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Community Newspapers SERVING MIAMI-DADE COUNTY SINCE 1958 OPA-LOCKA REVIEW THE OPA-LOCKA REVIEW AUGUST 2010 WHO’S WHO In City Government Mayor Joseph L. Kelley 305-688-4611 Vice-Mayor Myra L. Taylor 305-688-4611 Commissioner Timothy Holmes 305-688-4611 Commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson 305-688-4611 Commissioner Rose Tydus 305-688-4611 City Manager Clarance Patterson 305-953-2821 City Clerk Deborah Sheffield-Irby 305-953-2800 Interim City Attorney Joseph S. Geller 305-953-2808 Opa-locka Town Hall Meeting Judges present the facts BY CHRISTINA GORDON e can’t give you legal advice, but we can give you information to use,” stipulated Judge Fred Seraphin to residents, at the onset of a Town Hall Meeting hosted by Mayor Joseph L. Kelley and the Opa-locka City Commission, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054. Judge Seraphin, with five of his colleagues from the MiamiDade Courts, and a team of legal service providers, volunteered to address citizen concerns based on “fact laws, not personal opinion,” pertaining to common issues regarding Landlord/Tenants, Mortgage Foreclosure, Domestic Violence, Child Support and the Drive Legal Program. Each Judge spent several minutes presenting an overview of his or her area of expertise before conducting an “open-mic” session for residents to seek clarification on the law and/or “next step” directions. “You pay, you stay… you don’t, you won’t,” declared Judge Abby Cynamon who translated the tenant law as simplistically as that. Judge Cynamon stated that a lease is a written binding contract, with the only exception being an “unconscionable provision” where a landlord included something that was unlawful. The Judge also outlined the landlord’s obligation to uphold good structural conditions, maintain a safe, clean environment, and give proper notices and reductions. As well, Judge “W Cynamon summarized the tenant’s responsibility to maintain sanitary conditions and follow other reasonable rules. “Don’t put the letter back in the mailbox like Fred Sanford,” joked Judge Peter Adrian in the only advice he offered while addressing foreclosure notices. Rather than ignoring it, the Judge suggested seeking a better solution through exploring options such as modification, refinancing and short sales. According to Judge Adrian, “There are currently 80,000 foreclosures pending in Miami-Dade County.” He provided location information and phone numbers to legal aid and legal services for those needing assistance. Specializing in Domestic Violence Cases, Judge Victoria Del Pino addressed restraining orders/injunctions that place restrictions on individuals who have allegedly committed acts or made threats of violence against another individual. The four types of injunctions are DOMESTIC, REPEAT, SEXUAL and DATING VIOLENCE. The injunctions provide protection at home, school, on the job Miami-Dade Court Judges Peter Adrian, Judge Fred Seraphin, Judge Victoria Del Pino, Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, Judge Rodney Smith, Judge Abby Cynamon, Commissioner Rose Tydus, General Magistrate Karl Brown at the City of Opa-locka Town Hall Meeting, Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard, Opa-locka, FL 33054. _______________________________________________ and/or it awards temporary custody of minor children. Without discussing any particular cases, the Judge suggested it would be available. She recommended utilizing services like the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC) be for assistance. helpful in determining a case if witnesses, text messages, photos and any other evidence is made “You can’t get out, or back in the country, if you are in the rear for $2,500 or more and your ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– See MEETING, page 2


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