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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my fingerprints taken? (top)
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office at the Moss Beach sub station 500 California St, Moss Beach CA 94038 650.573.2801. 

How do I get a Restraining Order? (top)
A Restraining Order is an Order from the Court that restrains a person from doing certain acts that the court is prohibiting. It is a Civil Procedure, meaning that in most cases, you must submit a request to the court asking for a Temporary Restraining Order, and a date for a hearing where the Order will be made permanent. You can do this yourself or you may consult an attorney. Once an order is in effect, the police department will enforce it as a criminal matter.

It is free to file a Temporary Restraining Order at the Superior Court (Mon - Fri). You can pick up and complete the papers at the courthouse, either in Redwood City or South San Francisco, or you can call the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention 650.312.8515, Sor Juana Ines, Services for Abused Women 1-800-300-1080, or the Legal Aid Society 650.365.8411 for assistance.

In serious cases of on-going Domestic Violence, a Sheriff's Deputy may be able to issue an Emergency Protection Order. This is accomplished by the officer calling a Judge, who will verbally issue the order, which will be in effect until the completion of the 5th court date following the order. Before it expires, you must submit a request for a temporary restraining order directly to the court.

How can I protest a parking citation? (top)
You may write a letter to the Office of Parking Violations explaining the circumstances, which led to the violation, and ask for an administrative review. You will still have to pay the fine by the due date; however, this may be refunded to you if the citation is dismissed.

For more information regarding how to contest a parking ticket, please visit the Court's website.

What can I do about cars that park and never move from in front of my house? (top)
Vehicles parked on the street over 72 hours may be considered abandoned vehicles. Provide the location and description of the automobile to the dispatch at 650.726.8286 or the abandoned vehicle hotline 650.712.7310 option 3.

We will come out and check to ensure that the vehicle is not stolen, and confirm that it is currently registered. The deputy will then place a warning notice on the vehicle. If vehicle does not move at least 1/10th of a mile, the vehicle can be cited after 72 hours and ultimately towed away at the owner's expense.

It is not unlawful to park a vehicle on a public street, even in front of your house, if it is legally parked, currently registered and moves every 72 hours.
What can I do about a barking dog? (top)
Before reporting a dog that barks loudly and frequently, first try to contact the dog's owner. The owner may be unaware the dog is causing a problem for neighbors and is willing to take immediate action to correct the problem.

If the problem is not resolved, contact the Sheriff's office at 650.726.8286 when the excessive barking is occurring.

The Sheriff's Department will investigate barking dog complaints and will try to contact the owner of the dog. We will ask for your name and a call back number for our records, or in case we need additional information from you. 

If the problem continues we ask that you call again, and we will respond back.  Each time, we keep a record of the complaints.  If the problem continues, and we can document a pattern that indicates that the responsible party is indifferent and is allowing habitual barking in such a manner as to continuously disturb the peace, the owner could be issued a citation for an infraction.  

Are fireworks legal in Half Moon Bay? (top)
All fireworks, with the exception of the annual Fourth of July fireworks displays, are illegal within the city limits.

Can I store my motor home on the street? (top)
Vehicles over 20 feet long are prohibited from parking on posted streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.  Detached trailers are prohibited from parking on posted streets at anytime, except when loading and unloading or in the case of an emergency.  The Sheriff Captain may grant temporary exemptions.    

Does the City have any noise restrictions? (top)
When a person willfully and maliciously disturbs another with loud and unreasonable noise this could be a violation of 415 of the penal code.  Additionally, should the noise significantly affect an entire neighborhood it could be a violation of 370 of the penal code. 

If person has an unruly party, and police have to respond a second time after already warning the person responsible for the party, they could have to pay a response fee.

Zoning ordinances regulate how much noise in decibels a specific residential, or commercial area can generate. 

Construction hours are limited to 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays; and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sundays and holidays.  The director of public works/city engineer may grant exemptions. 

The city has no regulations specifically regulating lawn blowers.    

How do I obtain a copy of a police report? (top)

Copies of police reports may be obtained at the Sheriff's Half Moon Bay Sub Station at 537 Kelly Ave. or by calling 650-726-8288.  Their may be a service fee for obtaining the copy. 

Police reports may only be released to authorized parties (see below) and according to State law. Reports involving certain types of crime (i.e.; juvenile cases and some sex related crimes) cannot be released to anyone, except district attorneys or law enforcement agencies.

A police report can take 1 to 2 weeks after an incident to be written, investigated and approved. Reports of major cases and complex investigations can take much longer to complete. Reports must be approved before the records staff can release any information or provide any copies to the parties.

Most information in police reports is confidential and cannot be released to the public, per State law, nor can we release information to parties over the phone. Press logs are written about each cases or incident.  A press release may contain some information or details about an incident or the involved parties when released to the media. Police reports will not be released directly to the media. 

Once a crime report is filed with the district attorney's office, approval from the district attorney may be required before information can be released to any involved parties. The district attorney may release police reports directly to involved parties, their attorneys or the media. Disposition of any cases filed and adjudicated through the court (like information on scheduled court dates, suspect pleas, sentencing, custody, probation or final case status) is not available through the police department. Victims and other interested parties should call the San Mateo County District Attorney's office, 650-363-4677, if they need more information.

To determine if a report can be released to you, or for information about the status of your report, please contact the Records Bureau at 650-726-8288.

How do I get my towed vehicle back? (top)
The owner of the vehicle will have to come to the Sheriff's HMB sub station to obtain a vehicle release.  If the owner is unavailable a letter signed by the owner will be needed.  A service fee maybe assessed for the release of the vehicle, additionally you will be responsible for any tow and storage fees levied by the tow company.  If the owner is unlicensed, two licensed drivers must accompany you; one to drive to the tow yard, and one to drive the vehicle.   

What phone number should I call? (top)
When calling from a land line phone, in an emergency dial 911, or dial 650-726-8286 when calling from a cellular phone.  If you need to make a report or need to speak with a Deputy, first call dispatch at 650-726-8286.  If you need speak with records staff, or for business inquiries call 650-726-8288, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. excluding holidays.  

Why is the skateboard park closed? (top)
The skateboard park is open 24/7. The park may be closed whenever dangerous conditions are present, including damaged jumps, graffiti, and when safety rules violations exist. 

Can we have fires on the beach? (top)
Open pit fires are prohibited at all beaches within the city of Half Moon Bay, and at all State Park beaches in San Mateo County. 

Is there a curfew in Half Moon Bay? (top)
There is an established curfew for minors in Half Moon Bay, (11:00 pm to 6:00 am) and the police will most likely contact minors who are out late for a welfare check.  It is also unlawful for parents to knowingly allow their children to be in violation of this ordinance.  Parents may be asked to respond to pickup their children.  There are several exceptions to the rule, such as during an emergency, involved in interstate travel or when traveling to and from work. 

The police have my property, how do I get it back? (top)
Property releases are done by appointment only.  Call our Property Officer at 650.559.1570 and make an appointment to obtain your property.  You may be asked to show proof of ownership such as a receipt.  Ask the Property Officer what kind of paperwork you will need to bring with you.

How can I check to see if there are any "sexual predators" in my neighborhood? (top)

If I find money or other valuable property, and turn it in to the Sheriff's HMB substation can I later claim it if the true owner has not collected it? (top)
In most cases a finder can claim found property, if the owner cannot be located within 90 days.  Depending on the value the finder may have to advertise the find in a local paper.  It is the finder's responsibility to contact the Property Officer after 90 days if the true owner has not claimed it.  Exceptions are weapons and contraband.