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Senate Bill 0160

Senate Bill sb0160

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160

    By Senator Lynn





    7-71-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to child support; amending s.

  3         61.046, F.S.; redefining the term "support

  4         order" for purposes of ch. 61, F.S., to include

  5         an order of an administrative agency; amending

  6         s. 61.13, F.S.; deleting the requirement that a

  7         child support order include the minor's social

  8         security number; amending s. 61.181, F.S.;

  9         requiring the clerk of the court to establish

10         an account for interstate cases; amending s.

11         120.80, F.S.; providing for the location of an

12         administrative hearing; amending ss. 382.013

13         and 382.016, F.S.; permitting voluntary

14         acknowledgments of paternity which are

15         witnessed; amending s. 409.2557, F.S.;

16         authorizing the Department of Revenue to adopt

17         rules to administer the withholding of

18         insurance payments; amending s. 409.2558, F.S.;

19         providing for a notice to the noncustodial

20         parent in applying an undistributable support

21         collection to another support order; amending

22         s. 409.2561, F.S.; providing for the Department

23         of Revenue to establish the obligation of

24         support; amending s. 409.2563, F.S.; providing

25         for the noncustodial parent to request that the

26         Department of Revenue proceed in circuit court

27         to determine the support obligation; revising

28         the requirements under which a noncustodial

29         parent may petition the circuit court to

30         determine the support obligation; providing

31         that the Department of Revenue is a party to

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1         court action only with respect to issues of

 2         support; amending s. 409.25656, F.S.; providing

 3         for the recovery of fees in liquidating

 4         securities for the support owed; creating s.

 5         409.25659, F.S.; providing for withholding

 6         insurance payments for unpaid support;

 7         providing definitions; specifying the duties of

 8         the insurer; providing that unpaid support

 9         constitutes a lien against an insurance claim;

10         providing for notice to the obligor; providing

11         for payment to the Department of Revenue;

12         providing for an exemption for certain fees and

13         expenses; providing rulemaking authority;

14         amending s. 409.257, F.S.; permitting the use

15         of any means of service of process under ch.

16         48, F.S.; amending s. 409.2572, F.S.; revising

17         the definition of noncooperation or failure to

18         cooperate as applied to an applicant for or a

19         recipient of public assistance; amending s.

20         409.259, F.S.; revising the manner of

21         reimbursement to the clerk of the court for

22         court filings in Title IV-D cases; creating s.

23         440.123, F.S.; requiring an insurer paying

24         workers' compensation insurance to inquire

25         about unpaid child support; amending s. 440.20,

26         F.S.; requiring the judge of compensation

27         claims to obtain information on the support

28         owed; amending s. 742.10, F.S.; permitting

29         voluntary acknowledgments of paternity which

30         are witnessed; providing effective dates.

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 2  

 3         Section 1.  Subsection (19) of section 61.046, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         61.046  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:

 6         (19)  "Support order" means a judgment, decree, or

 7  order, whether temporary or final, issued by a court or

 8  administrative agency of competent jurisdiction for the

 9  support and maintenance of a child which provides for monetary

10  support, health care, arrearages, or past support. When the

11  child support obligation is being enforced by the Department

12  of Revenue, the term "support order" also means a judgment,

13  decree, or order, whether temporary or final, issued by a

14  court of competent jurisdiction for the support and

15  maintenance of a child and the spouse or former spouse of the

16  obligor with whom the child is living which provides for

17  monetary support, health care, arrearages, or past support.

18         Section 2.  Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of section

19  61.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

20         61.13  Custody and support of children; visitation

21  rights; power of court in making orders.--

22         (1)

23         (d)1.  Unless the provisions of subparagraph 3. apply,

24  all child support orders entered on or after January 1, 1985,

25  shall direct that the payments of child support be made as

26  provided in s. 61.181 through the depository in the county

27  where the court is located. All child support orders shall

28  provide the full name and, date of birth, and social security

29  number of each minor child who is the subject of the child

30  support order.

31  

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 1         2.  Unless the provisions of subparagraph 3. apply, all

 2  child support orders entered before January 1, 1985, shall be

 3  modified by the court to direct that payments of child support

 4  shall be made through the depository in the county where the

 5  court is located upon the subsequent appearance of either or

 6  both parents to modify or enforce the order, or in any related

 7  proceeding.

 8         3.  If both parties request and the court finds that it

 9  is in the best interest of the child, support payments need

10  not be directed through the depository.  The order of support

11  shall provide, or shall be deemed to provide, that either

12  party may subsequently apply to the depository to require

13  direction of the payments through the depository.  The court

14  shall provide a copy of the order to the depository.

15         4.  If the parties elect not to require that support

16  payments be made through the depository, any party may

17  subsequently file an affidavit with the depository alleging a

18  default in payment of child support and stating that the party

19  wishes to require that payments be made through the

20  depository. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to

21  the court and to each other party.  Fifteen days after receipt

22  of the affidavit, the depository shall notify both parties

23  that future payments shall be paid through the depository.

24         5.  In IV-D cases, the IV-D agency shall have the same

25  rights as the obligee in requesting that payments be made

26  through the depository.

27         Section 3.  Effective July 1, 2004, subsection (1) of

28  section 61.181, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

29         61.181  Depository for alimony transactions, support,

30  maintenance, and support payments; fees.--

31  

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 1         (1)(a)  The office of the clerk of the court shall

 2  operate a depository unless the depository is otherwise

 3  created by special act of the Legislature or unless, prior to

 4  June 1, 1985, a different entity was established to perform

 5  such functions.  The department shall, no later than July 1,

 6  1998, extend participation in the federal child support cost

 7  reimbursement program to the central depository in each

 8  county, to the maximum extent possible under existing federal

 9  law.  The depository shall receive reimbursement for services

10  provided under a cooperative agreement with the department

11  pursuant to s. 61.1826. Each depository shall participate in

12  the State Disbursement Unit and shall implement all statutory

13  and contractual duties imposed on the State Disbursement Unit.

14  Each depository shall receive from and transmit to the State

15  Disbursement Unit required data through the Clerk of Court

16  Child Support Enforcement Collection System. Payments on

17  non-Title IV-D cases without income deduction orders shall not

18  be sent to the State Disbursement Unit.

19         (b)  Upon request by the IV-D agency, the depository

20  created pursuant to paragraph (a) shall establish an account

21  for the receipt and disbursement of support payments for IV-D

22  interstate cases. The IV-D agency shall provide a copy of the

23  other state's order with the request, and the depository shall

24  advise the IV-D agency of the account number in writing within

25  4 business days after receipt of the request.

26         Section 4.  Paragraph (c) of subsection (14) of section

27  120.80, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

28         120.80  Exceptions and special requirements;

29  agencies.--

30         (14)  DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.--

31  

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1         (c)  Proceedings for administrative support orders.--In

 2  proceedings for the establishment of administrative support

 3  orders pursuant to s. 409.2563, final orders in cases referred

 4  by the Department of Revenue to the Division of Administrative

 5  Hearings shall be entered by the division's administrative law

 6  judge and transmitted to the Department of Revenue for filing

 7  and rendering. The Department of Revenue has the right to seek

 8  judicial review under s. 120.68 of a final order entered by an

 9  administrative law judge. Administrative support orders

10  rendered pursuant to s. 409.2563 may be enforced pursuant to

11  s. 120.69 or, alternatively, by any method prescribed by law

12  for the enforcement of judicial support orders, except

13  contempt. Hearings held by the Division of Administrative

14  Hearings pursuant to s. 409.2563 shall be held in the judicial

15  circuit where the person receiving services under Title IV-D

16  resides or, if the person receiving services under Title IV-D

17  does not reside in this state, in the judicial circuit where

18  the respondent resides. If the department and the respondent

19  agree, the hearing may be held in another location.

20         Section 5.  Effective July 1, 2004, paragraph (c) of

21  subsection (2) of section 382.013, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         382.013  Birth registration.--A certificate for each

24  live birth that occurs in this state shall be filed within 5

25  days after such birth with the local registrar of the district

26  in which the birth occurred and shall be registered by the

27  local registrar if the certificate has been completed and

28  filed in accordance with this chapter and adopted rules. The

29  information regarding registered births shall be used for

30  comparison with information in the state case registry, as

31  defined in chapter 61.

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1         (2)  PATERNITY.--

 2         (c)  If the mother is not married at the time of the

 3  birth, the name of the father may not be entered on the birth

 4  certificate without the execution of an affidavit signed by

 5  both the mother and the person to be named as the father.  The

 6  facility shall give notice orally or through the use of video

 7  or audio equipment, and in writing, of the alternatives to,

 8  the legal consequences of, and the rights, including, if one

 9  parent is a minor, any rights afforded due to minority status,

10  and responsibilities that arise from signing an acknowledgment

11  of paternity, as well as information provided by the Title

12  IV-D agency established pursuant to s. 409.2557, regarding the

13  benefits of voluntary establishment of paternity. Upon request

14  of the mother and the person to be named as the father, the

15  facility shall assist in the execution of the affidavit or a

16  notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or a voluntary

17  acknowledgement of paternity that is witnessed by two

18  individuals and signed under penalty of perjury as specified

19  by s. 92.525(2).

20         Section 6.  Effective July 1, 2004, paragraph (b) of

21  subsection (1) of section 382.016, Florida Statutes, is

22  amended to read:

23         382.016  Amendment of records.--The department, upon

24  receipt of the fee prescribed in s. 382.0255; documentary

25  evidence, as specified by rule, of any misstatement, error, or

26  omission occurring in any birth, death, or fetal death record;

27  and an affidavit setting forth the changes to be made, shall

28  amend or replace the original certificate as necessary.

29         (1)  CERTIFICATE OF LIVE BIRTH AMENDMENT.--

30         (b)  Upon written request and receipt of an affidavit

31  or notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity signed by

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1  the mother and father acknowledging the paternity of a

 2  registrant born out of wedlock, or a voluntary acknowledgement

 3  of paternity that is witnessed by two individuals and signed

 4  under penalty of perjury as specified by s. 92.525(2),

 5  together with sufficient information to identify the original

 6  certificate of live birth, the department shall prepare a new

 7  birth certificate, which shall bear the same file number as

 8  the original birth certificate. The names and identifying

 9  information of the parents shall be entered as of the date of

10  the registrant's birth. The surname of the registrant may be

11  changed from that shown on the original birth certificate at

12  the request of the mother and father of the registrant, or the

13  registrant if of legal age. If the mother and father marry

14  each other at any time after the registrant's birth, the

15  department shall, upon the request of the mother and father or

16  registrant if of legal age and proof of the marriage, amend

17  the certificate with regard to the parents' marital status as

18  though the parents were married at the time of birth. The

19  department shall substitute the new certificate of birth for

20  the original certificate on file. All copies of the original

21  certificate of live birth in the custody of a local registrar

22  or other state custodian of vital records shall be forwarded

23  to the State Registrar. Thereafter, when a certified copy of

24  the certificate of birth or portion thereof is issued, it

25  shall be a copy of the new certificate of birth or portion

26  thereof, except when a court order requires issuance of a

27  certified copy of the original certificate of birth. The

28  department shall place the original certificate of birth and

29  all papers pertaining thereto under seal, not to be broken

30  except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or as

31  otherwise provided by law.

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 1         Section 7.  Effective July 1, 2004, subsection (3) of

 2  section 409.2557, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 3         409.2557  State agency for administering child support

 4  enforcement program.--

 5         (3)  SPECIFIC RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.--The department has

 6  the authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and

 7  120.54 to implement all laws administered by the department in

 8  its capacity as the Title IV-D agency for this state

 9  including, but not limited to, the following:

10         (a)  Background screening of department employees and

11  applicants, including criminal records checks;

12         (b)  Confidentiality and retention of department

13  records; access to records; record requests;

14         (c)  Department trust funds;

15         (d)  Federal funding procedures;

16         (e)  Agreements with law enforcement and other state

17  agencies; National Crime Information Center (NCIC) access;

18  Parent Locator Service access;

19         (f)  Written agreements entered into between the

20  department and support obligors in establishment, enforcement,

21  and modification proceedings;

22         (g)  Procurement of services by the department, pilot

23  programs, and demonstration projects;

24         (h)  Management of cases by the department involving

25  any documentation or procedures required by federal or state

26  law, including but not limited to, cooperation; review and

27  adjustment; audits; interstate actions; diligent efforts for

28  service of process;

29         (i)  Department procedures for orders for genetic

30  testing; subpoenas to establish, enforce, or modify orders;

31  increasing the amount of monthly obligations to secure

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1  delinquent support; suspending or denying driver's and

 2  professional licenses and certificates; fishing and hunting

 3  license suspensions; suspending vehicle and vessel

 4  registrations; screening applicants for new or renewal

 5  licenses, registrations, or certificates; income deduction;

 6  credit reporting and  accessing; tax refund intercepts;

 7  passport denials; liens; financial institution data matches;

 8  expedited procedures; medical support; and all other

 9  responsibilities of the department as required by state or

10  federal law;

11         (j)  Collection and disbursement of support and alimony

12  payments by the department as required by federal law;

13  collection of genetic testing costs and other costs awarded by

14  the court;

15         (k)  Report information to and receive information from

16  other agencies and entities;

17         (l)  Provide location services, including accessing

18  from and reporting to federal and state agencies;

19         (m)  Privatizing location, establishment, enforcement,

20  modification, and other functions;

21         (n)  State case registry;

22         (o)  State disbursement unit;

23         (p)  Administrative proceedings to establish

24  child-support obligations; and

25         (q)  Insurer reporting of liability claims, withholding

26  of insurance payments for unpaid support, and reporting of

27  weekly workers' compensation; and

28         (r)(q)  All other responsibilities of the department as

29  required by state or federal law.

30         Section 8.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section

31  409.2558, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                   SB 160
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 1         409.2558  Support distribution and disbursement.--

 2         (2)  UNDISTRIBUTABLE COLLECTIONS.--

 3         (b)  Collections that are determined to be

 4  undistributable shall be processed in the following order of

 5  priority:

 6         1.  Apply the payment to any assigned arrears on the

 7  custodial parent's case; then

 8         2.  Apply the payment to any administrative costs

 9  ordered by the court pursuant to s. 409.2567 associated with

10  the custodial parent's case; then

11         3.  When the noncustodial parent is subject to a valid

12  order to support another child other children in a another

13  case with a different custodial parent and the obligation is

14  being enforced by the department, the department shall mail a

15  notice to the noncustodial parent at the most recent known

16  address in the department's records, stating the department's

17  intention to apply the payment pursuant to this subparagraph,

18  and advising the noncustodial parent of the right to contest

19  the department's proposed action in the circuit court by

20  filing and serving a petition on the department within 20 days

21  after the mailing date of the department's notice. If the

22  noncustodial parent does not file and serve a petition within

23  the 20 days, or upon a disposition of the judicial action

24  favorable to the department, the department shall, with the

25  noncustodial parent's permission, apply the payment towards

26  his or her other support obligation. If there is more than one

27  such other case, the department shall allocate the remaining

28  undistributable amount as specified by s. 61.1301(4)(c); then

29         4.  Return the payment to the noncustodial parent; then

30         5.  If the noncustodial parent cannot be located after

31  diligent efforts by the department, the federal share of the

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 1  payment shall be credited to the Federal Government and the

 2  state share shall be transferred to the General Revenue Fund.

 3         Section 9.  Subsection (1) of section 409.2561, Florida

 4  Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         409.2561  Support obligations when public assistance is

 6  paid; assignment of rights; subrogation; medical and health

 7  insurance information.--

 8         (1)  Any payment of temporary cash or Title IV-E

 9  assistance made to, or for the benefit of, any dependent child

10  creates an obligation in an amount determined pursuant to the

11  child support guidelines. In accordance with 42 U.S.C. s. 657,

12  the state shall retain amounts collected only to the extent

13  necessary to reimburse amounts paid to the family as

14  assistance by the state. Such amounts collected shall be

15  deposited into the General Revenue Fund up to the level

16  specified in s. 61.1812. If there has been a prior support

17  court order or final judgment of dissolution of marriage

18  establishing an obligation of support, the obligation is

19  limited to the amount provided by such support court order or

20  decree. The extraordinary remedy of contempt is applicable in

21  child support enforcement cases because of the public

22  necessity for ensuring that dependent children be maintained

23  from the resources of their parents, thereby relieving, at

24  least in part, the burden presently borne by the general

25  citizenry through the public assistance program. If there is

26  no prior support court order establishing an obligation of

27  support, the court, or the department as provided by s.

28  409.2563, shall establish the liability of the obligor, if

29  any, by applying the child support guidelines. The department

30  may apply for modification of a support court order on the

31  same grounds as either party to the cause and shall have the

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 1  right to settle and compromise actions brought pursuant to

 2  law.

 3         Section 10.  Subsection (4) of section 409.2563,

 4  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 5         409.2563  Administrative establishment of child support

 6  obligations.--

 7         (4)  NOTICE OF PROCEEDING TO ESTABLISH ADMINISTRATIVE

 8  SUPPORT ORDER.--To commence a proceeding under this section,

 9  the department shall provide to the custodial parent and serve

10  the noncustodial parent with a notice of proceeding to

11  establish administrative support order and a blank financial

12  affidavit form. The notice must state:

13         (a)  The names of both parents, the name of the

14  caretaker relative, if any, and the name and date of birth of

15  the child or children;

16         (b)  That the department intends to establish an

17  administrative support order as defined in this section;

18         (c)  That both parents must submit a completed

19  financial affidavit to the department within 20 days after

20  receiving the notice, as provided by paragraph (13)(a);

21         (d)  That both parents, or parent and caretaker

22  relative if applicable, are required to furnish to the

23  department information regarding their identities and

24  locations, as provided by paragraph (13)(b);

25         (e)  That both parents, or parent and caretaker

26  relative if applicable, are required to promptly notify the

27  department of any change in their mailing addresses to ensure

28  receipt of all subsequent pleadings, notices, and orders, as

29  provided by paragraph (13)(c);

30         (f)  That the department will calculate support

31  obligations based on the child support guidelines in s. 61.30

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 1  and using all available information, as provided by paragraph

 2  (5)(a), and will incorporate such obligations into a proposed

 3  administrative support order;

 4         (g)  That the department will send by regular mail to

 5  both parents, or parent and caretaker relative if applicable,

 6  a copy of the proposed administrative support order, the

 7  department's child support worksheet, and any financial

 8  affidavits submitted by a parent or prepared by the

 9  department;

10         (h)  That the noncustodial parent may file a request

11  for a hearing in writing within 20 days after the date of

12  mailing or other service of the proposed administrative

13  support order or will be deemed to have waived the right to

14  request a hearing;

15         (i)  That if the noncustodial parent does not file a

16  timely request for hearing after service of the proposed

17  administrative support order, the department will issue an

18  administrative support order that incorporates the findings of

19  the proposed administrative support order, and will send by

20  regular mail a copy of the administrative support order to

21  both parents, or parent and caretaker relative if applicable;

22         (j)  That after an administrative support order is

23  rendered, the department will file a copy of the order with

24  the clerk of the circuit court;

25         (k)  That after an administrative support order is

26  rendered, the department may enforce the administrative

27  support order by any lawful means;

28         (l)  That either parent, or caretaker relative if

29  applicable, may file at any time a civil action in a circuit

30  court having jurisdiction and proper venue to determine the

31  noncustodial parent's child support obligations, if any, and

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 1  that a support order issued by a circuit court supersedes an

 2  administrative support order rendered by the department;

 3         (m)  That, neither the department nor the Division of

 4  Administrative Hearings has jurisdiction to award or change

 5  child custody or rights of parental contact and these issues

 6  may only be addressed in circuit court.

 7         1.  The noncustodial parent may request in writing that

 8  the department proceed in circuit court to determine his or

 9  her support obligations.

10         2.  The noncustodial parent may state in writing to the

11  department his or her intention to address issues concerning

12  custody or rights to parental contact in circuit court.

13         3.  If the noncustodial parent submits the request

14  authorized in subparagraph 1., or the statement authorized in

15  subparagraph 2. to the department within 20 days after the

16  receipt of the initial notice, the department shall file a

17  petition in circuit court for the determination of the

18  noncustodial parent's child support obligations, and shall

19  send to the noncustodial parent a copy of its petition, a

20  notice of commencement of action, and a request for waiver of

21  service of process provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure.

22         4.  If, within 10 days after receipt of the

23  department's petition and waiver of service, the noncustodial

24  parent signs and returns the waiver of service form to the

25  department, the department shall terminate the administrative

26  proceeding without prejudice and proceed in circuit court.

27         5.  In any circuit court action brought by the

28  department pursuant to this paragraph or brought by a

29  noncustodial parent or other person pursuant to paragraph (l)

30  or paragraph (n), the department shall be a party only with

31  respect to those issues of support allowed and reimbursable

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 1  under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. It is the

 2  responsibility of the noncustodial parent or other person to

 3  take the necessary steps to present other issues for the court

 4  to consider; That if the noncustodial parent has issues

 5  regarding child custody or right of parental contact or

 6  requests to proceed in circuit court, the noncustodial parent

 7  may request in writing that the department proceed in circuit

 8  court to determine support. That the noncustodial parent must

 9  make such request in writing within  20 days after receipt of

10  the initial notice. That upon such request, the department

11  shall send the noncustodial parent by regular mail a copy of

12  the department's petition and waiver of service form. That the

13  noncustodial parent must sign and return the waiver of service

14  form, within 10 days of receipt of the petition, at which time

15  the department shall terminate the administrative proceeding

16  and file an action in circuit court to determine support;

17         (n)  That if the noncustodial parent files an action in

18  circuit court and serves the department with a copy of the

19  petition within 20 days after being served notice under this

20  subsection, the administrative process ends without prejudice

21  and the action must proceed in circuit court;

22         (o)  Information provided by the Office of State Courts

23  Administrator concerning the availability and location of

24  self-help programs for those who wish to file an action in

25  circuit court but who cannot afford an attorney.

26  

27  The department may serve the notice of proceeding to establish

28  administrative support order by certified mail, restricted

29  delivery, return receipt requested. Alternatively, the

30  department may serve the notice by any means permitted for

31  service of process in a civil action. For purposes of this

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 1  section, an authorized employee of the department may serve

 2  the notice and execute an affidavit of service. Service by

 3  certified mail is completed when the certified mail is

 4  received or refused by the addressee or by an authorized agent

 5  as designated by the addressee in writing. If a person other

 6  than the addressee signs the return receipt, the department

 7  shall attempt to reach the addressee by telephone to confirm

 8  whether the notice was received, and the department shall

 9  document any telephonic communications. If someone other than

10  the addressee signs the return receipt, the addressee does not

11  respond to the notice, and the department is unable to confirm

12  that the addressee has received the notice, service is not

13  completed and the department shall attempt to have the

14  addressee served personally. The department shall provide the

15  custodial parent or caretaker relative with a copy of the

16  notice by regular mail to the last known address of the

17  custodial parent or caretaker.

18         Section 11.  Subsection (3) of section 409.25656,

19  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

20         409.25656  Garnishment.--

21         (3)  During the last 30 days of the 60-day period set

22  forth in subsection (1), the executive director or his or her

23  designee may levy upon such credits, personal property, or

24  debts. The levy must be accomplished by delivery of a notice

25  of levy by registered mail, upon receipt of which the person

26  possessing the credits, other personal property, or debts

27  shall transfer them to the department or pay to the department

28  the amount owed by the obligor. If the department levies upon

29  securities and the value of the securities is less than the

30  total amount of past due or overdue support, the person who

31  possesses or controls the securities shall liquidate the

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 1  securities in a commercially reasonable manner. After

 2  liquidation, the person shall transfer to the department the

 3  proceeds, less any applicable commissions or fees, or both,

 4  which are charged in the normal course of business. If the

 5  value of the securities exceeds the total amount of past due

 6  or overdue support, the obligor may, within 7 days after

 7  receipt of the department's notice of levy, instruct the

 8  person who possesses or controls the securities which

 9  securities are to be sold to satisfy the obligation for past

10  due or overdue support. If the obligor does not provide

11  instructions for liquidation, the person who possesses or

12  controls the securities shall liquidate the securities in a

13  commercially reasonable manner and in an amount sufficient to

14  cover the obligation for past due or overdue support and, less

15  any applicable commissions or fees, or both, which are charged

16  in the normal course of business, beginning with the

17  securities purchased most recently. After liquidation, the

18  person who possesses or controls the securities shall transfer

19  to the department the total amount of past due or overdue

20  support.

21         Section 12.  Effective July 1, 2004, section 409.25659,

22  Florida Statutes, is created to read:

23         409.25659  Withholding of insurance payment for unpaid

24  support.--

25         (1)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:

26         (a)  "Insurer" means an entity that is responsible for

27  paying a claim on liability coverage in an insurance contract

28  and that is:

29         1.  An insurer, as defined in s. 624.03, authorized to

30  transact insurance in this state;

31  

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 1         2.  An eligible surplus lines insurer pursuant to part

 2  VIII of chapter 626;

 3         3.  A joint underwriter or joint reinsurer created by

 4  law or otherwise operating pursuant to s. 627.311; or

 5         4.  An insurance risk apportionment plan operating

 6  pursuant to s. 627.351.

 7         (b)  "Claim" means a claim on liability coverage in an

 8  insurance contract payable to an individual, or to a third

 9  party, for the benefit of an individual who is a resident of

10  this state or who had an accident or loss that occurred in

11  this state.

12         (2)  INDIVIDUALS WHO OWE UNPAID SUPPORT; INSURER DUTY

13  TO INQUIRE; DUTY TO WITHHOLD PAYMENT.--

14         (a)  The department shall periodically make available

15  from a secure Internet-enabled database or other centralized

16  source to insurers who are subject to this section information

17  concerning obligors in Title IV-D cases who owe unpaid support

18  in excess of $500. For each obligor, the department shall

19  provide, at a minimum, the obligor's name, social security

20  number, last known address, and the amount of unpaid support

21  owed.

22         (b)  Not more than 30 days before paying a claim, the

23  insurer shall inquire of the department pursuant to paragraph

24  (a) whether the claimant is an individual who owes unpaid

25  support by providing the department with the individual's

26  name, date of birth, social security number, and last known

27  address according to the insurer's records; the claim number;

28  the date of claim; the name of the insurer; and how the

29  insurer may be contacted. Within 30 days after the inquiry,

30  the department shall notify the insurer whether the individual

31  owes unpaid support and, if so, the amount owed. An insurer

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 1  shall withhold payment on a claim until the department

 2  notifies the insurer that the individual does not owe unpaid

 3  support or otherwise releases the insurer in writing from the

 4  duty to withhold.

 5         (3)  NOTICE OF DEMAND FOR PAYMENT; LIEN FOR AMOUNT OF

 6  UNPAID SUPPORT.--If the department determines pursuant to

 7  subsection (2) that the individual owes unpaid support, the

 8  department shall issue a written demand for payment to the

 9  insurer, which may be transmitted electronically. A demand for

10  payment issued under this subsection constitutes a lien

11  against the obligor's claim for the amount of unpaid support

12  stated in the demand and any unpaid support that accrues

13  subsequent to the date of the demand. The lien becomes

14  effective when the demand for payment is received by the

15  insurer and is in addition to any preexisting lien for unpaid

16  support. Upon receipt of a demand for payment, the insurer

17  shall provide the department with the name and address of the

18  obligor's attorney or agent, if known, the amount withheld,

19  the date payment was withheld, and other known information

20  concerning the location, earnings, and assets of the obligor.

21  An insurer who is subject to a demand for payment on a claim

22  may not pay over, release, encumber, assign, or otherwise

23  transfer payment subject to the demand without written

24  authorization by the department or an order of the court.

25         (4)  NOTICE TO OBLIGOR; ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING;

26  JUDICIAL REVIEW.--

27         (a)  Upon issuing a demand for payment, the department

28  shall promptly provide a copy to the obligor and notify the

29  obligor in writing of the right to contest the demand for

30  payment by filing a written request for an administrative

31  hearing with the department within 21 days after the date of

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 1  mailing or personal delivery of the notice. Mailing of the

 2  notice to the obligor's last known address is deemed adequate

 3  notice. Failure to make a timely written request for a hearing

 4  is deemed a waiver of the right to hearing. The department

 5  also shall provide a copy of the demand for payment and notice

 6  to the obligor's attorney or agent, if known.

 7         (b)  Any person whose substantial interests are

 8  affected by the department's demand for payment may request an

 9  administrative hearing as provided by chapter 120. Chapter 120

10  and the Uniform Rules of Procedure govern how administrative

11  hearings are conducted and the entry of final orders. Final

12  orders rendered under this section are subject to judicial

13  review as provided by s. 120.68.

14         (5)  PAYMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT.--If the obligor does

15  not file a timely written request for an administrative

16  hearing or consents to the department's demand or the

17  department prevails after hearing, the department shall notify

18  the insurer to send to the department the full amount of the

19  withheld payment, not to exceed the amount of unpaid support,

20  less any amounts payable to the obligor or other entities as

21  specified by subsection (7). Payments due the department must

22  be made payable solely to the department.

23         (6)  FULL OR PARTIAL RELEASE.--An insurer may be

24  released from the duty to withhold payment only upon written

25  notice by the department or by order of the court. The

26  department shall execute and deliver a release of the lien for

27  unpaid support to the obligor and the insurer upon payment in

28  full of the unpaid support and any costs due. The department

29  may release a lien fully or in part without liability as

30  needed to correctly reflect the amount of unpaid support owed,

31  

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 1  if assurance of payment is considered adequate, or to

 2  facilitate collection of the unpaid support.

 3         (7)  PRIORITY OF LIENS; ATTORNEYS FEES; MEDICAL

 4  PROVIDERS; EXEMPTION FOR FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES.--

 5         (a)  A lien for unpaid support created by this section

 6  is superior to all subsequent liens and security interests.

 7  Liens perfected prior to creation of a lien under this

 8  section, prior written notices of health care expenditures

 9  related to the claim made by the health care providers, and

10  attorney's fees payable from insurance proceeds are not

11  subject to a lien created by this section.

12         (b)  An amount not to exceed the lesser of 15 percent

13  of the total payment or $5,000 for the obligor's future

14  medical expenses is exempt from a demand for payment under

15  this section if the expenses are due to a condition that gave

16  rise to the claim and are documented by a licensed physician.

17  The department shall notify the obligor of the exemption and

18  how to claim it when providing notice of the right to contest

19  a demand for payment under subsection (4). The obligor has the

20  burden of proving a claim for an exemption.

21         (8)  INSURER IMMUNITY.--An insurer, its directors,

22  agents, or employees, and any central reporting organization

23  and its agents and employees authorized by an insurer to act

24  on its behalf who act in conformity with the requirements of

25  this section are immune from any liability to the claimant or

26  other payees, lienholders, or affected entities for any

27  alleged or actual damages that occur as a result of compliance

28  with these requirements.

29         (9)  FAILURE TO COMPLY; REMEDIES.--An insurer who does

30  not inquire, withhold, or remit payments as required by this

31  section is liable to the department for the amount the insurer

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 1  should have withheld or remitted, plus costs, interest, and

 2  reasonable attorney's fees. The department may bring an action

 3  in circuit court to enforce any provision of this section.

 4         (10)  RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.--The department may adopt

 5  rules to administer or enforce the requirements of this

 6  section.

 7         Section 13.  Effective July 1, 2004, section 409.257,

 8  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         409.257  Service of process.--The service of initial

10  process and orders in lawsuits filed by the department, under

11  this act, shall be served by the sheriff in the county where

12  the person to be served may be found or, if determined more

13  effective by the department, by any means permitted under

14  chapter 48 for service of process in a civil action. The

15  sheriff shall be reimbursed at the prevailing rate of federal

16  financial participation for service of process and orders as

17  allowed by law. The sheriff shall bill the department monthly

18  as provided for in s. 30.51(2).  In addition, process and

19  orders may be served or executed by authorized agents of the

20  department at the department's discretion; provided that the

21  agent of the department does not take any action against

22  personal property, real property, or persons.  Notices and

23  other intermediate process, except witness subpoenas, shall be

24  served by the department as provided for in the Florida Rules

25  of Civil Procedure.  Witness subpoenas shall be served by the

26  department by certified mail as provided for in s. 48.031(3).

27         Section 14.  Subsections (1) and (2) of section

28  409.2572, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

29         409.2572  Cooperation.--

30  

31  

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 1         (1)  An applicant for, or recipient of, public

 2  assistance for a dependent child shall cooperate in good faith

 3  with the department or a program attorney in:

 4         (a)  Identifying and helping to locate the alleged

 5  parent or obligor.

 6         (b)  Assisting in establishing the paternity of a child

 7  born out of wedlock.

 8         (c)  Assisting in obtaining support payments from the

 9  obligor.

10         (d)  Assisting in obtaining any other payments or

11  property due from the obligor.

12         (e)  Identifying another putative father when an

13  earlier named putative father has been excluded by DNA, Human

14  Leukocyte Antigen, or other scientific test.

15         (f)  Appearing at an office of the department, or

16  another designated office, as necessary to provide verbal or

17  written information, or documentary or physical evidence,

18  known to, possessed by, or reasonably obtainable by the

19  applicant or recipient.

20         (g)  Appearing as a witness at judicial or other

21  hearings or proceedings.

22         (h)  Providing information under oath regarding the

23  identity or location of the alleged father of the child or

24  attesting to the lack of information.

25         (i)  Paying to the department any support received from

26  the obligor after the assignment is effective.

27         (2)  Noncooperation, or failure to cooperate in good

28  faith, is defined to include, but is not limited to, the

29  following conduct:

30         (a)  Failing or Refusing to identify the father of the

31  child, or where more than one man could be the father of the

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 1  child, refusing to identify all such persons.  If the mother

 2  identifies one or more persons as the possible father of the

 3  child and asserts that there are no others who could be the

 4  father of the child, but the DNA test, Human Leukocyte Antigen

 5  test, or other scientific test indicates that none of the

 6  persons identified could in fact have been the father of the

 7  child, the mother shall be deemed noncooperative.  If she

 8  subsequently identifies another person as the possible father

 9  of the child, she shall still be deemed noncooperative until

10  that person has been given the DNA test, Human Leukocyte

11  Antigen test, or other scientific test and is not excluded as

12  the father by the test.

13         (b)  Failing to appear for two appointments at the

14  department or other designated office without justification

15  and notice.

16         (c)  Providing false information regarding the

17  paternity of the child or the obligation of the obligor.

18         (d)  All actions of the obligee which interfere with

19  the state's efforts to proceed to establish paternity, the

20  obligation of support, or to enforce or collect support.

21         (e)  Failure to appear at the laboratory for drawing of

22  blood samples, or leaving the laboratory prior to the drawing

23  of blood samples without compelling reasons.

24         (f)  Failure to assist in the recovery of third-party

25  payment for medical services.

26         Section 15.  Section 409.259, Florida Statutes, is

27  amended to read:

28         409.259  Partial payment of Filing fees in Title IV-D

29  cases.--

30         (1)  Notwithstanding s. 28.241, each clerk of the

31  circuit court shall accept petitions, complaints, and motions

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 1  in Title IV-D cases submitted for filing by the department

 2  without billing separately for each such filing, since the

 3  clerk is being reimbursed in a different manner for expenses

 4  incurred in such filings under the cooperative agreement with

 5  the department pursuant to ss. 61.181(1) and 61.1826(2) and

 6  (4). only be reimbursed at the prevailing rate of federal

 7  financial participation on the amount of $40 for each civil

 8  action, suit, or proceeding for support instituted in the

 9  circuit court in which the parent is not receiving temporary

10  cash assistance.  The prevailing rate of the state match shall

11  be paid by the local government in the form of a certified

12  public expenditure.  The clerk of the circuit court shall bill

13  the department monthly.  The clerk of the circuit court and

14  the department shall maintain a monthly log of the number of

15  civil actions, suits, or proceedings filed in which the parent

16  does not receive temporary assistance.  These monthly logs

17  will be used to determine the number of $40 filings the clerk

18  of court may submit for reimbursement at the prevailing rate

19  of federal financial participation.

20         (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the department

21  shall continue to be entitled to the other necessary services

22  of the clerk of court in any proceedings under the IV-D

23  program as authorized under s. 409.2571.

24         Section 16.  Effective July 1, 2004, section 440.123,

25  Florida Statutes, is created to read:

26         440.123  Insurer paying periodic compensation; duty to

27  inquire about unpaid child support.--When the Internet-enabled

28  database specified by s. 409.25659 becomes operational, upon

29  determining that a claimant shall be paid weekly compensation,

30  an insurer as defined by s. 440.02(38) shall access the

31  database promptly to inquire whether the claimant owes unpaid

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 1  support. If it is determined after inquiry that a claimant

 2  owes unpaid support, the insurer shall notify the Department

 3  of Revenue at that time, through the Internet-enabled

 4  database, by providing the individual's name, date of birth,

 5  social security number, last known address according to the

 6  insurer's records, and employer; the claim number; the weekly

 7  compensation amount; the date of first payment; the name of

 8  the insurer and how the insurer may be contacted; the name and

 9  contact information of the payor of weekly compensation, if

10  different from the insurer; and the name and address of the

11  agent or attorney for the claimant, if any.

12         Section 17.  Effective July 1, 2004, paragraph (d) of

13  subsection (11) of section 440.20, Florida Statutes, is

14  amended to read:

15         440.20  Time for payment of compensation; penalties for

16  late payment.--

17         (11)

18         (d)1.  With respect to any lump-sum settlement under

19  this subsection, a judge of compensation claims must consider

20  at the time of the settlement, whether the settlement

21  allocation provides for the appropriate recovery of child

22  support arrearages. An employer or carrier does not have a

23  duty to investigate or collect information regarding child

24  support arrearages.

25         2.  When reviewing any settlement of lump-sum payment

26  pursuant to this subsection, judges of compensation claims

27  shall consider the interests of the worker and the worker's

28  family when approving the settlement, which must consider and

29  provide for appropriate recovery of past due support.

30         3.  With respect to any lump-sum settlement under this

31  subsection, any correspondence to a clerk of the circuit court

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 1  of this state regarding child support documentation shall be

 2  exempt from any fees or costs ordinarily assessed by the

 3  clerk's office.

 4         4.  Before approving a settlement, the judge of

 5  compensation claims shall require a party to obtain a written

 6  statement from the Department of Revenue disclosing whether

 7  the worker owes unpaid support and, if so, the amount owed. In

 8  addition, the judge of compensation claims may require a party

 9  to obtain a similar statement from a local depository

10  established under s. 61.181.

11         Section 18.  Effective July 1, 2004, subsection (1) of

12  section 742.10, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

13         742.10  Establishment of paternity for children born

14  out of wedlock.--

15         (1)  This chapter provides the primary jurisdiction and

16  procedures for the determination of paternity for children

17  born out of wedlock. When the establishment of paternity has

18  been raised and determined within an adjudicatory hearing

19  brought under the statutes governing inheritance, or

20  dependency under workers' compensation or similar compensation

21  programs, or when an affidavit acknowledging paternity or a

22  stipulation of paternity is executed by both parties and filed

23  with the clerk of the court, or when an affidavit, a or

24  notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, or a

25  voluntary acknowledgement of paternity that is witnessed by

26  two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury as

27  provided for in s. 382.013 or s. 382.016 is executed by both

28  parties, it shall constitute the establishment of paternity

29  for purposes of this chapter. If no adjudicatory proceeding

30  was held, a notarized voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or

31  voluntary acknowledgement of paternity that is witnessed by

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 1  two individuals and signed under penalty of perjury as

 2  specified by s. 92.525(2) creates shall create a rebuttable

 3  presumption, as defined by s. 90.304, of paternity and is

 4  subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the

 5  acknowledgment within 60 days after of the date the

 6  acknowledgment was signed or the date of an administrative or

 7  judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a

 8  proceeding to establish a support order, in which the

 9  signatory is a party, whichever is earlier.  Both parents must

10  are required to provide their social security numbers on any

11  acknowledgment of paternity, consent affidavit, or stipulation

12  of paternity. Except for affidavits under seal pursuant to ss.

13  382.015 and 382.016, the Office of Vital Statistics shall

14  provide certified copies of affidavits to the Title IV-D

15  agency upon request.

16         Section 19.  Except as otherwise expressly provided in

17  this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

18  

19            *****************************************

20                          SENATE SUMMARY

21    Revises various provisions governing the payment and
      collection of child support. Provides that the term
22    "support order" for purposes of ch. 61, F.S., includes an
      order by an administrative agency. Provides for a court
23    account for interstate support cases. Provides for
      voluntary, witnessed acknowledgments of paternity.
24    Provides for the Department of Revenue to establish the
      obligation of support. Provides procedures under which a
25    noncustodial parent may petition the circuit court to
      determine a support obligation. Requires that insurance
26    payments be withheld for payment of unpaid support.
      Requires notice and provides duties of the insurer.
27    Requires that an insurer paying workers' compensation
      insurance and a judge of compensation claims obtain
28    information on the support owed. (See bill for details.)

29  

30  

31  

                                  29

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