Code Enforcement Legal Issues Journal

Becoming a Code Enforcement Professional (CEP) is the highest designation that a code enforcement officer can achieve in the State of Florida.  To become a CEP, officers must submit a Legal Issues Paper that discusses a conflict important to the code enforcement profession.  There have been many Legal Issues Papers submitted over the years, some of which exemplify the professionalism of our members and some of which provide an interesting historical reference or perspective.  In 2016 the Florida Association of Code Enforcement formed a three person committee to review the CEP papers and choose the best papers for publication.

We are pleased to offer this Code Enforcement Journal of published papers to represent our membership and profession.

Featured Legal Issues Journal:

Author:  Jeffrey S Look

Title:   Supreme Court decision: Clyde Reed, et al., v Town of Gilbert, Arizona, et al.

Excerpt:   Local Governments have been enacting ordinances to regulate signage in their jurisdictions for many years for general reasons; such as the reduction of sign pollution, the removal of litter on their rights-of-way, the potential for the distraction of motorists, and the overall aesthetics of their community. These governments often regulate sign characteristics such as the size, placement, and the duration of time these signs can be displayed. However, on some occasions, local governments will write their ordinances differently based on the purposed use of the sign, such as real estate signs, construction signs, directional signs, etc. Sign regulation is essential if governments want to maintain a uniform appearance and reduce sign pollution throughout their communities. The writing of sign regulation requires the enforcing authority to take into consideration the public’s constitutionally provided freedom of speech which in short is the right to communicate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship. In 2005, the Town of Gilbert, Arizona adopted a municipal sign ordinance that regulated the manner in which signs could be displayed in public areas. Later, the Town cited a local church for violation of their sign regulation and in March of 2008, Pastor Clyde Reed on behalf of Good News Community Church filed a lawsuit claiming the town "abridged their freedom of speech in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments" (Justice Thomas Opinion 4). This paper will explore the United States Supreme Court Case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona and the effect it has on the City of Gainesville’s sign ordinance as well as local governments nationwide.

Full Paper:   Supreme Court decision: Clyde Reed, et al., v Town of Gilbert, Arizona, et al.

Previous Legal Issues Journal Papers:

The United States Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and the Act’s Effect on the City of Gainesville, Florida’s Land Use Regulation written by Christopher Cooper