Residents of mobile home park can stay after Florida City tries to evict them

A judge will most likely have to decided if Florida City can evict people living in a campsite and RV park.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – At the Florida City Camp Site and RV Park, residents have been living in fear since Wednesday, March 11. A letter was posted on their doors telling them that they had one week to leave, or they’d be trespassing.

Attorney Tom Culmo from the DV Culmo Law Firm is now representing the people living at the park in a class action lawsuit.

This week a judge granted an order that stops a development project from moving forward until further notice. It also prevents Florida City, owners of the trailer park, from trespassing any of the residents living here.

“Some of these people have been living here for 20 years. This is their home,” Culmo said. “It was clearly a threat,” he said about the posted letters.

Culmo said by law the city should have given them a six-month notice, not one week. “This is a mobile home park, and under Florida statute 723, the city was required to give each resident formal, written notice of their attempt to evict them,” Culmo said.

On Monday, Mayor Otis Wallace told Local 10 News that they had meetings with residents in the summer of 2020 and again in October about the potential sale of the property, but neighbors said the city wasn’t clear. They said the letter was the first notice they received that the site was actually going to be sold.

“There are people that don’t really have the means to just up and go. The idea they were feeling that they were under this pressure to leave their homes within a few days was heartbreaking. Especially in today’s times with this pandemic,” Culmo said.

Early Wednesday morning, Culmo got a judge to grant an emergency order stopping the process until the city challenges it in court.

“We have the force of a court order that assures that these people’s rights will be protected and that they don’t have to worry about being thrown out or being threatened and leaving their homes on short notice.”

He said there are rules the city must follow to evict the people at the RV park and he’s confident a judge will agree.

“Without proving that the residents received this formal notice, and that the statute was followed, there is no compliance and they’re required to do that,” Culmo said.

Local 10 News has reached out to the mayor and city attorney to get their response and, as of yet, have not heard back.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.