Petition for Writ of Certiorari to Review Quasi-Judicial Action: Agencies, Boards, and Commissions of Local Government: ADMINISTRATIVE – Code Enforcement – jurisdiction – Court does not have jurisdiction to review order setting original amount of fine for code violations since order was not appealed within thirty days – there is no statute, rule, or code provision which tolled the time for rendition of the original order – Petition denied.  Spradlin  v. Town of North Redington Beach, Appeal No. 06-0018AP-88A (Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. Nov. 16, 2006).

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

APPELLATE DIVISION

 

 

MARY K. SPRADLIN,

                        Petitioner,

 

 

vs.                                                                                                Appeal No.06-0018AP-88A

                                                                                                    UCN522006AP0018XXXXCV

 

TOWN OF NORTH REDINGTON

BEACH, FLORIDA,

                        Respondents.

__________________________________________/

 

ORDER DENYING AMENDED PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

 

            THIS CAUSE came before the Court on the Amended Petition for Writ of Certiorari, the Response and the Reply.  Upon consideration of the same and being otherwise fully advised, the Court finds that the Amended Petition must be denied as set forth below.

            The Petitioner, Mary K. Spradlin (Spradlin), seeks review of the Order Conditionally Reducing Administrative Fine, entered February 7, 2006, and the Administrative Fine Order, entered October 10, 2005, by the Code Enforcement Special Master for the Respondent, Town of North Redington Beach, Florida (Town).  In reviewing the administrative action taken below, the Court must consider whether Spradlin was afforded procedural due process, whether the essential requirements of law were observed and whether the Order is supported by competent substantial evidence.  See Haines City Community Development v. Heggs, 658 So.2d 523, 530 (Fla. 1995)(setting forth the standard of certiorari review of administrative action).  As Spradlin does not argue that the Town departed from the essential requirements of law or denied her due process, the Court need not address those prongs.

            The record shows that Spradlin is the owner of real property located at 504 173rd Avenue, North Redington Beach.  On May 18, 2005, the Special Master entered an Order finding Spradlin guilty of violating Section 18-136 of the Town’s Code.  Spradlin was given until August 17, 2005, to come into compliance.  On October 10, 2005, the Special Master entered the Administrative Fine Order finding that Spradlin had failed to correct the violation and ordered Spradlin to pay an administrative fine in the amount of $ 150.00 per day for each day that the violation continued after August 17, 2005.  This order was not appealed.  One month later, on November 9, 2005, Spradlin filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Fine requesting a reduction in the fine.  The Special Magistrate considered the Motion and, on February 7, 2006, entered the Order Conditionally Reducing Administrative Fine, reducing the fine from $ 9,450.00 to

$ 2,000.00.  It is from this order that Spradlin filed the above-styled Petition for Writ of Certiorari, on March 7, 2006.[1] 

            Before this Court, Spradlin raises no issues directed at the Order Conditionally Reducing Administrative Fine, but rather generally argues that the Administrative Fine Order, entered in October 10, 2005, is not supported by competent substantial evidence.  The Court agrees with the City that the Court lacks jurisdiction to review this Order as Spradlin failed to seek appellate review within thirty days of its entry.  See Fla. R. App. P. Rule 9.100(c); see also Kirby v. City of Archer, 790 So.2d 1214, 1215 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001); City of Plantation v. Vermut, 583 So.2d 393, 394 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991); City of Ft. Lauderdale v. Bamman, 519 So.2d 37, 38 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987).  Spradlin fails to point to any statute, rule, or Code provision which would have tolled the time for rendition of the Order.  See Rivers v. State, Department of Revenue, 508 So.2d 360, 361 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987)(noting that there is no statute or rule authorizing the filing of a motion for rehearing which tolls the time for appealing a final agency order).  The fact that the Special Master exercised his inherent authority to reduce the fine does not change an unauthorized motion for rehearing into an authorized motion that would extend the time for filing an appeal.

            Further, the Court finds that there is nothing in Chapter 162 or in the City’s Code that requires an agency or local governing body to inform a party of his/her right to seek administrative or judicial review and the time limits for seeking such review.  Compare with Latin Express Service, Inc. v. State, Department of Revenue, 660 So.2d 1059, 1060 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995)(recognizing “that where an agency’s order fails to comply with the statutory requirement that a party be advised of its rights to judicial review and the time limits associated with invoking that right, the order departs from the essential requirements of law”).[2]  However, assuming, arguendo, that the Motion was authorized, it clearly was not timely under any rule of procedure.  See Fla. R. Civ. P. Rule 1.530(b)(stating that a party has 10 days after filing of a judgment to serve a motion for rehearing); Fla. R. App. P. Rule 9.330(stating that a party has 15 days of entry of an order to serve a motion for rehearing or clarification).  Accordingly, the Court finds that certiorari relief must be denied. 

 

 

 

 

            Therefore, it is,

            ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Amended Petition for Writ of Certiorari is denied.     

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers, at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this ______ of October 2006.

 

 

 

 

                                                ________________________________

                                                JOHN A. SCHAEFER

                                                Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________                        ______________________________

LAUREN LAUGHLIN                                              BRANDT C. DOWNEY, III

Circuit Judge, Appellate Division                                   Circuit Judge, Appellate Division

 

 

Copies furnished to:

Michael C. Barry, Sr., Esquire

33 North Garden Ave., # 190

Clearwater, FL  33755

 

Mary Kay Spradlin

Post Office Box 235

Indian Rocks Beach, FL  33785

 

Edwin Peck, Esquire

259 – 4th Avenue North

St. Petersburg, FL  33701

 

 



[1] Upon order of this Court, Spradlin filed, on April 10, 2006, an Amended Petition for Writ of Certiorari.

 

[2] The Court notes that Florida Statutes, section 162.11, and Code Sec. 2-100, states that an aggrieved party may appeal a “final” administrative order to the circuit court.  The Court finds that the Administrative Fine Order does not use the word “final” anywhere in the title or body of the order, nor does the Order set forth the aggrieved party’s right to appellate review.  While the Court finds that this has no bearing on the outcome of this particular Petition, the City may want to add language to its final orders utilizing the word “final” and setting forth the appellate right to review as stated in the statute and Code to avoid any potential due process claims.