Special Master Hearings
The Special Masters hear cases brought before them by the departments of the Village concerning violations of Village Code. The violation of any Village ordinance or Code section listed in section 2-191 and 19-43 constitute a civil offense punishable by civil penalty in the amount prescribed in section 2-191 and F.S. § 316.0083, and as modified by section 2-185.
The Village Manager appoints Special Masters based on their experience and interest in code enforcement and submits these appointments for ratification to the Village Council. The Village Attorney serves as general counsel to the Special Masters and the Village Clerk serves as the Clerk of the Special Masters.
Responsibilities of the Clerk of the Special Masters include preparing notices to appear for mailing to the alleged violators; preparing orders; liens; satisfactions; releases; agendas; synopsis; case histories; financial data and statistics; and collecting and depositing revenue collected.
The Clerk of the Special Master assists the Special Master, Village Attorneys and inspectors at hearings; records liens into the Public Record; closes cases upon full compliance and full payment of money owed; serves as records custodian for the Special Master; and generates courtesy notices for violations.
The Special Master has the authority to subpoena witnesses and records, order rulings on violations, assess fines and order liens to be placed upon property. Property owners cited by a Code Compliance Officer are given a reasonable amount of time to bring their property into compliance before the case is referred to the Special Master. After the Special Master has ruled over a case, failure to correct the open code violations may result in fines of up to $500 a day until such violations are brought into compliance. Failure to comply could result in a lien filed against the title of the property. If a violation is severe and poses a threat to the health and safety of the neighbors, the city will initiate public nuisance proceedings against the property and correct the nuisance at the expense of the property owner.