Miami-Dade County For-Hire Transportation Appeals Process & Appellate Procedure Joe Mora, Director Passenger Transportation Regulatory Division
Miami-Dade County For-Hire Transportation Industries: • Special Transportation Services (STS) • Non-emergency • Passenger Motor Carrier (PMC) • Limousine • Taxi • Jitney • Ambulance • Private School Bus
8CC – Chapter 8 County Code Ordinance The violation of any County ordinance listed in Section 8CC-10 of this chapter shall constitute a civil offense punishable by civil penalty in the amount prescribed by Section 8CC-10. “Code Inspector” is defined to be any agent or employee of Miami-Dade County whose duty is to assure the enforcement of and compliance with the Code of Miami-Dade County. “Violators” shall be deemed to be those persons or entities legally responsible for the violation of the ordinances listed.
FER (Field Enforcement Report) Issued for Vehicle Condition. Deficiency Suspension 8CC Violations Issued to: Chauffeurs – 90% Companies – 5% Permit Holders – 5% These citations can be appealed. Two Types of Citations
Most Common Citations • All Chauffeurs - expired or no chauffeur registration. • All Chauffeurs - expired or no vehicle inspection decal. • Taxi - no trip sheet, • Taxi - no air conditioning. • Taxi - dress code violation. • Taxi - buying of the door. • Taxi - not using established rates. • Limo - not using established rates. • Limo - working on demand. • Tour Van/PMC - working on demand. • Tour Van/PMC - soliciting at Sea Port.
Sec. 8CC-5 Rights of Violators A violator who has been served with a civil notice shall elect either to: (1) Pay the civil penalty within 30 days or (2) Request an administrative hearing before a Hearing Officer to appeal the decision of the Code Inspector. Request in writing to clerk of the court within 20 days.
8CC Appeals Process Chart Violator Appeals 8CC Citation to COC – 20 days within the decision complained COC sends proposed 8CC monthly calendar to PTRD PTRD prepares calendar & schedules defendant for hearing. Calendar is sent back to COC. EO is notified of hearing date COC sends violator hearing notice Violator does not appear at hearing Violator appears at hearing EO appears at hearing 25% no show Hearing Officer hears case Case re-scheduled due to circumstances request done 10 calendar days before scheduled court date. Violator/defendant guilty – has 30 days to pay citation fee & $75 hearing cost Violator/defendant not guilty citation closed Citation closed
Scheduling & Conduct of Hearing • The right to a hearing is waived if one fails to appeal. • The County provides clerical support & records the proceedings. • Hearings are open to the public & sworn under oath. • 4. The Hearing Officer is appointed by the County Manager: • a) There are 16 independent contractors, renewing contract every 2 yrs. • b) Must live in Miami-Dade County. • c) Educational background in law, engineering, or public administration • d) Paid $50 per hour, total of $400 for 8 hrs. Work 2 days per month. • e) Money from fines/collections pays for enforcement office operations.
Scheduling & Conduct of Hearing Continued… • Hearing need not be conducted in accordance with the formal rules relating to evidence & witnesses (quasi-judicial system): • a) Heresy admissible. • b) No judge presiding over the case – administrative hearing. • c) Do not need witnesses nor attorney – violator presents own case 95% of the time. • 6. The Hearing Officer makes a determination based on his/her fact finding. • 7. The Hearing Officer’s final order may be appealed following the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.
1% of cases appealed to Appellate Court. Appellate process is not a hearing and not a “de novo process”. Other costs to violator, e.g. transcribe original hearing ≈ $200 & higher. County attorney may meet with judges. Fee to appeal is $250 – done within 30 days of the officer’s decision. Appeal filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court. Circuit Court notifies violator when to present their brief (waiting period 2-3 months) Three judges render the decision – review hearing transcript and briefs from violator & County attorney. Judges decision rendered 3 to 6 months after reviewing the case. Appealing the Hearing Officer’s Decision: The Florida Appellate Process