Frequently Asked Questions

What is an administrative citation?
An administrative citation is a tool used to enforce appropriate provisions to the Garden Grove municipal code without criminal arrest and prosecution.

What type of violations can I be cited for?
Reasons for receiving an administrative citation include: possession of graffiti instruments, possession or use of illegal fireworks, substandard property maintenance, and non-compliance of city-issued permits.

Will I receive a warning before receiving a citation?
All graffiti-associated crimes are subject to an immediate administrative citation or criminal prosecution without warnings. Other code violations receive immediate citations only when the situation poses a public safety danger or concern.

How much are the administrative citations?
Fines range from $100 to $1,000 per incident.

What happens if I receive a citation?
The responsible party must pay the designated fine, or request an appeal.

What if a juvenile I am responsible for receives a citation?
The legal parent or guardian is responsible for paying the designated fine, or request an appeal.

How and where do I pay the citation?
Citations may be paid by check, money order, or credit card. No cash. Citations are not payable at Garden Grove City Hall or Garden Grove Police Department.

Checks should be mailed and made payable to:

City of Garden Grove
C/O Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 7275
Newport Beach, CA 92658

Can I pay for the citation online or by phone?
Credit card payments can be made online at

Phone payments can be made by calling 1 (800) 969-6158.

What happens if I don’t pay the citation?
Failure to pay the administrative fines within forty-five (45) days or contest the citation within thirty (30) calendar days may result in a claim being filed in small claims court by the City.

How do I contest a citation?
Citations may be appealed by submitting a written request for an administrative hearing. The total amount of the fine, along with a completed hearing form must be received within thirty (30) calendar days of issuance. Payment and hearing form must be submitted to:

Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 7275
Newport Beach, CA 92658
Or call 1 (800) 969-6158

This appeal process does not apply to parking citations.

What happens at an administrative hearing?
The person appealing the citation, or his/her attorney, will appear before a Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will issue a finding upholding or dismissing the action. The administrative citation fine in deposit shall be refunded, or reduced with the difference refunded, if the Hearing Officer determines no violation existed, the person charged was not responsible, or the fine is disproportionate based on the circumstances.

How is an administrative citation different from a criminal citation?
An administrative citation is a civil citation not punishable by jail and does not appear on a criminal record.

To view the City of Garden Grove Municipal Code on Administrative Citations Title I: Chapter 22