The Hearing Officer is an attorney and member of the Florida Bar appointed by the City Manager, and affirmed by the City Commission, to preside over Code Enforcement matters. The Hearing Officer has the jurisdiction and authority to hear and make a ruling on alleged violations, exercising the powers provided in Title XI, Chapter 162, Florida Statutes.
Code Enforcement hearings are scheduled on the fourth Thursday of each month when scheduling conflicts do not arise. In July and December there are no hearings. The Hearing Officer sets the procedures for conduct of hearings that are open to the public. Hearings are conducted much like court proceedings with testimony and evidence presented by both the City (Code Enforcement Inspector) and the respondent (alleged Violator). All testimony at the hearing shall be under oath, and each party shall have the right to call and examine witnesses, introduce exhibits and cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues. The Hearing Officer also has the authority to subpoena people and records, order rulings on violations, assess fines and order liens to be placed upon property.
Starting in March, 2019 the current Code Enforcement Hearing agenda will be available here after posting.
Per Ordinance No. 2018-12 Section 02-83 – Procedures for Quasi-Judicial Proceedings (b):
Representation of parties.
(1) Attorney. Any natural person or party may represent himself/herself or may be represented by an attorney. If the party chooses to be represented by an attorney, a notice of representation signed by the attorney, shall be filed with the clerk prior to the hearing.
(2) Non-attorney. In the event any party (other than a corporation or the city) chooses to be represented by a non-attorney, such party shall file a written, notarized power of attorney with the clerk prior to the hearing stating that the person appearing has the full power and authority to act on behalf of the party in the matter.
(3) Business representative. A corporation or limited liability company may appear through a representative who is listed with the Florida Department of State as a current officer or manager of an active corporation or limited liability company entity. The representative must identify himself/herself in that business capacity.
If you are authorizing a representative to act on your behalf, please complete this form then have it notarized and provided to the City Clerk prior to the hearing date for which your case will be presented:
The Hearing Officer shall make findings of fact based on the evidence in the record alone and may state conclusions of law. The fact-finding determination of the Hearing Officer shall describe whether the alleged violation did in fact occur and, if so, whether the person named in the civil notice is legally responsible for that violation.
If the decision of the Hearing Officer affirms the Inspector's determination of violation, any of the following fines may be assessed and included in the Hearing Officer's order:
(Per Ordinance No. 2015-26)
1. $10 per day, with a maximum of $1,000, for each North Port City Code violation.
2. $25 per day, with a maximum of $2,000, for each Unified Land Development Code violation.
3. $50 per day, with a maximum of $5,000, for each Florida Building Code violation.
4. $250 per day, with no maximum, for each Florida Building Code violation as it pertains to unsafe building abatement.
5. $500 per day, with a maximum of $25,000, for each repeat violation. In addition to such fines, a Hearing Officer may impose additional fines to cover all costs incurred by the local government in enforcing its codes and all costs of repairs taken by the local government.
Fines and/or lien payoffs shall be made payable to the City of North Port and submitted the City of North Port, ATTN: Code Enforcement, 4970 City Hall Blvd., North Port, FL 34286. All payoffs should include the case number for each violation.
For information, contact Code Enforcement at (941) 429-7186.