Q:        I received a certified letter from Code Enforcement containing a Notice of Hearingrequiring me to appear before a Special Magistrate regarding a violation on a commercial building that I own in North Lauderdale FL.  I inherited the property a couple of years ago, and have never had to deal with this sort of thing.  Do I need an attorney to attend this hearing?

A:        The short answer is no; you don’t “need” an attorney in order to attend the Special Magistrate Hearing.  However, city codes and regulations can sometimes be rather intricate and complex, especially as it relates to those standards governing commercial properties.  That said, it is generally in a property owner’s best interest to have an attorney review all documentation issued by the city pertaining to the violation and appear before a hearing officer or enforcement board with or on behalf of the property owner if necessary.  It is important to understand that a code enforcement hearing is rather similar to a traditional court hearing in a courtroom in front of a judge, in the sense that the ruling made by the hearing officer or enforcement board carries the force of law.  So, if you would like the added comfort and security of having an attorney that is well versed in these matters stand by you and handle the heat, in North Lauderdale FL or beyond, just place a call to the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA at (954) 990-7552.