We have been notified that certain County property Appraiser Investigators and/or employees have been posing as Police Officers! they wear badges, and have shirts stating their title. In addition, they have been 'bullying' homeowners and our clients.
We have a few words of advice...
1) DO NOT let the investigator or ANYONE in your home or on your property for any reason and under any circumstances to perform ANY inspection or investigation.
2) Demand that the investigator leave your property immediately and never return without a warrant. THEY ARE TRESSPASSING! (The Castle Doctrine is now in effect) Code Enforcement, Police and anyone else MUST HAVE A WARRANT to trespass! Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise! Your attorney can also verify this fact.
3) Don't be afraid of them or be combative. Be firm and know/demand your rights! (The right to remain silent is crucial in winning your case. No evidence against you, no loss on your denial/revocation!)
4) If they ask for information or documents, demand that they send their request to you in writing, via registered or certified mail.
5) Report the fake police officer to the local police department. Impersonating an officer is bad news, and is frightening!
6) Be aware that the property appraiser has NO police powers and their FAKE badge is just that, in addition to an intimidation factor for unsuspecting homeowners.
7) Immediately demand a public records request on any and all documentation, emails, videos, notes, etc., from the Property Appraiser's office (PAO). EVERYTHING is public record and NOTHING is secret! The Sunshine laws also apply to any investigation. If the PAO says that the information is not available due to a pending investigation, tell them you know better. Threaten legal action and report the incident to the proper authorities (Inspector General, State Attorney, FL Ethics Commission, etc.)
8) Call Florida Homestead Services at (954) 252-9111 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to allow us to answer any questions you may have and help you protect your rights and retain your homestead exemption!