Special Master Administrative Hearings Board

About the Board

The Mayor with City Council approval appoints the Special Master, who is authorized by the State of Florida law to hear and decide cases brought against those persons who have been cited for violations of the applicable City Ordinance.

Each case will be called in the order listed in the agenda. The respondents will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty. If the respondent pleads not guilty, the City of Hialeah will present its case. After the City has presented its case, the respondents will be permitted to present evidence and examine and cross-examine witnesses. There are no formal rules of evidence; however, all discussions, presentations, and questions are limited to the matters related directly to the violation cited.

The Special master determines whether the respondent is guilty or not guilty. If the respondent is found guilty or if the respondent pleads guilty the Special Master will impose a fine, plus an administrative fee for the hearing and will order the respondent to correct the violation by a certain date. If the violation continues past the date set for compliance, or in the case of a repeat violation, the Special Master will order the respondent to pay the fine imposed for each day the violation continues. It is the violator’s responsibility to notify the City when the violation has been corrected.

If the violation is not corrected by the required date, the fine will be imposed without a further hearing. If a fine is assessed, the City may impose a lien against the cited property or against other real or personal property owned by the violator. Any Orders entered by the Special Master may be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Code Compliance Due Process

The Code Compliance inspector shall conduct appropriate field inspections on complaints that have been received at the Code Compliance office. The inspections shall be conducted and the findings appropriately documented in a timely manner. The field inspector shall take due care and diligence during the investigation, whose purpose is to determine code compliance using proper professional judgment. As soon as the field observations are documented and a violation is found, the issuance of a combination of the following notices will be sent to the property owner or designated agent:

  1. Courtesy Notice: A Courtesy letter will be posted at the property and delivered regular mail to owner address on file according to Miami Dade County Property Appraiser.
  2. Civil Violation Notice
  3. Citations
  4. Notice of Hearing

All notices shall include name of owner, property and mailing address, code section and brief description of the violation and a compliance date according to the nature of the violation. Notices of Violation and Citations shall be delivered Certified Mail to owner address on file according to Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser. If unclaimed shall be sent by regular mail at the owners address on file. Citations shall be posted at the property.

Violations must be corrected by the re-inspection date or within the time specified in the notice. Failure to correct violations will result in the issuance of Citation. If violation continues past the citation the case will be referred to a Special Master Administrative Hearing. In the case that violations are corrected within the allotted time period determined by the inspector and imposed fines paid, then the case will be closed.