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Special Magistrate & Boards

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Special Magistrate

The City of Fort Lauderdale’s code cases are heard by a Special Magistrate.

The Special Magistrate is appointed by the City Commission and has the jurisdiction and authority to hear and rule over code compliance matters. The Special Magistrate is a licensed attorney and a member of the Florida Bar.

The Special Magistrate 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 Magistrate.

After the Special Magistrate 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.

Hearings

Special Magistrate hearings are held at 9:00 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month in the City Commission Room in City Hall at 100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Please plan to arrive one hour prior to the hearing to register with the administrative staff. 

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas and minutes are available for download from the City Clerk's page.


Code Enforcement Board

The Code Enforcement Board has the jurisdiction and the authority to hear and rule over cases with violations of the Florida Building Code, Broward County Edition, and violations of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Fort Lauderdale when alleged together with violation of the Florida Building Code. 

The board also has the authority to subpoena witnesses and records, order rulings on violation, asses fines and order liens to be placed upon property.

Property owners who receive a violation notice are given a reasonable amount of time to bring their property into compliance before the case is referred to the Code Enforcement Board.

After the board has ruled over a case, failure to correct the open code violation 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 tile of a property.

The board consists of seven members and three alternates who are residents of the City. Each member is nominated and appointed by the City Commission (commonly known as consensus appointments). Membership includes, whenever possible, persons experienced in the following professions: architect, business, engineer, general contractor, subcontractor and realtor.

Each member serves for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. Four members constitute a quorum. An alternate member is considered as one of such members for quorum purposes.

Hearings

The Code Enforcement Board convenes at 9:00 a.m. on the 4th Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise noted, in the City Commission Room in City Hall at 100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Please plan to arrive one hour prior to the hearing to register with the administrative staff.

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas and minutes are available for download from the City Clerk's page.


Unsafe Structures Board

The Unsafe Structures Board establishes uniform minimum standards for the occupancy of dwellings, hotels and rooming structures and maintenance of the premises occupied or adjacent to such structures, including vacant lots and the premises of business establishments located in proximity thereto.

The board has the authority to secure properties in the City by ordering repairs or the demolition of the structure at the expense of the owner.

The board consists of nine members, as follows: a registered engineer, a registered architect, a general building contractor, an electrical contractor, an attorney at law, a plumbing contractor, a real estate appraiser, a real estate property manager, and citizen with experience and background in the field of social problems. Members possess outstanding reputations for civic activity, interest, integrity, responsibility and business or professional ability.

Each member serves for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. Five members constitute a quorum and decisions require the concurring votes of not less than four of the members present.

Hearings

The Unsafe Structures Board convenes at 3:00 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted, in the City Commission Room in City Hall at 100 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Please plan to arrive one hour prior to the hearing to register with the administrative staff.

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas and minutes are available for download from the City Clerk's page.