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Senate Bill 2288

Senate Bill sb2288c2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2288

    By the Committees on Judiciary; Banking and Insurance; and
    Senator Clary




    308-2413-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to unclaimed property; amending

  3         s. 717.101, F.S.; providing definitions;

  4         amending ss. 717.106, 717.107, 717.109, and

  5         717.116, F.S.; revising criteria for presuming

  6         as unclaimed certain bank deposits and funds in

  7         financial organizations, funds owing under life

  8         insurance policies, funds held by business

  9         associations, and property held in a

10         safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

11         repository, respectively; amending s. 717.117,

12         F.S.; revising reporting requirements for

13         unclaimed property; presuming certain accounts

14         as unclaimed under certain circumstances;

15         providing that certain intangible property is

16         exempt from being reported as unclaimed

17         property under certain conditions; amending s.

18         717.118, F.S.; providing requirements for

19         notification of apparent owners of unclaimed

20         property; amending s. 717.119, F.S.; revising

21         requirements for delivery of certain unclaimed

22         property; providing penalties for late

23         deliveries; amending s. 717.1201, F.S.;

24         revising certain holder payment and repayment

25         requirements; amending s. 717.122, F.S.;

26         revising certain public sale requirements;

27         authorizing the Department of Financial

28         Services to deduct certain auction fees, costs,

29         and expenses; prohibiting actions or

30         proceedings against the department for certain

31         decisions relating to auctions of unclaimed

                                  1

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 1         property; specifying that certain sales of

 2         unclaimed property are not subject to the sales

 3         tax; amending s. 717.123, F.S.; increasing a

 4         maximum amount of funds the department may

 5         retain from certain funds received; amending s.

 6         717.124, F.S.; providing additional

 7         requirements for filing unclaimed property

 8         claims; providing for the return or withdrawal

 9         of certain claims under certain circumstances;

10         specifying a time period for department

11         determination of claims; authorizing the

12         department to deny claims under certain

13         circumstances; specifying an exclusive remedy

14         for subsequent claimants; revising requirements

15         for a power of attorney; requiring direct

16         delivery of safe-deposit boxes under certain

17         circumstances; revising payment of fees and

18         costs requirements; creating s. 717.12403,

19         F.S.; providing presumptions for certain

20         unclaimed demand, savings, or checking accounts

21         in financial institutions with more than one

22         beneficiary; creating s. 717.12404, F.S.;

23         providing requirements for claims for property

24         reported in the name of an active or dissolved

25         corporation for which the last annual report is

26         unavailable; creating s. 717.12405, F.S.;

27         providing requirements; for claims by estates;

28         amending s. 717.1241, F.S.; revising

29         requirements for remittance of property subject

30         to conflicting claims; amending s. 717.1242,

31         F.S.; clarifying legislative intent relating to

                                  2

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 1         filing certain claims; creating s. 717.1244,

 2         F.S.; providing criteria for department

 3         determinations of claims; amending s. 717.126,

 4         F.S.; providing a criterion for proof of

 5         entitlement; specifying venue in certain

 6         unclaimed property actions; creating s.

 7         717.1261, F.S.; requiring a death certificate

 8         in claiming entitlement to certain unclaimed

 9         property; creating s. 717.1262, F.S.; requiring

10         certain court documents in claiming entitlement

11         to certain unclaimed property; amending s.

12         717.1301, F.S.; revising certain fee and

13         expense requirements for investigations or

14         examinations; providing for interest on such

15         amounts under certain circumstances; amending

16         s. 717.1315, F.S.; clarifying a record

17         retention requirement for owner

18         representatives; amending s. 717.132, F.S.;

19         specifying criteria for certain corrective

20         actions; creating s. 717.1322, F.S.; specifying

21         grounds for certain disciplinary actions;

22         providing for certain disciplinary actions;

23         providing penalties; authorizing the department

24         to adopt rules with regard to disciplinary

25         guidelines; creating s. 717.1331, F.S.;

26         providing for department actions against

27         certain lienholders under certain

28         circumstances; creating s. 717.1333, F.S.;

29         providing for admitting certain documents into

30         evidence in certain actions; amending s.

31         717.134, F.S.; authorizing the department to

                                  3

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 1         impose and collect penalties for failing to

 2         report certain information; authorizing the

 3         department waive such penalties under certain

 4         circumstances; creating s. 717.1341, F.S.;

 5         prohibiting receipt of unentitled unclaimed

 6         property; providing for liability for such

 7         property under certain circumstances;

 8         authorizing the department to maintain certain

 9         civil or administrative actions; providing for

10         fines, costs, and attorney fees; prohibiting

11         filing claims for unentitled unclaimed

12         property; providing criminal penalties;

13         amending s. 717.135, F.S.; revising

14         requirements for agreements to recover certain

15         property; providing an agreement form; creating

16         s. 717.1351, F.S.; providing requirements for

17         acquisition of unclaimed property by certain

18         persons; providing certain contract

19         requirements; providing a contract form;

20         creating s. 717.1400, F.S.; requiring certain

21         licensed persons to register with the

22         department for certain purposes; providing

23         registration requirements; providing for denial

24         of registration under certain circumstances;

25         providing registration limitations; amending s.

26         212.02, F.S.; revising a definition to conform;

27         amending ss. 322.142 and 395.3025, F.S.;

28         providing for disclosure of certain

29         confidential information to the department

30         under certain circumstances; providing an

31         effective date.

                                  4

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 1  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

 2  

 3         Section 1.  Subsection (15) of section 717.101, Florida

 4  Statutes, is renumbered as subsection (16) and amended,

 5  subsections (5) through (18) are renumbered as subsections (6)

 6  through (19), respectively, present subsection (19) is

 7  renumbered as subsection (21), and new subsections (5) and

 8  (20) are added to that section, to read:

 9         717.101  Definitions.--As used in this chapter, unless

10  the context otherwise requires:

11         (5)  "Claimant" means the person on whose behalf a

12  claim is filed.

13         (16)(15)  "Owner" means a depositor in the case of a

14  deposit, a beneficiary in case of a trust or other than a

15  deposit in trust, a claimant, or a payee in the case of other

16  intangible property, or a person having a legal or equitable

17  interest in property subject to this chapter or his or her

18  legal representative.

19         (20)  "Ultimate equitable owner" means a natural person

20  who, directly or indirectly, owns or controls an ownership

21  interest in a corporation, a foreign corporation, an alien

22  business organization, or any other form of business

23  organization, regardless of whether such natural person owns

24  or controls such ownership interest through one or more

25  natural persons or one or more proxies, powers of attorney,

26  nominees, corporations, associations, partnerships, trusts,

27  joint stock companies, or other entities or devices, or any

28  combination thereof.

29         Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 717.106, Florida

30  Statutes, are amended to read:

31  

                                  5

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 1         717.106  Bank deposits and funds in financial

 2  organizations.--

 3         (1)  Any demand, savings, or matured time deposit with

 4  a banking or financial organization, including deposits that

 5  are automatically renewable, and any funds paid toward the

 6  purchase of shares, a mutual investment certificate, or any

 7  other interest in a banking or financial organization is

 8  presumed unclaimed unless the owner has, within 5 years:

 9         (a)  Increased or decreased the amount of the deposit

10  or presented the passbook or other similar evidence of the

11  deposit for the crediting of interest;

12         (b)  Communicated in writing or by telephone with the

13  banking or financial organization concerning the property;

14         (c)  Otherwise indicated an interest in the property as

15  evidenced by a memorandum or other record on file with the

16  banking or financial organization;

17         (d)  Owned other property to which paragraph (a),

18  paragraph (b), or paragraph (c) is applicable and if the

19  banking or financial organization communicates in writing with

20  the owner with regard to the property that would otherwise be

21  presumed unclaimed under this subsection at the address to

22  which communications regarding the other property regularly

23  are sent; or

24         (e)  Had another relationship with the banking or

25  financial organization concerning which the owner has:

26         1.  Communicated in writing with the banking or

27  financial organization; or

28         2.  Otherwise indicated an interest as evidenced by a

29  memorandum or other record on file with the banking or

30  financial organization and if the banking or financial

31  organization communicates in writing with the owner with

                                  6

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 1  regard to the property that would otherwise be unclaimed under

 2  this subsection at the address to which communications

 3  regarding the other relationship regularly are sent; or

 4         (f)  Received first-class mail from the banking or

 5  financial organization or a subsidiary of such banking or

 6  financial organization, which was not returned as

 7  undeliverable, in the ordinary course of business at the

 8  address reflected in the banking or financial organization's

 9  records.

10         Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 717.107, Florida

11  Statutes, is amended to read:

12         717.107  Funds owing under life insurance policies.--

13         (1)  Funds held or owing under any life or endowment

14  insurance policy or annuity contract which has matured or

15  terminated are presumed unclaimed if unclaimed for more than 5

16  years after the funds became due and payable as established

17  from the records of the insurance company holding or owing the

18  funds, but property described in paragraph (3)(b) is presumed

19  unclaimed if such property is not claimed for more than 2

20  years. The amount presumed unclaimed shall include any amount

21  due and payable under s. 627.4615.

22         Section 4.  Section 717.109, Florida Statutes, is

23  amended to read:

24         717.109  Refunds held by business associations.--Except

25  as to the extent otherwise provided ordered by law the court

26  or administrative agency, any sum that a business association

27  has been ordered to refund by a court or administrative agency

28  which has been unclaimed by the owner for more than 1 year

29  after it became payable in accordance with the final

30  determination or order providing for the refund, regardless of

31  whether the final determination or order requires any person

                                  7

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 1  entitled to a refund to make a claim for it, is presumed

 2  unclaimed.

 3         Section 5.  Section 717.116, Florida Statutes, is

 4  amended to read:

 5         717.116  Contents of safe-deposit box or other

 6  safekeeping repository.--All tangible and intangible property

 7  held by a banking or financial organization in a safe-deposit

 8  box or any other safekeeping repository in this state in the

 9  ordinary course of the holder's business, and proceeds

10  resulting from the sale of the property permitted by law, that

11  has not been claimed by the owner for more than 3 years after

12  the lease or rental period on the box or other repository has

13  expired are presumed unclaimed.

14         Section 6.  Subsections (1), (3), (4), and (7) of

15  section 717.117, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

16         717.117  Report of unclaimed property.--

17         (1)  Every person holding funds or other property,

18  tangible or intangible, presumed unclaimed and subject to

19  custody as unclaimed property under this chapter shall report

20  to the department on such forms as the department may

21  prescribe by rule. In lieu of forms, any the holder of

22  unclaimed property belonging to 25 or more apparent owners

23  must may submit the required information via electronic medium

24  as the department may prescribe by rule. The report must

25  include:

26         (a)  Except for traveler's checks and money orders, the

27  name, social security number or taxpayer identification

28  number, and date of birth, if known, and last known address,

29  if any, of each person appearing from the records of the

30  holder to be the owner of any property which is presumed

31  unclaimed and which has a value of $50 or more.

                                  8

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 1         (b)  For unclaimed funds which have a value of $50 or

 2  more held or owing under any life or endowment insurance

 3  policy or annuity contract, the full name, taxpayer

 4  identification number or social security number, date of

 5  birth, if known, and last known address of the insured or

 6  annuitant and of the beneficiary according to records of the

 7  insurance company holding or owing the funds.

 8         (c)  For all tangible property held in a safe-deposit

 9  box or other safekeeping repository, a description of the

10  property and the place where the property is held and may be

11  inspected by the department, and any amounts owing to the

12  holder. Contents of a safe-deposit box or other safekeeping

13  repository which consist of documents or writings of a private

14  nature and which have little or no apparent value shall not be

15  presumed unclaimed.

16         (d)  The nature and identifying number, if any, or

17  description of the property and the amount appearing from the

18  records to be due. Items of value under $50 each may be

19  reported in the aggregate.

20         (e)  The date the property became payable, demandable,

21  or returnable, and the date of the last transaction with the

22  apparent owner with respect to the property.

23         (f)  Any person or business association or public

24  corporation entity holding funds presumed unclaimed and having

25  a total value of $10 or less may file a zero balance report

26  for that reporting period. The balance brought forward to the

27  new reporting period is zero.

28         (g)  Such other information as the department may

29  prescribe by rule as necessary for the administration of this

30  chapter.

31  

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 1         (h)  Credit balances, customer overpayments, security

 2  deposits, and refunds having a value of less than $10 shall

 3  not be presumed unclaimed.

 4         (3)  The report must be filed before May 1 of each

 5  year. Such report shall apply to the preceding calendar year.

 6  If such report is not filed on or before the applicable filing

 7  date, the holder shall pay to The department may impose and

 8  collect a penalty of $10 per day up to a maximum of for each

 9  day the report is delinquent, but such penalty shall not

10  exceed $500 for the failure to timely report or the failure to

11  include in a report information required by this chapter. The

12  penalty shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

13  after the date of the notification to the holder that the

14  penalty is due and owing. As necessary for proper

15  administration of this chapter, the department may waive any

16  penalty due with appropriate justification. On written request

17  by any person required to file a report and upon a showing of

18  good cause, the department may postpone the reporting date.

19  The department must provide information contained in a report

20  filed with the department to any person requesting a copy of

21  the report or information contained in a report, to the extent

22  the information requested is not confidential, within 90 days

23  after the report has been processed and added to the unclaimed

24  property data base subsequent to a determination that the

25  report is accurate and that the reported property is the same

26  as the remitted property.

27         (4)  Holders of inactive accounts having a value of $50

28  or more shall use due diligence to locate apparent owners.

29         (a)  When an owner's account becomes inactive, the

30  holder shall conduct at least one search for the apparent

31  owner using due diligence. For purposes of this section,

                                  10

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 1  except for banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

 2  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

 3  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity, if

 4  2 years have transpired after the expiration date on the

 5  instrument or contract, or if 2 years have transpired since

 6  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable. With

 7  respect to banks, credit unions, and state or federal savings

 8  associations, an account is inactive if 2 years have

 9  transpired after the last owner-initiated account activity and

10  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable or 2 years

11  after the expiration date on the instrument or contract and

12  first-class mail has been returned as undeliverable.

13         (b)1.  Within 180 days after an account becomes

14  inactive, the holder shall conduct a search to locate the

15  apparent owner of the property. The holder may satisfy such

16  requirement by conducting one annual search for the owners of

17  all accounts which have become inactive during the prior year.

18         (c)2.  Within 30 days after receiving updated address

19  information, the holder shall provide notice by telephone or

20  first-class mail to the current address notifying the apparent

21  owner that the holder is in possession of property which is

22  presumed unclaimed and may be remitted to the department. The

23  notice shall also provide the apparent owner with the address

24  or the telephone number of an office where the apparent owner

25  may claim the property or reestablish the inactive account.

26         (d)  The account shall be presumed unclaimed if the

27  holder is not able to contact the apparent owner by telephone,

28  the first-class mail notice is returned to the holder as

29  undeliverable, or the apparent owner does not contact the

30  holder in response to the first-class mail notice.

31  

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 1         (b)  The claim of the apparent owner is not barred by

 2  the statute of limitations.

 3         (7)(a)  This section does shall not apply to the

 4  unclaimed patronage refunds as provided for by contract or

 5  through bylaw provisions of entities organized under chapter

 6  425.

 7         (b)  This section does not apply to intangible property

 8  held, issued, or owing by a business association subject to

 9  the jurisdiction of the United States Surface Transportation

10  Board or its successor federal agency if the apparent owner of

11  such intangible property is a business association. The holder

12  of such property does not have any obligation to report, to

13  pay, or to deliver such property to the department.

14         Section 7.  Section 717.118, Florida Statutes, is

15  amended to read:

16         717.118  Notification of apparent owners Notice and

17  publication of lists of unclaimed property.--

18         (1)  It is specifically recognized that the state has

19  an obligation to make an effort to notify owners of unclaimed

20  property in a cost-effective manner. In order to provide all

21  the citizens of this state an effective and efficient program

22  for the recovery of unclaimed property, the department shall

23  use cost-effective means to make at least one active attempt

24  to notify owners of unclaimed property accounts valued at more

25  than $100 with a reported address or taxpayer identification

26  number the existence of unclaimed property held by the

27  department. Such active attempt to notify locate apparent

28  owners shall include any attempt by the department to directly

29  contact the owner. Other means of notification, such as

30  publication of the names of owners in the newspaper, on

31  television, on the Internet, or through other promotional

                                  12

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 1  efforts and items in which the department does not directly

 2  attempt to contact the owner are expressly declared to be

 3  passive attempts. Nothing in this subsection precludes other

 4  agencies or entities of state government from notifying owners

 5  of the existence of unclaimed property or attempting to notify

 6  locate apparent owners of unclaimed property.

 7         (2)  The following notification requirements shall

 8  apply:

 9         (a)  Notifications that are published or televised may

10  consist of the names of apparent owners of unclaimed property,

11  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

12  the department. Such notification may be televised or

13  published in the county in which the last known address of the

14  apparent owner is located or, if the address is unknown, in

15  the county in which the holder has its principal place of

16  business. Published notifications may be in accordance with s.

17  50.011.

18         (b)  Notification provided directly to individual

19  apparent owners shall consist of a description of the property

20  and information regarding recovery of unclaimed property from

21  the department.

22         (3)  The department may publish in the notice any items

23  of more than $100.

24         (3)(4)  This section is not applicable to sums payable

25  on traveler's checks, money orders, and other written

26  instruments presumed unclaimed under s. 717.104.

27         Section 8.  Subsection (5) of section 717.119, Florida

28  Statutes, is amended to read:

29         717.119  Payment or delivery of unclaimed property.--

30         (5)  All intangible and tangible property held in a

31  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository reported

                                  13

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 1  under s. 717.117 shall not be delivered to the department

 2  until 120 days after the report due date. The delivery of the

 3  property, through the United States mail or any other carrier,

 4  shall be insured by the holder at an amount equal to the

 5  estimated value of the property. Each package shall be clearly

 6  marked on the outside "Deliver Unopened." A holder's

 7  safe-deposit box contents shall be delivered to the department

 8  in a single shipment. In lieu of a single shipment, holders

 9  may provide the department with a single detailed shipping

10  schedule that includes package tracking information for all

11  packages being sent pursuant to this section.

12         (a)  Holders may remit the value of cash and coins

13  found in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes to the department by

14  cashier's check or by electronic funds transfer, unless the

15  cash or coins have a value above face value. The department

16  shall identify by rule those cash and coin items having a

17  numismatic value. Cash and coin items identified as having a

18  numismatic value shall be remitted to the department in their

19  original form.

20         (b)  Any firearm or ammunition found in an unclaimed

21  safe-deposit box or any other safekeeping repository shall be

22  delivered by the holder to a law enforcement agency for

23  disposal. However, the department is authorized to make a

24  reasonable attempt to ascertain the historical value to

25  collectors of any firearm that has been delivered to the

26  department. Any firearm appearing to have historical value to

27  collectors may be sold by the department pursuant to s.

28  717.122 to a person having a federal firearms license. Any

29  firearm which is not sold pursuant to s. 717.122 shall be

30  delivered by the department to a law enforcement agency in

31  this state for disposal. The department shall not be

                                  14

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 1  administratively, civilly, or criminally liable for any

 2  firearm delivered by the department to a law enforcement

 3  agency in this state for disposal.

 4         (c)  If such property is not paid or delivered to the

 5  department on or before the applicable payment or delivery

 6  date, the holder shall pay to the department a penalty of $10

 7  for each safe-deposit box shipment received late, but such

 8  penalty shall not exceed $1,000. The penalty shall be $100 for

 9  a safe-deposit box shipment container that is late 30 days or

10  less. Thereafter, the penalty shall be $500 for a safe-deposit

11  box shipment container that is late for each additional

12  successive 30-day period. The penalty assessed against a

13  holder for a late safe-deposit box shipment container shall

14  not exceed $4,000 annually. The penalty shall be remitted to

15  the department within 30 days after the date of the

16  notification to the holder that the penalty is due and owing.

17         (d)  The department may waive any penalty due with

18  appropriate justification, as provided by rule.

19         (e)  Upon written request by any person required to

20  deliver safe-deposit box contents, the department may postpone

21  the delivery.

22         Section 9.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1201, Florida

23  Statutes, is amended to read:

24         717.1201  Custody by state; holder relieved from

25  liability; reimbursement of holder paying claim; reclaiming

26  for owner; defense of holder; payment of safe-deposit box or

27  repository charges.--

28         (2)  Any holder who has paid money to the department

29  pursuant to this chapter may make payment to any person

30  appearing to the holder to be entitled to payment and, upon

31  filing proof of payment and proof that the payee is was

                                  15

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 1  entitled thereto, the department shall forthwith repay

 2  reimburse the holder for the payment without deduction of any

 3  fee or other charges. If repayment reimbursement is sought for

 4  a payment made on a negotiable instrument, including a

 5  traveler's check or money order, the holder must be repaid

 6  reimbursed under this subsection upon filing proof that the

 7  instrument was duly presented and that the payee is payment

 8  was made to a person who appeared to the holder to be entitled

 9  to payment. The holder shall be repaid reimbursed for payment

10  made under this subsection even if the payment was made to a

11  person whose claim was barred under s. 717.129(1).

12         Section 10.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section

13  717.122, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (5) is

14  added to that section, to read:

15         717.122  Public sale of unclaimed property.--

16         (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), the

17  department after the receipt of unclaimed property shall sell

18  it to the highest bidder at public sale on the Internet or at

19  a specified physical location wherever in the judgment of the

20  department the most favorable market for the property involved

21  exists. The department may decline the highest bid and reoffer

22  the property for sale if in the judgment of the department the

23  bid is insufficient. The department shall have the discretion

24  to withhold from sale any unclaimed property that the

25  department deems to be of benefit to the people of the state.

26  If in the judgment of the department the probable cost of sale

27  exceeds the value of the property, it need not be offered for

28  sale and may be disposed of as the department determines

29  appropriate. Any sale at a specified physical location held

30  under this section must be preceded by a single publication of

31  notice, at least 3 weeks in advance of sale, in a newspaper of

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 1  general circulation in the county in which the property is to

 2  be sold. The department shall proportionately deduct auction

 3  fees, preparation costs, and expenses from the amount posted

 4  to the owner's account when safe-deposit box contents are

 5  sold. No action or proceeding may be maintained against the

 6  department for or on account of any decision to decline the

 7  highest bid or withhold any unclaimed property from sale.

 8         (3)  Unless the department deems it to be in the public

 9  interest to do otherwise, all securities presumed unclaimed

10  and delivered to the department may be sold upon receipt. Any

11  person making a claim pursuant to this chapter is entitled to

12  receive either the securities delivered to the department by

13  the holder, if they still remain in the hands of the

14  department, or the proceeds received from sale, less any

15  amounts deducted pursuant to subsection (2), but no person has

16  any claim under this chapter against the state, the holder,

17  any transfer agent, any registrar, or any other person acting

18  for or on behalf of a holder for any appreciation in the value

19  of the property occurring after delivery by the holder to the

20  state.

21         (5)  The sale of unclaimed tangible personal property

22  is not subject to tax under chapter 212 when such property is

23  sold by or on behalf of the department pursuant to this

24  section.

25         Section 11.  Subsection (1) of section 717.123, Florida

26  Statutes, is amended to read:

27         717.123  Deposit of funds.--

28         (1)  All funds received under this chapter, including

29  the proceeds from the sale of unclaimed property under s.

30  717.122, shall forthwith be deposited by the department in the

31  Unclaimed Property Trust Fund. The department shall retain,

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 1  from funds received under this chapter, an amount not

 2  exceeding $15 $8 million from which the department shall make

 3  prompt payment of claims allowed by the department and shall

 4  pay the costs incurred by the department in administering and

 5  enforcing this chapter. All remaining funds received by the

 6  department under this chapter shall be deposited by the

 7  department into the State School Fund.

 8         Section 12.  Section 717.124, Florida Statutes, is

 9  amended to read:

10         717.124  Unclaimed property claims Filing of claim with

11  department.--

12         (1)  Any person, excluding another state, claiming an

13  interest in any property paid or delivered to the department

14  under this chapter may file with the department a claim on a

15  form prescribed by the department and verified by the claimant

16  or the claimant's representative. The claimant's

17  representative must be an attorney licensed to practice law in

18  this state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or

19  a private investigator licensed under chapter 493. The

20  claimant's representative must be registered with the

21  department under this chapter. The claimant, or the claimant's

22  representative, shall provide the department with a legible

23  copy of a valid driver's license of the claimant at the time

24  the original claim form is filed. If the claimant has not been

25  issued a valid driver's license at the time the original claim

26  form is filed, the department shall be provided with a legible

27  copy of a photographic identification of the claimant issued

28  by the United States or a foreign nation, a state or territory

29  of the United States or foreign nation, or a political

30  subdivision or agency thereof.  In lieu of photographic

31  identification, a notarized sworn statement by the claimant

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 1  may be provided which affirms the claimant's identity and

 2  states the claimant's full name and address. Any claim filed

 3  without the required identification or the sworn statement

 4  with the original claim form and the original power of

 5  attorney, if applicable, is void.

 6         (a)  Within 90 days after receipt of a claim, the

 7  department may return any claim that provides for the receipt

 8  of fees and costs greater than that permitted under this

 9  chapter or that contains any apparent errors or omissions. The

10  department may also request that the claimant or the

11  claimant's representative provide additional information. The

12  department shall retain a copy or electronic image of the

13  claim.

14         (b)  A claimant or the claimant's representative shall

15  be deemed to have withdrawn a claim if no response to the

16  department's request for additional information is received by

17  the department within 60 days after the notification of any

18  apparent errors or omissions.

19         (c)  Within 90 days after receipt of the claim, or the

20  response of the claimant or the claimant's representative to

21  the department's request for additional information, whichever

22  is later, the department shall determine each claim within 90

23  days after it is filed. Such determination shall contain a

24  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The

25  90-day period shall be extended by 60 days if the department

26  has good cause to need additional time or if the unclaimed

27  property:

28         1.  Is owned by a person who has been a debtor in

29  bankruptcy;

30         2.  Was reported with an address outside of the United

31  States;

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 1         3.  Is being claimed by a person outside of the United

 2  States; or

 3         4.  Contains documents filed in support of the claim

 4  that are not in the English language and have not been

 5  accompanied by an English language translation.

 6         (d)  The department shall deny any claim under which

 7  the claimant's representative has refused to authorize the

 8  department to reduce the fees and costs to the maximum

 9  permitted under this chapter.

10         (2)  A claim for a cashier's check or a stock

11  certificate without the original instrument may require an

12  indemnity bond equal to the value of the claim to be provided

13  prior to issue of the stock or payment of the claim by the

14  department.

15         (3)  The department may require an affidavit swearing

16  to the authenticity of the claim, lack of documentation, and

17  an agreement to allow the department to provide the name and

18  address of the claimant to subsequent claimants coming forward

19  with substantiated proof to claim the account. This shall

20  apply to claims equal to or less than $250. The exclusive

21  remedy of a subsequent claimant to the property shall be

22  against the person who received the property from the

23  department.

24         (4)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter,

25  if a claim is determined in favor of the claimant, the

26  department shall deliver or pay over to the claimant the

27  property or the amount the department actually received or the

28  proceeds if it has been sold by the department, together with

29  any additional amount required by s. 717.121.

30         (b)(5)(a)  If an owner authorizes an attorney licensed

31  to practice law in this state, Florida-certified public

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 1  accountant, or private investigator licensed under chapter

 2  493, and registered with the department under this chapter,

 3  investigative agency which is duly licensed to do business in

 4  this state to claim the unclaimed property on the owner's

 5  behalf, the department is authorized to make distribution of

 6  the property or money in accordance with such power of

 7  attorney. The original power of attorney must be executed by

 8  the owner and must be filed with the department.

 9         (c)(b)1.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

10  cash accounts shall be made to the owner after deducting any

11  fees and costs authorized pursuant to a written power of

12  attorney. The contents of a safe-deposit box shall be

13  delivered directly to the claimant notwithstanding any

14  agreement to the contrary.

15         2.  Payments of fees and costs authorized pursuant to a

16  written power of attorney for approved cash claims shall be

17  made or issued forwarded to the law firm employer of the

18  designated attorney licensed to practice law in this state,

19  the public accountancy firm employer of the licensed

20  Florida-certified public accountant, or the designated

21  employing private investigative agency licensed by this state.

22  Such payments shall may be made by electronic funds transfer

23  and may be made on such periodic schedule as the department

24  may define by rule, provided the payment intervals do not

25  exceed 31 days. Payment made to an attorney licensed in this

26  state, a Florida-certified public accountant, or a private

27  investigator licensed under chapter 493, operating

28  individually or as a sole practitioner, shall be to the

29  attorney, certified public accountant, or private

30  investigator.

31  

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 1         3.  Payments of approved claims for unclaimed

 2  securities and other intangible ownership interests made to an

 3  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

 4  investigative agency shall be promptly deposited into a trust

 5  or escrow account which is regularly maintained by the

 6  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or the private

 7  investigative agency in a financial institution authorized to

 8  accept such deposits and located in this state.

 9         (c)  Distribution of unclaimed property by the

10  attorney, Florida-certified public accountant, or private

11  investigative agency to the claimant shall be made within 10

12  days following final credit of the deposit into the trust or

13  escrow account at the financial institution, unless a party to

14  the agreement protests in writing such distribution before it

15  is made.

16         (5)(6)  The department shall not be administratively,

17  civilly, or criminally liable for any property or funds

18  distributed pursuant to this section, provided such

19  distribution is made in good faith.

20         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

21  requirements of chapter 493.

22         Section 13.  Section 717.12403, Florida Statutes, is

23  created to read:

24         717.12403  Unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

25  account in a financial institution held in the name of more

26  than one person.--

27         (1)(a)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

28  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

29  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

30  beneficiaries, it is presumed that each person must claim the

31  account in order for the claim to be approved by the

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 1  department. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that

 2  entitlement to the account has been transferred to another

 3  person or by clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that

 4  the account should have been reported by the financial

 5  institution as an "or" account.

 6         (b)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

 7  account in a financial institution is reported as an "and"

 8  account and one of the persons on the account is deceased, it

 9  is presumed that the account is a survivorship account. This

10  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

11  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

12  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account is not a

13  survivorship account.

14         (2)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

15  account in a financial institution is reported as an "or"

16  account in the name of two or more persons who are not

17  beneficiaries, it is presumed that either person listed on the

18  account may claim the entire amount held in the account. This

19  presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement to the

20  account has been transferred to another person or by clear and

21  convincing evidence demonstrating that the account should have

22  been reported by the financial institution as an "and"

23  account.

24         (3)  If an unclaimed demand, savings, or checking

25  account in a financial institution is reported in the name of

26  two or more persons who are not beneficiaries without

27  identifying whether the account is an "and" account or an "or"

28  account, it is presumed that the account is an "or" account.

29  This presumption may be rebutted by showing that entitlement

30  to the account has been transferred to another person or by

31  clear and convincing evidence demonstrating that the account

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 1  should have been reported by the financial institution as an

 2  "and" account.

 3         (4)  The department shall be deemed to have made a

 4  distribution in good faith if the department remits funds

 5  consistent with this section.

 6         Section 14.  Section 717.12404, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.12404  Claims on behalf of a business entity or

 9  trust.--

10         (1)  Claims on behalf of an active or dissolved

11  corporation, for which the last annual report is not available

12  from the Department of State through the Internet, must be

13  accompanied by a microfiche copy of the records on file with

14  the Department of State or, if the corporation has not made a

15  corporate filing with the Department of State, an

16  authenticated copy of the last corporate filing identifying

17  the officers and directors from the appropriate authorized

18  official of the state of incorporation. A claim on behalf of a

19  corporation must be made by an officer or director identified

20  on the last corporate filing.

21         (2)  Claims on behalf of a dissolved corporation, a

22  business entity other than an active corporation, or a trust

23  must include a legible copy of a valid driver's license of the

24  person acting on behalf of the dissolved corporation, business

25  entity other than an active corporation, or trust. If the

26  person has not been issued a valid driver's license, the

27  department shall be provided with a legible copy of a

28  photographic identification of the person issued by the United

29  States or a foreign nation, or a political subdivision or

30  agency thereof. In lieu of photographic identification, a

31  notarized sworn statement by the person may be provided which

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 1  affirms the person's identity and states the person's full

 2  name and address. Any claim filed without the required

 3  identification or the sworn statement with the original claim

 4  form and the original power of attorney, if applicable, is

 5  void.

 6         Section 15.  Section 717.12405, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.12405  Claims by estates.--An estate or any person

 9  representing an estate or acting on behalf of an estate may

10  claim unclaimed property only after the heir or legatee of the

11  decedent entitled to the property has been located. Any

12  estate, or any person representing an estate or acting on

13  behalf of an estate, that receives unclaimed property before

14  the heir or legatee of the decedent entitled to the property

15  has been located, is personally liable for the unclaimed

16  property and must immediately return the full amount of the

17  unclaimed property or the value thereof to the department in

18  accordance with s. 717.1341.

19         Section 16.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1241,

20  Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (3) is added to

21  said section, to read:

22         717.1241  Conflicting claims.--

23         (1)  When ownership has been established but

24  conflicting claims have been received by the department, the

25  property shall be remitted as follows, notwithstanding the

26  withdrawal of a claim to the:

27         (a)  As between an owner and an owner's representative:

28         1.  To the person submitting the first claim that is

29  complete or made complete received by the department; or

30  

31  

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 1         2.  If an owner's claim and an owner's representative's

 2  claim are received by the department on the same day and both

 3  claims are complete, to the owner;

 4         (b)  As between two or more owner's representatives, to

 5  the owner's representative who has submitted the first claim

 6  that is complete or made complete Owner if an owner's claim

 7  and an owner's representative's claim are received by the

 8  department on the same day; or

 9         (c)  As between two or more owner's representatives

10  whose claims were complete on the same day, to the owner's

11  representative who has agreed to receive the lowest fee. If

12  two or more owner's representatives whose claims were complete

13  on the same day are charging the same lowest fee, the fees

14  shall be divided equally between the owner's representatives

15  Owner's representative who has the earliest dated contract

16  with the owner if claims by two or more owner's

17  representatives are received by the department on the same

18  day.

19         (3)  A claim is complete when entitlement to the

20  unclaimed property has been established.

21         Section 17.  Subsection (1) of section 717.1242,

22  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         717.1242  Restatement of jurisdiction of the circuit

24  court sitting in probate and the department.--

25         (1)  It is and has been the intent of the Legislature

26  that, pursuant to s. 26.012(2)(b), circuit courts have

27  jurisdiction of proceedings relating to the settlement of the

28  estates of decedents and other jurisdiction usually pertaining

29  to courts of probate. It is and has been the intent of the

30  Legislature that, pursuant to s. 717.124, the department

31  determines the merits of claims for property paid or delivered

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 1  to the department under this chapter. Consistent with this

 2  legislative intent, any estate or beneficiary, as defined in

 3  s. 731.201, heir of an estate seeking to obtain property paid

 4  or delivered to the department under this chapter must file a

 5  claim with the department as provided in s. 717.124.

 6         Section 18.  Section 717.1244, Florida Statutes, is

 7  created to read:

 8         717.1244  Determinations of unclaimed property

 9  claims.--In rendering a determination regarding the merits of

10  an unclaimed property claim, the department shall rely on the

11  applicable statutory, regulatory, common, and case law. Agency

12  statements applying the statutory, regulatory, common, and

13  case law to unclaimed property claims are not agency

14  statements subject to s. 120.56(4).

15         Section 19.  Section 717.126, Florida Statutes, is

16  amended to read:

17         717.126  Administrative hearing; burden of proof; proof

18  of entitlement; venue.--

19         (1)  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the

20  department may petition for a hearing as provided in ss.

21  120.569 and 120.57. In any proceeding for determination of a

22  claim to property paid or delivered to the department under

23  this chapter, the burden shall be upon the claimant to

24  establish entitlement to the property by a preponderance of

25  evidence. Having the same name as that reported to the

26  department is not sufficient, in the absence of other

27  evidence, to prove entitlement to unclaimed property.

28         (2)  Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, venue

29  shall be in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida. However, upon

30  the request of a party, the presiding officer may, in the

31  

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 1  presiding officer's discretion, conduct the hearing at an

 2  alternative remote video location.

 3         Section 20.  Section 717.1261, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1261  Death certificates.--Any person who claims

 6  entitlement to unclaimed property by means of the death of one

 7  or more persons shall file a copy of the death certificate of

 8  the decedent or decedents that has been certified as being

 9  authentic by the issuing governmental agency.

10         Section 21.  Section 717.1262, Florida Statutes, is

11  created to read:

12         717.1262  Court documents.--Any person who claims

13  entitlement to unclaimed property by reason of a court

14  document shall file a certified copy of the court document

15  with the department.

16         Section 22.  Subsections (1) and (6) of section

17  717.1301, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

18         717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.--

19         (1)  The department may make investigations and

20  examinations within or outside this state of claims, reports,

21  and other records within or outside this state as it deems

22  necessary to administer and enforce the provisions of this

23  chapter. In such investigations and examinations the

24  department may administer oaths, examine witnesses, issue

25  subpoenas, and otherwise gather evidence. The department may

26  request any person who has not filed a report under s. 717.117

27  to file a verified report stating whether or not the person is

28  holding any unclaimed property reportable or deliverable under

29  this chapter.

30         (6)  If an investigation or an examination of the

31  records of any person results in the disclosure of property

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 1  reportable and deliverable under this chapter, the department

 2  may assess the cost of investigation or the examination

 3  against the holder at the rate of $100 per 8-hour day for each

 4  per investigator or examiner. Such fee shall be calculated on

 5  an hourly basis and shall be rounded to the nearest hour. The

 6  person shall also pay the travel expense and per diem

 7  subsistence allowance provided for state employees in s.

 8  112.061. The person shall not be required to pay a per diem

 9  fee and expenses of an examination or investigation which

10  shall consume more than 30 worker-days in any one year unless

11  such examination or investigation is due to fraudulent

12  practices of the person, in which case such person shall be

13  required to pay the entire cost regardless of time consumed.

14  The fee shall be remitted to the department within 30 days

15  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

16  owing. Any person who fails to pay the fee within 30 days

17  after the date of the notification that the fee is due and

18  owing shall pay to the department interest at the rate of 12

19  percent per annum on such fee from the date of the

20  notification.

21         Section 23.  Subsection (2) of section 717.1315,

22  Florida Statutes, is amended to read:

23         717.1315  Retention of records by owner's

24  representative.--

25         (2)  An owner's representative, operating at two or

26  more places of business in this state, may maintain the books,

27  accounts, and records of all such offices at any one of such

28  offices, or at any other office maintained by such owner's

29  representative, upon the filing of a written notice with the

30  department designating in the written notice the office at

31  which such records are maintained.

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 1         (3)  An However, the owner's representative shall make

 2  all books, accounts, and records available at a convenient

 3  location in this state upon request of the department.

 4         Section 24.  Subsection (2) of section 717.132, Florida

 5  Statutes, is amended to read:

 6         717.132  Enforcement; cease and desist orders;

 7  administrative fines.--

 8         (2)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon it

 9  to enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the

10  department may issue and serve upon a person an order to cease

11  and desist and to take corrective action whenever the

12  department finds that such person is violating, has violated,

13  or is about to violate any provision of this chapter, any rule

14  or order promulgated under this chapter, or any written

15  agreement entered into with the department. For purposes of

16  this subsection, the term "corrective action" includes

17  refunding excessive charges, requiring a person to return

18  unclaimed property, requiring a holder to remit unclaimed

19  property, and requiring a holder to correct a report that

20  contains errors or omissions. Any such order shall contain a

21  notice of rights provided by ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

22         Section 25.  Section 717.1322, Florida Statutes, is

23  created to read:

24         717.1322  Administrative enforcement.--

25         (1)  The following acts are violations of this chapter

26  and constitute grounds for an administrative enforcement

27  action by the department in accordance with the requirements

28  of chapter 120:

29         (a)  Failure to comply with any provision of this

30  chapter, any rule or order adopted under this chapter, or any

31  written agreement entered into with the department.

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 1         (b)  Fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, or gross

 2  negligence in any matter within the scope of this chapter.

 3         (c)  Fraudulent misrepresentation, circumvention, or

 4  concealment of any matter required to be stated or furnished

 5  to an owner or apparent owner under this chapter, regardless

 6  of reliance by or damage to the owner or apparent owner.

 7         (d)  Willful imposition of illegal or excessive charges

 8  in any unclaimed property transaction.

 9         (e)  False, deceptive, or misleading solicitation or

10  advertising within the scope of this chapter.

11         (f)  Failure to maintain, preserve, and keep available

12  for examination all books, accounts, or other documents

13  required by this chapter, by any rule or order adopted under

14  this chapter, or by any agreement entered into with the

15  department under this chapter.

16         (g)  Refusal to permit inspection of books and records

17  in an investigation or examination by the department or

18  refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the department

19  under this chapter.

20         (h)  Criminal conduct in the course of a person's

21  business.

22         (i)  Failure to timely pay any fine imposed or assessed

23  under this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.

24         (j)  For compensation or gain or in the expectation of

25  compensation or gain, the filing of a claim for unclaimed

26  property owned by another unless such person is a registered

27  attorney licensed to practice law in this state, registered

28  public accountant certified in this state, or a registered

29  private investigator licensed under chapter 493. This

30  subsection does not apply to a person who has been granted a

31  durable power of attorney to convey and receive all of the

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 1  real and personal  property of the owner, is the

 2  court-appointed guardian of the owner, has been employed as an

 3  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

 4  department's denial of a claim, has been employed as an

 5  attorney or qualified representative to contest the

 6  department's denial of a claim, or has been employed as an

 7  attorney to probate the estate of the owner or an heir or

 8  legatee of the owner.

 9         (k)  Failure to authorize the release of records in the

10  possession of a third party after being requested to do so by

11  the department regarding a pending examination or

12  investigation.

13         (l)  Receipt or solicitation of consideration to be

14  paid in advance of the approval of a claim under this chapter.

15         (2)  Upon a finding by the department that any person

16  has committed any of the acts set forth in subsection (1), the

17  department may enter an order:

18         (a)  Revoking or suspending a registration previously

19  granted under this chapter;

20         (b)  Placing a registrant or an applicant for a

21  registration on probation for a period of time and subject to

22  such conditions as the department may specify;

23         (c)  Placing permanent restrictions or conditions upon

24  issuance or maintenance of a registration under this chapter;

25         (d)  Issuing a reprimand;

26         (e)  Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed

27  $2,000 for each such act; or

28         (f)  Prohibiting any person from being a director,

29  officer, agent, employee, or ultimate equitable owner of a

30  10-percent or greater interest in an employer of a registrant.

31  

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 1         (3)  A registrant is subject to the disciplinary

 2  actions specified in subsection (2) for violations of

 3  subsection (1) by an agent or employee of the registrant's

 4  employer if the registrant knew or should have known that such

 5  agent or employee was violating any provision of this chapter.

 6         (4)(a)  The department shall adopt, by rule, and

 7  periodically review the disciplinary guidelines applicable to

 8  each ground for disciplinary action which may be imposed by

 9  the department under this chapter.

10         (b)  The disciplinary guidelines shall specify a

11  meaningful range of designated penalties based upon the

12  severity or repetition of specific offenses, or both. It is

13  the legislative intent that minor violations be distinguished

14  from more serious violations; that such guidelines consider

15  the amount of the claim involved, the complexity of locating

16  the owner, the steps taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim

17  by the person filing the claim, the acts of commission and

18  omission of the ultimate owners in establishing themselves as

19  rightful owners of the funds, the acts of commission or

20  omission of the agent or employee of an employer in the filing

21  of the claim, the actual knowledge of the agent, employee,

22  employer, or owner in the filing of the claim, the departure,

23  if any, by the agent or employee from the internal controls

24  and procedures established by the employer with regard to the

25  filing of a claim, the number of defective claims previously

26  filed by the agent, employee, employer, or owner; that such

27  guidelines provide reasonable and meaningful notice of likely

28  penalties that may be imposed for proscribed conduct; and that

29  such penalties be consistently applied by the department.

30         (c)  A specific finding of mitigating or aggravating

31  circumstances shall allow the department to impose a penalty

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 1  other than that provided for in such guidelines. The

 2  department shall adopt by rule disciplinary guidelines to

 3  designate possible mitigating and aggravating circumstances

 4  and the variation and range of penalties permitted for such

 5  circumstances. Such mitigating and aggravating circumstances

 6  shall also provide for consideration of, and be consistent

 7  with, the legislative intent expressed in paragraph (b).

 8         (d)  In any proceeding brought under this chapter, the

 9  administrative law judge, in recommending penalties in any

10  recommended order, shall follow the penalty guidelines

11  established by the department and shall state in writing any

12  mitigating or aggravating circumstances upon which the

13  recommended penalty is based.

14         (5)  The department may seek any appropriate civil

15  legal remedy available to it by filing a civil action in a

16  court of competent jurisdiction against any person who has,

17  directly or through an owner's representative, wrongfully

18  submitted a claim as the ultimate owner of property and

19  improperly received funds from the department in violation of

20  this chapter.

21         Section 26.  Section 717.1331, Florida Statutes, is

22  created to read:

23         717.1331  Actions against holders.--The department may

24  initiate, or cause to be initiated, an action against a holder

25  to recover unclaimed property. If the department prevails in a

26  civil or administrative action to recover unclaimed property

27  initiated by or on behalf of the department, the holder shall

28  be ordered to pay the department reasonable costs and

29  attorney's fees.

30         Section 27.  Section 717.1333, Florida Statutes, is

31  created to read:

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 1         717.1333  Evidence; audit reports; examiner's

 2  worksheets, investigative reports, other related

 3  documents.--In any proceeding under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 in

 4  which an auditor, examiner, or investigator acting under

 5  authority of this chapter is available for cross-examination,

 6  any official written report, worksheet, or other related

 7  paper, or copy thereof, compiled, prepared, drafted, or

 8  otherwise made or received by the auditor, examiner, or

 9  investigator, after being duly authenticated by the auditor,

10  examiner, or investigator, may be admitted as competent

11  evidence upon the oath of the auditor, examiner, or

12  investigator that the report, worksheet, or related paper was

13  prepared or received as a result of an audit, examination, or

14  investigation of the books and records of the person audited,

15  examined, or investigated, or the agent thereof.

16         Section 28.  Subsection (5) is added to section

17  717.134, Florida Statutes, to read:

18         717.134  Penalties and interest.--

19         (5)  The department may impose and collect a penalty of

20  $500 per day up to a maximum of $5,000 and 25 percent of the

21  value of property willfully not reported with all of the

22  information required by this chapter. Upon a holder's showing

23  of good cause, the department may waive the penalty or any

24  portion thereof. If the holder acted in good faith and without

25  negligence, the department shall waive the penalty provided

26  herein.

27         Section 29.  Section 717.1341, Florida Statutes, is

28  created to read:

29         717.1341  Invalid claims, recovery of property,

30  interest and penalties.--

31  

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 1         (1)(a)  No person shall receive unclaimed property that

 2  the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

 3  receives, or assists another person to receive, unclaimed

 4  property that the person is not entitled to receive is

 5  strictly, jointly, personally, and severally liable for the

 6  unclaimed property and shall immediately return the property,

 7  or the reasonable value of the property if the property has

 8  been damaged or disposed of, to the department plus interest

 9  at the rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1).

10  Assisting another person to receive unclaimed property

11  includes executing a claim form on the person's behalf.

12         (b)1.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have been

13  sold, the proceeds from the sale shall be returned to the

14  department plus any dividends or interest received thereon

15  plus an amount equal to the brokerage fee plus interest at a

16  rate set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) on the

17  proceeds from the sale of the stocks or bonds, the dividends

18  or interest received, and the brokerage fee.

19         2.  In the case of stocks or bonds which have not been

20  sold, the stocks or bonds and any dividends or interest

21  received thereon shall be returned to the department, together

22  with interest on the dividends or interest received, at a rate

23  set annually in accordance with s. 55.03(1) of the value of

24  the property.

25         (2)  The department may maintain a civil or

26  administrative action:

27         (a)  To recover unclaimed property that was paid or

28  remitted to a person who was not entitled to the unclaimed

29  property or to offset amounts owed to the department against

30  amounts owed to an owner representative;

31  

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 1         (b)  Against a person who assists another person in

 2  receiving, or attempting to receive, unclaimed property that

 3  the person is not entitled to receive; or

 4         (c)  Against a person who attempts to receive unclaimed

 5  property that the person is not entitled to receive.

 6         (3)  If the department prevails in any proceeding under

 7  subsection (2), a fine not to exceed three times the value of

 8  the property received or sought to be received may be imposed

 9  on any person who knowingly, or with reckless disregard or

10  deliberate ignorance of the truth, violated this section. If

11  the department prevails in a civil or administrative

12  proceeding under subsection (2), the person who violated

13  subsection (1) shall be ordered to pay the department

14  reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

15         (4)  No person shall knowingly file, knowingly conspire

16  to file, or knowingly assist in filing, a claim for unclaimed

17  property the person is not entitled to receive. Any person who

18  violates this subsection regarding unclaimed property of an

19  aggregate value:

20         (a)  Greater than $50,000, is guilty of a felony of the

21  first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.

22  775.083, or s. 775.084;

23         (b)  Greater than $10,000 up to $50,000, is guilty of a

24  felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.

25  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

26         (c)  Greater than $250 up to $10,000, is guilty of a

27  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.

28  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084;

29         (d)  Greater than $50 up to $250, is guilty of a

30  misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.

31  775.082 or s. 775.083; or

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 1         (e)  Up to $50, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the

 2  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.

 3  775.083.

 4         Section 30.  Section 717.135, Florida Statutes, is

 5  amended to read:

 6         717.135  Agreement to recover locate reported property

 7  in the custody of the department.--

 8         (1)  All agreements between a claimant's an owner's

 9  representative and a claimant an owner for compensation to

10  recover or assist in the recovery of property reported to the

11  department under s. 717.117 shall be in 11-point type or

12  greater and either:

13         (a)  Limit the fees and costs for services for each

14  owner contract to $25 for all contracts relating to unclaimed

15  property with a dollar value below $250. For all contracts

16  relating to unclaimed property with a dollar value of $250 and

17  above, fees shall be limited to 20 15 percent per unclaimed on

18  property account held by the department for 24 months or less

19  and 25 percent on property held by the department for more

20  than 24 months. Fees and costs for cash accounts shall be

21  based on the value of the property at the time the agreement

22  for recovery is signed by the claimant apparent owner. Fees

23  and costs for accounts containing securities or other

24  intangible ownership interests, which securities or interests

25  are not converted to cash, shall be based on the purchase

26  price of the security as quoted on a national exchange or

27  other market on which the property ownership interest is

28  regularly traded at the time the securities or other ownership

29  interest is remitted to the claimant owner or the claimant's

30  owner's representative. Fees and costs for tangible property

31  or safe-deposit box accounts shall be based on the value of

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 1  the tangible property or contents of the safe-deposit box at

 2  the time the ownership interest is transferred or remitted to

 3  the claimant owner or the owner's representative; or

 4         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

 5  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

 6  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

 7  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

 8  that held the property prior to the property becoming

 9  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

10  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

11  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

12  property the owner's representative is seeking to recover, as

13  reported by the holder:

14         1.  Cash accounts.

15         2.  Stale dated checks.

16         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

17         4.  Utility deposits.

18         5.  Securities or other interests in business

19  associations.

20         6.  Wages.

21         7.  Accounts receivable.

22         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

23  

24  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

25  person asserting entitlement to the unclaimed property.

26  However, paragraph (1)(a) or (b) this section shall not apply

27  if probate proceedings must be initiated on behalf of the

28  claimant for an estate that has never been probated to

29  contracts made in connection with guardianship proceedings or

30  the probate of an estate.

31  

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 1         (2)(a)  Agreements for recovery of cash accounts shall

 2  state the value of the unclaimed property, the unclaimed

 3  property account number, and the percentage dollar value of

 4  the unclaimed property account to be paid to the claimant

 5  owner and shall also state the percentage dollar value of

 6  compensation to be paid to the claimant's owner's

 7  representative.

 8         (b)  Agreements for recovery of accounts containing

 9  securities, safe-deposit box accounts, other intangible or

10  tangible ownership interests, or other types of accounts,

11  except cash accounts, shall state the unclaimed property

12  account number, the number of shares of stock, if applicable,

13  the approximate value of the unclaimed property, and the

14  percentage value of compensation to be paid to the claimant's

15  owner's representative.

16         (c)  All disclosures and agreements shall include the

17  name, address, and professional license number of the

18  claimant's owner's representative, and, if available, the

19  taxpayer identification number or social security number,

20  address, and telephone number of the claimant owner. The

21  original of all such disclosures and agreements to pay

22  compensation shall be signed and dated by the claimant owner

23  of the property and shall be filed by the owner's

24  representative with the claim form.

25         (d)  All agreements between a claimant's representative

26  and a claimant, who is a natural person, trust, or a dissolved

27  corporation, for compensation to recover or assist in the

28  recovery of property reported to the department under s.

29  717.117 must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by 11

30  inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all of

31  the text on one side of the paper and with the other side of

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 1  the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the owner

 2  representative, the department disclosure form may be placed

 3  on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement must be

 4  accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

 5  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

 6  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

 7  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

 8  greater. All unclaimed property accounts claimed must be

 9  identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

10                        RECOVERY AGREEMENT

11  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY

12  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

13  APPLICABLE):________

14  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBERS:____________________

15  __________PERCENT TO BE PAID AS COMPENSATION TO THE CLAIMANT'S

16  REPRESENTATIVE

17  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT

18  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE

19  

20  

21  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

22  _____________________________________________________________

23                     (hereinafter, CLAIMANT)

24  and__________________________________________________________

25             (hereinafter, CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE)

26  who agree to the following:

27         (1)  As consideration for the research efforts in

28  locating and identifying assets due to the CLAIMANT and for

29  assistance in procuring payment of the assets to the CLAIMANT,

30  the CLAIMANT authorizes the government to pay to the

31  CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a fee of either:

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 1         (a)  _______ percent of all assets recovered, or

 2         (b)  A flat fee of $ _________ to recover the unclaimed

 3  property account identified above.

 4  

 5  NO FEES ARE TO BE PAID IN ADVANCE.

 6         (2)  I have read this agreement and in consideration

 7  thereof, do hereby grant the CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE a

 8  limited power of attorney to demand, collect, recover and

 9  receive the above compensation from the government in

10  accordance with this agreement.

11         (3)  IT IS HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGED BY ALL PARTIES TO THIS

12  AGREEMENT THAT UNLESS THESE ASSETS ARE RECOVERED, NO FEES, NO

13  COSTS OR CHARGES ARE DUE TO THE CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE, ITS

14  AGENTS OR ATTORNEYS, AND THIS AGREEMENT WILL BECOME NULL AND

15  VOID.

16  Original Signature of CLAIMANT:______________________________

17  DATE:__________________________

18  CLAIMANT'S Social Security Number or FEID number:____________

19  Make the CLAIMANT'S check payable to:________________________

20  Mail check to this address:__________________________________

21  _____________________________________________________________

22  The CLAIMANT'S telephone number is:__________________________

23  Original Signature of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_____________

24  FEID Number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:____________________

25  DATE:________________________

26  Address of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:________________________

27  _____________________________________________________________

28  Telephone number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:_______________

29  Professional license number of CLAIMANT'S REPRESENTATIVE:

30  ____________________

31  

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 1         (e)  All fees, whether expressed as a percentage or as

 2  a flat fee, are subject to the limitations and requirements of

 3  subsection (1).

 4         (3)  As used in this section, "claimant" means the

 5  person on whose behalf a claim is filed.

 6         (4)  This section does not supersede the licensing

 7  requirements of chapter 493.

 8         Section 31.  Section 717.1351, Florida Statutes, is

 9  created to read:

10         717.1351  Acquisition of unclaimed property.--

11         (1)  A person desiring to acquire ownership or

12  entitlement of property reported to the department under s.

13  717.117 must be an attorney licensed to practice law in this

14  state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, a

15  private investigator licensed under chapter 493, or an

16  employer of a licensed private investigator which employer

17  possesses a Class "A" license under chapter 493 and must be

18  registered with the department under this chapter.

19         (2)  All contracts to acquire ownership or entitlement

20  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

21  the unclaimed property must be in 10-point type or greater and

22  must:

23         (a)  Have a purchase price that discounts the value of

24  the unclaimed property at the time the agreement is executed

25  by the seller at no greater than 20 percent per account held

26  by the department; or

27         (b)  Disclose, on such form as the department shall

28  prescribe by rule, that the property is held by the Bureau of

29  Unclaimed Property of the Department of Financial Services

30  pursuant to this chapter, the person or name of the entity

31  that held the property prior to the property becoming

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 1  unclaimed, the date of the holder's last contact with the

 2  owner, if known, and the approximate value of the property,

 3  and identify which of the following categories of unclaimed

 4  property buyer is seeking to purchase as reported by the

 5  holder:

 6         1.  Cash accounts.

 7         2.  Stale dated checks.

 8         3.  Life insurance or annuity contract assets.

 9         4.  Utility deposits.

10         5. Securities or other interests in business

11  associations.

12         6.  Wages.

13         7.  Accounts receivable.

14         8.  Contents of safe-deposit boxes.

15  

16  Such disclosure shall be on a page signed and dated by the

17  seller of the unclaimed property.

18         (3)  The originals of all such disclosures and

19  agreements to transfer ownership or entitlement to unclaimed

20  property shall be signed and dated by the seller and shall be

21  filed with the claim form. The claimant shall provide the

22  department with a legible copy of a valid driver's license of

23  the seller at the time the original claim form is filed. If a

24  seller has not been issued a valid driver's license at the

25  time the original claim form is filed, the department shall be

26  provided with a legible copy of a photographic identification

27  of the seller issued by the United States or a foreign nation,

28  a state or territory of the United States or foreign nation,

29  or a political subdivision or agency thereof. In lieu of

30  photographic identification, a notarized sworn statement by

31  the seller may be provided which affirms the seller's identity

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 1  and states the seller's full name and address. If a claim is

 2  filed without the required identification or the sworn

 3  statement with the original claim form and the original

 4  agreement to acquire ownership or entitlement to the unclaimed

 5  property, the claim is void.

 6         (4)  Any contract to acquire ownership or entitlement

 7  of unclaimed property from the person or persons entitled to

 8  the unclaimed property must provide for the purchase price to

 9  be remitted to the seller or sellers within 10 days after the

10  execution of the contract by the seller or sellers. The

11  contract must specify the unclaimed property account number,

12  the value of the unclaimed property account, and the number of

13  shares of stock, if applicable. Proof of payment by check must

14  be filed with the department with the claim.

15         (5)  All agreements to purchase unclaimed property from

16  an owner, who is a natural person, a trust, or a dissolved

17  corporation must use the following form on 8 and 1/2 inch by

18  11 inch paper or on 8 and 1/2 inch by 14 inch paper with all

19  of the text on one side of the paper and with the other side

20  of the paper left blank; except that, at the option of the

21  owner representative, the department disclosure form may be

22  placed on the reverse side of the agreement. The agreement

23  must be accurately completed and executed. No other writing or

24  information shall be printed on the agreement. The title of

25  the agreement shall be in bold 14-point type and underlined.

26  The rest of the agreement shall be in 10-point type or

27  greater. All unclaimed property accounts to be purchased must

28  be identified on the agreement. The agreement must state:

29                        PURCHASE AGREEMENT

30  $__________= APPROXIMATE DOLLAR VALUE OF THE UNCLAIMED

31  PROPERTY

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 1  PROPERTY ACCOUNT NUMBER(S):____________________

 2  NUMBER OF SHARES OF STOCK TO BE RECOVERED (IF

 3  APPLICABLE):________

 4  __________PERCENT OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY TO BE PAID TO THE

 5  BUYER

 6  $__________= NET AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO OWNER

 7  $__________= AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO BUYER

 8  THIS AGREEMENT is between:

 9  _____________________________________________________________

10                       (hereinafter, OWNER)

11  and_________________________________________________________ 

12                       (hereinafter, BUYER)

13  who agree that the OWNER transfers to the BUYER for a purchase

14  price of $________all rights to the above identified unclaimed

15  property accounts.

16  Original Signature of OWNER:____________________DATE:________

17  OWNER'S Social Security Number or FEID number:_______________

18  Within 10 days after the execution of this Purchase Agreement

19  by the Owner, Buyer shall remit the OWNER'S check payable to:

20  _____________________________________________________________

21  Mail check to this address:__________________________________

22  _____________________________________________________________

23  _____________________________________________________________

24  The OWNER'S telephone number is:_____________________________

25  Original Signature of BUYER:_________________________________

26  FEID Number of BUYER:___________________________DATE:________

27  Address of BUYER:____________________________________________

28  _____________________________________________________________

29  Telephone number of BUYER: __________________________________

30  Professional license number of BUYER:________________________

31  

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 1         (6)  This section does not supersede the licensing

 2  requirements of chapter 493.

 3         Section 32.  Section 717.1400, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1400  Registration.--

 6         (1)  A private investigator holding a Class " C"

 7  individual license under chapter 493 must register with the

 8  department on such form as the department shall prescribe by

 9  rule, and verified by the applicant. To register with the

10  department, a private investigator must provide:

11         (a)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "A"

12  business license under chapter 493 or that of the applicant's

13  employer which holds a Class "A" business license under

14  chapter 493.

15         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's Class "C"

16  individual license issued under chapter 493.

17         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

18  number.

19         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

20  designated to act on behalf of the private investigator

21  together with a legible copy of their photo-identification

22  issued by an agency of the United States, or a state, or a

23  political subdivision thereof.

24         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

25  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

26         (f)  The tax identification number of the private

27  investigator's employer which holds a Class "A" business

28  license under chapter 493.

29         (2)  A Florida-certified public accountant must

30  register with the department on such form as the department

31  shall prescribe by rule, and must be verified by the

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 1  applicant. To register with the department a Florida-certified

 2  public accountant must provide:

 3         (a)  The applicant's Florida Board of Accountancy

 4  number.

 5         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

 6  license showing the full name and current address of such

 7  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

 8  another form of identification showing full name and current

 9  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

10  department.

11         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

12  number.

13         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

14  designated to act on behalf of the Florida-certified public

15  accountant together with a legible copy of their

16  photo-identification issued by an agency of the United States,

17  or a state, or a political subdivision thereof.

18         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

19  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

20         (f)  The tax identification number of the accountant's

21  public accounting firm employer.

22         (3)  An attorney licensed to practice in this state

23  must register with the department on such form as the

24  department shall prescribe by rule, and must be verified by

25  the applicant. To register with the department, such attorney

26  must provide:

27         (a)  The applicant's Florida Bar number.

28         (b)  A legible copy of the applicant's current driver's

29  license showing the full name and current address of such

30  person. If a current driver's license is not available,

31  another form of identification showing full name and current

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 1  address of such person or persons shall be filed with the

 2  department.

 3         (c)  The applicant's business address and telephone

 4  number.

 5         (d)  The names of agents or employees, if any, who are

 6  designated to act on behalf of the attorney, together with a

 7  legible copy of their photo-identification issued by an agency

 8  of the United States, or a state, or a political subdivision

 9  thereof.

10         (e)  Sufficient information to enable the department to

11  disburse funds by electronic funds transfer.

12         (f)  The tax identification number of the lawyer's

13  employer law firm.

14         (4)  Information and documents already on file with the

15  department prior to the effective date of this provision need

16  not be resubmitted in order to complete the registration.

17         (5)  If a material change in the status of a

18  registration occurs, a registrant must, within 30 days,

19  provide the department with the updated documentation and

20  information in writing. Material changes include, but are not

21  limited to; a designated agent or employee ceasing to act on

22  behalf of the designating person, a surrender, suspension, or

23  revocation of a license, or a license renewal.

24         (a)  If a designated agent or employee ceases to act on

25  behalf of the person who has designated the agent or employee

26  to act on such person's behalf, the designating person must,

27  within 30 days, inform the Bureau of Unclaimed Property in

28  writing of the termination of agency or employment.

29         (b)  If a registrant surrenders the registrant's

30  license or the license is suspended or revoked, the registrant

31  

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 1  must, within 30 days, inform the bureau in writing of the

 2  surrender, suspension, or revocation.

 3         (c)  If a private investigator's Class "C" individual

 4  license under chapter 493 or a private investigator's

 5  employer's Class "A" business license under chapter 493 is

 6  renewed, the private investigator must provide a copy of the

 7  renewed license to the department within 30 days after the

 8  receipt of the renewed license by the private investigator or

 9  the private investigator's employer.

10         (6)  A registrant or applicant for registration may not

11  have a name that might lead another person to conclude that

12  the registrant is affiliated or associated with the United

13  States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an agency or

14  political subdivision of a state. The department shall deny an

15  application for registration or revoke a registration if the

16  applicant or registrant has a name that might lead another

17  person to conclude that the applicant or registrant is

18  affiliated or associated with the United States, or an agency

19  thereof, or a state or an agency or political subdivision of a

20  state. Names that might lead another person to conclude that

21  the applicant or registrant is affiliated or associated with

22  the United States, or an agency thereof, or a state or an

23  agency or political subdivision of a state, include, but are

24  not limited to, the words United States, Florida, state,

25  bureau, division, department, or government.

26         Section 33.  Subsection (2) of section 212.02, Florida

27  Statutes, is amended to read:

28         212.02  Definitions.--The following terms and phrases

29  when used in this chapter have the meanings ascribed to them

30  in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a

31  different meaning:

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 1         (2)  "Business" means any activity engaged in by any

 2  person, or caused to be engaged in by him or her, with the

 3  object of private or public gain, benefit, or advantage,

 4  either direct or indirect. Except for the sales of any

 5  aircraft, boat, mobile home, or motor vehicle, the term

 6  "business" shall not be construed in this chapter to include

 7  occasional or isolated sales or transactions involving

 8  tangible personal property or services by a person who does

 9  not hold himself or herself out as engaged in business or

10  sales of unclaimed tangible personal property under s.

11  717.122, but includes other charges for the sale or rental of

12  tangible personal property, sales of services taxable under

13  this chapter, sales of or charges of admission, communication

14  services, all rentals and leases of living quarters, other

15  than low-rent housing operated under chapter 421, sleeping or

16  housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses,

17  roominghouses, tourist or trailer camps, and all rentals of or

18  licenses in real property, other than low-rent housing

19  operated under chapter 421, all leases or rentals of or

20  licenses in parking lots or garages for motor vehicles,

21  docking or storage spaces for boats in boat docks or marinas

22  as defined in this chapter and made subject to a tax imposed

23  by this chapter. The term "business" shall not be construed in

24  this chapter to include the leasing, subleasing, or licensing

25  of real property by one corporation to another if all of the

26  stock of both such corporations is owned, directly or through

27  one or more wholly owned subsidiaries, by a common parent

28  corporation; the property was in use prior to July 1, 1989,

29  title to the property was transferred after July 1, 1988, and

30  before July 1, 1989, between members of an affiliated group,

31  as defined in s. 1504(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,

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 1  which group included both such corporations and there is no

 2  substantial change in the use of the property following the

 3  transfer of title; the leasing, subleasing, or licensing of

 4  the property was required by an unrelated lender as a

 5  condition of providing financing to one or more members of the

 6  affiliated group; and the corporation to which the property is

 7  leased, subleased, or licensed had sales subject to the tax

 8  imposed by this chapter of not less than $667 million during

 9  the most recent 12-month period ended June 30. Any tax on such

10  sales, charges, rentals, admissions, or other transactions

11  made subject to the tax imposed by this chapter shall be

12  collected by the state, county, municipality, any political

13  subdivision, agency, bureau, or department, or other state or

14  local governmental instrumentality in the same manner as other

15  dealers, unless specifically exempted by this chapter.

16         Section 34.  Subsection (4) of section 322.142, Florida

17  Statutes, is amended to read:

18         322.142  Color photographic or digital imaged

19  licenses.--

20         (4)  The department may maintain a film negative or

21  print file. The department shall maintain a record of the

22  digital image and signature of the licensees, together with

23  other data required by the department for identification and

24  retrieval. Reproductions from the file or digital record shall

25  be made and issued only for departmental administrative

26  purposes, for the issuance of duplicate licenses, in response

27  to law enforcement agency requests, or to the Department of

28  Revenue pursuant to an interagency agreement to facilitate

29  service of process in Title IV-D cases, or to the Department

30  of Financial Services pursuant to an interagency agreement to

31  facilitate the location of owners of unclaimed property, the

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 1  validation of unclaimed property claims, and the

 2  identification of fraudulent or false claims, and are exempt

 3  from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).

 4         Section 35.  Paragraph (l) is added to subsection (4)

 5  of section 395.3025, Florida Statutes, and subsection (10) of

 6  that section is amended, to read:

 7         395.3025  Patient and personnel records; copies;

 8  examination.--

 9         (4)  Patient records are confidential and must not be

10  disclosed without the consent of the person to whom they

11  pertain, but appropriate disclosure may be made without such

12  consent to:

13         (l)  The Department of Financial Services, or an agent,

14  employee, or independent contractor of the department who is

15  auditing for unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717.

16         (10)  The home addresses, telephone numbers, social

17  security numbers, and photographs of employees of any licensed

18  facility who provide direct patient care or security services;

19  the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security

20  numbers, photographs, and places of employment of the spouses

21  and children of such persons; and the names and locations of

22  schools and day care facilities attended by the children of

23  such persons are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and

24  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, any state

25  or federal agency that is authorized to have access to such

26  information by any provision of law shall be granted such

27  access in the furtherance of its statutory duties,

28  notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection. The

29  Department of Financial Services, or an agent, employee, or

30  independent contractor of the department who is auditing for

31  unclaimed property pursuant to chapter 717, shall be granted

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 1  access to the name, address, and social security number of any

 2  employee owed unclaimed property. This subsection is subject

 3  to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance

 4  with s. 119.15, and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2004,

 5  unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by

 6  the Legislature.

 7         Section 36.  This act shall take effect October 1,

 8  2004.

 9  

10  

11  

12  

13  

14  

15  

16  

17  

18  

19  

20  

21  

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24  

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 1          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
 2                       cs Senate Bill 2288

 3                                 

 4  
         Removes from the reporting and delivering requirements:
 5  
              - Unclaimed patronage refunds from rural electric
 6            cooperatives; and,

 7            - Intangible property held, issued, or owing by a
              business association subject to the jurisdiction of
 8            the United States Surface Transportation Board or
              its successor federal agency, where the apparent
 9            owner is a business association.

10       Authorizes a notarized sworn statement to be provided
         with certain information in lieu of photographic
11       identification for unclaimed property claims, claims on
         behalf of a business entity or trust, and for certain
12       persons intending to acquire ownership or entitlement of
         unclaimed property.
13  
         Provides for certain procedures for a registrant to
14       follow if a material change in the status of a
         registration occurs.
15  
         Provides causes of action subject to administrative
16       enforcement for certain actions, including, but not
         limited to: failure to comply, fraud, misrepresentation,
17       deceit, gross negligence, circumvention, concealment,
         willful imposition of illegal/excessive charges, false
18       solicitation, failure to maintain certain books, refusal
         to permit inspection, criminal conduct, failure to timely
19       pay certain fines, filing a claim for compensation of
         unclaimed property owned by another, except in certain
20       circumstances, and failure to authorize the release of
         records. Authorizes the Department to impose certain
21       penalties, adopt rules regarding disciplinary guidelines,
         and seek any appropriate civil legal remedy against a
22       person who wrongfully submits a claim.

23       Revises Recovery Agreement to additionally authorize a
         flat fee to be paid to the claimant's representative.
24  
         Requires a registrant to update the Department within 30
25       days if a material change in the status of registration
         occurs.
26  

27  

28  

29  

30  

31  

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