In general 2
Administrative charges or fees 12
Collection of fines 3.5
Construction with other laws 3
Continuing or repeated violations 8
Enforcement of lien 13
Imposition of fines 4
Notice and hearing 11
Penalties other than fines 5
Reduction of fines 7
Res judicata 12.5
Zoning violations 10
Powers given by legislature to code enforcement boards do not unconstitutionally cross line between "quasi-judicial" and "judicial," as such boards may impose fines for code violations, but they cannot impose criminal penalties, and as statute permitting boards to assert lien against real or personal property provide fundamental due process requirements of notice and hearing, making of record, and appeal. Michael D. Jones, P.A. v. Seminole County, App. 5 Dist., 670 So.2d 95 (1996), rehearing denied. Constitutional Law 80(2)
2. In general
Trailer park owners did not fail to exhaust administrative remedies in challenging facial constitutionality of statutes and ordinances governing fines for code violations; failure to exhaust was an affirmative defense not apparent on face of complaint, appeal to Circuit Court was not administrative remedy, and constitutional challenge could not be raised in administrative proceedings. Wilson v. County of Orange, App. 5 Dist., 881 So.2d 625 (2004), clarification denied, review denied 2005 WL 589895. Constitutional Law 46(1)
Owners of trailer park stated claim against county under § 1983 by alleging that, pursuant to statutes and ordinances, county imposed liens and excessive fines without a hearing and based solely upon an affidavit, conducted warrantless searches, and did not train inspectors to avoid these violations; complaint did not contain bald statements without factual basis, but rather explained in detailed terms the statutory scheme as well as the specific actions taken by county. Wilson v. County of Orange, App. 5 Dist., 881 So.2d 625 (2004), clarification denied, review denied 2005 WL 589895. Civil Rights 1395(3)
City was required under due process clause to provide owner of real property with notice of code enforcement liens, opportunity to be heard, and copy of final orders from which appeal could be taken, but city was not required to use certified mail in serving final orders. City of Tampa v. Brown, App. 2 Dist., 711 So.2d 1188 (1998), rehearing denied, review granted 728 So.2d 200, review dismissed as improvidently granted 748 So.2d 1002. Constitutional Law 278.1; Health 373
When statutory lien is given on compliance with stated requirements, absent language stating otherwise, no lien is acquired unless party asserting lien strictly complies with those requirements. Personal Representative of Estate of Jacobson v. Attorneys' Title Ins. Fund, Inc., App. 3 Dist., 685 So.2d 19 (1996). Liens 8
Statute allowing local government code enforcement boards to impose fines for code violations and file liens does not confer upon boards right to collect, by action at law, money judgment for failure to pay fine; language providing that fine continues "to accrue until the violator comes into compliance or until judgment is rendered in a suit to foreclose on a lien" merely authorized equitable action to enforce lien, and statute, as both punitive statute and statute in derogation of common law, was to be strictly construed, even though its was enacted for public benefit. City of Tampa for Use and Benefit of City of Tampa Code Enforcement Bd. v. Braxton, App. 2 Dist., 616 So.2d 554 (1993). Health 378; Health 366
A city commission does not have the authority to reduce a fine that is imposed by a local code enforcement board in accordance with statute which authorizes the imposition of an administrative fine by a code enforcement board, upon notification by the code inspector that an order of the board has not been complied with by the set time or upon finding that a repeat violation has been committed. Op.Atty.Gen. 93-84.
Local government code enforcement board lacks authority to delegate power to assess fine for noncompliance to code inspector or to establish any presumptions relative thereto and may levy fine against violator only under § 162.09, which authorizes enforcement board to impose fine each day violation continues past date set for compliance only where previous order of board has not been complied with. Op.Atty.Gen. No. 85-33, April 30, 1985.
Local government code enforcement board has no flexibility to assess one fine for noncompliance during brief period after order is given and then no fine or lesser fine for another period of time and lacks authority to assess any fine or administrative fee for violation which has been corrected by time of hearing. Op.Atty.Gen. No. 85-33, April 30, 1985.
Municipal code enforcement board may not refuse to extinguish lien against property cited and fined for violation of municipal ordinance where fine imposed has been paid but property remains in noncompliance; nor may the board levy fine against person who is cited for code violation but who brings property into compliance before case is presented to the board; and board possesses no authority to impose initial fine on violator based solely on its finding that violation has occurred and before board has actually ordered compliance. Op.Atty.Gen. 85-17, Feb. 27, 1985.
The governing body of a county or municipality that has created a local government code enforcement board pursuant to this chapter may not by ordinance require that the local code enforcement board impose an administrative charge or fee on individuals, businesses or other entities found guilty by the board of violation of one or more of that local government's technical codes. Op.Atty.Gen., 84-55, June 7, 1984.
3. Construction with other laws
State administrative enforcement procedures do not preempt alternative enforcement procedures adopted by municipalities. Op.Atty.Gen., 2001-77, October 30, 2001.
A municipality may adopt its own administrative enforcement provisions, but cannot change the procedure for imposing fines under the state administrative enforcement code. Op.Atty.Gen., 2001-77, October 30, 2001.
If the city prosecutes violations of its occupational license tax ordinance enacted pursuant to Chapter 205, Florida Statutes, the code enforcement board would impose the fine prescribed by Chapter 205, Florida Statutes, not the fine imposed by § 162.09. Op.Atty.Gen. 96-72, September 23, 1996.
3.5. Collection of fines
A municipality nay enter into an agreement with a collection agency to compromise code enforcement board liens and pursue collection through litigation. Op.Atty.Gen., 99-03, January 15, 1999.
4. Imposition of fines
Civil penalties against property owner for continuing violations of town code could only accrue until date that summary final judgment was entered in town's action that sought foreclosure of lien on owner's real and personal property. Fong v. Town of Bay Harbor Islands, App. 3 Dist., 864 So.2d 76 (2003). Municipal Corporations 633(7)
While a municipal code enforcement board, at its hearing to determine non-compliance, could establish a specified deadline for compliance and notify the violator of the amount of the fine that could be imposed for non-compliance, a second order of the board was required to impose the fine. Op.Atty.Gen. 97- 26, May 16, 1997.
5. Penalties other than fines
In absence of any provision of law authorizing local government code enforcement board to impose penalty other than fine provided for in § 162.09, board may not require community service rather than payment of monetary fine as method of assuring continued compliance with applicable codes. Op.Atty.Gen. No. 85-33, April 30, 1985.
If owners sold homestead property after county recorded order imposing fine, no lien would then exist in hands of purchasers; however, if owners failed to invest proceeds of that sale into another homestead within reasonable period of time, those proceeds could be reached by creditors, and if owners retained ownership but abandoned property as homestead, order against them could be enforced as lien. Demura v. County of Volusia, App. 5 Dist., 618 So.2d 754 (1993). Homestead 76; Homestead 105
No lien created pursuant to administrative fine can exist as to homestead property. Demura v. County of Volusia, App. 5 Dist., 618 So.2d 754 (1993). Homestead 105
Mere recording by county of order imposing fine could not constitute cloud against title to homestead, and thus suit to quiet title on property claimed as homestead would not lie; appropriate action for property owners seeking to avoid cloud on title was declaratory judgment action seeking determination that property was in fact homestead property, if this point were in dispute. Demura v. County of Volusia, App. 5 Dist., 618 So.2d 754 (1993). Quieting Title 7(1)
Lien created under § 162.09, for administrative fine ordered by code enforcement board, is unenforceable against homestead property for foreclosure if owner successfully asserts homestead status as defense; such lien is neither tax nor assessment within exceptions to Const. Art. 10, § 4(a)'s rule of homestead exemption from forced sale. Op.Atty.Gen. No. 85-26, March 26, 1985.
7. Reduction of fines
Once an order imposing a fine has been recorded pursuant to § 162.09(3), the order is a lien that may only be satisfied or released by the local governing body; a code enforcement board does not have the authority to reduce a fine for noncompliance with a recorded order. Op.Atty.Gen., 2002-62, Sept. 11, 2002.
The board of county commissioners has the authority to reduce or satisfy a fine imposed by the county code enforcement board. Op.Atty.Gen. 98-40, June 30, 1998.
Pursuant to West's F.S.A. § 162.09, only a municipal code enforcement board may adopt rules establishing a uniform procedure for considering the reduction of a fine prior to entry of the final administrative order. Op.Atty.Gen. 93-91, Dec. 14, 1993.
8. Continuing or repeated violations
City code enforcement board was not required to make separate finding that same code violation had been repeated by same violator in order to impose fine and thus to establish valid lien on violator's property if fine was not paid. City of Gainesville Code Enforcement Bd. v. Lewis, App. 1 Dist., 536 So.2d 1148 (1988). Municipal Corporations 633(1)
A citizen who engages in conduct which is found to be a repeat violation as defined in West's F.S.A. § 162.04 may be fined only for those days the repeat violation continues after notice to the violator. Op.Atty.Gen. 92- 27, 4-2-92.
Municipality may not provide for continued running of fine against property owner for noncompliance with city codes after lien has been recorded against property of the violator; similarly, municipality may not amend original lien to include portion of fine accumulating after lien is filed. Op.Atty.Gen. 86-10, Jan. 29, 1986.
Code enforcement board must find that same violation has been repeated by same violator before it may impose fine for each day repeated violation continues past date set for compliance. Op.Atty.Gen., 85-84, Oct. 25, 1985.
A satisfaction or release of lien entered pursuant to s. 162.09(3), F.S., must be executed by the municipal code enforcement board. Op.Atty.Gen. 93- 91, Dec. 14, 1993.
10. Zoning violations
Violations of county zoning code "run with the land" so that subsequent purchasers of land can be held responsible for bringing their property up to code. Monroe County v. Whispering Pines Associates, App. 3 Dist., 697 So.2d 873 (1997), rehearing denied. Zoning And Planning 761
Mobile home park, as current owner of lot containing mobile homes in violation of county zoning code, had power to bring land into code compliance and, thus, after park was given hearing and time to get variance or comply with code, it was properly held responsible for property's noncompliance. Monroe County v. Whispering Pines Associates, App. 3 Dist., 697 So.2d 873 (1997), rehearing denied. Zoning And Planning 761
Where mobile homes' presence on lot violated county zoning code and penalty for noncompliance with code was lien against the land, mobile home park, as lot's owner, rather than owner of mobile home, was properly deemed to be violator of code; thus, in enforcement proceeding, joinder of mobile home owner was not required. Monroe County v. Whispering Pines Associates, App. 3 Dist., 697 So.2d 873 (1997), rehearing denied. Zoning And Planning 801
11. Notice and hearing
No administrative lien arose in favor of county code enforcement board where, contrary to statutory requirements for creation of lien, notice of lien was mailed only by regular and not by certified mail to home of alleged violator, and board recorded only an uncertified copy of order imposing fine. Personal Representative of Estate of Jacobson v. Attorneys' Title Ins. Fund, Inc., App. 3 Dist., 685 So.2d 19 (1996). Health 368
Municipal code enforcement board is not authorized to establish plan involving schedule of fines for particular offenses whereby violator may consent to pay designated fine in order to avoid initial hearing nor may board authorize alternative method of delivering notice than that prescribed in West's F.S.A. § 162.09. Op.Atty.Gen., 85-84, Oct. 25, 1985.
12. Administrative charges or fees
Local governing bodies may not empower or require local government code enforcement boards to impose administrative charges or fees. West's F.S.A. §§ 162.01-162.13; West's F.S.A. Const. Art. 1, § 18, Art. 5, § 1. Op.Atty.Gen. 84-55, June 7, 1984.
12.5. Res judicata
Trailer park owners' action facially challenging constitutionality of statutes and ordinances governing fines for code violation, was not barred by res judicata; former action was code enforcement procedure, and thus, cause of action was not the same. Wilson v. County of Orange, App. 5 Dist., 881 So.2d 625 (2004), clarification denied, review denied 2005 WL 589895. Health 392
In trailer park owners' action against county under § 1983, and their facial constitutional challenge to statutes and ordinance governing fines for code violations, county could not raise res judicata on motion to dismiss, as this was an affirmative defense not apparent on face of the complaint. Wilson v. County of Orange, App. 5 Dist., 881 So.2d 625 (2004), clarification denied, review denied 2005 WL 589895. Judgment 948(2)
13. Enforcement of lien