January 20, 2021
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The Florida Statutes

The 2004 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
Chapter 400
View Entire Chapter
Section 400.968, Florida Statutes 2004

400.968  Right of entry; protection of health, safety, and welfare.--

(1)  Any designated officer or employee of the agency, of the state, or of the local fire marshal may enter unannounced the premises of any facility licensed under this part in order to determine the state of compliance with this part and the rules or standards in force under this part. The right of entry and inspection also extends to any premises that the agency has reason to believe are being operated or maintained as a facility without a license; but such an entry or inspection may not be made without the permission of the owner or person in charge of the facility unless a warrant that authorizes the entry is first obtained from the circuit court. The warrant requirement extends only to a facility that the agency has reason to believe is being operated or maintained as a facility without a license. An application for a license or renewal thereof which is made under this section constitutes permission for, and acquiescence in, any entry or inspection of the premises for which the license is sought, in order to facilitate verification of the information submitted in connection with the application; to discover, investigate, and determine the existence of abuse or neglect; or to elicit, receive, respond to, and resolve complaints. A current valid license constitutes unconditional permission for, and acquiescence in, any entry or inspection of the premises by authorized personnel. The agency retains the right of entry and inspection of facilities that have had a license revoked or suspended within the previous 24 months, to ensure that the facility is not operating unlawfully. However, before the facility is entered, a statement of probable cause must be filed with the director of the agency, who must approve or disapprove the action within 48 hours.

(2)  The agency may institute injunctive proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction for temporary or permanent relief to:

(a)  Enforce this section or any minimum standard, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto if the agency's effort to correct a violation through administrative fines has failed or when the violation materially affects the health, safety, or welfare of residents; or

(b)  Terminate the operation of a facility if a violation of this section or of any standard or rule adopted pursuant thereto exists which materially affects the health, safety, or welfare of residents.

The Legislature recognizes that, in some instances, action is necessary to protect residents of facilities from immediately life-threatening situations. If it appears by competent evidence or a sworn, substantiated affidavit that a temporary injunction should issue, the court, pending the determination on final hearing, shall enjoin operation of the facility.

(3)  The agency may impose an immediate moratorium on admissions to a facility when the agency determines that any condition in the facility presents a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the residents in the facility. If a facility's license is denied, revoked, or suspended, the facility may be subject to the immediate imposition of a moratorium on admissions to run concurrently with licensure denial, revocation, or suspension.

History.--s. 9, ch. 99-144; s. 37, ch. 2002-400.

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