City of South Pasadena, FL
Pinellas County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
It shall be the duty of a code enforcement officer to initiate enforcement proceedings of the various codes and ordinances. No code enforcement magistrate shall have the power to initiate such enforcement proceedings. [Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.06(1).]
Except as provided in §§ 12-43 and 12-44, if a violation of the codes or ordinances is found, the code enforcement officer shall notify the violator and give him a reasonable time to correct the violation. Should the violation continue past the time specified for correction, the code enforcement officer shall notify the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate and request a hearing. The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, through its clerical staff, shall schedule a hearing, and written notice of such hearing shall be hand delivered or mailed, as provided in § 12-54, to the violator. At the option of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, notice may additionally be served by publication or posting as provided in § 12-54. If the violation is corrected and then recurs, or if the violation is not corrected by the time specified for correction by the code enforcement officer, the case may be presented to the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate even if the violation has been corrected prior to the Special Magistrate hearing, and the notice shall so state. [Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.06(2).]
A. 
If a repeat violation is found, the code enforcement officer shall notify the violator but is not required to give the violator a reasonable time to correct the violation. The code enforcement officer, upon notifying the violator of a repeat violation, shall notify the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate and request a hearing. The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, through its clerical staff, shall schedule a hearing and shall provide notice pursuant to § 12-54. The case may be presented to the Enforcement Special Magistrate even if the repeat violation has been corrected prior to the Special Magistrate hearing, the automatic fine shall be levied, and the notice shall so state.
B. 
If the repeat violation has been corrected, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate retains the right to schedule a hearing to determine costs and impose the payment of reasonable enforcement fees upon the repeat violator. The repeat violator may choose to waive his rights to this hearing and pay the costs as determined by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate.
[Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.06(3).]
If the code enforcement officer has reason to believe a violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature, the code enforcement officer shall make a reasonable effort to notify the violator and may immediately notify the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate and request a hearing. [Note: State law references: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.06(4).]
A. 
Upon request of the code enforcement officer, or at such other times as may be necessary, the chair of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate may call a hearing of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate. A hearing also may be called by written notice signed by at least three members of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate.
B. 
Minutes shall be kept of all hearings by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, and all hearings and proceedings shall be open to the public. The City Commission shall provide clerical and administrative personnel as may be reasonably required by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate for the proper performance of its duties.
C. 
Each case before the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall be presented by a member of the administrative staff of the City as designated by the Building Official.
D. 
If the City Commission prevails in prosecuting a case before the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, it shall be entitled to recover all costs incurred in prosecuting the case before the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, and such costs may be included in the lien authorized under § 12-51.
E. 
The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall proceed to hear the cases on the agenda for that day. All testimony shall be under oath and shall be recorded. The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall take testimony from the code enforcement officer, alleged violator, and any witnesses. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but fundamental due process shall be observed and shall govern the proceedings.
F. 
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall issue findings of fact, based on evidence of record, and conclusions of law, and shall issue an order affording the proper relief consistent with powers granted by this chapter. The order may include a notice that it must be complied with by a specified date, and that a fine may be imposed and, under the conditions specified in § 12-49, the cost of repairs may be included along with the fine if the order is not complied with by such date.
[Note: State law references: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.07(1) through (4).]
A certified copy of the order may be recorded in the public records and shall constitute notice to any subsequent purchasers, successors in interest, or assigns if the violation concerns real property, and the findings therein shall be binding upon the violator and, if the violation concerns real property, any subsequent purchasers, successors in interest, or assigns. If an order is recorded in the public records pursuant to this subsection and the order is complied with by the date specified in the order, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall issue an order acknowledging compliance that shall be recorded in the public records. A hearing is not required to issue such an order acknowledging compliance. [Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.07(4).]
A. 
Irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded, but all other evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs shall be admissible, whether or not such evidence would be admissible in a trial in the courts of this state. The burden of proof shall be upon the code enforcement officer to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation exists.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, the person presenting the City's case, or the City attorney may inquire of any witness at the hearing. The alleged violator or his attorney shall be permitted to inquire of any witness before the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate and to present brief opening and closing statements.
The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall have the power to:
A. 
Adopt rules for the conduct of its hearings.
B. 
Subpoena alleged violators and witnesses to its hearings. Subpoenas may be served by the Sheriff or any deputy sheriff of the county or any law enforcement officer.
C. 
Subpoena evidence to its hearings.
D. 
Take testimony under oath.
E. 
Issue orders having the force of law to command whatever steps are necessary to bring a violation into compliance.
F. 
Levy, adjust or excuse a fine for violations.
(Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.08.)
A. 
The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, upon notification by a code enforcement officer that an order of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate has not been complied with by the set time, or, upon finding that a repeat violation has been committed, may order the violator to pay a fine in an amount specified in this section for each day the violation continues past the date set by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate for compliance or, in the case of a repeat violation, for each day the repeat violation continues past the date of notice to the violator of the repeat violation.
B. 
In addition, if the violation is a violation described in § 12-44, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall notify the City Commission, which may make all reasonable repairs which are required to bring the property into compliance and charge the violator with the reasonable cost of the repairs along with the fine imposed pursuant to this section. Making such repairs does not create a continuing obligation on the part of the City Commission to make further repairs or to maintain the property and does not create any liability against the City Commission for any damages to the property if such repairs were completed in good faith.
C. 
If a finding of a violation or a repeat violation has been made as provided in this article, a hearing shall not be necessary for issuance of the order imposing the fine. If, after due notice and hearing, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate finds a violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may order the violator to pay a fine as specified in Subsection D of this section.
D. 
A fine imposed pursuant to this section shall not exceed $250 per day for a first violation and shall not exceed $500 per day for a repeat violation and, in addition, may include all costs of repairs pursuant to Subsection B of this section. However, if the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation.
[Note: State law references: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.09(1), (2)(a).]
A. 
In determining the amount of the fine, if any, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
The gravity of the violation;
(2) 
Any actions taken by the violator to correct the violation; and
(3) 
Any previous violations committed by the violator.
B. 
The Code Enforcement Special Magistrate may reduce a fine imposed pursuant to § 12-49.
[Note: State law references: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.09(2)(b), (c).]
A. 
A certified copy of an order imposing a fine may be recorded in the public records of the county, and thereafter such order shall constitute a lien against the land on which the violation exists and upon any other real or personal property owned by the violator. The lien shall be superior to all other liens or encumbrances against the property, except taxes, including the liens of mortgages or other encumbrances against the property recorded subsequent or prior to the recording of this lien in the public records of the county. Upon petition to circuit court, such order may be enforced in the same manner as a court judgment by the sheriffs of this state, including levy against the personal property, but shall not be deemed to be a court judgment except for enforcement purposes. A fine imposed pursuant to this article shall continue to accrue until the violator comes into compliance or until a judgment is rendered in a suit to foreclose on a lien filed pursuant to this article, whichever comes first. After three months from the filing of any such lien which remains unpaid, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate may authorize the City Attorney to foreclose on the lien. No lien created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be foreclosed on real property which is a homestead under Section 4, Article X of the state constitution.
B. 
Upon a finding by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate that a violation exists, an automatic fine shall be imposed in an amount established from time to time by resolution of the City Commission. No such fine will be imposed if a finding of no violation is made by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate. Such fine shall be due and payable even if the violator complies with the applicable code prior to the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate hearing on the matter, or if such compliance occurs subsequent to an order of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate being issued. In order to do justice, the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate may waive such fine. Such fine shall become a lien and a charge against the real and personal property of the violator, as provided by this section and as otherwise provided by law. No affirmative action by the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate shall be necessary to impose such fine upon a finding that a violation has occurred.
[Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.09(3).]
No lien provided under the Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act[1] shall continue for a period longer than 20 years after the certified copy of an order imposing a fine has been recorded, unless within that time an action is commenced pursuant to § 12-51 in a court of competent jurisdiction. In an action to foreclose on a lien or for a money judgment, the prevailing party is entitled to recover all costs, including a reasonable attorney's fee, that it incurs in the action. The City Commission shall be entitled to collect all costs incurred in recording and satisfying a valid lien. The continuation of the lien effected by the commencement of the action shall not be good against creditors or subsequent purchasers for valuable consideration without notice, unless a notice of lis pendens is recorded. (Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.10.)
[1]
Editor's Note: See F.S. § 162.01 et seq.
An aggrieved party, including the City Commission, may appeal a final administrative order of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate to the circuit court. Such an appeal shall not be a hearing de novo, but shall be limited to appellate review of the record created before the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate. An appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed. (Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.11.)
A. 
All notices required by this article shall be provided to the alleged violator by:
(1) 
Certified mail, return receipt requested, provided if such notice is sent under this subsection to the owner of the property in question at the address listed in the Tax Collector's office for tax notices, and at any other address provided to the City Commission by such owner and is returned as unclaimed or refused, notice may be provided by posting as described in Subsection B(3) and (4) of this section and by first-class mail directed to the addresses furnished to the City Commission with a properly executed proof of mailing or affidavit confirming the first-class mailing;
(2) 
Hand delivery by the sheriff or other law enforcement officer, code inspector, or other person designated by the City Commission;
(3) 
Leaving the notice at the violator's usual place of residence with any person residing therein who is above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents of the notice; or
(4) 
In the case of commercial premises, leaving the notice with the manager or other person in charge.
B. 
In addition to providing notice as set forth in Subsection A of this section, at the option of the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, notice may also be served by publication or posting, as follows:
(1) 
Such notice shall be published once during each week for four consecutive weeks (four publications being sufficient) in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate is located. The newspaper shall meet such requirements as are prescribed under F.S. Ch. 50 for legal and official advertisements.
(2) 
Proof of publication shall be made as provided in F.S. §§ 50.041 and 50.051.
(3) 
In lieu of publication as described in Subsection B(1) of this section, such notice may be posted at least 10 days prior to the hearing, or prior to the expiration of any deadline contained in the notice, in at least two locations, one of which shall be the property upon which the violation is alleged to exist and the other of which shall be at the City hall.
(4) 
Proof of posting shall be by affidavit of the person posting the notice, which affidavit shall include a copy of the notice posted and the date and places of its posting.
(5) 
Notice by publication or posting may run concurrently with, or may follow, an attempt to provide notice by hand delivery or by mail as required under Subsection A of this section.
C. 
Evidence that an attempt has been made to hand deliver or mail notice as provided in Subsection A of this section, together with proof of publication or posting as provided in Subsection B of this section, shall be sufficient to show that the notice requirements of this article have been met, without regard to whether or not the alleged violator actually received such notice.
Note: (State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.12.)
Utilization of this article rather than or in addition to County Court prosecution shall, in each case, be optional. (Note: State law reference: Similar provisions, F.S. § 162.22.)