Section 655.94, Florida Statutes 2003
655.94 Special remedies for nonpayment of rent.--
(1) If the rental due on a safe-deposit box has not been paid for 3 months, the lessor may send a notice by registered mail to the last known address of the lessee stating that the safe-deposit box will be opened and its contents stored at the expense of the lessee unless payment of the rental is made within 30 days. If the rental is not paid within 30 days from the mailing of the notice, the box may be opened in the presence of an officer of the lessor and of a notary public who is not a director, officer, employee, or stockholder of the lessor. The contents shall be sealed in a package by a notary public who shall write on the outside the name of the lessee and the date of the opening. The notary public shall execute a certificate reciting the name of the lessee, the date of the opening of the box, and a list of its contents. The certificate shall be included in the package, and a copy of the certificate shall be sent by registered mail to the last known address of the lessee. The package shall then be placed in the general vaults of the lessor at a rental not exceeding the rental previously charged for the box. The lessor has a lien on the package and its contents to the extent of any rental due and owing plus the actual, reasonable costs of removing the contents from the safe-deposit box.
(2) If the contents of the safe-deposit box have not been claimed within 1 year after the mailing of the certificate, the lessor may send a further notice to the last known address of the lessee stating that, unless the accumulated charges are paid within 30 days, the contents of the box will be sold at public auction at a specified time and place or, in the case of securities listed on a stock exchange, will be sold upon the exchange on or after a specified date and unsalable items will be destroyed. The time, place, and manner of sale shall also be posted conspicuously on the premises of the lessor and advertised once in a newspaper of general circulation in the community. If the articles are not claimed, they may then be sold in accordance with the notice. The balance of the proceeds, after deducting accumulated charges, including the expenses of advertising and conducting the sale, shall be deposited to the credit of the lessee in any account maintained by the lessee, or, if none, shall be deemed a deposit account with the financial institution operating the safe-deposit facility, and shall be identified on the books of the financial institution as arising from the sale of contents of a safe-deposit box.
(3) Any documents or writings of a private nature, and having little or no apparent value, need not be offered for sale, but shall be retained, unless claimed by the owner, for the period specified for unclaimed contents, after which they may be destroyed.
History.--s. 70, ch. 92-303.