Code Compliance Division
- Code Enforcement / Violation Ticket Hearings
The City of North Miami has three separate hearing venues to adjudicate code violation cases. For cases that have been issued a “Notice of Violation” followed by a “Notice to Appear” for hearing, the violator is scheduled to appear before either an appointed Code Enforcement Special Magistrate or before the appointed Code Enforcement Board. For cases that have been issued a Civil Violation Ticket, the violator may appeal the issuance of the ticket to only the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate.
The hearing venue for the city’s Code Enforcement Special Magistrate (hereafter referred to as the Special Magistrate) is held on the first Wednesday of each month, and the hearing calendar is called to order at 10:00 a.m., and continues until all cases on the hearing calendar are called and disposed of. At this hearing, the City’s Code Enforcement Officers and Minimum Housing Officers present code violation cases for appropriate findings of fact and rulings on enforcement action as permitted by City Codes of Ordinance, Chapter 2 and/or Florida State Statutes, Chapter 162.
The Special Magistrate hearings are held at the North Miami City Hall, 2nd Floor Council Chambers, located at 776 N.E. 125th Street, North Miami, Florida. City staff prepares the Council Chambers for the hearing with podiums, microphones, and an audio recording device. The Code Enforcement Department’s Administrative Specialist serves as the Clerk for the proceeding. The city’s Code Enforcement Manager acts as moderator and calls each case for presentation. Pertinent case files and other documents are available in the Council Chambers during the hearing for reference as needed.
Approximately one week prior to the hearing date, the final hearing agenda is set by the Clerk. On the day of the hearing, the Special Magistrate calls the hearing to order. Then, the Special Magistrate makes general welcoming announcements to those in attendance regarding the purpose of the hearing and the manner in which the proceedings are held.
All hearing proceedings are recorded; therefore, all persons who are speaking should do so one at a time to insure that all testimony is clear on the recording device. The City of North Miami provides translation service for non-English speakers.
When a case is called, the property owner, agent or representative of the property owner should come forward to the podium, and when asked, the property owner/agent should clearly state their name and business or mailing address for the record. In the absence of the property owner, we require the property owner’s representative to present a notarized “Power of Attorney” in order for their testimony to be taken.
For new cases, the property owner will be asked, on the record, if they admit to having knowledge of the violation or if they deny having knowledge of the violation. The City will then present its case first, and then the property owner/violator will be given their opportunity to testify on their owner behalf, to bring witnesses to testify, present evidence and to cross-examine the City’s witnesses.
Following the case presentation, the Special Magistrate will issue a finding of fact on the case. If the Special Magistrate issues a finding of guilt in the matter, then the Special Magistrate will set an abatement date for the violation to be cured, and may inform the violator of the dollar amount of the fine that will be imposed at a subsequent hearing if the violation is not resolved by the issued abatement date. In special cases or for extraordinary circumstances, the Special Magistrate may elect to table the entire matter to a future hearing. If the Special Magistrate does not find sufficient evidence to support the issuance of the “Notice of Violation”, then the case will be dismissed.
If the property owner/violator does not agree with the finding of fact and/or the ruling, then the property owner/violator may appeal the administrative order to the circuit court. An appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of the execution of the order to be appealed.
In accordance with Florida Statutes, if a person decides to appeal any decision made by the Special Magistrate with respect to any matter considered at these proceedings, then the person will need a verbatim record of the proceedings. This record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based. The cost of obtaining the verbatim record shall be the sole responsibility of the Appellant, and it is recommended that persons who plan to appeal their case should provide their own court reporter at the proceedings.
Pursuant to City Codes, if the City of North Miami prevails in prosecuting a case before the Special Magistrate, the City shall be entitled to recover all costs incurred in prosecuting the case. The current cost assessment amount is set at $100.00 per case.