459.018 Search warrants for certain violations.—When the department has reason to believe that violations of s. 459.015(1)(t) or s. 459.015(1)(u) have occurred or are occurring, its agents or other duly authorized persons may search an osteopathic physician’s place of practice for purposes of securing such evidence as may be needed for prosecution. Such evidence shall not include any medical records of patients unless pursuant to the patient’s written consent. Notwithstanding the consent of the patient, such records maintained by the department are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1). This section shall not limit the psychotherapist-patient privileges of s. 90.503. Prior to a search, the department shall secure a search warrant from any judge authorized by law to issue search warrants. The search warrant shall be issued upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation particularly describing the things to be seized. The application for the warrant shall be sworn to and subscribed, and the judge may require further testimony from witnesses, supporting affidavits, or depositions in writing to support the application. The application and supporting information, if required, must set forth the facts tending to establish the grounds of the application or probable cause that they exist. If the judge is satisfied that probable cause exists, he or she shall issue a search warrant signed by him or her with the judge’s name of office to any agent or other person duly authorized by the department to execute process, commanding the agent or person to search the place described in the warrant for the property specified. The search warrant shall be served only by the agent or person mentioned in it and by no other person except an aide of the agent or person when such agent or person is present and acting in its execution.
History.—ss. 1, 6, ch. 79-230; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 20, 27, 29, ch. 86-290; s. 15, ch. 91-140; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 316, ch. 96-406; s. 1100, ch. 97-103; s. 118, ch. 2000-153.