Section 713.596, Florida Statutes 2001
713.596 Molder's liens.--
(1) DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Customer" means any person who causes a molder to fabricate, cast, or otherwise make a mold, or who provides a molder with a mold with which to manufacture, assemble, cast, fabricate, or otherwise make a product for a customer.
(b) "Mold" means a die, mold, form, or pattern, but does not include computer software used to control or direct automatic machines in a manufacturing process, and does not include impressions, molds, models, or study casts used by a dentist, orthotist, or prosthetist within the scope of his or her practice.
(c) "Molder" means any person who fabricates, casts, or otherwise makes or uses a mold for the purpose of manufacturing, assembling, casting, fabricating, or otherwise making a product for a customer. The term includes a tool or die maker.
(a) A molder that has not received payment from a customer in accordance with the terms of the contract between the two has a lien on a mold in the molder's possession which belongs to that customer. The lien is for the balance due the molder from the customer for any work that the molder has performed for the customer in manufacturing or fabricating products for the customer using the mold and for the value of all material related to such work. The molder may retain possession of the mold until the debts are paid.
(b) Before enforcing the lien, the molder must notify the customer in writing of the claim of lien. The notice must be either delivered personally or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the customer. The notice must state that the molder claims a lien for the balance due for work that the molder has performed in manufacturing or fabricating products for the customer using the mold and for the value of related materials as is specified in the notice. Additionally, the notice must include a statement of the amount of the balance owed, a demand for payment, and a statement of the location of the mold. Finally, the notice must include the following warning in conspicuous type and in substantially the following form:
WARNING: YOUR FAILURE TO PAY THE UNPAID BALANCE AS STATED HEREIN WILL RESULT IN THE IMPOSITION OF A LIEN ON THE MOLD DESCRIBED HEREIN AND IN THE SALE OF THAT MOLD AS PROVIDED BY LAW.
(c) If the customer does not pay the amount due as stated in the notice within 60 days after the date of receipt of the notice, the molder may sell the mold at a public auction. However, the mold may not be sold if there is a good faith dispute or litigation between the molder and the customer concerning either the quality of the products made or fabricated by use of the mold or the amount due.
(a) Before a molder may sell a mold, the molder must notify the customer and any holder of a security interest perfected in this state of the intended sale. The notice must be by certified mail, return receipt requested, and must include:
1. Notice of the molder's intent to sell the mold 30 days after the customer's receipt of the notice.
2. A description of the mold to be sold.
3. The time and place of the sale.
4. An itemized statement of the amount due.
(b) If there is no return of the receipt of the mailing or if the postal service returns the notice as being nondeliverable, the molder must publish notice, at least 30 days before the date of sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the customer's last known place of business, of the molder's intent to sell the mold. The notice must include a description of the mold to be sold and the time and place of the sale.
(c)1. The proceeds of the sale must be paid first to any holder of a security interest perfected in this state. Any excess must be paid to the molder holding the lien created by this section. Any remaining amount is to be paid to the customer, if the customer's address is known, or to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Revenue Fund if the customer's address is unknown to the molder at the time of the sale.
2. A sale may not be made under this section if it would be in violation of any right of a customer under federal patent or copyright law.
History.--s. 2, ch. 98-215.