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TO AMEND SECTION 23-9-70 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATION TO ORDER AND APPEALS FROM A STATE FIRE MARSHAL, TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT AN OCCUPANT OR OWNER MAY APPEAL THE DECISION OF A DEPUTY OR RESIDENT FIRE MARSHAL FROM TWENTY-FOUR HOURS TO FOURTEEN DAYS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S DECISION MUST BE FILED WITHIN TEN DAYS OF RECEIVING THE NOTICE OF APPEAL.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 23-9-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 23-9-70. Whenever the State Fire Marshal, deputy or resident fire marshal shall find, pursuant to examination as provided in Section 23-9-50 of this chapter, any building or other structure which, for any cause, is especially liable to fire and which is so situated as to endanger lives or other property, or is deficient in fire or life protection, an order shall issue in writing directing the defect to be removed or remedied, service of such order shall be made as provided in this chapter and such occupant or owner shall forthwith comply with the terms thereof. If such order is issued by any deputy or resident fire marshal, such occupant or owner may, within
twenty-four hours fourteen days, appeal to the State Fire Marshal, who shall, within ten days of receiving notice of the appeal, during which time the order appealed from shall be stayed, review the order and file his decision. Provided, however, that any person who feels himself aggrieved by any order or affirmed order of the State Fire Marshal may, within five days after the making or affirming of such order, appeal to an administrative law judge, as provided under Article 5 of Chapter 23 of Title 1, for review of such order and it shall be heard at the first convenient day. In the event a final order entered pursuant to this chapter is not complied with within a period of thirty days from date of service of such final order then the State Fire Marshal shall cause the hazard to be remedied by repair or demolition, and all offensive materials and dangerous conditions removed, at the joint and several expense of the occupant or owner of such building or premises. An itemized statement of costs and expenses shall be furnished the occupant or owner of the premises and the statement shall be satisfied within a period of thirty days, failing which, upon ten days further notice the State Fire Marshal may assess such costs and expenses. Any party aggrieved by an assessment order may appeal to an administrative law judge, as provided under Article 5 of Chapter 23 of Title 1, within a period of ten days from service of such order of assessment. Failing appeal, the order of assessment herein provided shall be filed with the clerk of court of the county wherein such property is located and shall be satisfied by execution and levy as a final judgment duly entered. Provided, however, that in addition to the enforcement procedures authorized in this section, the State Fire Marshal may, when a final order has been issued directing a defect to be removed or remedied and such order is not complied with within thirty days or a greater time if specified in such order, apply to an administrative law judge, as provided under Article 5 of Chapter 23 of Title 1, for an injunction to compel the defect to be removed or remedied and an administrative law judge, if it shall find, that such defect constitutes a dangerous hazard to life or property as set forth in this section, may exercise its injunctive powers to obtain compliance with the order of the State Fire Marshal."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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