189.421 Failure of district to disclose financial reports.—
(1) When notified pursuant to s. 189.419, the department shall attempt to assist a special district to comply with its financial reporting requirements by sending a certified letter to the special district, and a copy of the letter to the chair of the governing body of the local general-purpose government, which includes the following: a description of the required report, including statutory submission deadlines, a contact telephone number for technical assistance to help the special district comply, a 60-day extension of time for filing the required report with the appropriate entity, the address where the report must be filed, and an explanation of the penalties for noncompliance. The department may grant an additional 30-day extension of time if requested to do so in writing by the special district. The department shall notify the appropriate entity of the new extension of time. In the case of a special district that did not timely file the reports or information required by s. 218.38, the department shall send a certified technical assistance letter to the special district which summarizes the requirements and encourages the special district to take steps to prevent the noncompliance from reoccurring.
(2) Failure of a special district to comply with the financial reporting requirements after the procedures of subsection (1) are exhausted shall be deemed final action of the special district. The financial reporting requirements are declared to be essential requirements of law. Remedy for noncompliance shall be by writ of certiorari as set forth in subsection (3).
(3) Pursuant to s. 11.40(5)(b), the Legislative Auditing Committee shall notify the department of those districts that failed to file the required report. Within 30 days after receiving this notice or within 30 days after the extension date provided in subsection (1), whichever occurs later, the department shall proceed as follows: notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120, the department shall file a petition for writ of certiorari with the circuit court. Venue for all actions pursuant to this subsection shall be in Leon County. The court shall award the prevailing party attorney’s fees and costs in all cases filed pursuant to this section unless affirmatively waived by all parties. A writ of certiorari shall be issued unless a respondent establishes that the notification of the Legislative Auditing Committee was issued as a result of material error. Proceedings under this subsection shall otherwise be governed by the Rules of Appellate Procedure.
History.—s. 10, ch. 79-183; s. 79, ch. 81-259; s. 27, ch. 89-169; s. 80, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 961, ch. 95-147; s. 32, ch. 96-410; s. 20, ch. 97-255; s. 21, ch. 2004-305.