October 29, 2020
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_h5401__
HB 5401

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to clerks of the court; transferring the
3Clerks of the Court Trust Fund to the Department of
4Revenue; amending s. 28.241, F.S.; revising distributions
5of filing fees for trial and appellate proceedings;
6amending s. 28.246, F.S.; conforming provisions relating
7to transfer of the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund;
8amending s. 28.35, F.S.; deleting provisions providing for
9housing the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
10within the Justice Administrative Commission, specifying
11the corporation as a budget entity of the commission, and
12specifying corporation employees as commission employees;
13revising membership of the corporation's executive
14council; exempting the corporation from certain
15provisions, policies, and decisions; revising duties of
16the corporation; amending s. 28.36, F.S.; revising
17requirements for a budget procedure for court-related
18functions of the clerks of the court; amending s. 28.37,
19F.S.; revising requirements for distribution of fines,
20fees, service charges, and court costs collected by clerks
21of the court; amending s. 28.43, F.S.; conforming
22provisions relating to transfer of the Clerks of the Court
23Trust Fund; amending s. 34.041, F.S.; revising
24requirements for distribution of certain filing fees
25collected by clerks of the court; requiring certain filing
26fees to be retained as fee income of the office of the
27clerk of the circuit court; amending s. 43.16, F.S.;
28deleting provisions including the Florida Clerks of Court
29Operations Corporation under provisions relating to the
30Justice Administrative Commission; amending s. 110.205,
31F.S.; deleting the Florida Clerks of Court Operations
32Corporation from certain career service exempt positions
33provisions; amending s. 142.01, F.S.; conforming
34provisions relating to transfer of the Clerks of the Court
35Trust Fund; amending s. 213.131, F.S.; specifying creation
36of the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
37Department of Revenue; providing for credit of certain
38funds to the trust fund; amending s. 216.011, F.S.;
39deleting a reference to the Florida Clerks of Court
40Operations Corporation as a state agency; providing an
41effective date.
42
43Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
44
45     Section 1.  The Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
46Justice Administrative Commission, FLAIR number 21-2-588, is
47transferred together with all balances in the fund to the
48Department of Revenue.
49     Section 2.  Subsection (1) of section 28.241, Florida
50Statutes, is amended to read:
51     28.241  Filing fees for trial and appellate proceedings.-
52     (1)(a)1.a.  Except as provided in sub-subparagraph b. and
53subparagraph 2., the party instituting any civil action, suit,
54or proceeding in the circuit court shall pay to the clerk of
55that court a filing fee of up to $395 in all cases in which
56there are not more than five defendants and an additional filing
57fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in excess of five. Of the
58first $265 in filing fees, $80 must be remitted by the clerk to
59the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue
60Fund, $180 must be remitted to the Department of Revenue for
61deposit into the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50
62must be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into
63the Administrative Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
64Department of Financial Services Justice Administrative
65Commission and used to fund the contract with the Florida Clerks
66of Court Operations Corporation created in s. 28.35, and $1.50
67shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into
68the Administrative Trust Fund within the Department of Financial
69Services to fund clerk budget reviews conducted by the
70Department of Financial Services. The next $15 of the filing fee
71collected shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
72Arbitration Trust Fund. One third of any filing fees collected
73by the clerk of the circuit court in excess of $100 shall be
74remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
75department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
76Administrative Commission.
77     b.  The party instituting any civil action, suit, or
78proceeding in the circuit court under chapter 39, chapter 61,
79chapter 741, chapter 742, chapter 747, chapter 752, or chapter
80753 shall pay to the clerk of that court a filing fee of up to
81$295 in all cases in which there are not more than five
82defendants and an additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each
83defendant in excess of five. Of the first $165 in filing fees,
84$80 must be remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue
85for deposit into the General Revenue Fund, $80 must be remitted
86to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts
87Revenue Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the
88Department of Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks
89of the Court Trust Fund within the Department of Financial
90Services Justice Administrative Commission and used to fund the
91contract with the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
92created in s. 28.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the
93Department of Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Trust
94Fund within the Department of Financial Services to fund clerk
95budget reviews conducted by the Department of Financial
96Services. The next $15 of the filing fee collected shall be
97deposited in the state courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust
98Fund.
99     c.  An additional filing fee of $4 shall be paid to the
100clerk. The clerk shall remit $3.50 to the Department of Revenue
101for deposit into the Court Education Trust Fund and shall remit
10250 cents to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
103department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
104Administrative Commission to fund clerk education. An additional
105filing fee of up to $18 shall be paid by the party seeking each
106severance that is granted. The clerk may impose an additional
107filing fee of up to $85 for all proceedings of garnishment,
108attachment, replevin, and distress. Postal charges incurred by
109the clerk of the circuit court in making service by certified or
110registered mail on defendants or other parties shall be paid by
111the party at whose instance service is made. No additional fees,
112charges, or costs shall be added to the filing fees imposed
113under this section, except as authorized in this section or by
114general law.
115     2.a.  Notwithstanding the fees prescribed in subparagraph
1161., a party instituting a civil action in circuit court relating
117to real property or mortgage foreclosure shall pay a graduated
118filing fee based on the value of the claim.
119     b.  A party shall estimate in writing the amount in
120controversy of the claim upon filing the action. For purposes of
121this subparagraph, the value of a mortgage foreclosure action is
122based upon the principal due on the note secured by the
123mortgage, plus interest owed on the note and any moneys advanced
124by the lender for property taxes, insurance, and other advances
125secured by the mortgage, at the time of filing the foreclosure.
126The value shall also include the value of any tax certificates
127related to the property. In stating the value of a mortgage
128foreclosure claim, a party shall declare in writing the total
129value of the claim, as well as the individual elements of the
130value as prescribed in this sub-subparagraph.
131     c.  In its order providing for the final disposition of the
132matter, the court shall identify the actual value of the claim.
133The clerk shall adjust the filing fee if there is a difference
134between the estimated amount in controversy and the actual value
135of the claim and collect any additional filing fee owed or
136provide a refund of excess filing fee paid.
137     d.  The party shall pay a filing fee of:
138     (I)  Three hundred and ninety-five dollars in all cases in
139which the value of the claim is $50,000 or less and in which
140there are not more than five defendants. The party shall pay an
141additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in
142excess of five. Of the first $265 in filing fees, $80 must be
143remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
144into the General Revenue Fund, $180 must be remitted to the
145Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
146Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
147Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
148Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
149Administrative Commission and used to fund the contract with the
150Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation created in s.
15128.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue
152for deposit into the Administrative Trust Fund within the
153Department of Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews
154conducted by the Department of Financial Services. The next $15
155of the filing fee collected shall be deposited in the state
156courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust Fund;
157     (II)  Nine hundred dollars in all cases in which the value
158of the claim is more than $50,000 but less than $250,000 and in
159which there are not more than five defendants. The party shall
160pay an additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant
161in excess of five. Of the first $770 in filing fees, $80 must be
162remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
163into the General Revenue Fund, $685 must be remitted to the
164Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
165Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
166Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
167Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
168Administrative Commission and used to fund the contract with the
169Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation described in s.
17028.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue
171for deposit into the Administrative Trust Fund within the
172Department of Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews
173conducted by the Department of Financial Services. The next $15
174of the filing fee collected shall be deposited in the state
175courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust Fund; or
176     (III)  One thousand nine hundred dollars in all cases in
177which the value of the claim is $250,000 or more and in which
178there are not more than five defendants. The party shall pay an
179additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in
180excess of five. Of the first $1,770 in filing fees, $80 must be
181remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
182into the General Revenue Fund, $1,685 must be remitted to the
183Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
184Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
185Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
186Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
187Administrative Commission to fund the contract with the Florida
188Clerks of Court Operations Corporation created in s. 28.35, and
189$1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit
190into the Administrative Trust Fund within the Department of
191Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews conducted by the
192Department of Financial Services. The next $15 of the filing fee
193collected shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
194Arbitration Trust Fund.
195     e.  An additional filing fee of $4 shall be paid to the
196clerk. The clerk shall remit $3.50 to the Department of Revenue
197for deposit into the Court Education Trust Fund and shall remit
19850 cents to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
199department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
200Administrative Commission to fund clerk education. An additional
201filing fee of up to $18 shall be paid by the party seeking each
202severance that is granted. The clerk may impose an additional
203filing fee of up to $85 for all proceedings of garnishment,
204attachment, replevin, and distress. Postal charges incurred by
205the clerk of the circuit court in making service by certified or
206registered mail on defendants or other parties shall be paid by
207the party at whose instance service is made. No additional fees,
208charges, or costs shall be added to the filing fees imposed
209under this section, except as authorized in this section or by
210general law.
211     (b)  A party reopening any civil action, suit, or
212proceeding in the circuit court shall pay to the clerk of court
213a filing fee set by the clerk in an amount not to exceed $50.
214For purposes of this section, a case is reopened when a case
215previously reported as disposed of is resubmitted to a court and
216includes petitions for modification of a final judgment of
217dissolution. A party is exempt from paying the fee for any of
218the following:
219     1.  A writ of garnishment;
220     2.  A writ of replevin;
221     3.  A distress writ;
222     4.  A writ of attachment;
223     5.  A motion for rehearing filed within 10 days;
224     6.  A motion for attorney's fees filed within 30 days after
225entry of a judgment or final order;
226     7.  A motion for dismissal filed after a mediation
227agreement has been filed;
228     8.  A disposition of personal property without
229administration;
230     9.  Any probate case prior to the discharge of a personal
231representative;
232     10.  Any guardianship pleading prior to discharge;
233     11.  Any mental health pleading;
234     12.  Motions to withdraw by attorneys;
235     13.  Motions exclusively for the enforcement of child
236support orders;
237     14.  A petition for credit of child support;
238     15.  A Notice of Intent to Relocate and any order issuing
239as a result of an uncontested relocation;
240     16.  Stipulations;
241     17.  Responsive pleadings; or
242     18.  Cases in which there is no initial filing fee.
243     (c)1.  A party in addition to a party described in sub-
244subparagraph (a)1.a. who files a pleading in an original civil
245action in circuit court for affirmative relief by cross-claim,
246counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-party complaint shall
247pay the clerk of court a fee of $395. A party in addition to a
248party described in sub-subparagraph (a)1.b. who files a pleading
249in an original civil action in circuit court for affirmative
250relief by cross-claim, counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-
251party complaint shall pay the clerk of court a fee of $295. The
252clerk shall remit the fee to the Department of Revenue for
253deposit into the General Revenue Fund.
254     2.  A party in addition to a party described in
255subparagraph (a)2. who files a pleading in an original civil
256action in circuit court for affirmative relief by cross-claim,
257counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-party complaint shall
258pay the clerk of court a graduated fee of:
259     a.  Three hundred and ninety-five dollars in all cases in
260which the value of the pleading is $50,000 or less;
261     b.  Nine hundred dollars in all cases in which the value of
262the pleading is more than $50,000 but less than $250,000; or
263     c.  One thousand nine hundred dollars in all cases in which
264the value of the pleading is $250,000 or more.
265
266The clerk shall remit the fees collected under this subparagraph
267to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General
268Revenue Fund, except that the clerk shall remit $100 of the fee
269collected under sub-subparagraph a., $605 of the fee collected
270under sub-subparagraph b., and $1,605 of the fee collected under
271sub-subparagraph c. to the Department of Revenue for deposit
272into the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund.
273     (d)  The clerk of court shall collect a service charge of
274$10 for issuing a summons. The clerk shall assess the fee
275against the party seeking to have the summons issued.
276     Section 3.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
27728.246, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
278     28.246  Payment of court-related fees, charges, and costs;
279partial payments; distribution of funds.-
280     (5)  When receiving partial payment of fees, service
281charges, court costs, and fines, clerks shall distribute funds
282according to the following order of priority:
283     (b)  That portion of fees, service charges, court costs,
284and fines which are required to be retained by the clerk of the
285court or deposited into the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund
286within the Department of Revenue Justice Administrative
287Commission.
288
289To offset processing costs, clerks may impose either a per-month
290service charge pursuant to s. 28.24(26)(b) or a one-time
291administrative processing service charge at the inception of the
292payment plan pursuant to s. 28.24(26)(c).
293     Section 4.  Section 28.35, Florida Statutes, is amended to
294read:
295     28.35  Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.-
296     (1)(a)  The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
297is created as a public corporation organized to perform the
298functions specified in this section and s. 28.36 and shall be
299administratively housed within the Justice Administrative
300Commission. The corporation shall be a budget entity within the
301Justice Administrative Commission, and its employees shall be
302considered state employees. The corporation is not subject to
303control, supervision, or direction by the Justice Administrative
304Commission in the performance of its duties, but the employees
305of the corporation shall be governed by the classification plan
306and salary and benefits plan of the Justice Administrative
307Commission. The classification plan must have a separate chapter
308for the corporation. All clerks of the circuit court shall be
309members of the corporation and hold their position and authority
310in an ex officio capacity. The functions assigned to the
311corporation shall be performed by an executive council pursuant
312to the plan of operation approved by the members.
313     (b)  The executive council shall be composed of eight
314clerks of the court elected by the clerks of the courts for a
315term of 2 years, with two clerks from counties with a population
316of fewer than 100,000, two clerks from counties with a
317population of at least 100,000 but fewer than 500,000, two
318clerks from counties with a population of at least 500,000 but
319fewer than 1 million, and two clerks from counties with a
320population of more than 1 million. The executive council shall
321also include, as ex officio members, a designee of the President
322of the Senate and a designee of the Speaker of the House of
323Representatives. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall
324designate one additional member to represent the state courts
325system.
326     (c)  The corporation shall be considered a political
327subdivision of the state and shall be exempt from the corporate
328income tax. The corporation is not subject to the procurement
329provisions of chapter 287, and policies and decisions of the
330corporation relating to incurring debt, levying assessments, and
331the sale, issuance, continuation, terms, and claims under
332policies of the corporation, and all services relating to such
333provisions, policies, and decisions, are not subject to the
334provisions of chapter 120.
335     (d)  The functions assigned to the corporation under this
336section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37 are considered to be for a valid
337public purpose.
338     (2)  The duties of the corporation shall include the
339following:
340     (a)  Adopting a plan of operation.
341     (b)  Conducting the election of directors as required in
342paragraph (1)(a).
343     (c)  Recommending to the Legislature changes in the various
344court-related fines, fees, service charges, and court costs
345established by law to ensure reasonable and adequate funding of
346the clerks of the court in the performance of their court-
347related functions.
348     (d)  Pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial Officer,
349establishing a process for the review and certification of
350proposed court-related budgets submitted by clerks of the court
351for completeness and compliance with this section and ss. 28.36
352and 28.37. Such process shall be designed and be sufficiently
353detailed to permit independent verification and validation of
354the budget certification. The contract shall specify the process
355to be used in determining compliance by the corporation with
356this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37.
357     (e)(d)  Developing and certifying a uniform system of
358performance measures and applicable performance standards for
359the functions specified in paragraph (4)(3)(a) and the service
360unit costs required in s. 28.36 and measures for clerk
361performance in meeting the performance standards. These measures
362and standards shall be designed to facilitate an objective
363determination of the performance of each clerk in accordance
364with minimum standards for fiscal management, operational
365efficiency, and effective collection of fines, fees, service
366charges, and court costs. The corporation shall develop the
367performance measures and performance standards in consultation
368with the Legislature and the Supreme Court. The Legislature may
369modify the clerk performance measures and performance standards
370in legislation implementing the General Appropriations Act or
371other law. When the corporation finds a clerk has not met the
372performance standards, the corporation shall identify the nature
373of each deficiency and any corrective action recommended and
374taken by the affected clerk of the court. The corporation shall
375notify the Legislature and the Supreme Court of any clerk not
376meeting performance standards and provide a copy of any
377corrective action plans.
378     (f)(e)  Reviewing and certifying proposed budgets submitted
379by clerks of the court using the process approved by the Chief
380Financial Officer pursuant to paragraph (d) for the purpose of
381making the certification in paragraph (3)(a). As part of this
382process, the corporation shall: pursuant to s. 28.36.
383     1.  Calculate the maximum authorized annual budget pursuant
384to the requirements of s. 28.36.
385     2.  Identify those proposed budgets exceeding the maximum
386annual budget pursuant to s. 28.36(5) for the standard list of
387court-related functions specified in paragraph (4)(a).
388     3.  Identify those proposed budgets containing funding for
389items not included on the standard list of court-related
390functions specified in paragraph (4)(a).
391     4.  Identify those clerks projected to have court-related
392revenues insufficient to fund their anticipated court-related
393expenditures.
394     (g)(f)  Developing and conducting clerk education programs.
395     (h)(g)  Publishing a uniform schedule of actual fees,
396service charges, and costs charged by a clerk of the court
397pursuant to general law.
398     (3)(a)  The corporation shall certify to the President of
399the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
400Chief Financial Officer, and the Department of Revenue by
401October 15 of each year, the amount of the proposed budget
402certified for each clerk; the revenue projection supporting each
403clerk's budget; each clerk eligible to retain some or all of the
404state's share of fines, fees, service charges, and costs; the
405amount to be paid to each clerk from the Clerks of the Court
406Trust Fund within the Department of Revenue; the performance
407measures and standards approved by the corporation for each
408clerk; and the performance of each clerk in meeting the
409performance standards.
410     (b)  Prior to December 1 of each year, the Chief Financial
411Officer shall review the certifications made by the corporation
412for the purpose of determining compliance with the approved
413process and report his or her findings to the President of the
414Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the
415Department of Revenue. To determine compliance with such
416process, the Chief Financial Officer may examine the budgets
417submitted to the corporation by the clerks.
418     (4)(3)(a)  The list of court-related functions that clerks
419may fund from filing fees, service charges, court costs, and
420fines is perform are limited to those functions expressly
421authorized by law or court rule. Those functions include the
422following: case maintenance; records management; court
423preparation and attendance; processing the assignment,
424reopening, and reassignment of cases; processing of appeals;
425collection and distribution of fines, fees, service charges, and
426court costs; processing of bond forfeiture payments; payment of
427jurors and witnesses; payment of expenses for meals or lodging
428provided to jurors; data collection and reporting; processing of
429jurors; determinations of indigent status; and reasonable
430administrative support costs to enable the clerk of the court to
431carry out these court-related functions.
432     (b)  The list of functions that clerks may not fund from
433filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines includes
434state appropriations include:
435     1.  Those functions not specified within paragraph (a).
436     2.  Functions assigned by administrative orders which are
437not required for the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph
438(a).
439     3.  Enhanced levels of service which are not required for
440the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph (a).
441     4.  Functions identified as local requirements in law or
442local optional programs.
443     (5)(4)  The corporation shall prepare a legislative budget
444request for the resources necessary to perform its duties,
445submit the request pursuant to chapter 216, and be funded
446pursuant to a contract with the Chief Financial Officer. Funds
447shall be provided to the Chief Financial Officer for such
448purpose as appropriated by general law. Such funds shall be
449available to the corporation for the performance of the duties
450and responsibilities as set forth in this section as a budget
451entity in the General Appropriations Act. The corporation may
452hire staff and pay other expenses from such funds state
453appropriations as necessary to perform the official duties and
454responsibilities of the corporation as described in this section
455by law.
456     (6)(5)(a)  The corporation shall submit an annual audited
457financial statement to the Auditor General in a form and manner
458prescribed by the Auditor General. The Auditor General shall
459conduct an annual audit of the operations of the corporation,
460including the use of funds and compliance with the provisions of
461this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37.
462     (b)  Certified public accountants conducting audits of
463counties pursuant to s. 218.39 shall report, as part of the
464audit, whether or not the clerks of the courts have complied
465with the budgets certified by the corporation pursuant to the
466budget review process pursuant to contract with the Chief
467Financial Officer and with the performance standards developed
468and certified pursuant to this section requirements of this
469section and s. 28.36. In addition, each clerk of court shall
470forward a copy of the portion of the financial audit relating to
471the court-related duties of the clerk of court to the Supreme
472Court. The Auditor General shall develop a compliance supplement
473for the audit of compliance with the budgets and applicable
474performance standards certified by the corporation.
475     Section 5.  Section 28.36, Florida Statutes, is amended to
476read:
477     28.36  Budget procedure.-There is established a budget
478procedure for preparing budget requests for funding for the
479court-related functions of the clerks of the court.
480     (1)  Only those functions on the standard list developed
481pursuant to s. 28.35(4)(a) may be funded from fees, service
482charges, court costs, and fines retained by the clerks of the
483court. A clerk may not use fees, service charges, court costs,
484and fines in excess of the maximum budget amounts established in
485subsection (5). Each clerk of court shall prepare a budget
486request for the last quarter of the county fiscal year and the
487first three quarters of the next county fiscal year. The
488proposed budget shall be prepared, summarized, and submitted by
489the clerk in each county to the Florida Clerks of Court
490Operations Corporation in the manner and form prescribed by the
491corporation to meet the requirements of law. Each clerk shall
492forward a copy of his or her budget request to the Supreme
493Court. The budget requests must be provided to the corporation
494by October 1 of each year.
495     (2)  For each state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010, and
496for each county fiscal year ending September 30 thereafter, each
497clerk of the court shall prepare a budget relating solely to the
498performance of the standard list of court-related functions
499pursuant to s. 28.35(4)(a). Each clerk shall include in his or
500her budget request a projection of the amount of court-related
501fees, service charges, and any other court-related clerk fees
502which will be collected during the proposed budget period. If
503the corporation determines that the proposed budget is limited
504to the standard list of court-related functions in s.
50528.35(4)(3)(a) and the projected court-related revenues are less
506than the proposed budget, the clerk shall increase all fees,
507service charges, and any other court-related clerk fees and
508charges to the maximum amounts specified by law or the amount
509necessary to resolve the deficit, whichever is less.
510     (3)  Each proposed budget shall further conform to the
511following requirements clerk shall include in his or her budget
512request the number of personnel and the proposed budget for each
513of the following core services:
514     (a)  On or before August 15 of each fiscal year, the
515proposed budget shall be prepared, summarized, and submitted by
516the clerk in each county to the corporation in the manner and
517form prescribed by the corporation. The proposed budget must
518provide detailed information on the anticipated revenues
519available and expenditures necessary for the performance of the
520standard list of court-related functions of the clerk's office
521developed pursuant to s. 28.35(4)(a) for the county fiscal year
522beginning the following October 1 Case processing.
523     (b)  The proposed budget must be balanced, such that the
524total of the estimated revenues available must equal or exceed
525the total of the anticipated expenditures. Such revenues include
526cash balances brought forward from the prior fiscal period;
527revenue projected to be received from fees, service charges,
528court costs, and fines for court-related functions during the
529fiscal period covered by the budget; and supplemental revenue
530that may be requested pursuant to subsection (4). The
531anticipated expenditures must be itemized as required by the
532corporation, pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial
533Officer Financial processing.
534     (c)  The proposed budget may include a contingency reserve
535not to exceed 10 percent of the total budget, provided that, in
536the aggregate, the proposed budget does not exceed the limits
537prescribed in subsection (5) Jury management.
538     (d)  Information and reporting.
539
540Central administrative costs shall be allocated among the core-
541services categories.
542     (4)  If a clerk of the court estimates that available funds
543plus projected revenues from fines, fees, service charges, and
544costs for court-related services are insufficient to meet the
545anticipated expenditures for the standard list of court-related
546functions in s. 28.35(4)(a) performed by his or her office, the
547clerk must report the revenue deficit to the corporation in the
548manner and form prescribed by the corporation pursuant to
549contract with the Chief Financial Officer. The corporation shall
550verify that the proposed budget is limited to the standard list
551of court-related functions in s. 28.35(4)(a).
552     (a)  If the corporation verifies that the proposed budget
553is limited to the standard list of court-related functions in s.
55428.35(4)(a) and a revenue deficit is projected, a clerk seeking
555to retain revenues pursuant to this subsection shall increase
556all fees, service charges, and any other court-related clerk
557fees and charges to the maximum amounts specified by law or the
558amount necessary to resolve the deficit, whichever is less. If,
559after increasing fees, service charges, and any other court-
560related clerk fees and charges to the maximum amounts specified
561by law, a revenue deficit is still projected, the corporation
562shall, pursuant to the terms of the contract with the Chief
563Financial Officer, certify a revenue deficit and notify the
564Department of Revenue that the clerk is authorized to retain
565revenues, in an amount necessary to fully fund the projected
566revenue deficit, which he or she would otherwise be required to
567remit to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
568department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund pursuant to s.
56928.37. If a revenue deficit is projected for that clerk after
570retaining all of the projected collections from the court-
571related fines, fees, service charges, and costs, the Department
572of Revenue shall certify the amount of the revenue deficit
573amount to the Executive Office of the Governor and request
574release authority for funds appropriated for this purpose from
575the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund. Notwithstanding
576the provisions of s. 216.192 relating to the release of funds,
577the Executive Office of the Governor may approve the release of
578funds appropriated to resolve projected revenue deficits in
579accordance with the notice, review, and objection procedures set
580forth in s. 216.177 and shall provide notice to the Chief
581Financial Officer. The Department of Revenue shall request
582monthly distributions from the Chief Financial Officer in equal
583amounts to each clerk certified to have a revenue deficit, in
584accordance with the releases approved by the Governor.
585     (b)  If the Chief Financial Officer finds the court-related
586budget proposed by a clerk includes functions not included in
587the standard list of court-related functions in s. 28.35(4)(a),
588the Chief Financial Officer shall notify the clerk of the amount
589of the proposed budget not eligible to be funded from fines,
590fees, service charges, and costs for court-related functions and
591shall identify appropriate corrective measures to ensure budget
592integrity. The clerk shall immediately discontinue all
593ineligible expenditures of court-related funds for non-court-
594related functions and reimburse the Clerks of the Court Trust
595Fund for any previously ineligible expenditures made for non-
596court-related functions, and shall implement any corrective
597actions identified by the Chief Financial Officer. The budget
598request must identify the service units to be provided within
599each core service. The service units shall be developed by the
600corporation, in consultation with the Supreme Court, the Chief
601Financial Officer, and the appropriations committees of the
602Senate and the House of Representatives.
603     (5)(a)  The Legislative Budget Commission may approve
604increases to the maximum annual budgets approved for individual
605clerks of the court pursuant to this section for court-related
606functions, if:
607     1.  The additional funding is necessary to pay the cost of
608performing new or additional functions required by changes in
609law or court rule. Before the Legislative Budget Commission may
610approve an increase in the maximum annual budget of any clerk
611under this paragraph, the corporation must provide the
612Legislative Budget Commission with a statement of the impact of
613the proposed budget changes on state revenues and evidence that
614the respective clerk of the court is meeting or exceeding the
615established performance standards for measures on the fiscal
616management, operational efficiency, and effective collection of
617fines, fees, service charges, and court costs; or
618     2.  The additional funding is necessary to pay the cost of
619supporting increases in the number of judges or magistrates
620authorized by the Legislature. Before the Legislative Budget
621Commission may approve an increase in the maximum annual budget
622of any clerk under this paragraph, the corporation must provide
623the Legislative Budget Commission with a statement of the impact
624of the proposed budget changes on state revenues; evidence that
625the respective clerk of the court is meeting or exceeding the
626established performance standards for measures on the fiscal
627management, operational efficiency, and effective collection of
628fines, fees, service charges, and court costs; and a proposed
629staffing model, including the cost and number of staff necessary
630to support each new judge or magistrate.
631     (b)  The total amount of increases approved by the
632Legislative Budget Commission for each county fiscal year shall
633not exceed an amount equal to 2 percent of the maximum annual
634budgets approved pursuant to this section for all clerks, in the
635aggregate, for that same county fiscal year. The budget request
636must propose a unit cost for each service unit. The corporation
637shall provide a copy of each clerk's budget request to the
638Supreme Court.
639     (6)  The corporation may submit proposed legislation to the
640Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
641House of Representatives no later than November 1 in any year
642for approval of clerk budget request amounts exceeding the
643restrictions in this section for the following October 1. If
644proposed legislation is recommended, the corporation shall also
645submit supporting justification with sufficient detail to
646identify the specific proposed expenditures that would cause the
647limitations to be exceeded for each affected clerk and the
648estimated fiscal impact on state revenues. The corporation shall
649review each individual clerk's prior-year expenditures,
650projected revenue, proposed unit costs, and the proposed budget
651for each of the core-services categories. The corporation shall
652compare each clerk's prior-year expenditures and unit costs for
653core services with a peer group of clerks' offices having a
654population of a similar size and a similar number of case
655filings. If the corporation finds that the expenditures, unit
656costs, or proposed budget of a clerk is significantly higher
657than those of clerks in that clerk's peer group, the corporation
658shall require the clerk to submit documentation justifying the
659difference in each core-services category. Justification for
660higher expenditures may include, but is not limited to,
661collective bargaining agreements, county civil service
662agreements, and the number and distribution of courthouses
663served by the clerk. If the expenditures and unit costs are not
664justified, the corporation shall recommend a reduction in the
665funding for that core-services category in the budget request to
666an amount similar to the peer group of clerks or to an amount
667that the corporation determines is justified.
668     (7)  The corporation shall complete its review and
669adjustments to the clerks' budget requests and make its
670recommendations to the Legislature and the Supreme Court by
671December 1 each year.
672     (8)  The Chief Financial Officer shall review the proposed
673unit costs associated with each clerk of court's budget request
674and make recommendations to the Legislature. The Chief Financial
675Officer may conduct any audit of the corporation or a clerk of
676court as authorized by law. The Chief Justice of the Supreme
677Court may request an audit of the corporation or any clerk of
678court by the Chief Financial Officer.
679     (9)  The Legislature shall appropriate the total amount for
680the budgets of the clerks in the General Appropriations Act. The
681Legislature may reject or modify any or all of the unit costs
682recommended by the corporation. If the Legislature does not
683specify the unit costs in the General Appropriations Act or
684other law, the unit costs recommended by the corporation shall
685be the official unit costs for that budget period.
686     (10)  For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the corporation shall
687release appropriations in an amount equal to one-twelfth of each
688clerk's approved budget each month. The statewide total
689appropriation for the 2009-2010 fiscal year shall be set in the
690General Appropriations Act. The corporation shall determine the
691amount of each clerk of court budget, but the statewide total of
692such amounts may not exceed the amount listed in the General
693Appropriations Act. Beginning in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the
694corporation shall release appropriations to each clerk
695quarterly. The amount of the release shall be based on the prior
696quarter's performance of service units identified in the four
697core services and the established unit costs for each clerk.
698     (11)  The corporation may submit proposed legislation to
699the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
700the House of Representatives relating to the preparation of
701budget requests of the clerks of court.
702     Section 6.  Section 28.37, Florida Statutes, is amended to
703read:
704     28.37  Fines, fees, service charges, and costs remitted to
705the state.-
706     (1)  Pursuant to s. 14(b), Art. V of the State
707Constitution, selected salaries, costs, and expenses of the
708state courts system and court-related functions shall be funded
709from a portion of the revenues derived from statutory fines,
710fees, service charges, and costs collected by the clerks of the
711court.
712     (2)  Beginning July 1, 2010, except as otherwise provided
713in ss. 28.241 and 34.041, one-third of all fines, fees, service
714charges, and court costs collected by the clerks of the court
715during the prior month for the performance of court-related
716functions shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for
717deposit into the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund.
718Such collections do not include funding received for the
719operation of the Title IV-D child support collections and
720disbursement program. The clerk of the court shall remit the
721revenues collected during the prior month due to the state on or
722before the 20th day of each month. The Department of Revenue
723shall make a monthly transfer to the General Revenue Fund of the
724funds in the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund that
725are not needed to resolve clerk of the court revenue deficits,
726as specified in s. 28.36.
727     (3)  Beginning January 1, 2010, and each January 1
728thereafter for the preceding county fiscal year of October 1
729through September 30, the clerk of the court shall remit to the
730Department of Revenue for deposit in the General Revenue Fund
731the cumulative excess of all fines, fees, service charges, and
732court costs retained by the clerks of the court, plus any funds
733received by the clerks of the court from the department's Clerk
734of the Court Trust Fund under s. 28.36(4)(a), that exceed the
735amount needed to meet the approved budget amounts established
736under s. 28.36.
737     (4)  The Department of Revenue shall collect any funds that
738the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation determines
739upon investigation were due on January 1 but not remitted to the
740department. Except as otherwise provided in ss. 28.241 and
74134.041, all court-related fines, fees, service charges, and
742costs are considered state funds and shall be remitted by the
743clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Clerks
744of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
745Commission. However, 10 percent of all court-related fines
746collected by the clerk shall be deposited into the clerk's
747Public Records Modernization Trust Fund to be used exclusively
748for additional clerk court-related operational needs and program
749enhancements.
750     Section 7.  Subsection (1) of section 28.43, Florida
751Statutes, is amended to read:
752     28.43  Adoption of rules relating to ss. 28.35, 28.36, and
75328.37.-
754     (1)  The Department of Revenue may adopt rules necessary to
755carry out its responsibilities in ss. 28.35, 28.36, and 28.37.
756The rules shall include forms and procedures for transferring
757funds from the clerks of the court to the Clerks of the Court
758Trust Fund within the Department of Revenue Justice
759Administrative Commission.
760     Section 8.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
76134.041, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
762     34.041  Filing fees.-
763     (1)
764     (b)  The first $80 of the filing fee collected under
765subparagraph (a)4. shall be remitted to the Department of
766Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue Fund. The next $15
767of the filing fee collected under subparagraph (a)4., and the
768first $10 of the filing fee collected under subparagraph (a)7.,
769shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
770Arbitration Trust Fund. One-third of any filing fees collected
771by the clerk under this section in excess of the first $95
772collected under subparagraph (a)4. shall be remitted to the
773Department of Revenue for deposit into the department's Clerks
774of the Court Trust Fund. An additional filing fee of $4 shall be
775paid to the clerk. The clerk shall transfer $3.50 to the
776Department of Revenue for deposit into the Court Education Trust
777Fund and shall transfer 50 cents to the Department of Revenue
778for deposit into the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund
779within the Justice Administrative Commission to fund clerk
780education. Postal charges incurred by the clerk of the county
781court in making service by mail on defendants or other parties
782shall be paid by the party at whose instance service is made.
783Except as provided herein, filing fees and service charges for
784performing duties of the clerk relating to the county court
785shall be as provided in ss. 28.24 and 28.241. Except as
786otherwise provided herein, all filing fees shall be retained as
787fee income of the office of the clerk of the circuit court
788remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
789Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
790Commission. Filing fees imposed by this section may not be added
791to any penalty imposed by chapter 316 or chapter 318.
792     Section 9.  Subsection (5) of section 43.16, Florida
793Statutes, is amended to read:
794     43.16  Justice Administrative Commission; membership,
795powers and duties.-
796     (5)  The duties of the commission shall include, but not be
797limited to, the following:
798     (a)  The maintenance of a central state office for
799administrative services and assistance when possible to and on
800behalf of the state attorneys and public defenders of Florida,
801the capital collateral regional counsel of Florida, the criminal
802conflict and civil regional counsel, and the Guardian Ad Litem
803Program, and the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.
804     (b)  Each state attorney, public defender, criminal
805conflict and civil regional counsel, and the Guardian Ad Litem
806Program, and the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
807shall continue to prepare necessary budgets, vouchers that
808represent valid claims for reimbursement by the state for
809authorized expenses, and other things incidental to the proper
810administrative operation of the office, such as revenue
811transmittals to the Chief Financial Officer and automated
812systems plans, but will forward same to the commission for
813recording and submission to the proper state officer. However,
814when requested by a state attorney, a public defender, a
815criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or the Guardian Ad
816Litem Program, the commission will either assist in the
817preparation of budget requests, voucher schedules, and other
818forms and reports or accomplish the entire project involved.
819     Section 10.  Paragraph (x) of subsection (2) of section
820110.205, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
821     110.205  Career service; exemptions.-
822     (2)  EXEMPT POSITIONS.-The exempt positions that are not
823covered by this part include the following:
824     (x)  All officers and employees of the Justice
825Administrative Commission, Office of the State Attorney, Office
826of the Public Defender, regional offices of capital collateral
827counsel, offices of criminal conflict and civil regional
828counsel, and Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, including the
829circuit guardian ad litem programs and the Florida Clerks of
830Court Operations Corporation.
831     Section 11.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 142.01,
832Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
833     142.01  Fine and forfeiture fund; disposition of revenue;
834clerk of the circuit court.-
835     (2)  All revenues received by the clerk in the fine and
836forfeiture fund from court-related fees, fines, costs, and
837service charges are considered state funds and shall be remitted
838monthly to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Clerks
839of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
840Commission.
841     (2)(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, all
842fines and forfeitures arising from operation of the provisions
843of s. 318.1215 shall be disbursed in accordance with that
844section.
845     Section 12.  Section 213.131, Florida Statutes, is amended
846to read:
847     213.131  Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
848Department of Revenue Justice Administrative Commission.-The
849Clerks of the Court Trust Fund is created within the Department
850of Revenue Justice Administrative Commission. Funds received by
851the department from the clerks of court shall be credited to the
852trust fund as provided in chapter 2001-122, Laws of Florida, to
853be used for the purposes set forth in that act.
854     Section 13.  Paragraph (qq) of subsection (1) of section
855216.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
856     216.011  Definitions.-
857     (1)  For the purpose of fiscal affairs of the state,
858appropriations acts, legislative budgets, and approved budgets,
859each of the following terms has the meaning indicated:
860     (qq)  "State agency" or "agency" means any official,
861officer, commission, board, authority, council, committee, or
862department of the executive branch of state government. For
863purposes of this chapter and chapter 215, "state agency" or
864"agency" includes, but is not limited to, state attorneys,
865public defenders, criminal conflict and civil regional counsel,
866capital collateral regional counsel, the Florida Clerks of Court
867Operations Corporation, the Justice Administrative Commission,
868the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, and the Florida Public
869Service Commission. Solely for the purposes of implementing s.
87019(h), Art. III of the State Constitution, the terms "state
871agency" or "agency" include the judicial branch.
872     Section 14.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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