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(A) Administrative procedures. Upon request of the Code Inspector, or at other time as may be necessary, the Special Magistrate may call a hearing. The Special Magistrate shall cause the minutes to be kept of all hearings by the Special Magistrate, and all hearings and records of the Special Magistrate shall be open to the public. The Town Council shall provide clerical and administrative personnel as may be reasonably required by the Special Magistrate for the proper performance of designated duties. The Special Magistrate may, at any hearing, set future hearing dates and may postpone or continue any matter before him or her to a future date.
(B) Representation. Each case before the Special Magistrate shall be presented either by the Town Attorney, by the Code Inspector or by the Mayor or his or her designee. If the town prevails in prosecuting a case it shall be entitled to recover all costs incurred in prosecuting the case before the Special Magistrate and the costs may be included in the lien authorized by F.S. § 162.07(2). Any person accused of a violation may be represented by counsel at the hearing.
(C) Order of procedure and rules of evidence. At any given hearing, the Special Magistrate shall first take testimony and receive evidence from the town, and the town shall have the burden of proving the existence of the alleged violation by the preponderance of the evidence. If the evidence presented by the town established a prima facie case, the Special Magistrate shall then proceed to receive evidence and testimony from the alleged violator. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but fundamental procedural due process shall be observed and shall govern the proceedings. All testimony shall be under oath and recorded.
(D) Findings and orders. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Special Magistrate shall make a finding of fact, based on the evidence of record, and conclusions of law, and shall issue an order affording relief as may be consistent with the powers granted herein. The findings and order shall be presented in written form and shall be served personally or by certified mail/return receipt requested upon the violator. The order may include a notice that the order must be complied with by a specific date and that a fine may be imposed if the order is not complied with by a specific date and that a fine may be imposed if the order is not complied with by the date as provided in § 31.36 and F.S. § 162.09(1), the order may specify the amount of the fine to be imposed and the date on which the fine will commence if the violation is not corrected. The cost of repairs may be included along with the fine if the order is not complied with by the date. A certified copy of the order may be recorded in the public records of the county and shall constitute notice to all subsequent purchases, successors in interest or as assigns, if the violation concerns with to real property and the findings therein shall be binding upon the violator and if the violation concerns real property, any subsequent purchases, successors in interest or assigns. If an order is recorded in the public records pursuant to this division and the order is compiled with by the date specified in the order, the Special Magistrate shall issue an order acknowledging compliance that shall be recorded in the pubic records. A hearing is not required to issue an order acknowledging compliance provided by the general laws of the state applicable to code enforcement.
(E) Appealing a final administrative order. An aggrieved party, including the Town Council may appeal a final administrative order of the Special Magistrate to the circuit court. The appeal shall not be a hearing de novo but shall be limited to appellate review of the record created before the Special Magistrate. An appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the execution of the order to be appealed.
(Ord. 2006-11, passed 8-22-2006; Ord. 2013-07, passed 9-24-2013)