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       Florida Senate - 2010                              CS for SB 292
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senators Dockery and Joyner
       590-03232-10                                           2010292c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to adverse possession; amending s.
    3         95.18, F.S.; specifying that occupation and
    4         maintenance of property can satisfy possession for
    5         purposes of gaining title to property via adverse
    6         possession without color of title; requiring a person
    7         seeking property by adverse possession to use a
    8         uniform adverse possession return developed by the
    9         Department of Revenue; requiring the property
   10         appraiser to notify the owner of record of an adverse
   11         possession claim; prescribing what information must be
   12         included in the adverse possession return; requiring a
   13         person claiming adverse possession to attest to the
   14         truthfulness of the information provided in the return
   15         under penalty of perjury; granting emergency
   16         rulemaking authority to the Department of Revenue;
   17         requiring that the property appraiser add certain
   18         information related to the adverse possession claim to
   19         the parcel information on the tax roll and prescribing
   20         conditions for removal of that information; requiring
   21         the property appraiser to include a notation of an
   22         adverse possession filing in any searchable property
   23         database maintained by the property appraiser;
   24         creating s. 197.3335, F.S.; requiring the tax
   25         collector to determine whether a duplicate tax payment
   26         is made by an adverse possessor; providing for
   27         priority of tax payments made by an owner of record
   28         who is subject to an adverse possession claim;
   29         providing for a refund of tax payments under certain
   30         conditions; providing for retroactive application of
   31         certain provisions governing procedures for
   32         administering a claim of adverse possession; providing
   33         an effective date.
   35  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   37         Section 1. Section 95.18, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   38  read:
   39         95.18 Real property actions; adverse possession without
   40  color of title.—
   41         (1) When the occupant has, or those under whom the occupant
   42  claims have, been in actual continued occupation of real
   43  property for 7 years under a claim of title exclusive of any
   44  other right, but not founded on a written instrument, judgment,
   45  or decree, the property actually occupied shall be held
   46  adversely if the person claiming adverse possession made a
   47  return, as required under subsection (3), of the property by
   48  proper legal description to the property appraiser of the county
   49  where it is located within 1 year after entering into possession
   50  and has subsequently paid, subject to s. 197.3335, all taxes and
   51  matured installments of special improvement liens levied against
   52  the property by the state, county, and municipality.
   53         (2) For the purpose of this section, property shall be
   54  deemed to be possessed in any of the following cases only:
   55         (a) When it has been protected by substantial enclosure.
   56         (b) When it has been usually cultivated or improved.
   57         (c)When it has been occupied and maintained.
   58         (3)A person claiming adverse possession under this section
   59  must make a return of the property as required under subsection
   60  (1) by providing to the property appraiser a uniform return
   61  developed by the Department of Revenue. The return must include:
   62         (a)The name and address of the person claiming adverse
   63  possession;
   64         (b)The date that the person claiming adverse possession
   65  entered into possession of the property;
   66         (c)A full and complete legal description of the property
   67  that is subject to the adverse possession claim;
   68         (d)A notarized attestation clause that states:
   71         ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.;
   72         (e)A description of the use of the property by the person
   73  claiming adverse possession; and
   74         (f)A receipt to be completed by the property appraiser.
   76  The property appraiser shall refuse to accept a return if it
   77  does not comply with this subsection. The executive director of
   78  the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are
   79  deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and
   80  120.54(4) for the purpose of implementing this subsection. The
   81  emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after
   82  adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to
   83  adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
   84         (4)Upon the submission of a return, the property appraiser
   85  shall:
   86         (a)Send, via regular mail, a copy of the return to the
   87  owner of record of the property that is subject to the adverse
   88  possession claim, as identified by the property appraiser’s
   89  records.
   90         (b)Inform the owner of record that, under s. 197.335, any
   91  tax payment made by the owner of record prior to April 1
   92  following the year in which the tax is assessed will have
   93  priority over any tax payment made by an adverse possessor.
   94         (c)Add a notation at the beginning of the first line of
   95  the legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession
   96  claim has been submitted.
   97         (d)Maintain the return in the property appraiser’s
   98  records.
   99         (5)A property appraiser shall remove the notation to the
  100  legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession
  101  claim has been submitted and shall remove the return from the
  102  property appraiser’s records if:
  103         (a)The person claiming adverse possession notifies the
  104  property appraiser in writing that the adverse possession claim
  105  is withdrawn;
  106         (b)The owner of record provides a certified copy of a
  107  court order, entered after the date the return was submitted to
  108  the property appraiser, establishing title in the owner of
  109  record;
  110         (c)The property appraiser receives a certified copy of a
  111  recorded deed, filed after the date of the submission of the
  112  return, from the person claiming adverse possession to the owner
  113  of record transferring title of property with a legal
  114  description describing the same property subject to the adverse
  115  possession claim; or
  116         (d)The owner of record or the tax collector provides to
  117  the property appraiser a receipt demonstrating that the owner of
  118  record has paid the annual tax assessment for the property
  119  subject to the adverse possession claim during the period that
  120  the person is claiming adverse possession.
  121         (6)The property appraiser shall include a clear and
  122  obvious notation in the legal description of the parcel
  123  information of any public searchable property database
  124  maintained by the property appraiser that an adverse possession
  125  return has been submitted to the property appraiser for a
  126  particular parcel.
  127         Section 2. Section 197.3335, Florida Statutes, is created
  128  to read:
  129         197.3335Tax payments when property is subject to adverse
  130  possession; refunds.—
  131         (1)Upon the receipt of a subsequent payment for the same
  132  annual tax assessment for a particular parcel, the tax collector
  133  shall determine if an adverse possession return has been
  134  submitted on the particular parcel. If an adverse possession
  135  return has been submitted, the tax collector shall comply with
  136  subsection (2).
  137         (2)If a person claiming adverse possession under s. 95.18
  138  pays an annual tax assessment on a parcel of property that is
  139  subject to an adverse possession claim before the assessment is
  140  paid by the owner of record, and the owner of record
  141  subsequently makes a payment of that same annual tax assessment
  142  prior to April 1 following the year in which the tax is
  143  assessed, the tax collector shall accept the payment made by the
  144  owner of record and refund within 60 days any payment made by
  145  the person claiming adverse possession. Such refunds do not
  146  require approval from the Department of Revenue.
  147         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010, and
  148  applies to adverse possession claims in which the return was
  149  submitted on or after that date, except for the procedural
  150  provisions governing the property appraiser’s administration of
  151  adverse possession claims included in s. 95.18(4)(c) and (d) and
  152  (5), Florida Statutes, as created by this act, which apply to
  153  adverse possession claims for which the return was submitted
  154  before, on, or after that date.

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