Could Santa Clara's Special Response Fee be Unjust?
Section 9.05.020 of the Santa Clara City Code outlines a Special response fee (SRF). Under the
law, the SRF is to be implemented if individuals are responsible for a second police response
within 72 hours after a first response had been deemed to cause a threat to the peace, health,
safety of any member of the public, or that the free use of property or comfortable enjoyment of
life or property has been interfered with. The problem with the SRF is that it leads to individuals
paying fines when no wrongdoing is detected. It makes individuals responsible to pay fees up to
$1,000 simply for having the police summoned —even if the police find no wrongdoing once
they arrive. Normally, if police are unwarrantedly summoned, the individuals that the police are
responding to will not be negatively affected, but with this SRF, individuals who find police at their doorstep can be fined even if the responding officers consider their presence to be undeserved. The SRF needs to STOP!