be issued was passed while the hospital was a public hospital and is no longer applicable as the hospital has become a private facility.

Issue: Are private security officers employed by Sequoia Hospital legally allowed to issue parking citations?

Background:

In April 1983, while Sequoia Hospital was still a public facility, Sequoia Hospital District officials passed ordinance No. 83-7, which allowed security personnel hired by the hospital to issue parking and traffic citations. This action was legal, pursuant to section 21113 of the California Vehicle Code and section 836.5 of the California Penal Code, which allow public entities to issue legally binding citations for Vehicle Code infractions. The Redwood City Police Department provided citation forms to the Sequoia Hospital District and processed them as well.
In 1996 San Mateo County voters approved Measure H, which transferred ownership of the hospital to a private company, Catholic Healthcare West. Since then, Sequoia Hospital has been a private facility
.

Findings:

The Grand Jury learned that security officers at Sequoia Hospital were still issuing parking citations. After discussion with County Counsel and interviews of others involved in the process, the Grand Jury discovered it is unlawful for the hospital's security force to write parking citations. As Sequoia Hospital is no longer a public facility, the 1983 ordinance is not enforceable. Only Redwood City police are allowed to issue parking citations on the hospital's grounds, and then only after the Redwood City City Council adopts an appropriate ordinance regarding citing vehicles on the private property of the hospital.

The Grand Jury's finding were discussed with Redwood City Police Chief Carlos Bolanos, who has since advised the Sequoia Hospital security chief that Redwood City Police will no longer provide or process citations issued by Sequoia Hospital employees.

Recommendations:


Recommendation

As long as Sequoia Hospital remains a private facility, its security force should refrain from issuing parking citations.

 

Response

Response from Redwood City Police Department

I agree with the findings of the 2001-2002 Grand Jury report filed on May 6, 2002. Sequoia Hospital Catholic Health Care West has failed to demonstrate the current validity of Ordinance 83-7, which was passed by the Sequoia Hospital District in 1983. As such, on December 13, 2001, my department ceased to provide, or process, parking citations issued by Sequoia Hospital employees.

Sincerely,

Ronald Matuszak
Deputy Police Chief


Response from Sequoia Hospital

Re: 2001 - 2002 Grand Jury Sequoia Hospital Parking Citation Report

In response to the above referenced report issued May 6, 2002, the Security Department of Sequoia Hospital stopped issuing parking citations on hospital property effective January 1, 2002.

Glenna Vaskelis
President/Administrator
Sequoia Hospital

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