Special Magistrate

The Town contracts with Code Enforcement Special Magistrates who are chosen by the Town of Davie Mayor and Town Council to adjudicate code enforcement cases. Each special magistrate must be a licensed attorney and a member of the Florida Bar.

The Special Magistrate is invested with the statutory authority found in chapter 162 of the Florida statutes to hear code enforcement cases. This Florida statute provides the legal procedures by which a special magistrate presides over the quasi-judicial code enforcement process and identifies the special magistrate’s powers and duties.

The Town of Davie Code Compliance Division prepares and schedules code violation cases for presentation to the Code Enforcement Special Magistrates when code violations are found. Property owners where code violations exist are cited by code compliance inspectors according to the statute. Each respondent property owner is mailed a notice of violation and given a reasonable time period to bring their property into compliance before a case is referred to the special magistrate.

The special magistrate’s authority may include but not be limited to the following powers: issuing subpoenas for witnesses and documents, the issuance of findings of fact and conclusions of law corresponding to Final Orders that have the force of law, the ordering of corrective action to be undertaken on code violations, the power to order and assess fines and fees, and the imposition of code enforcement liens to be placed on property for non-compliance with Orders.

After the Special Magistrate has ruled on a case, the subsequent failure of a respondent to correct the open code violations may result in fines of up to $1,000 per day for each violation, and up to $5,000 per day for each repeat violation. A property owner or respondent’s failure to comply with the special magistrate’s ruling could result in a code lien being filed in the county public records.

If a violation is severe and poses an immediate threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, the Town will initiate nuisance abatement action against the property. The corrective action undertaken against the nuisance conditions will result in charging the expenses incurred by the Town to the property owner, the recording of such costs and administrative fees and the collection of all expenses.