Section 56.29, Florida Statutes 2003
56.29 Proceedings supplementary.--
(1) When any person or entity holds an unsatisfied execution and has delivered a writ of execution to any sheriff, the plaintiff in execution may file an affidavit so stating and that the execution is valid and outstanding and thereupon is entitled to these proceedings supplementary to execution.
(2) On such plaintiff's motion the court shall require the defendant in execution to appear before it or a master at a time and place specified by the order in the county of the defendant's residence to be examined concerning his or her property.
(3) The order shall be served in a reasonable time before the date of the examination in the manner provided for service of summons or may be served on such defendant or his or her attorney as provided for service of papers in the rules of civil procedure.
(4) Testimony shall be under oath, shall be comprehensive and cover all matters and things pertaining to the business and financial interests of defendant which may tend to show what property he or she has and its location. Any testimony tending directly or indirectly to aid in satisfying the execution is admissible. A corporation must attend and answer by an officer who may be specified in the order. Examination of witnesses shall be as at trial and any party may call other witnesses.
(5) The judge may order any property of the judgment debtor, not exempt from execution, in the hands of any person or due to the judgment debtor to be applied toward the satisfaction of the judgment debt.
(6)(a) When, within 1 year before the service of process on him or her, defendant has had title to, or paid the purchase price of, any personal property to which the defendant's spouse, any relative, or any person on confidential terms with defendant claims title and right of possession at the time of examination, the defendant has the burden of proof to establish that such transfer or gift from him or her was not made to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors.
(b) When any gift, transfer, assignment or other conveyance of personal property has been made or contrived by defendant to delay, hinder or defraud creditors, the court shall order the gift, transfer, assignment or other conveyance to be void and direct the sheriff to take the property to satisfy the execution. This does not authorize seizure of property exempted from levy and sale under execution or property which has passed to a bona fide purchaser for value and without notice. Any person aggrieved by the levy may proceed under ss. 56.16-56.20.
(7) At any time the court may refer the proceeding to a master who may be directed to report findings of law or fact, or both. The master has all the powers thereof, including the power to issue subpoena, and shall be paid the fees provided by law.
(8) A party or a witness examined under these provisions is not excused from answering a question on the ground that the answer will tend to show him or her guilty of the commission of a fraud, or prove that he or she has been a party or privy to, or knowing of a conveyance, assignment, transfer, or other disposition of property for any purpose, or that the party or witness or another person claims to have title as against the defendant or to hold property derived from or through the defendant, or to be discharged from the payment of a debt which was due to the defendant or to a person in his or her behalf. An answer cannot be used as evidence against the person so answering in any criminal proceeding.
(9) The court may enter any orders required to carry out the purpose of this section to subject property or property rights of any defendant to execution.
(10) Any person failing to obey any order issued under this section by a judge or master or to attend in response to a subpoena served on him or her may be held in contempt.
(11) Costs for proceedings supplementary shall be taxed against the defendant as well as all other incidental costs determined to be reasonable and just by the court including, but not limited to, docketing the execution, sheriff's service fees, and court reporter's fees. Reasonable attorney's fees may be taxed against the defendant.
History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ch. 7842, 1919; CGL 4540-4549; s. 1, ch. 63-144; s. 11, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 72-12; s. 13, ch. 73-334; s. 12, ch. 87-145; s. 309, ch. 95-147; s. 20, ch. 2000-258.
Note.--Former ss. 55.52-55.611.