City of Tampa, 13th Judicial Circuit Court Create Special Municipal Dockets

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The 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Hillsborough County, Florida and the City of Tampa have joined together to create two special municipal dockets.

At the end of July, Chief Judge Manual Menendez, Jr. signed two administrative orders providing for two special municipal court dockets. Judge Dominguez will hear all municipal ordinance cases that are punishable by imprisonment into the county criminal division, such as Notice to Appear for code enforcement violators. Judge Weiss will hear all municipal ordinance violations charged by an infraction into the county civil division, such as noise and open container violations.

“The special municipal dockets are a common sense solution that will hopefully expedite how quickly the court can process code enforcement and aggressive panhandling, among other issues. I would like to thank Judge Dominguez, in particular, for his willingness to work with us as we continue to search for creative ways to deal with flagrant code violators,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Having City of Tampa municipal ordinance dockets allows the City of Tampa to bring services to the courtroom for these designated dockets, specifically providing Code Enforcement and Tampa Police officers a single courtroom to appear in for any trials or hearings on the same date. The City also benefits by having a known judge who can be fully educated on municipal ordinances. The special dockets provide a known date for future hearings, allowing for an easier and, ultimately, faster process.

Prior to these special municipal dockets being established, municipal ordinance cases were placed on the same dockets alongside misdemeanor offenses and heard by six different judges.

Judge Dominguez has set up his docket for municipal cases to begin on September 11, 2013. Judge Weiss has set up his docket for municipal cases to begin on October 3, 2013.