October 27, 2020
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       Florida Senate - 2010                       CS for CS for SB 292
       
       
       
       By the Committees on Community Affairs; and Judiciary; and
       Senators Dockery and Joyner
       
       
       
       578-04326-10                                           2010292c2
    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;
   21         prescribing procedures and requirements for adverse
   22         possession claims against a portion of an identified
   23         parcel or against property to which the property
   24         appraiser has not assigned a parcel number; requiring
   25         the property appraiser to include a notation of an
   26         adverse possession filing in any searchable property
   27         database maintained by the property appraiser;
   28         amending s. 197.212, F.S.; excluding property subject
   29         to adverse possession claims without color of title
   30         from provisions authorizing the tax collector not to
   31         send a tax notice for minimum tax bills; creating s.
   32         197.3335, F.S.; requiring the tax collector to
   33         determine whether a duplicate tax payment is made by
   34         an adverse possessor; providing for priority of tax
   35         payments made by an owner of record who is subject to
   36         an adverse possession claim; providing for a refund of
   37         tax payments under certain conditions; providing for
   38         retroactive application of certain provisions
   39         governing procedures for administering a claim of
   40         adverse possession and establishing tax priority for
   41         owners of record; providing an effective date.
   42  
   43  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   44  
   45         Section 1. Section 95.18, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   46  read:
   47         95.18 Real property actions; adverse possession without
   48  color of title.—
   49         (1) When the occupant has, or those under whom the occupant
   50  claims have, been in actual continued occupation of real
   51  property for 7 years under a claim of title exclusive of any
   52  other right, but not founded on a written instrument, judgment,
   53  or decree, the property actually occupied shall be held
   54  adversely if the person claiming adverse possession made a
   55  return, as required under subsection (3), of the property by
   56  proper legal description to the property appraiser of the county
   57  where it is located within 1 year after entering into possession
   58  and has subsequently paid, subject to s. 197.3335, all taxes and
   59  matured installments of special improvement liens levied against
   60  the property by the state, county, and municipality.
   61         (2) For the purpose of this section, property shall be
   62  deemed to be possessed in any of the following cases only:
   63         (a) When it has been protected by substantial enclosure.
   64         (b) When it has been usually cultivated or improved.
   65         (c)When it has been occupied and maintained.
   66         (3)A person claiming adverse possession under this section
   67  must make a return of the property as required under subsection
   68  (1) by providing to the property appraiser a uniform return
   69  developed by the Department of Revenue. The return must include:
   70         (a)The name and address of the person claiming adverse
   71  possession;
   72         (b)The date that the person claiming adverse possession
   73  entered into possession of the property;
   74         (c)A full and complete legal description of the property
   75  that is subject to the adverse possession claim;
   76         (d)A notarized attestation clause that states:
   77         UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I DECLARE THAT I HAVE READ
   78         THE FOREGOING RETURN AND THAT THE FACTS STATED IN IT
   79         ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.;
   80         (e)A description of the use of the property by the person
   81  claiming adverse possession; and
   82         (f)A receipt to be completed by the property appraiser.
   83  
   84  The property appraiser shall refuse to accept a return if it
   85  does not comply with this subsection. The executive director of
   86  the Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are
   87  deemed met, to adopt emergency rules under ss. 120.536(1) and
   88  120.54(4) for the purpose of implementing this subsection. The
   89  emergency rules shall remain in effect for 6 months after
   90  adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to
   91  adopt rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
   92         (4)Upon the submission of a return, the property appraiser
   93  shall:
   94         (a)Send, via regular mail, a copy of the return to the
   95  owner of record of the property that is subject to the adverse
   96  possession claim, as identified by the property appraiser’s
   97  records.
   98         (b)Inform the owner of record that, under s. 197.3335, any
   99  tax payment made by the owner of record prior to April 1
  100  following the year in which the tax is assessed will have
  101  priority over any tax payment made by an adverse possessor.
  102         (c)Add a notation at the beginning of the first line of
  103  the legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession
  104  claim has been submitted.
  105         (d)Maintain the return in the property appraiser’s
  106  records.
  107         (5)If a person makes a claim of adverse possession under
  108  this section against a portion of a parcel of property
  109  identified by a unique parcel identification number in the
  110  property appraiser’s records:
  111         (a)1.The person claiming adverse possession shall include
  112  in the return submitted under subsection (3) a full and complete
  113  legal description of the property sufficient to enable the
  114  property appraiser to identify the portion of the property
  115  subject to the adverse possession claim.
  116         2.The property appraiser may refuse to accept a return if
  117  the portion of the property subject to the claim cannot be
  118  identified by the legal description provided in the return, and
  119  the person claiming adverse possession shall obtain a survey of
  120  the portion of the property subject to the claim to submit with
  121  the return.
  122         (b) Upon the submission of the return, the property
  123  appraiser shall follow the procedures under subsection (4), and
  124  may not create a unique parcel identification number for the
  125  portion of property subject to the claim.
  126         (c)The property appraiser shall assign a fair and just
  127  value to the portion of the property as provided in s. 193.011,
  128  and provide this value to the tax collector to facilitate tax
  129  payment under s. 197.3335(3).
  130         (6)If a person makes a claim of adverse possession under
  131  this section against property to which the property appraiser
  132  has not assigned a parcel identification number:
  133         (a)1.The person claiming adverse possession shall include
  134  in the return submitted under subsection (3) a full and complete
  135  legal description of the property sufficient to enable the
  136  property appraiser to identify the property subject to the
  137  adverse possession claim.
  138         2.The property appraiser may refuse to accept a return if
  139  the property subject to the claim cannot be identified by the
  140  legal description provided in the return, and the person
  141  claiming adverse possession shall obtain a survey of the
  142  property subject to the claim to submit with the return.
  143         (b)Upon submission of the return, the property appraiser
  144  shall:
  145         1. Assign a parcel identification number to the property
  146  and assign a fair and just value to the property as provided in
  147  s. 193.011;
  148         2. Add a notation at the beginning of the first line of
  149  the legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession
  150  claim has been submitted; and
  151         3.Maintain the return in the property appraiser’s records.
  152         (7)A property appraiser shall remove the notation to the
  153  legal description on the tax roll that an adverse possession
  154  claim has been submitted and shall remove the return from the
  155  property appraiser’s records if:
  156         (a)The person claiming adverse possession notifies the
  157  property appraiser in writing that the adverse possession claim
  158  is withdrawn;
  159         (b)The owner of record provides a certified copy of a
  160  court order, entered after the date the return was submitted to
  161  the property appraiser, establishing title in the owner of
  162  record;
  163         (c)The property appraiser receives a certified copy of a
  164  recorded deed, filed after the date of the submission of the
  165  return, from the person claiming adverse possession to the owner
  166  of record transferring title of property with a legal
  167  description describing the same property subject to the adverse
  168  possession claim; or
  169         (d)The owner of record or the tax collector provides to
  170  the property appraiser a receipt demonstrating that the owner of
  171  record has paid the annual tax assessment for the property
  172  subject to the adverse possession claim during the period that
  173  the person is claiming adverse possession.
  174         (8)The property appraiser shall include a clear and
  175  obvious notation in the legal description of the parcel
  176  information of any public searchable property database
  177  maintained by the property appraiser that an adverse possession
  178  return has been submitted to the property appraiser for a
  179  particular parcel.
  180         Section 2. Section 197.212, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  181  read:
  182         197.212 Minimum tax bill.—On the recommendation of the
  183  county tax collector, the board of county commissioners may
  184  adopt a resolution instructing the collector not to mail tax
  185  notices to a taxpayer when the amount of taxes shown on the tax
  186  notice is less than an amount up to $30. The resolution shall
  187  also instruct the property appraiser that he or she shall not
  188  make an extension on the tax roll for any parcel for which the
  189  tax would amount to less than an amount up to $30. The minimum
  190  tax bill so established may not exceed an amount up to $30. This
  191  section does not apply to parcels of property subject to adverse
  192  possession claims under s. 95.18.
  193         Section 3. Section 197.3335, Florida Statutes, is created
  194  to read:
  195         197.3335Tax payments when property is subject to adverse
  196  possession; refunds.—
  197         (1)Upon the receipt of a subsequent payment for the same
  198  annual tax assessment for a particular parcel of property, the
  199  tax collector shall determine if an adverse possession return
  200  has been submitted on the particular parcel. If an adverse
  201  possession return has been submitted, the tax collector shall
  202  comply with subsection (2).
  203         (2)If a person claiming adverse possession under s. 95.18
  204  pays an annual tax assessment on a parcel of property that is
  205  subject to an adverse possession claim before the assessment is
  206  paid by the owner of record, and the owner of record
  207  subsequently makes a payment of that same annual tax assessment
  208  prior to April 1 following the year in which the tax is
  209  assessed, the tax collector shall accept the payment made by the
  210  owner of record and refund within 60 days any payment made by
  211  the person claiming adverse possession. Such refunds do not
  212  require approval from the Department of Revenue.
  213         (3) For claims of adverse possession for a portion of a
  214  parcel of property as provided in s. 95.18(5), the tax collector
  215  may accept a tax payment, based upon the value of the property
  216  assigned by the property appraiser under 95.18(5)(c), from a
  217  person claiming adverse possession for the portion of the
  218  property subject to the claim. If the owner of record makes a
  219  payment of the annual tax assessment for the whole parcel before
  220  April 1 following the year in which the tax is assessed, the tax
  221  collector shall refund within 60 days any payment previously
  222  made for the portion of the parcel subject to the claim by the
  223  person claiming adverse possession.
  224         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010, and
  225  applies to adverse possession claims in which the return was
  226  submitted on or after that date, except for the procedural
  227  provisions governing the property appraiser’s administration of
  228  adverse possession claims included in s. 95.18(4)(c) and (d) and
  229  (7), Florida Statutes, and the provisions governing the payment
  230  of taxes included in s. 197.3335, Florida Statutes, as created
  231  by this act, which apply to adverse possession claims for which
  232  the return was submitted before, on, or after that date.

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