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Special Magistrate

City of Port St. Lucie code violation cases are heard by a Special Magistrate.

The Special Magistrate is an attorney and member of the Florida Bar who is appointed by the City Council to preside over code enforcement matters. The Special Magistrate has the jurisdiction and authority to hear and decide alleged violations and exercise the powers of a Code Enforcement Board as provided in chapter 162, Florida Statutes.

The Special Magistrate also has the authority to subpoena people and records, hear cases involving suspected violations, order rulings on violations, assess fines and order liens to be placed upon property.

Because the ultimate goal of the Code Compliance Division is to bring properties into compliance with city code, property owners cited by a Code Compliance Specialist will be given a reasonable amount of time to bring their property into compliance before the case is referred to the Special Magistrate.

After a case has been heard by the Magistrate, continued failure to correct code violations may result in fines up to $250 for each day the violation exits, and could ultimately result in a city-imposed lien against a a property’s title. If the violations are severe and pose a threat to the health and safety of neighbors, the city will initiate public nuisance proceedings against the property and correct the nuisance at the expense of the property owner.

After the property owner has corrected all code violations on the subject property, under certain circumstances, he or she can submit an Application for a Modification or Partial Release of a Lien.