Los Angeles Municipal Code
Article 14 - on Chalking


IMPORTANT see also: Legal Info: Sidewalk Chalk and Los Angeles
                         see also: California Penal Code on Vandalism/ Graffiti 


LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE ARTICLE 14 
on GRAFFITI INCLUDING CHALK 


ARTICLE 14
GRAFFITI REMOVAL AND RECOVERY

(Title and Article Amended by Ord. No. 180,708, Eff. 7/6/09.)

Section

49.84.1     Purpose and Intent.

49.84.2     Definitions.

49.84.3     Graffiti Prohibited.

49.84.4     Display of Aerosol Paint Containers and Marker Pens.

49.84.5     Possession of Specified Graffiti Implements Prohibited in Designated Areas.

49.84.6     Graffiti Declared a Public Nuisance.

49.84.7     Graffiti Removal at City Expense.

49.84.8     Remedies When Owner Refuses to Consent.

49.84.9     City Funds to Be Recovered.

49.84.10     Administrative Hearing.

49.84.11     Nuisance Abatement Lien.

49.84.12     Penalties.

49.84.13     Severability.

 SEC. 49.84.1.  PURPOSE AND INTENT.

     (A)     The City Council of the City of Los Angeles finds graffiti on public or private property a blighting element that leads to depreciation of the value of property and depreciates the value of the adjacent and surrounding properties to the extent that graffiti creates a negative impact on the entire city.

     (B)     The City Council finds and determines that the power of graffiti to create fear and insecurity within the community detracts from the sense of community enjoyed by residents making graffiti both a property crime and a social crime impacting the quality of life and freedom from intimidation that citizens desire within their neighborhoods.

     (C)     The City Council finds and determines that the spread of graffiti often leads to violence, genuine threats to life, and the perpetuation of gangs, gang violence, and gang territories.

     (D)     The City Council finds and determines that graffiti is obnoxious and a public nuisance, and must be eliminated by means of prevention, education, and abatement to avoid the detrimental impact of such graffiti on the City and its residents, and to prevent the further spread of graffiti.

     (E)     The purpose and intent of the City Council, through the adoption of this Article, is to protect public and private property from acts of vandalism and defacement.

 SEC. 49.84.2.  DEFINITIONS.

     (A)     "Act of graffiti" means an act which causes any form of unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design to be marked, etched, scratched, drawn, sprayed, painted or otherwise affixed on any structural component of any building, structure or other facility or upon any other property, regardless of its content or nature and regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component or property.

     (B)     "Aerosol paint container" means any aerosol container, which is adapted or made for the purpose of applying spray painting, or other substance capable of defacing property.

     (C)     "City" means the city of Los Angeles.

     (D)     "Etching cream" means any caustic cream, gel, liquid, or solution capable, by means of a chemical action, of defacing, damaging, or destroying hard surfaces in a manner similar to acid.

     (E)     "Graffiti" means any form of unauthorized inscription, word, figure or design which is marked, etched, scratched, drawn, sprayed, painted or otherwise affixed to or on any surface of public or private property, including but not limited to, buildings, walls, signs, structures or places, or other surfaces, regardless of the nature of the material of that structural component.

     (F)     "Graffiti implement" means any implement capable of marking a surface to create graffiti, including but not limited to aerosol paint containers, markers, etching devices, and gum labels.

     (G)     "Gum label" means any material such as, but not limited to, decals, stickers, posters or labels which contain a substance commonly known as adhesive or glue, which cannot be removed from the surface in an intact condition and with minimal effort.

     (H)     "Marker" means any indelible or permanent marker with tips exceeding four millimeters in width or similar implement containing ink that is not water-soluble.

     (I)     "Owner" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership or other entity, owning property either public or private, whose name or title appears on the last equalized assessment role with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office, or the lessee, tenant or other person having control or possession of the property.

 SEC. 49.84.3.  GRAFFITI PROHIBITED.

     (A)     It is unlawful for any person to write, paint, spray, chalk, etch, or otherwise apply graffiti on public or privately owned buildings, signs, walls, permanent or temporary structures, places, or other surfaces located on public or privately owned property within the City.

     (1)     A violation of this subsection shall be subject to enforcement only through civil action, administrative fine, or nuisance abatement lien.

     (B)     It is unlawful for any person owning or otherwise in control of any real property within the City to permit or allow any graffiti to be placed upon or remain on any walls, temporary or permanent structure, places, or other surfaces located on such property when the graffiti is visible from a public street or other public or private property.

 SEC. 49.84.4.  DISPLAY OF AEROSOL PAINT CONTAINERS AND MARKER PENS.

     (A)     It shall be unlawful for any person who owns, conducts, operates or manages a retail commercial establishment selling aerosol containers, or marker pens with tips exceeding four millimeters in width, containing anything other than a solution which can be removed with water after it dries, to store or display, or cause to be stored or displayed, such aerosol containers or marker pens in an area accessible to the public without employee assistance in the regular course of business pending legal sale or other disposition.

     (B)     Nothing herein shall preclude the storage or display of spray paint containers and marker pens in an area viewable by the public so long as such items are not accessible to the public without employee assistance.

 SEC. 49.84.5.  POSSESSION OF SPECIFIED GRAFFITI IMPLEMENTS PROHIBITED IN DESIGNATED AREAS.

     (A)     It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any aerosol paint container or etching cream while in or upon any public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility, or other public building owned or operated by the City unless otherwise authorized by the City, where signs forbidding such possession are displayed as provided in Subsection (B).

     (B)     Posting of No Possession of Graffiti Implements Signs.  At least two signs shall be conspicuously painted or posted on the outside of every public facility, park, playground, swimming pool, recreational facility, or other public building owned or operated by the City that is subject to this regulation.  The letters and numbers on said signs shall be in black lettering at least six inches high on a white background stating:

NO POSSESSION OF AEROSAL SPRAY PAINT OR ETCHING CREAM
L.A.M.C. SEC. 49.84.5

 SEC. 49.84.6.  GRAFFITI DECLARED A PUBLIC NUISANCE.

     Declaration of Nuisance. The City Council hereby declares and finds graffiti, which is visible from a street or other public or private property to be a nuisance subject to abatement according to the provisions and procedures contained herein.

 SEC. 49.84.7.  GRAFFITI REMOVAL AT CITY EXPENSE.

     (A)     Authorization to Use City Funds.  Whenever the Board of Public Works or its designated representative determines that graffiti is so located on public or private property within the City so as to be capable of being viewed by persons utilizing any public right-of-way in the City, the Board of Public Works or its designated representative is authorized to provide for the removal of the graffiti solely at the City's expense, without reimbursement from the property owner upon whose property the graffiti has been applied.

     (B)     Limitations to Use of City Funds.  The use of City funds as authorized in this section is limited to the following cases.

     (1)     The Board of Public Works or its designated representative must approve each proposed use of City funds for the removal of graffiti.

     (2)     In removing the graffiti, the painting or repair shall be limited to the minimum necessary to properly restore the defaced area.

     (3)     Where a structure is owned by a public entity other than the City, the removal of the graffiti may be authorized only after securing the consent of the public entity having jurisdiction over the structure as set forth in subsection (C), below.

     (4)     Where a structure is privately owned, the removal of the graffiti by City personnel or by a private contractor under the direction of the City may be authorized only after securing the consent of the owner as set forth in subsection (C), below.

     (5)     The City reserves the right to recover City costs and expenses pursuant to this chapter, Penal Code Section 594, et seq., Code of Civil Procedure Section 731, Civil Code Section 1714.1, Government Code Section 38771, et seq., Welfare and Institutions Code Section 742.10, et seq., and any other remedies provided by law.

     (C)     Securing Consent.  The City shall obtain the written consent of the owner of the affected public or private structures prior to removal of graffiti.  Owners may consent in advance to City entry onto private property for graffiti removal purposes.  The City will make forms for such consent available.  The consent form shall be approved by the City and shall:

     (1)     Authorize entry of City employees or contractors on the affected property to accomplish the removal of the material;

     (2)     Assign to the City any cause or causes of action which the owner may have against any person or persons who deface said property with graffiti; and

     (3)     Hold the City, its officers, employees and contractors harmless from all liability arising out of the entry on the property or the work of removing the material.

     (D)     In any instance where the owner of the affected property or structure caused, materially contributed, or voluntarily consented to the placement of the graffiti, the owner may be held financially responsible pursuant to Section 49.84.8 of this Article.

 SEC. 49.84.8.  REMEDIES WHEN OWNER REFUSES TO CONSENT.

     (A)     Vacant Property.  If the City requested consent from an owner to remove or abate graffiti and that owner refused or failed to consent, the City may commence abatement and cost recovery proceedings for the removal of the graffiti pursuant to the provisions of Section 91.8904 et seq. of this Code, and any other remedies provided by law.

     (B)     Occupied Buildings and Premises.  If the City requested consent from an owner to remove or abate graffiti and that owner refused or failed to consent, the City may pursue other remedies provided by this Article, Section 91.8903 et seq. of this Code, and any other remedies provided by law.

 SEC. 49.84.9.  CITY FUNDS TO BE RECOVERED.

     (A)     Recovery of Costs.   The City shall recover all costs incurred to remove graffiti and repair or replace graffiti damaged real or personal property within the City.  These costs may be recovered as follows:

     (1)     Criminal Prosecution.  A person who suffers a conviction for committing an act of graffiti who is granted probation, or any minor who is found to be a person described in California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 602 as a result of committing an act of graffiti shall make restitution to the victim, in addition to any other penalties prescribed by law.

     (2)     Civil Action.

     (a)     Adult Defendants.  The City Attorney may bring and maintain a civil action in the name of the City of Los Angeles in the Superior Court to obtain a money judgment against the defendant for any amount not ordered or collected by the criminal court, including, but not limited to, all attorney's fees, court costs, and civil penalties incurred in connection with the civil prosecution of any claim for damages or reimbursement.

     (b)     Juvenile Offender.  The City Attorney may bring and maintain a civil action in the name of the City of Los Angeles in the Superior Court to obtain a money judgment against the juvenile offender and/or his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor for any amount not ordered or collected by the juvenile court, including, but not limited to, all attorney's fees, court costs, and civil penalties incurred in connection with the civil prosecution of any claim for damages or reimbursement.

     (c)     Parental Liability.  Any parent or legal guardian of a minor shall be personally liable for any and all costs to the City or any person or business incurred in connection with the removal of graffiti caused by conduct of said minor, and for all attorney's fees, court costs, and civil penalties incurred in connection with the civil prosecution of any claim for damages or reimbursement up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

     (3)     Administrative Hearing.  An administrative order may be sought for violations relating to graffiti offenses against the responsible person(s) and/or, if the responsible person is a minor, against the parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor.

     (4)     Lien and Personal Obligation.  The expense of abating the graffiti nuisance shall constitute a lien against, and be a personal obligation of, the minor or other person creating, causing, or committing the nuisance.  The parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for the expense of abatement.

     (B)     Selecting the Remedy.  Selecting the appropriate remedy to be sought lies within the sole discretion of the Los Angeles City Attorney's office and shall be consistent with the purpose and intent of this Article.  This includes, but is not limited to, alternative sentencing options, such as parenting classes, counseling, and other forms of remedial education.

     (C)     Disposition of Funds Collected.  All funds collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Graffiti Technology and Recovery Fund established pursuant to the Los Angeles Administrative Code Sections 5.552, 5.553 and 5.554.  These monies shall be utilized for the purposes authorized for expenditure from that Fund.

     (D)     Remedies Not Exclusive.  Remedies provided for the enforcement of this Article are in addition to and do not supersede or limit any and all other remedies provided by law.  The remedies provided herein are cumulative and not exclusive.

 SEC. 49.84.10.  ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING.

     (A)     Administrative Fines.

     (1)     Whenever an enforcement officer determines that a violation of a provision of this Article has occurred, the enforcement officer is authorized to issue a notice of violation to the responsible person(s).  If the responsible person is a minor, the enforcement officer is authorized to issue a notice of violation to the parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor.

     (2)     Each violation of any provision of this Article and each separate offense designated by this Article shall be subject to an administrative fine, as provided for in this Section.

     (3)     The amount of the administrative fine shall be determined by the enforcement officer, based upon the penalty schedule set forth in Subdivision (4) of this Section, subject to the following limitations:

     (a)     Where the violation would otherwise be an infraction, the administrative fine or penalty shall not exceed the maximum fine or penalty amounts for infractions set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 36900 of the California Government Code.

     (b)     For all other violations of this Article, the amount of the administrative fine shall not exceed one-thousand dollars ($1,000).

     (4)     The administrative fine levied for a violation of this Article shall be in the following amounts:

     (a)     For the first offense by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250); or

     (b)     For a second offense by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500); or

     (c)     For a third or any subsequent offense by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

     (B)     Service Procedures for Issuing Administrative Citations.  An administrative citation in a form approved by the City may be issued to the responsible party by an enforcement officer for violations of those sections set forth in this Article in the following manner:

     (1)     Personal Service.  In any case where an administrative citation is issued to an individual the enforcement officer shall attempt to:

     (a)     Locate the individual and serve the administrative citation to the responsible person or party.  If the responsible person is a minor, the enforcement officer shall also attempt to serve the administrative citation on the parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor.

     (b)     Obtain on the administrative citation the signature of the person in violation of this Code.

     (c)     If the responsible person or party served refuses or fails to sign the administrative citation, the failure or refusal to sign shall not affect the validity of the citation or of subsequent proceedings.

     (2)     Service of Citation by Mail.  If the enforcement officer is unable to locate the responsible person for the violation, the administrative citation shall be mailed to the responsible person by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested.  If the responsible person is a minor, the administrative citation shall be mailed to the parent(s) or guardian(s) having custody and control of the minor by certified mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested.  Simultaneously, the same notice may be sent by regular mail.  If a notice sent by certified mail is returned unsigned, then service shall be deemed effective pursuant to regular mail, provided the notice that was sent by regular mail is not returned.

     (C)     Contents of Administrative Citations.  Administrative citations shall contain all of the following information:

     (1)     The date and location of the violation and the approximate time the violation was observed;

     (2)     The Code Section violated and a description of how the Section was violated;

     (3)     The action required to correct the violation;

     (4)     The consequences of failing to correct the violation;

     (5)     The amount of penalty imposed for the violation;

     (6)     Information regarding the procedure to contest the citation;

     (7)     The signature of the enforcement officer and the signature of the responsible person if that person can be located and will sign the citation, as set forth in this section.

     (D)     Satisfaction of Administrative Citation.

     (1)     Upon receipt of a citation, the responsible party shall either:

     (a)     Pay the Penalty.  Payment of the penalty waives the responsible party's right to the administrative hearing and appeal process pursuant to Paragraph (d), below; or

     (b)     Perform Community Service or Parenting Classes.  Any responsible person(s) served with an administrative citation pursuant to this Section may request to perform community service or attend parenting classes in lieu of payment of the administrative penalty pursuant to subdivision (F) of this Section; or

     (c)     Remedy the Violation.  If the violation is of a nature that it can be remedied, and the responsible party remedies it within the time indicated on the citation, upon providing proof of correction to the enforcement officer the responsible party shall pay only the administrative reimbursement portion of the penalty; or

     (d)     Request an Administrative Hearing.  If the responsible party chooses to contest the citation, the party shall submit a request to do so no later than 15 calendar days, excluding weekends and holidays, after service of the citation.  The request shall be submitted in writing as directed on the citation and shall include a statement of reasons why the citation is being contested.  The request shall be accompanied by a deposit in the full amount of the penalty, inclusive of the administrative reimbursement portion, or written proof of financial hardship, which at a minimum must include tax returns, financial statements, bank account records, salary records or similar documentation demonstrating that the responsible party is unable to deposit the penalty.  A hearing will not be scheduled unless the full amount of the penalty is deposited, or the City finds the responsible party financially unable to do so and waives the deposit requirement.

     (2)     In the event the responsible party fails or refuses to select and satisfy any of the alternatives set forth in Paragraphs (a), (b) (c) or (d) above, then the penalty shall be immediately due and owing to the City and may be collected in any manner allowed by law for collection of a debt.

     (E)     Administrative Hearings and Appeal Process.

     (1)     Appointment of Administrative Hearing Officer.  Within 180 days of the effective date of this Section, the City Attorney's Office, with the City Council's approval, shall create an administrative hearing and appeals process that is consistent with this Article and with due process principles, including the selection and appointment of one or more independent Administrative Hearing Officers, who shall be responsible for conducting administrative hearings authorized under this Article.  Until such time, no enforcement officer may issue an administrative citation under this Section.

     (2)     Pre-hearing Dismissal of Citation.  The City may dismiss an administrative citation at any time if it is determined to have been issued in error.

     (3)     Time for Administrative Hearing.  The administrative hearing shall be scheduled no later than 90 days after receipt of the request for a hearing to contest the citation.  The responsible party will be notified in writing at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing by first class mail of the date and time of the hearing.

     (4)     Request for Continuance of Hearing.  The responsible person may request one continuance of the hearing, but in no event may the hearing begin later than 90 days after receipt of the request for hearing from the responsible person.

     (5)     Failure to Attend Administrative Hearing.  The individual to whom an administrative citation is issued, or that person's representative, may attend the hearing in person, or in lieu of attending may submit an Appearance by Written Declaration on a form provided by the City for that purpose.

     (a)     If the cited individual or his or her representative fails to attend the scheduled hearing, or fails to submit an Appearance by Written Declaration on the form provided by the City for that purpose, he or she shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to an administrative hearing.  Under these circumstances, the Administrative Hearing Officer shall dismiss the challenge to the administrative citation, and shall issue a written notice to that effect.  An individual whose challenge to an administrative citation is dismissed under this section shall be deemed not to have availed himself or herself of the right to an administrative hearing as provided in this Article.

     (b)     An individual who has been issued an administrative citation and who has requested an administrative hearing to challenge the citation as provided in this Article may request in writing that his or her challenge to the citation be dismissed and the hearing canceled.  Upon receipt of a request to dismiss a challenge to the administrative citation, the City shall cancel the pending hearing, and issue a written notice to that effect.  Any individual who requests the dismissal of a challenge to an administrative citation under this Section shall be deemed never to have availed himself or herself of the right to an administrative hearing as provided in this Article.

     (6)     Procedures at Administrative Hearing.  Administrative hearings are informal, and formal rules of evidence and discovery do not apply.  Each party shall have the opportunity to present evidence in support of his or her case and to cross-examine witnesses.  The City bears the burden of proof at an administrative hearing to establish a violation.  The citation is prima facie evidence of the violation and the enforcement officer who issued the citation is not required to participate in the hearing.  The Administrative Hearing Officer shall use preponderance of the evidence as the standard of evidence in deciding the issues.  Written and oral evidence submitted at the hearing shall be submitted under penalty of perjury.  Documentary and other tangible evidence must be authenticated to the satisfaction of the Administrative Hearing Officer.

     (7)     Decision of Administrative Hearing Officer.  At the conclusion of the hearing or within 15 days thereafter, the Administrative Hearing Officer shall render a decision as follows:

     (a)     Determine that the violation for which the citation was issued occurred, and impose a fine in the amount set forth in the citation, inclusive of the administrative reimbursement portion, and if the violation has not been corrected as of the date of the hearing, order correction of the violation; or

     (b)     Determine that the violation for which the citation was issued occurred, but that the responsible party has introduced credible evidence of mitigating circumstances warranting imposition of a lesser penalty than that prescribed in the citation, or no penalty at all, and impose a lesser fine, if any, and if the violation has not been corrected as of the date of the hearing, order that the violation be corrected; or

     (c)     Determine that the violation for which the citation was issued did not occur or that the condition did not constitute a violation of the Code.

     (8)     Issuance of Administrative Order.  The Administrative Hearing Officer shall issue a written decision entitled "Administrative Order" no later than 15 days after the date on which the administrative hearing concludes.  The Administrative Order shall be served upon the responsible person by first class mail, or if that method fails, by any one of the other methods set forth in this Section.  The Administrative Order shall become final on the date of mailing or other service, and shall notify the responsible person of his or her right to appeal as provided below in this Section.  The Administrative Order shall also (i) either set a deadline for compliance with its terms, in the event that the responsible person fails to file an appeal, in no event less than 20 days from the date of mailing or other service, or (ii) if the hearing officer determines as described in Subdivisions (7)(b) or (7)(c) immediately above, and the responsible party has deposited the penalty with the City, order a partial or full refund of the deposit.

     (9)     Appeal of Administrative Order.  Within 20 days after mailing or other service of the Administrative Order to the responsible person, he or she may seek review of the Administrative Order by filing a notice of appeal with the Superior Court, pursuant to California Government Code Section 53069.4.  The responsible person shall serve upon the City Clerk either in person or by first-class mail a copy of the notice of appeal.  If the responsible person fails to timely file a notice of appeal, the Administrative Order shall be deemed final.

     (F)     Request to Perform Community Service or Parenting Classes.  Any responsible person(s) served with an administrative citation and/or issued an Administrative Order pursuant to this Section may request to perform community service or attend parenting classes in lieu of payment of the administrative penalty.  Community service and parenting classes must be in a program approved by the issuing department.

     (1)     Written Request.  Any eligible responsible person(s) served with an administrative citation who requests permission to perform community service or attend parenting classes in lieu of payment of the administrative penalty, as provided in Subsection (F), must make the request in writing and file it with the issuing department no later than fifteen (15) calendar days, excluding weekends and holidays, after service of the citation.  Any eligible responsible person(s) issued an Administrative Order who requests permission to perform community service or attend parenting classes in lieu of payment of the administrative penalty, as provided in Subsection (F), must make the request in writing and file it with the issuing department no later than twenty (20) days after mailing or other service of the administrative Order.   All requests made pursuant to Subsection (F) must include the address of the responsible person(s) for the purpose of correspondence by the issuing department.

     (2)     Notification.  The issuing department shall notify the responsible person(s) by first class mail, postage prepaid, whether the request to perform community service or attend parenting classes has been approved, and if approved, shall identify the program(s) that the responsible person must complete, and the date by which such program shall be completed.  The decision to grant or deny the request shall be in the sole discretion of the issuing department.  In the event the issuing department denies the request to perform community service or attend parenting classes, the administrative penalty otherwise payable as set forth in the administrative citation and/or Administrative Order previously served on the responsible person(s) shall be made by the date specified in the notice denying the request to perform community service or attend parenting classes.

     (3)     Suspension of Administrative Penalty.  The obligation to pay the administrative penalty otherwise required shall be suspended during the time period provided for completion of the approved program as set forth in the written notification approving the request sent by the issuing department under Paragraph (2), above.

     (4)     Proof of Completion.  The responsible person(s) shall provide proof of completion of the approved program by submitting, to the issuing department within five (5) calendar days following the date by which the program was to be completed, a certificate of completion issued by the program provider.  Failure to present such proof within the required time period shall result in the reinstatement of the administrative penalty otherwise due as stated in the administrative citation or Administrative Order without further notification by the issuing department.  Payment of the amount due shall be made within seven (7) calendar days of the date by which the program was to be completed as specified in the notice provided under Paragraph (2), above.

     (G)     Failure to Comply with Administrative Order.  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the responsible person fails to comply with the Administrative Order, the City may use any other legal remedy available to gain compliance with the Administrative Order.

     (H)     Disposition of Collected Administrative Fines.  The fines recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Graffiti Technology and Recovery Fund established pursuant to Los Angeles Administrative Code Sections 5.552, 5.553 and 5.554.

     (I)     Definitions.  For purposes of this Section, the following definitions apply:

     (1)     "Enforcement Officer" means any peace officer or probation officer delegated with the power to enforce any provision of this Code.

     (2)     "Issuing Department" means the City department that has authority and responsibility for enforcing and prosecuting the Code section that is the subject of the administrative citation.

     (3)     "Responsible Person" means any person who is responsible for, or alleged to be responsible for, a violation and/or any parent or guardian having custody and control of a minor committing such violation, on a joint and several basis with such minor, provided such minor and parent or guardian are each served with notice of violation.

 SEC. 49.84.11.  NUISANCE ABATEMENT LIEN.

     (A)     Summary Abatement.  The City may summarily abate any nuisance resulting from the defacement of the property of another by graffiti or any other inscribed material at the expense of the minor or other person creating, causing, or committing the nuisance and make the expense of abatement of the nuisance a lien against the property of the person and a personal obligation against that person.

     (1)     The determination of responsibility shall be presumed by any confession, admission, guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere to any violation of Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7 of the California Penal Code.

     (2)     In the case of a minor, responsibility shall be presumed by any confession, admission, or by the minor being declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code by reason of the commission of an act prohibited by Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6 or 640.7 of the Penal Code

     (B)     Joint and Several Liability of Parent(s) or Guardian(s).  The parent or guardian having custody and control of a minor committing a nuisance described in Subsection (A), shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for the expense of abatement.  The unpaid expense of abatement of any nuisance resulting from the defacement of the property of another by graffiti or any other inscribed material shall become a lien against the property of a parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor, and a personal obligation against the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor.

     (C)     Definitions.  For purposes of this Section, the following definitions apply:

     (1)     "Expense of abatement" includes, but is not limited to, court costs, attorney's fees, costs of removal of the graffiti or other inscribed material, costs of repair and replacement of defaced property, and the law enforcement costs incurred by the City in identifying and apprehending the minor or other person.

     (2)     "Minor" or "other person" means a minor or other person who has confessed to, admitted to, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of  Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7 of the California Penal Code; or a minor convicted by final judgment of a violation of Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7 of the California Penal Code; or a minor declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code by reason of the commission of an act prohibited by Section 594, 594.3, 640.5, 640.6 or 640.7 of the Penal Code.

     (D)     Procedures.

     (1)     Collection of Expenses of Abatement.  Upon the determination of the expense of abatement, the City, Board of Public Works or its designated representative, shall send an abatement expense statement to the responsible person(s) pursuant to Subsection (A), and if applicable, Subsection (B), above.  Payment shall be due fifteen (15) calendar days from the service of the abatement expense statement.

     (2)     Notice and Hearing.

     (a)     Within ten (10) calendar days of the mailing of the abatement expense statement, any person served with an abatement expense statement may file with the City representative who issued the statement, a written request for a hearing on the correctness, reasonableness, or both of such claim of abatement costs.

     (b)     Upon receipt of the written request for a hearing, the City representative who issued the statement shall send notice describing the time and place of such hearing by the United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the requesting party's last-known address at least five days in advance of the hearing.

     (c)     At the hearing, upon request, the city representative shall receive all evidence presented by the responsible person and by the City.  Thereupon, the City representative shall make such revision, correction, and modification to the statement as deemed warranted, after which the statement as submitted, or as revised, corrected, or modified, shall be confirmed.  The decision of the City representative shall be final.

     (d)     Suspension of Abatement Costs.  The obligation to pay the expenses of abatement otherwise required under subsection (D)(1) of this section shall be suspended during the pendency of any hearing provided for under this Subsection.  Upon the City representative rendering his or her decision following a hearing, payment of the confirmed or otherwise revised, corrected, or modified abatement expense statement shall be made within ten (10) calendar days following service of the City representative's decision upon the responsible person.

     (3)     Lien Against Property for Unpaid Expenses.

     (a)     The City may make the unpaid expenses of abatement a lien against the property of the person committing a nuisance described in Subsection (A), above, and, where such person is a minor, against the property of the parent or guardian having custody and control of such minor.

     (b)     Notice of Intent to Lien.  Notice of Intent to record a lien shall be given to the minor or other person and to the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor prior to the recordation of any lien.  Said notice shall be served in the same manner as a civil action in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure Section 415.10.  If the minor or other person, and/or the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor, after diligent search, cannot be found, the notice may be served by posting a copy of the Notice in a conspicuous place upon the property for a period ten (10) days and publication thereof in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the property is located pursuant to Government Code Section 6062.

     (c)     Recordation.  A graffiti nuisance abatement lien shall be recorded in the County Recorder's Office in the county in which the parcel of land is located and from the date of recording shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien.

     (d)     Specific Data.  A graffiti nuisance abatement lien authorized by this section shall specify the amount of the lien; the name of the agency on whose behalf the lien is imposed; the date of the abatement order; the street address, legal description, and assessor's parcel number of the parcel on which the lien is imposed; and the name and address of the recorded owner of the parcel.

     (e)     Discharge.  If the lien is discharged, released, or satisfied through payment or foreclosure, notice of the discharge containing the information specified in Subsection (d), above, shall be recorded by the governmental agency.  A graffiti nuisance abatement lien and the release of the lien shall be indexed in the grantor-grantee index.

     (f)     A graffiti nuisance abatement lien may be satisfied through foreclosure in an action brought by the City.

     (g)     The City may recover from the property owner any costs incurred regarding the processing and recording of the lien and providing notice to the property owner as part of its foreclosure action to enforce the lien.

     (E)     Alternative Procedure for Assessment.

     (1)     As an alternative to the nuisance lien described in subsection (A) and (B), above, the City may make the costs associated with the expense of abatement, as defined in Subsection (C), above, a special assessment against the parcel of land owned by the person committing a nuisance described in Subsection (A), above, and, where such person is a minor, against the property of the parent or guardian having custody and control of such minor.

     (2)     The assessment may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary municipal taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for ordinary municipal taxes pursuant to Government Code Section 38773.7.

     (F)     Second or Subsequent Civil or Criminal Judgment.

     (1)     Upon the entry of a second or subsequent civil or criminal judgment within a two-year period finding that an owner of property or a minor or other person as defined in this Section is responsible for a condition that may be abated in accordance with this provision, except of conditions abated pursuant to Section 17980 of the Health and Safety Code, the court may order that person to pay treble the costs of the abatement.

 SEC. 49.84.12.  PENALTIES.

     (A)     Criminal Penalties.

     (1)     The civil and administrative penalties set forth in this section are not exclusive and may be used in addition to those set forth elsewhere in this Code or by other law.

     (B)     Civil Penalties.

     (1)     Irrespective of and cumulative to any criminal conviction for an act of graffiti or any final adjudication by the Juvenile Court or placement on a supervised program by the probation officer under the provisions of the Welfare and Institutions Code of the State of California for such act, any person who violates any provision or fails to comply with any requirement or provision of this Article, shall be liable for a civil penalty in a civil action brought by the City Attorney in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation. Each day of such conduct and each separate and distinct property victimized by an act of graffiti shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.  The civil penalty prescribed by this Subsection may be sought in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other remedy, including, but not limited to, criminal remedies, injunctive relief, specific performance, or any other remedy.

     (2)     Determining the Amount.  In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the court shall consider all relevant circumstances, including but not limited to: costs to the City relating to cleanup of graffiti caused by such person, costs to law enforcement incurred in identifying and apprehending such person, special costs to the City in the form of the payment of any reward in connection with any criminal action against such person, the degree of offense to the public as determined by the magnitude, form and visual prominence of the graffiti, the history of previous violations by the person committing graffiti, the assets, liabilities and net worth of the person, and any corrective action taken by the person committing the graffiti.

     (3)     Disposition of Penalties Collected.  All civil penalties collected shall be deposited into the Graffiti Technology and Recovery Fund established pursuant to Los Angeles Administrative Code Sections 5.552, 5.553 and 5.554.

     (C)     Administrative Penalties.

     (1)     Any person who violates any provision or fails to comply with any requirement or provision of this Article shall be subject to an administrative fine as specified in Section 49.93.

     (a)     The administrative fine prescribed by this Subsection may be sought in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other remedy, including, but not limited to, criminal remedies, injunctive relief, specific performance, or any other remedy.

     (2)     Disposition of Penalties Collected.  All administrative penalties collected shall be deposited into the Graffiti Technology and Recovery Fund established pursuant to Los Angeles Administrative Code Sections 5.552, 5.553 and 5.554.

 SEC. 49.84.13.  SEVERABILITY.

     If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or phrase of this Article is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the chapter.  The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this Article and each section, subsection, clause or phrase thereof irrespective of the fact that one or more other sections, subsections, clauses or phrases may be declared invalid or unconstitutional.

California Penal Code on
Vandalism/Graffiti 594-625c


IMPORTANT see also: Legal Info: Sidewalk Chalk and Los Angeles
                         see also: Los Angeles Municipal Code on Chalking


CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE (vandalism/ graffiti )
SECTION 594-625c

594.  (a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following
acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her
own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of
vandalism:

   (1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material.
   (2) Damages.
   (3) Destroys.

   Whenever a person violates this subdivision with respect to real
property, vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property
belonging to any public entity, as defined by Section 811.2 of the
Government Code, or the federal government, it shall be a permissive
inference that the person neither owned the property nor had the
permission of the owner to deface, damage, or destroy the property.

   (b) (1) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is
four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is punishable by
imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in a
county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than ten
thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the amount of defacement, damage,
or destruction is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, by a fine
of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that
fine and imprisonment.

   (2) (A) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is
less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of
not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine
and imprisonment.

   (B) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less
than four hundred dollars ($400), and the defendant has been
previously convicted of vandalism or affixing graffiti or other
inscribed material under Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, 640.6, or
640.7, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for
not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five thousand
dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

   (c) Upon conviction of any person under this section for acts of
vandalism consisting of defacing property with graffiti or other
inscribed materials, the court shall, when appropriate and feasible,
in addition to any punishment imposed under subdivision (b), order
the defendant to clean up, repair, or replace the damaged property
himself or herself, or order the defendant, and his or her parents or
guardians if the defendant is a minor, to keep the damaged property
or another specified property in the community free of graffiti for
up to one year. Participation of a parent or guardian is not required
under this subdivision if the court deems this participation to be
detrimental to the defendant, or if the parent or guardian is a
single parent who must care for young children. If the court finds
that graffiti cleanup is inappropriate, the court shall consider
other types of community service, where feasible.

   (d) If a minor is personally unable to pay a fine levied for acts
prohibited by this section, the parent of that minor shall be liable
for payment of the fine. A court may waive payment of the fine, or
any part thereof, by the parent upon a finding of good cause.

   (e) As used in this section, the term "graffiti or other inscribed
material" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark,
or design, that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or
painted on real or personal property.

   (f) The court may order any person ordered to perform community
service or graffiti removal pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision
(c) to undergo counseling.

   (g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2002.

Why Occupy Works


Why Occupy Works
by Sue Basko

Occupy is the most successful protest movement in the U.S. in at least 35 years.  In many ways, it appears to be the most successful national protest movement ever in the U.S.  Before arguing against this, please consider the list below of why Occupy works. These are not in any order of importance.  Many of the factors are intertwined, and they are all crucial to making Occupy such a success.

Wikipedia list of Occupy sites in:
U.S.A.  

WHY OCCUPY WORKS:

1) Occupy is nationwide and worldwide.  Occupy has been “franchised” to many cities,  neighborhoods, and universities, but these have the strength of operating under the bigger Occupy banner.  Strong personal bonds have been formed among participants nationwide.  Worldwide, protests in many locations have been inspired by Occupy, and some have taken the Occupy name. 

2) Occupy is decentralized and local.  Each local operation is run by its participants, as they see fit.   They can address their own issues and needs in their own style, but they are still part of the whole big Occupy.  Anyone can start an Occupy at their town or campus.   In some cities, there are a number of Occupy groups, in different parts of the city.   

3) Variety. There is always something interesting happening somewhere in Occupyland, and it seems there is an activity to suit almost any taste.  Some like epic activities such as the 99 Mile March or the Bike Across America or Occupy Caravan.  Others like to sleep on Skid Row or write with Chalk.  Some like to bang on pots and pans.  Many like drumming and dancing.  Some like to do Foreclosure Defense.  Others like meeting and discussing.  Some like writing or making videos.  And on and on.  Since there is no hierarchy of asking permission or seeking approval, you can make your own activity that suits you and/or your friends (as long as it is peaceful). 

4) Occupy is peaceful.  This is its greatest strength.  And in the face of often-intense police provocation, infiltrators, and bullying, manipulative pro-violence advocates, Occupy has maintained peacefulness.  Excellent Occupy communication systems have aided this. 

5) People can join without joining.  People can participate without agreeing to a list of exact precepts, other than to be peaceful.

6) Occupy is multi-racial and multi-generational.  Occupy also has many strong female participants. 

7) Occupy has its own media.  Thanks to Ustream, Twitter, blogs, and youtube, Occupy is not dependent on mainstream media.  Occupy also has many energetic, reliable, technically adept people who devote themselves to live streaming, tweeting, writing blogs, and making videos.  This, among other good things, removes any need for violence.  Protesters used to use violence to get attention from mainstream media, which usually goes for the cheap, easy shot.  Occupy has its own media, fully covering the everyday meetings as well as marches and protests of all kinds.  There is no need to beg the corporate media for coverage to feel legitimate.

8) Occupy has superb communications tools.  Twitter, Ustream, facebook, youtube, blogs, websites, chatlists, Google hangouts, free conference call services, and other free things give Occupiers the unprecedented ability to easily organize, gather, and plan without the old-fashioned use of paper, copiers, etc.  Whenever anyone talks about wanting paper fliers, I cringe.  May Occupy be the paperless revolution.  (Note: There are big phone expenses in live streaming, which is why Ustreamers ask for donations.)

9) There are many highly educated, reliable, friendly people with time on their hands.  Occupy benefits from having this highly-qualified, highly-skilled, devoted volunteer work force and participant pool.  

10) Professional helpers.  Lots of highly skilled people have been willing to give their time and efforts to Occupy: Lawyers, nurses, medics, filmmakers, video editors, chefs, cooks, event planners, publicists, solar power techs, designers, printers, journalists, writers, internet and computer tech people, and many others.  Occupy works like a well-oiled machine.

11) Occupy is not a cult of personality.  It’s not a cult of anything.  It’s a recognition of a generalized need for change in how money, work, housing, education, and health care work in the U.S.  Occupy is asking questions, not dictating answers.  

12) Alternative Payment Systems.  We Pay and Paypal have made it possible for livestreamers and Occupy sites to get donations from those able to give.

13) Anonymous, Wikileaks, and other internet helpers, such as those providing secure connections, provide back-up support for Occupy.

14) Willingness to Learn from Elders.  Those with experience in protest movements have been able to give information to those fairly new, including information on topics as Cointelpro, infiltrators, entrapment, and bullying, to such topics as staying hydrated, staying healthy, etc. As one of those helping others recognize and deal with infiltration and bullying, I have noted that the internet is an easy tool for such negative antics, but also provides an easy method for spotting it and calling it out or actively ignoring it. 

15) Veterans.  Veterans bring deep concern for our nation and our rights, and also often have qualities such as tenacity, perseverance, endurance, organization, physical fitness, and survival skills.  Veterans were also the group pushing strongly for encampments.  The strong presence of veterans gives Occupy credibility and a strong base of highly-skilled do-ers.  

16) Resisting Being Pegged.  Occupy has resisted the call to come up with a list of “demands,” the call to endorse candidates, the call to be co-opted by other movements, the call for violence, the manipulations of infiltrators, and on.

17) Food.  Occupy is known for great food, which is especially helpful, since many participants are hungry and in need.  Food Not Bombs, a great nonprofit, provides splendid vegan meals.  Local cooks and chefs set up kitchens and buffets.  Local people order pizzas or give other meals to Occupiers.  Eating becomes a political act when the food is carefully chosen for its world impact, such as with vegetarian meals served in recyclable containers.  Occupy has generous benefactors.

18) Music and Chants.  What would Occupy be without the drummers and great chants?  Occupy chants, like true folk music, have spread nationally.  Some of it is so catchy (one, we are the people..), while other chants have spread for their funny matter-of-fact observation (SAFUABS).  Local musicians, Tom Morello, and Guitarmy have all made Occupy a strong musical experience. 

***

FREE POSTER: If you like the  poster above, it is by Los Angeles designer, Aaron Kuehn, and you can download a pdf of it and print it up:  Aaron Kuehn FREE Occupy Poster.


The author - As disclosure, I should mention that I have helped people at many Occupy locations worldwide with protest set-up, planning, or legal help, and with legal needs of independent media. I have also assisted an international human rights assessment of Occupy and the NATO protests.   


--

Protest Sabotage


Protest Sabotage
by Sue Basko

July, 2012.  Sabotage methods used against recent protests give a guide of what to expect in upcoming protests.  Here’s a list of some of the most obvious sabotages we’ve seen, with suggestions on how to handle them.  Keep in mind this is not legal advice.  If you need specific legal advice, talk to a lawyer in the location where your protest is being held. 

1) Hashtag Swamping: Protests announce their twitter hashtags in advance. Example: #NatGat for the Occupy National Gathering.  On the first day of NatGat, the hashtag was flooded with tweets from profiles that seemed to be sponsored by the state, a corporation, right wing nut jobs (RWNJs), or other deeply disturbed individuals.  The same types have flooded #Assange and other hashtags. 

What to Do: NEVER respond. Immediately BLOCK. If you want to block a bunch of them at the same time, search on the hashtag and block anyone that has tweeted something demented.

2) Rape Talk.  Saboteurs try to grab attention from the activity at hand by talking about rape.  When NatGat was deliberating on a written plan, saboteurs online were posting that a rape tent was needed.  One Occupy location has been torn apart by a couple probable infiltrators talking and writing blogs on and raising a ruckus about claims of rape or sexual assault.  Big official governments have gone so far as to invent claims of sexual assault under Swedish law against Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, although it is has been a few years and he has never been charged with any crime.

The people using rape talk as a sabotage tool do so because of its shock and shame value.  They also manipulate, using some Occupy groups’ distrust of the police or pressure to not report crimes.  If you question their words or intentions, you, too, are subject to the manipulation and harassment.   Rape is the ultimate taboo. 

What to Do: If anyone is tweeting about rape, block them.  If anyone is claiming they were sexually assaulted or raped at a protest, tell them to report it to the police.  If a serious crime has taken place, that is not for protesters to deal with or resolve.  And if a crime has not taken place, don’t let your protest be broken apart by false rape talk.  Don’t let your group be manipulated by infiltrators using rape talk as a tool.  Be aware that this is apparently happening in various places nationally.  Ask yourself: Are we being manipulated, or are these concerns or claims serious and real?  Also keep in mind that with some mental illnesses, a person may make false claims of being sexually assaulted, either to get attention or because their mental illness makes them believe their own claim.  In any case, the group best equipped to handle such claims is the local police force.  Tell the person: “We can’t deal with that here.  Please go report it to the police.”

3) Anarchist Delay.  You group is about to accomplish something, and then a few people claiming to be anarchists stop up progress by saying they don’t recognize the legitimacy of the state and so they can’t: sign a petition/ attend a meeting/ agree on a list/ talk to a representative/ stay on the sidewalk/ obey a street sign/ whatever.  By the way, this is one of the oldest infiltrator tricks in the book, used to keep groups from accomplishing things.

What to Do:  Before you begin, state that your activity is only for those who go into it operating in good faith, that if someone does not believe in the process at hand, please do not participate.  If people try to derail your whole activity by questioning the legitimacy of it, say they have 2 minutes to talk and that’s it.  Keep in mind that a real anarchist is not likely to show up at your organized, planned, scheduled activity, because they will not accede to its legitimacy.

4) Denial of Basic Services.  At NatGat, an Occupier made arrangements to use a publicly-located water faucet in the yard of a firehouse to fill large group water containers.  The next day, the yard was locked and the Occupier was refused entry and use of the water faucet.  He was told that an order to do so was given by the city.  A City official denied there was an order, and at the same time implied the Occupiers could not have such “special treatment,” and also called the journalist who first reported on the story a liar.  The official was also tweeting that Occupiers could have use of cooling centers, swimming pools, and splash pads, while knowing it was use of a specific nearby water faucet that they needed and were requesting.  It was a heat wave, with a real risk of injury or death to the protesters, and it was seriously no time to be denying water to people who could get heat stroke.  I tweeted a photo of the firehouse to the official and to the mayor asking if they could make sure that the firehouse allowed NatGat to have water, and the next day, there was access to the water.   I then thanked them. 

What to Do:  If specific services are being denied, get the attention of the official who can make a command decision and ask for the specific services you need.  Be as specific as possible.  If the services are given, say thank you.  Try not to worry about who did what or why, concentrate on getting the needed services.   The same might be true of denial of access to bathrooms, denial of medical services to injured protesters, and on. You won't always get the needed services, but it is worth asking.

5) Broad Interpretation of Rules:

Water:  At NatGat, a Park Services Police officer refused to let protesters pass out water, saying they needed a permit. This has happened elsewhere across the nation. 
What to Do: Put cases of water bottles on the ground with a simple sign taped to the top: “Free Water.  Take Me.”   

Food: Police saying protesters need a permit to have a meal. 
What to Do: Try to have meals on private land or public sidewalk, not in a park.  Police do not usually interfere with Food Not Bombs, even in a park, so that is a good choice for meals.

Structures: Police at NatGat called a regular-sized foam core board sign a “structure,” and would not allow it into the park.  Police in Oakland called tiny tents “structures.” In one city, police called a folding table a “structure.” 
What to Do: If you are in such a situation, there is no winning.  There is no point in arguing, and police have been known to bash a person’s head in while arresting them.  Try asking them if you can leave your structure with them to pick up later.  You might be legally within your rights to have the item  in that location, but it's not likely worth fighting about. 

SIGNAL BLOCK: Some indie journalists think their cell signal is being blocked.  This can be done with cell phone jammers, which block signal within about 50 feet,  or by using a fake cell tower or spoofer, with one brand called a Stingray.  The jammers simply jam signal within a certain radius.  Spoofers trick cell phones into connecting to them.  Both of these can steal phone data that makes it easier to jam signal on that phone in the future. For that reason, if you think you have been jammed or spoofed, you may want to trade phones and/or sim cards.

In the U.S., jammers are illegal, except in certain instances for use by Department of Homeland Security.   However, jammers are sold all over the internet and are easy to make at home, so any RWNJ who wants to jam your signal can have one in his backpack.  Spoofers are more complicated, but also come in carry-size models for possible use by infiltrators at protests.  

Would law enforcement be using jammers and spoofers at protests?  No, this just is not likely, because they could potentially be interfering with police and emergency communications.  If you are being jammed or spoofed at a protest, it is most likely a corporate or private harasser.  I'm not ruling out that it could be police, DHS, or FBI jamming or spoofing you in public, but it seems a waste of resources.

Avoid jammers and spoofers:  A jammer or spoofer may be stationary and meant to stop signal of whoever is there.  One main way to avoid this is to move away from it by about 50 feet.  A jammer or spoofer may also be carried through a crowd, probably in a backpack. Watch who is around you.  If you are being tagged by someone, ditch that person and see if your signal improves.  Go places where it becomes obvious if you are being followed. Move quickly.  Be agile.  

Other tricks: Change elevations – get up higher.  Or hold your phone up above your head.  Another trick is to carry a doubled piece of thick aluminum foil (the thicker kind sold for barbecues) about 12 inches square and hold it up behind and draping below your phone.  Leave the top of your phone free and clear.  This can work if the jammer/ spoofer is behind you.  If you see a person jockeying for position as you do this, that may be the person carrying the jammer/ spoofer.  Some people say there is no way to "jam the jammer," but in reality, people in prisons do so all the time using sheets of aluminum foil and other simple methods. 

NEVER announce what equipment or services you are using.   

AVOID clicking on unknown sites or downloading apps.  Even seemingly harmless apps may contain tracers or install commands onto your phone.   If you want a safe phone for streaming, don’t use it to also surf the web.  OR use a camera with wifi that is not a phone at all.