Home Local News First court case heard in Lakeland today

First court case heard in Lakeland today

Judge Taylor Cates

It was a first in Lakeland — the first case to come before the newly appointed Lakeland Municipal Judge.

Today (10.17.18) Judge Taylor Cates ruled on a case involving two Lakeland residents who were storing commercial property in view of their neighbors in Plantation Hills.  The code violated was 15-609.

Christopher and Brandie Storey were issued a citation after neighbors complained their work trailer was visible in the neighborhood.

Defendant Christopher Storey

The case was presented by John Highsmith, Lakeland code enforcement.

Tammi Ware, Lakeland city clerk, said, “The case was continued for the defendant to bring the property into compliance by Nov. 21st.”  That is the next court date in Lakeland.

“It was specifically ordered that the defendant not store commercial equipment except as permitted by the City ordinances.   If they remain in compliance between now and the next court date, the case will be dismissed with court costs in the amount of $127.25 and the defendants will not be required to attend the next hearing.”

John Highsmith, standing, with the defendant, center, Tammi Ware and Judge Taylor Cates

Lakeland court meets the third Wednesday of each month if there are cases pending.

Judge Cates was sworn in as the first Lakeland judge for the new Lakeland court in July.

The new magistrate is to handle judicial matters within the City on cases involving violation of laws and ordinances. Also among the job duties would be to administer oaths, issue summons and subpoenas as necessary, report to the BOC (Board of Commissioners) and other duties as required.

Tammi Ware, left, and John Highsmith

Lakeland’s code was amended in December to implement a City Municipal Court. At the time, Jim Atkinson, city manager, said having a local court would speed the process with code violations. To this point, violators cited by the City have been issued a courtesy citation and if necessary, the cases would go to Shelby County Environmental Court.

… Photos by Jim Willis, Lakeland Currents