2010 Florida Statutes
COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL CODE ENFORCEMENT
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARDS
SUPPLEMENTAL COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL CODE OR ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE
Sections 162.01-162.13 may be cited as the “Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act.”
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 72, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 82-37.
Former s. 166.051.
It is the intent of this part to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the counties and municipalities of this state by authorizing the creation of administrative boards with authority to impose administrative fines and other noncriminal penalties to provide an equitable, expeditious, effective, and inexpensive method of enforcing any codes and ordinances in force in counties and municipalities, where a pending or repeated violation continues to exist.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 2, ch. 82-37; s. 1, ch. 85-150; s. 1, ch. 86-201; s. 1, ch. 89-268.
Former s. 166.052.
Each county or municipality may, at its option, create or abolish by ordinance local government code enforcement boards as provided herein.
A charter county, a noncharter county, or a municipality may, by ordinance, adopt an alternate code enforcement system that gives code enforcement boards or special magistrates designated by the local governing body, or both, the authority to hold hearings and assess fines against violators of the respective county or municipal codes and ordinances. A special magistrate shall have the same status as an enforcement board under this chapter. References in this chapter to an enforcement board, except in s. 162.05, shall include a special magistrate if the context permits.
ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-300; s. 3, ch. 82-37; s. 2, ch. 86-201; s. 1, ch. 87-129; s. 2, ch. 89-268; s. 2, ch. 99-360; s. 63, ch. 2004-11.
Former s. 166.053.
As used in ss. 162.01-162.13, the term:
“Local governing body” means the governing body of the county or municipality, however designated.
“Code inspector” means any authorized agent or employee of the county or municipality whose duty it is to assure code compliance.
“Local governing body attorney” means the legal counselor for the county or municipality.
“Enforcement board” means a local government code enforcement board.
“Repeat violation” means a violation of a provision of a code or ordinance by a person who has been previously found through a code enforcement board or any other quasi-judicial or judicial process, to have violated or who has admitted violating the same provision within 5 years prior to the violation, notwithstanding the violations occur at different locations.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 4, ch. 82-37; s. 10, ch. 83-216; s. 3, ch. 86-201; s. 3, ch. 89-268; s. 3, ch. 99-360; s. 22, ch. 2001-60.
Former s. 166.054.
Local government code enforcement boards; organization.—
The local governing body may appoint one or more code enforcement boards and legal counsel for the enforcement boards. The local governing body of a county or a municipality that has a population of less than 5,000 persons may appoint five-member or seven-member code enforcement boards. The local governing body of a county or a municipality that has a population equal to or greater than 5,000 persons must appoint seven-member code enforcement boards. The local governing body may appoint up to two alternate members for each code enforcement board to serve on the board in the absence of board members.
Members of the enforcement boards shall be residents of the municipality, in the case of municipal enforcement boards, or residents of the county, in the case of county enforcement boards. Appointments shall be made in accordance with applicable law and ordinances on the basis of experience or interest in the subject matter jurisdiction of the respective code enforcement board, in the sole discretion of the local governing body. The membership of each enforcement board shall, whenever possible, include an architect, a businessperson, an engineer, a general contractor, a subcontractor, and a realtor.
The initial appointments to a seven-member code enforcement board shall be as follows:
Two members appointed for a term of 1 year each.
Three members appointed for a term of 2 years each.
Two members appointed for a term of 3 years each.
The initial appointments to a five-member code enforcement board shall be as follows:
One member appointed for a term of 1 year.
Two members appointed for a term of 2 years each.
Two members appointed for a term of 3 years each.
Thereafter, any appointment shall be made for a term of 3 years.
The local governing body of a county or a municipality that has a population of less than 5,000 persons may reduce a seven-member code enforcement board to five members upon the simultaneous expiration of the terms of office of two members of the board.
A member may be reappointed upon approval of the local governing body.
An appointment to fill any vacancy on an enforcement board shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of office. If any member fails to attend two of three successive meetings without cause and without prior approval of the chair, the enforcement board shall declare the member’s office vacant, and the local governing body shall promptly fill such vacancy.
The members shall serve in accordance with ordinances of the local governing body and may be suspended and removed for cause as provided in such ordinances for removal of members of boards.
The members of an enforcement board shall elect a chair, who shall be a voting member, from among the members of the board. The presence of four or more members shall constitute a quorum of any seven-member enforcement board, and the presence of three or more members shall constitute a quorum of any five-member enforcement board. Members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for such travel, mileage, and per diem expenses as may be authorized by the local governing body or as are otherwise provided by law.
The local governing body attorney shall either be counsel to an enforcement board or shall represent the municipality or county by presenting cases before the enforcement board, but in no case shall the local governing body attorney serve in both capacities.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 5, ch. 82-37; s. 4, ch. 86-201; s. 2, ch. 87-129; s. 4, ch. 89-268; s. 1, ch. 94-291; s. 1441, ch. 95-147.
Former s. 166.055.
It shall be the duty of the code inspector to initiate enforcement proceedings of the various codes; however, no member of a board shall have the power to initiate such enforcement proceedings.
Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), if a violation of the codes is found, the code inspector shall notify the violator and give him or her a reasonable time to correct the violation. Should the violation continue beyond the time specified for correction, the code inspector shall notify an enforcement board and request a hearing. The code enforcement board, through its clerical staff, shall schedule a hearing, and written notice of such hearing shall be hand delivered or mailed as provided in s. 162.12 to said violator. At the option of the code enforcement board, notice may additionally be served by publication or posting as provided in s. 162.12. If the violation is corrected and then recurs or if the violation is not corrected by the time specified for correction by the code inspector, the case may be presented to the enforcement board even if the violation has been corrected prior to the board hearing, and the notice shall so state.
If a repeat violation is found, the code inspector shall notify the violator but is not required to give the violator a reasonable time to correct the violation. The code inspector, upon notifying the violator of a repeat violation, shall notify an enforcement board and request a hearing. The code enforcement board, through its clerical staff, shall schedule a hearing and shall provide notice pursuant to s. 162.12. The case may be presented to the enforcement board even if the repeat violation has been corrected prior to the board hearing, and the notice shall so state. If the repeat violation has been corrected, the code enforcement board 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 or her rights to this hearing and pay said costs as determined by the code enforcement board.
If the code inspector has reason to believe a violation or the condition causing the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature, the code inspector shall make a reasonable effort to notify the violator and may immediately notify the enforcement board and request a hearing.
If the owner of property that is subject to an enforcement proceeding before an enforcement board, special magistrate, or court transfers ownership of such property between the time the initial pleading was served and the time of the hearing, such owner shall:
Disclose, in writing, the existence and the nature of the proceeding to the prospective transferee.
Deliver to the prospective transferee a copy of the pleadings, notices, and other materials relating to the code enforcement proceeding received by the transferor.
Disclose, in writing, to the prospective transferee that the new owner will be responsible for compliance with the applicable code and with orders issued in the code enforcement proceeding.
File a notice with the code enforcement official of the transfer of the property, with the identity and address of the new owner and copies of the disclosures made to the new owner, within 5 days after the date of the transfer.
A failure to make the disclosures described in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) before the transfer creates a rebuttable presumption of fraud. If the property is transferred before the hearing, the proceeding shall not be dismissed, but the new owner shall be provided a reasonable period of time to correct the violation before the hearing is held.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 5, ch. 86-201; s. 1, ch. 87-391; s. 5, ch. 89-268; s. 2, ch. 94-291; s. 1442, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-385; s. 4, ch. 99-360; s. 64, ch. 2004-11.
Former s. 166.056.
Conduct of hearing.—
Upon request of the code inspector, or at such other times as may be necessary, the chair of an enforcement board may call a hearing of an enforcement board; a hearing also may be called by written notice signed by at least three members of a seven-member enforcement board or signed by at least two members of a five-member enforcement board. Minutes shall be kept of all hearings by each enforcement board, and all hearings and proceedings shall be open to the public. The local governing body shall provide clerical and administrative personnel as may be reasonably required by each enforcement board for the proper performance of its duties.
Each case before an enforcement board shall be presented by the local governing body attorney or by a member of the administrative staff of the local governing body. If the local governing body prevails in prosecuting a case before the enforcement board, it shall be entitled to recover all costs incurred in prosecuting the case before the board and such costs may be included in the lien authorized under s. 162.09(3).
An enforcement board shall proceed to hear the cases on the agenda for that day. All testimony shall be under oath and shall be recorded. The enforcement board shall take testimony from the code inspector and alleged violator. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but fundamental due process shall be observed and shall govern the proceedings.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the enforcement board 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 herein. The finding shall be by motion approved by a majority of those members present and voting, except that at least four members of a seven-member enforcement board, or three members of a five-member enforcement board, must vote in order for the action to be official. 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 s. 162.09(1), the cost of repairs may be included along with the fine if the order is not complied with by said date. A certified copy of such order may be recorded in the public records of the county 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 enforcement board 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.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 6, ch. 82-37; s. 44, ch. 83-217; s. 6, ch. 86-201; s. 6, ch. 89-268; s. 3, ch. 94-291; s. 1443, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 95-297.
Former s. 166.057.
Powers of enforcement boards.—
Each enforcement board shall have the power to:
Adopt rules for the conduct of its hearings.
Subpoena alleged violators and witnesses to its hearings. Subpoenas may be served by the sheriff of the county or police department of the municipality.
Subpoena evidence to its hearings.
Take testimony under oath.
Issue orders having the force of law to command whatever steps are necessary to bring a violation into compliance.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 7, ch. 82-37; s. 7, ch. 86-201; s. 7, ch. 89-268.
Former s. 166.058.
Administrative fines; costs of repair; liens.—
An enforcement board, upon notification by the code inspector that an order of the enforcement board 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 enforcement board for compliance or, in the case of a repeat violation, for each day the repeat violation continues, beginning with the date the repeat violation is found to have occurred by the code inspector. In addition, if the violation is a violation described in s. 162.06(4), the enforcement board shall notify the local governing body, 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 local governing body to make further repairs or to maintain the property and does not create any liability against the local governing body for any damages to the property if such repairs were completed in good faith. If a finding of a violation or a repeat violation has been made as provided in this part, a hearing shall not be necessary for issuance of the order imposing the fine. If, after due notice and hearing, a code enforcement board finds a violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may order the violator to pay a fine as specified in paragraph (2)(a).
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 (1). However, if a code enforcement board finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature, it may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation.
In determining the amount of the fine, if any, the enforcement board shall consider the following factors:
The gravity of the violation;
Any actions taken by the violator to correct the violation; and
Any previous violations committed by the violator.
An enforcement board may reduce a fine imposed pursuant to this section.
A county or a municipality having a population equal to or greater than 50,000 may adopt, by a vote of at least a majority plus one of the entire governing body of the county or municipality, an ordinance that gives code enforcement boards or special magistrates, or both, authority to impose fines in excess of the limits set forth in paragraph (a). Such fines shall not exceed $1,000 per day per violation for a first violation, $5,000 per day per violation for a repeat violation, and up to $15,000 per violation if the code enforcement board or special magistrate finds the violation to be irreparable or irreversible in nature. In addition to such fines, a code enforcement board or special magistrate may impose additional fines to cover all costs incurred by the local government in enforcing its codes and all costs of repairs pursuant to subsection (1). Any ordinance imposing such fines shall include criteria to be considered by the code enforcement board or special magistrate in determining the amount of the fines, including, but not limited to, those factors set forth in paragraph (b).
A certified copy of an order imposing a fine, or a fine plus repair costs, may be recorded in the public records and thereafter shall constitute a lien against the land on which the violation exists and upon any other real or personal property owned by the violator. Upon petition to the circuit court, such order shall be enforceable in the same manner as a court judgment by the sheriffs of this state, including execution and levy against the personal property of the violator, but such order shall not be deemed to be a court judgment except for enforcement purposes. A fine imposed pursuant to this part shall continue to accrue until the violator comes into compliance or until judgment is rendered in a suit filed pursuant to this section, whichever occurs first. A lien arising from a fine imposed pursuant to this section runs in favor of the local governing body, and the local governing body may execute a satisfaction or release of lien entered pursuant to this section. After 3 months from the filing of any such lien which remains unpaid, the enforcement board may authorize the local governing body attorney to foreclose on the lien or to sue to recover a money judgment for the amount of the lien plus accrued interest. No lien created pursuant to the provisions of this part may be foreclosed on real property which is a homestead under s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution. The money judgment provisions of this section shall not apply to real property or personal property which is covered under s. 4(a), Art. X of the State Constitution.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 8, ch. 82-37; s. 2, ch. 85-150; s. 8, ch. 86-201; s. 2, ch. 87-391; s. 8, ch. 89-268; s. 4, ch. 94-291; s. 1, ch. 95-297; s. 5, ch. 99-360; s. 1, ch. 2000-125; s. 65, ch. 2004-11.
Former s. 166.059.
Duration of lien.—
No lien provided under the Local Government Code Enforcement Boards Act 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 s. 162.09(3) 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 local governing body 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.
s. 9, ch. 82-37; s. 9, ch. 86-201; s. 9, ch. 89-268; s. 5, ch. 94-291; s. 2, ch. 2000-125.
An aggrieved party, including the local governing body, may appeal a final administrative order of an enforcement board 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 enforcement board. An appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 10, ch. 82-37; s. 3, ch. 85-150; s. 10, ch. 86-201.
Former s. 166.061.
All notices required by this part shall be provided to the alleged violator by:
Certified mail, return receipt requested, provided if such notice is sent under this paragraph 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 local government by such owner and is returned as unclaimed or refused, notice may be provided by posting as described in subparagraphs (2)(b)1. and 2. and by first class mail directed to the addresses furnished to the local government with a properly executed proof of mailing or affidavit confirming the first class mailing;
Hand delivery by the sheriff or other law enforcement officer, code inspector, or other person designated by the local governing body;
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
In the case of commercial premises, leaving the notice with the manager or other person in charge.
In addition to providing notice as set forth in subsection (1), at the option of the code enforcement board, notice may also be served by publication or posting, as follows:
Such notice shall be published once during each week for 4 consecutive weeks (four publications being sufficient) in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the code enforcement board is located. The newspaper shall meet such requirements as are prescribed under chapter 50 for legal and official advertisements.
Proof of publication shall be made as provided in ss. 50.041 and 50.051.
In lieu of publication as described in paragraph (a), 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, in the case of municipalities, at the primary municipal government office, and in the case of counties, at the front door of the courthouse or the main county governmental center in said county.
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.
Notice by publication or posting may run concurrently with, or may follow, an attempt or attempts to provide notice by hand delivery or by mail as required under subsection (1).
Evidence that an attempt has been made to hand deliver or mail notice as provided in subsection (1), together with proof of publication or posting as provided in subsection (2), shall be sufficient to show that the notice requirements of this part have been met, without regard to whether or not the alleged violator actually received such notice.
s. 1, ch. 80-300; s. 11, ch. 86-201; s. 3, ch. 87-391; s. 10, ch. 89-268; s. 6, ch. 94-291; s. 6, ch. 99-360; s. 3, ch. 2000-125.
Former s. 166.062.
Actions for money judgments under this chapter; limitation.—
Actions for money judgments under this chapter may be pursued only on fines levied after October 1, 2000.
s. 4, ch. 2000-125.
Provisions of act supplemental.—
It is the legislative intent of ss. 162.01-162.12 to provide an additional or supplemental means of obtaining compliance with local codes. Nothing contained in ss. 162.01-162.12 shall prohibit a local governing body from enforcing its codes by any other means.
s. 11, ch. 82-37.
SUPPLEMENTAL COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL CODE
OR ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
Enforcement of county or municipal codes or ordinances; penalties.—
As used in this section, “code enforcement officer” means any designated employee or agent of a county or municipality whose duty it is to enforce codes and ordinances enacted by the county or municipality.
A county or a municipality may designate certain of its employees or agents as code enforcement officers. The training and qualifications of the employees or agents for such designation shall be determined by the county or the municipality. Employees or agents who may be designated as code enforcement officers may include, but are not limited to, code inspectors, law enforcement officers, animal control officers, or firesafety inspectors. Designation as a code enforcement officer does not provide the code enforcement officer with the power of arrest or subject the code enforcement officer to the provisions of ss. 943.085-943.255. Nothing in this section amends, alters, or contravenes the provisions of any state-administered retirement system or any state-supported retirement system established by general law.
A code enforcement officer is authorized to issue a citation to a person when, based upon personal investigation, the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed a civil infraction in violation of a duly enacted code or ordinance and that the county court will hear the charge.
Prior to issuing a citation, a code enforcement officer shall provide notice to the person that the person has committed a violation of a code or ordinance and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the person must correct the violation. Such time period shall be no more than 30 days. If, upon personal investigation, a code enforcement officer finds that the person has not corrected the violation within the time period, a code enforcement officer may issue a citation to the person who has committed the violation. A code enforcement officer does not have to provide the person with a reasonable time period to correct the violation prior to issuing a citation and may immediately issue a citation if a repeat violation is found or if the code enforcement officer has reason to believe that the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible.
A citation issued by a code enforcement officer shall be in a form prescribed by the county or the municipality and shall contain:
The date and time of issuance.
The name and address of the person to whom the citation is issued.
The date and time the civil infraction was committed.
The facts constituting reasonable cause.
The number or section of the code or ordinance violated.
The name and authority of the code enforcement officer.
The procedure for the person to follow in order to pay the civil penalty or to contest the citation.
The applicable civil penalty if the person elects to contest the citation.
The applicable civil penalty if the person elects not to contest the citation.
A conspicuous statement that if the person fails to pay the civil penalty within the time allowed, or fails to appear in court to contest the citation, the person shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to contest the citation and that, in such case, judgment may be entered against the person for an amount up to the maximum civil penalty.
After issuing a citation to an alleged violator, a code enforcement officer shall deposit the original citation and one copy of the citation with the county court.
A county or a municipality is authorized to enforce codes and ordinances under the provisions of this section and may enact an ordinance establishing procedures for the implementation of such provisions, including a schedule of violations and penalties to be assessed by code enforcement officers. If a county or municipality chooses to enforce codes or ordinances under the provisions of this section, each code or ordinance or the ordinance enacted by the county or municipality establishing procedures for implementation of this section shall provide:
That a violation of a code or an ordinance is a civil infraction.
A maximum civil penalty not to exceed $500.
A civil penalty of less than the maximum civil penalty if the person who has committed the civil infraction does not contest the citation.
For the issuance of a citation by a code enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed an act in violation of a code or an ordinance.
For the contesting of a citation in county court.
Such procedures and provisions as are necessary to provide for the enforcement of a code or an ordinance under the provisions of this section.
Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a citation issued by a code enforcement officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
The provisions of this part shall not apply to the enforcement pursuant to ss. 553.79 and 553.80 of the Florida Building Code adopted pursuant to s. 553.73 as applied to construction, provided that a building permit is either not required or has been issued by the county or the municipality.
The provisions of this section are additional and supplemental means of enforcing county or municipal codes or ordinances and may be used for the enforcement of any code or ordinance, or for the enforcement of all codes and ordinances. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a county or municipality from enforcing its codes or ordinances by any other means.
s. 11, ch. 89-268; s. 7, ch. 94-291; s. 1444, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 96-385; s. 4, ch. 98-287; s. 115, ch. 2000-141; s. 35, ch. 2001-186; s. 4, ch. 2001-372.
Designation of enforcement methods and penalties for violation of municipal ordinances.—
The governing body of a municipality may designate the enforcement methods and penalties to be imposed for the violation of ordinances adopted by the municipality. These enforcement methods may include, but are not limited to, the issuance of a citation, a summons, or a notice to appear in county court or arrest for violation of municipal ordinances as provided for in chapter 901. Unless otherwise specifically authorized and provided for by law, a person convicted of violating a municipal ordinance may be sentenced to pay a fine, not to exceed $500, and may be sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment, not to exceed 60 days, in a municipal detention facility or other facility as authorized by law.
s. 1, ch. 94-255.
Notice to appear.—
Notwithstanding s. 34.07, a code enforcement officer, designated pursuant to s. 162.21(1) and (2), may issue a notice to appear at any hearing conducted by a county court if the officer, based upon personal investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that the person has violated a code or ordinance. A notice to appear means a written order issued by a code enforcement officer in lieu of physical arrest requiring a person accused of violating the law to appear in a designated court or governmental office at a specified date and time. If a person issued a notice to appear under this section refuses to sign such notice, the code enforcement officer has no authority to arrest such person.
Prior to issuing a notice to appear, a code enforcement officer shall provide written notice to the person that the person has committed a violation of a code or ordinance and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the person must correct the violation. Such time period shall be no fewer than 5 days and no more than 30 days. If, upon personal investigation, a code enforcement officer finds that the person has not corrected the violation within the prescribed time period, a code enforcement officer may issue a notice to appear to the person who has committed the violation. A code enforcement officer is not required to provide the person with a reasonable time period to correct the violation prior to issuing a notice to appear and may immediately issue a notice to appear if a repeat violation is found, or if the code enforcement officer has reason to believe that the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare or that the violator is engaged in violations of an itinerant or transient nature, as defined by local code or ordinance within the jurisdiction, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible.
s. 1, ch. 96-385; s. 7, ch. 99-360.
Civil actions to enforce county and municipal ordinances.—
In addition to other provisions of law authorizing the enforcement of county and municipal codes and ordinances, a county or municipality may enforce any violation of a county or municipal code or ordinance by filing a civil action in the same manner as instituting a civil action. The action shall be brought in county or circuit court, whichever is appropriate depending upon the relief sought. Counties and municipalities are authorized and required to pay any counsel appointed by the court to represent a private party in such action if the provision of counsel at public expense is required by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Florida and if the party is indigent as established pursuant to s. 27.52. The county or municipality shall bear all court fees and costs of any such action, and may, if it prevails, recover the court fees and costs and expense of the court-appointed counsel as part of its judgment. The state shall bear no expense of actions brought under this section except those that it would bear in an ordinary civil action between private parties in county court.
s. 87, ch. 2003-402.