Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 192350
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File Number: 192350 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1096-19 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: REQUIRING JUDGES TO DELAY OR STAY EVICTIONS DURING STORM Introduced: 9/23/2019
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 10/3/2019
Agenda Date: 10/3/2019 Agenda Item Number: 11A26
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA TO REQUEST THAT THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT ADOPT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FLORIDA RULES OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION THAT AUTOMATICALLY DELAY OR STAY, OR REQUIRE JUDGES TO AUTOMATICALLY DELAY OR STAY, THE ISSUANCES OF WRITS OF POSSESSION ASSOCIATED WITH RESIDENTIAL EVICTION ACTIONS AT THE TIME THE GOVERNOR, THE COUNTY MAYOR OR OTHER PUBLIC OFFICIAL DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO A DISASTER OR EMERGENCY AND DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY
Indexes: EVICTIONS
  STATE OF EMERGENCY
  URGING
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Daniella Levine Cava, Co-Sponsor
  Eileen Higgins, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 10/3/2019 11A26 Adopted P

County Attorney 9/23/2019 Assigned Terrence A. Smith 9/24/2019

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA TO REQUEST THAT THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT ADOPT ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FLORIDA RULES OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION THAT AUTOMATICALLY DELAY OR STAY, OR REQUIRE JUDGES TO AUTOMATICALLY DELAY OR STAY, THE ISSUANCES OF WRITS OF POSSESSION ASSOCIATED WITH RESIDENTIAL EVICTION ACTIONS AT THE TIME THE GOVERNOR, THE COUNTY MAYOR OR OTHER PUBLIC OFFICIAL DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY DUE TO A DISASTER OR EMERGENCY AND DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE STATE OF EMERGENCY

BODY
WHEREAS, the Atlantic hurricane season is between June 1 and November 30 of each year and is a time when most tropical cyclones are expected to develop across the northern Atlantic Ocean; and
WHEREAS, according to a report from the Insurance Information Institute, from 1999 to the 2018, hurricanes have been the cause of approximately 2,135 deaths in the United States; and  
WHEREAS, according to an article in The Washington Post, dated September 12, 2017, “direct deaths, as defined by the National Weather Service, result from a product of the storm such as flooding, rip currents or the storm surge….”; and
WHEREAS, the article further states that “for the 10 deadliest hurricanes since 2000 (Katrina, Sandy, Rita, Ike, Frances, Irene, Isabel, Ivan, Charley and Gustav), indirect deaths outnumbered direct deaths for 7 of 10 storms”; and
WHEREAS, more recently, deaths associated with Hurricane Dorian have occurred in The Bahamas and Puerto Rico; and
WHEREAS, in order to address the immediate needs prior to and after a storm, other disaster or emergency, the Florida Legislature enacted the State Emergency Management Act, which is codified in chapter 252, Florida Statutes (“Act”); and
WHEREAS, the Act’s intent is to facilitate the planning for and response to both natural and man-made disasters through the coordinated efforts of federal, state and local governments and agencies; and
WHEREAS, the Act further states: “It is further declared to be the purpose of [sections] 252.31-252.90 and the policy of the state that all emergency management functions of the state be coordinated to the maximum extent with comparable functions of the Federal Government, including its various departments, agencies of other states and localities, and private agencies of every type, to the end that the most effective preparation and use may be made of the workforce, resources, and facilities of the nation for dealing with any emergency that may occur;” and
WHEREAS, whenever an emergency or disaster poses a threat to Florida, the Governor, acting under their authority under the Florida Constitution and the Act, has declared states of emergencies, such as the declaration made in light of Hurricane Dorian; and
WHEREAS, the County Mayor, in accordance with the Act and chapter 8B of the Code of Miami-Dade County, has made declarations of local states of emergency in times of dangerous storms approaching Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, in the event of such declarations by the County Mayor, extraordinary and immediate actions may be required to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Miami-Dade County, including, but not limited to, the mobilization of emergency response personnel, such as the police department; and
WHEREAS, prior to, during and after a storm or other emergency event, such emergency response personnel may not be available to carry out their other functions that do not involve the protection of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Miami-Dade County, including, but not limited to, assisting landlords to remove tenants who have been evicted from their residential rental units; and
WHEREAS, in Florida, a landlord can evict a tenant for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the failure to timely pay rent or other lease violations; and
WHEREAS, however, prior to taking possession of a rental unit, a landlord must comply with the requirements set forth in chapter 83, part II, Florida Statutes, which is also known as the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; and
WHEREAS, such requirements include, but are not limited to, providing a tenant with the required written notifications of the lease violation; and
WHEREAS, if the tenant does not comply with the written notice, then the landlord can file an eviction action against the tenant; and
WHEREAS, in the event the tenant does not prevail in the eviction action, the court will enter a judgment for possession in favor of the landlord in accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure the court will also direct the clerk of the court to issue a 24-hour notice known as a "writ of possession," which advises a tenant that they must move out of the rental unit after 24-hours and further directs the sheriff of the county in which the rental unit is located to place the landlord in possession of the rental unit; and
WHEREAS, after 24 hours, the sheriff, or in the case of Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade Police Department, can forcibly evict the tenant, which may include in some instances, the removal of the tenant’s personal property from the rental unit by the landlord or the landlord’s agent and placing such personal property on or about the exterior of the property; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that prior to, during and after a disaster or emergency, law enforcement should focus only on protecting the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Miami-Dade County; and
WHEREAS, this Board is concerned that oftentimes tenants who are evicted are impoverished, lack the resources to timely move their personal belongings, and have nowhere else to go after being evicted, thus facing the possibility of becoming homeless; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that the removal of tenants and their personal property, and the placement of a tenants’ personal property outside of the rental unit prior to, during and after a disaster or emergency not only endangers the tenants’ lives, but the placement of such tenants’ personal property outside of their rental units endangers the public health, safety and welfare because such personal property can become projectiles in a wind event; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court is vested with “the power, upon request of the chief judge of any circuit or district, or sua sponte, in the event of natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation requiring the closure of courts or other circumstances inhibiting the ability of litigants to comply with deadlines imposed by rules of procedure applicable in the courts of this state, to enter such order or orders as may be appropriate to suspend, toll, or otherwise grant relief from time deadlines imposed by otherwise applicable statutes and rules of procedure for such period as may be appropriate, including, without limitation, those affecting speedy trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings, all civil process and proceedings, and all appellate time limitations;” and
WHEREAS, accordingly, this Board wishes to urge the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, which encompasses Miami-Dade County, to request the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court adopt administrative orders in accordance with the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration that automatically delay or stay, or requires judges to automatically delay or stay, the issuances of writs of possession associated with residential eviction actions at the time the Governor, the County Mayor or other public official declares a state of emergency due to a disaster or emergency,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida to request the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court adopt administrative orders in accordance with the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration that automatically delay or stay, or requires judges to automatically delay or stay, the issuances of writs of possession associated with residential eviction actions at the time the Governor, the County Mayor or other public official declares a state of emergency due to a disaster or emergency and during the pendency of the state of emergency.
Section 2. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit certified copies of this resolution to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady and Eleventh Circuit of Florida Chief Judge Bertila Soto.



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