May 31, 2020
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_h5401e1
CS/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. 11.90, F.S.; providing additional
5powers and duties of the Legislative Budget Commission;
6amending s. 28.241, F.S.; revising distributions of filing
7fees for trial and appellate proceedings; amending s.
828.246, F.S.; conforming provisions relating to transfer
9of the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund; amending s. 28.35,
10F.S.; deleting provisions providing for housing the
11Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation within the
12Justice Administrative Commission, specifying the
13corporation as a budget entity of the commission, and
14specifying corporation employees as commission employees;
15revising membership of the corporation's executive
16council; specifying that the corporation is subject to
17certain procurement requirements; revising and expanding
18the duties and responsibilities of the corporation
19relating to budget requests; providing definitions;
20requiring the corporation to submit certain budgets and
21information to the Legislative Budget Commission;
22providing duties and responsibilities of the commission;
23deleting a requirement that clerks of court submit certain
24financial audit information to the Supreme Court; amending
25s. 28.36, F.S.; revising required budget procedures for
26budget requests for funding court-related functions of the
27clerks of court; providing duties of the corporation;
28creating s. 28.365, F.S.; subjecting clerks of the courts
29to certain procurement requirements and limitations;
30amending s. 28.37, F.S.; revising requirements for
31distribution of fines, fees, service charges, and court
32costs collected by clerks of the court; amending s. 28.43,
33F.S.; conforming provisions relating to transfer of the
34Clerks of the Court Trust Fund; amending s. 34.041, F.S.;
35revising requirements for distribution of certain filing
36fees collected by clerks of the court; requiring certain
37filing fees to be retained as fee income of the office of
38the clerk of the circuit court; amending s. 43.16, F.S.;
39deleting provisions including the Florida Clerks of Court
40Operations Corporation under provisions relating to the
41Justice Administrative Commission; amending s. 110.205,
42F.S.; deleting the Florida Clerks of Court Operations
43Corporation from certain career service exempt positions
44provisions; amending s. 142.01, F.S.; conforming
45provisions relating to transfer of the Clerks of the Court
46Trust Fund; amending s. 213.131, F.S.; specifying creation
47of the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
48Department of Revenue; providing for credit of certain
49funds to the trust fund; amending s. 216.011, F.S.;
50deleting a reference to the Florida Clerks of Court
51Operations Corporation as a state agency; providing for
52approved budgets of the clerks of the circuit court;
53providing an effective date.
54
55Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
56
57     Section 1.  The Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
58Justice Administrative Commission, FLAIR number 21-2-588, is
59transferred together with all balances in the fund to the
60Department of Revenue.
61     Section 2.  Subsection (6) of section 11.90, Florida
62Statutes, is amended to read:
63     11.90  Legislative Budget Commission.-
64     (6)  The commission shall have the power and duty to:
65     (a)  Review and approve or disapprove budget amendments
66recommended by the Governor or the Chief Justice of the Supreme
67Court as provided in chapter 216.
68     (b)  Develop the long-range financial outlook described in
69s. 19, Art. III of the State Constitution.
70     (c)  Review and approve, disapprove, or amend the budget of
71the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.
72     (d)  Review, approve, disapprove, or amend the total
73combined budgets of the clerks of court or the budget of any
74individual clerk of court.
75     (e)  In addition to the powers and duties specified in this
76subsection, the commission shall Exercise all other powers and
77perform any other duties prescribed by the Legislature.
78     Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 28.241, Florida
79Statutes, is amended to read:
80     28.241  Filing fees for trial and appellate proceedings.-
81     (1)(a)1.a.  Except as provided in sub-subparagraph b. and
82subparagraph 2., the party instituting any civil action, suit,
83or proceeding in the circuit court shall pay to the clerk of
84that court a filing fee of up to $395 in all cases in which
85there are not more than five defendants and an additional filing
86fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in excess of five. Of the
87first $265 in filing fees, $80 must be remitted by the clerk to
88the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue
89Fund, $180 must be remitted to the Department of Revenue for
90deposit into the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50
91must be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into
92the Administrative Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
93Department of Financial Services Justice Administrative
94Commission and used to fund the contract with the Florida Clerks
95of Court Operations Corporation created in s. 28.35, and $1.50
96shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into
97the Administrative Trust Fund within the Department of Financial
98Services to fund clerk budget reviews conducted by the
99Department of Financial Services. The next $15 of the filing fee
100collected shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
101Arbitration Trust Fund. One third of any filing fees collected
102by the clerk of the circuit court in excess of $100 shall be
103remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
104department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
105Administrative Commission.
106     b.  The party instituting any civil action, suit, or
107proceeding in the circuit court under chapter 39, chapter 61,
108chapter 741, chapter 742, chapter 747, chapter 752, or chapter
109753 shall pay to the clerk of that court a filing fee of up to
110$295 in all cases in which there are not more than five
111defendants and an additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each
112defendant in excess of five. Of the first $165 in filing fees,
113$80 must be remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue
114for deposit into the General Revenue Fund, $80 must be remitted
115to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts
116Revenue Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the
117Department of Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks
118of the Court Trust Fund within the Department of Financial
119Services Justice Administrative Commission and used to fund the
120contract with the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
121created in s. 28.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the
122Department of Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Trust
123Fund within the Department of Financial Services to fund clerk
124budget reviews conducted by the Department of Financial
125Services. The next $15 of the filing fee collected shall be
126deposited in the state courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust
127Fund.
128     c.  An additional filing fee of $4 shall be paid to the
129clerk. The clerk shall remit $3.50 to the Department of Revenue
130for deposit into the Court Education Trust Fund and shall remit
13150 cents to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
132department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
133Administrative Commission to fund clerk education. An additional
134filing fee of up to $18 shall be paid by the party seeking each
135severance that is granted. The clerk may impose an additional
136filing fee of up to $85 for all proceedings of garnishment,
137attachment, replevin, and distress. Postal charges incurred by
138the clerk of the circuit court in making service by certified or
139registered mail on defendants or other parties shall be paid by
140the party at whose instance service is made. No additional fees,
141charges, or costs shall be added to the filing fees imposed
142under this section, except as authorized in this section or by
143general law.
144     2.a.  Notwithstanding the fees prescribed in subparagraph
1451., a party instituting a civil action in circuit court relating
146to real property or mortgage foreclosure shall pay a graduated
147filing fee based on the value of the claim.
148     b.  A party shall estimate in writing the amount in
149controversy of the claim upon filing the action. For purposes of
150this subparagraph, the value of a mortgage foreclosure action is
151based upon the principal due on the note secured by the
152mortgage, plus interest owed on the note and any moneys advanced
153by the lender for property taxes, insurance, and other advances
154secured by the mortgage, at the time of filing the foreclosure.
155The value shall also include the value of any tax certificates
156related to the property. In stating the value of a mortgage
157foreclosure claim, a party shall declare in writing the total
158value of the claim, as well as the individual elements of the
159value as prescribed in this sub-subparagraph.
160     c.  In its order providing for the final disposition of the
161matter, the court shall identify the actual value of the claim.
162The clerk shall adjust the filing fee if there is a difference
163between the estimated amount in controversy and the actual value
164of the claim and collect any additional filing fee owed or
165provide a refund of excess filing fee paid.
166     d.  The party shall pay a filing fee of:
167     (I)  Three hundred and ninety-five dollars in all cases in
168which the value of the claim is $50,000 or less and in which
169there are not more than five defendants. The party shall pay an
170additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in
171excess of five. Of the first $265 in filing fees, $80 must be
172remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
173into the General Revenue Fund, $180 must be remitted to the
174Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
175Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
176Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
177Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
178Administrative Commission and used to fund the contract with the
179Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation created in s.
18028.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue
181for deposit into the Administrative Trust Fund within the
182Department of Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews
183conducted by the Department of Financial Services. The next $15
184of the filing fee collected shall be deposited in the state
185courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust Fund;
186     (II)  Nine hundred dollars in all cases in which the value
187of the claim is more than $50,000 but less than $250,000 and in
188which there are not more than five defendants. The party shall
189pay an additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant
190in excess of five. Of the first $770 in filing fees, $80 must be
191remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
192into the General Revenue Fund, $685 must be remitted to the
193Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
194Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
195Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
196Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
197Administrative Commission and used to fund the contract
198Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation described in s.
19928.35, and $1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue
200for deposit into the Administrative Trust Fund within the
201Department of Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews
202conducted by the Department of Financial Services. The next $15
203of the filing fee collected shall be deposited in the state
204courts' Mediation and Arbitration Trust Fund; or
205     (III)  One thousand nine hundred dollars in all cases in
206which the value of the claim is $250,000 or more and in which
207there are not more than five defendants. The party shall pay an
208additional filing fee of up to $2.50 for each defendant in
209excess of five. Of the first $1,770 in filing fees, $80 must be
210remitted by the clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit
211into the General Revenue Fund, $1,685 must be remitted to the
212Department of Revenue for deposit into the State Courts Revenue
213Trust Fund, $5.00 $3.50 must be remitted to the Department of
214Revenue for deposit into the Administrative Clerks of the Court
215Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services Justice
216Administrative Commission to fund the contract with the Florida
217Clerks of Court Operations Corporation created in s. 28.35, and
218$1.50 shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit
219into the Administrative Trust Fund within the Department of
220Financial Services to fund clerk budget reviews conducted by the
221Department of Financial Services. The next $15 of the filing fee
222collected shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
223Arbitration Trust Fund.
224     e.  An additional filing fee of $4 shall be paid to the
225clerk. The clerk shall remit $3.50 to the Department of Revenue
226for deposit into the Court Education Trust Fund and shall remit
22750 cents to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
228department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice
229Administrative Commission to fund clerk education. An additional
230filing fee of up to $18 shall be paid by the party seeking each
231severance that is granted. The clerk may impose an additional
232filing fee of up to $85 for all proceedings of garnishment,
233attachment, replevin, and distress. Postal charges incurred by
234the clerk of the circuit court in making service by certified or
235registered mail on defendants or other parties shall be paid by
236the party at whose instance service is made. No additional fees,
237charges, or costs shall be added to the filing fees imposed
238under this section, except as authorized in this section or by
239general law.
240     (b)  A party reopening any civil action, suit, or
241proceeding in the circuit court shall pay to the clerk of court
242a filing fee set by the clerk in an amount not to exceed $50.
243For purposes of this section, a case is reopened when a case
244previously reported as disposed of is resubmitted to a court and
245includes petitions for modification of a final judgment of
246dissolution. A party is exempt from paying the fee for any of
247the following:
248     1.  A writ of garnishment;
249     2.  A writ of replevin;
250     3.  A distress writ;
251     4.  A writ of attachment;
252     5.  A motion for rehearing filed within 10 days;
253     6.  A motion for attorney's fees filed within 30 days after
254entry of a judgment or final order;
255     7.  A motion for dismissal filed after a mediation
256agreement has been filed;
257     8.  A disposition of personal property without
258administration;
259     9.  Any probate case prior to the discharge of a personal
260representative;
261     10.  Any guardianship pleading prior to discharge;
262     11.  Any mental health pleading;
263     12.  Motions to withdraw by attorneys;
264     13.  Motions exclusively for the enforcement of child
265support orders;
266     14.  A petition for credit of child support;
267     15.  A Notice of Intent to Relocate and any order issuing
268as a result of an uncontested relocation;
269     16.  Stipulations;
270     17.  Responsive pleadings; or
271     18.  Cases in which there is no initial filing fee.
272     (c)1.  A party in addition to a party described in sub-
273subparagraph (a)1.a. who files a pleading in an original civil
274action in circuit court for affirmative relief by cross-claim,
275counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-party complaint shall
276pay the clerk of court a fee of $395. A party in addition to a
277party described in sub-subparagraph (a)1.b. who files a pleading
278in an original civil action in circuit court for affirmative
279relief by cross-claim, counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-
280party complaint shall pay the clerk of court a fee of $295. The
281clerk shall remit the fee to the Department of Revenue for
282deposit into the General Revenue Fund.
283     2.  A party in addition to a party described in
284subparagraph (a)2. who files a pleading in an original civil
285action in circuit court for affirmative relief by cross-claim,
286counterclaim, counterpetition, or third-party complaint shall
287pay the clerk of court a graduated fee of:
288     a.  Three hundred and ninety-five dollars in all cases in
289which the value of the pleading is $50,000 or less;
290     b.  Nine hundred dollars in all cases in which the value of
291the pleading is more than $50,000 but less than $250,000; or
292     c.  One thousand nine hundred dollars in all cases in which
293the value of the pleading is $250,000 or more.
294
295The clerk shall remit the fees collected under this subparagraph
296to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the General
297Revenue Fund, except that the clerk shall remit $100 of the fee
298collected under sub-subparagraph a., $605 of the fee collected
299under sub-subparagraph b., and $1,605 of the fee collected under
300sub-subparagraph c. to the Department of Revenue for deposit
301into the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund.
302     (d)  The clerk of court shall collect a service charge of
303$10 for issuing a summons. The clerk shall assess the fee
304against the party seeking to have the summons issued.
305     Section 4.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of section
30628.246, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
307     28.246  Payment of court-related fees, charges, and costs;
308partial payments; distribution of funds.-
309     (5)  When receiving partial payment of fees, service
310charges, court costs, and fines, clerks shall distribute funds
311according to the following order of priority:
312     (b)  That portion of fees, service charges, court costs,
313and fines which are required to be retained by the clerk of the
314court or deposited into the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund
315within the Department of Revenue Justice Administrative
316Commission.
317
318To offset processing costs, clerks may impose either a per-month
319service charge pursuant to s. 28.24(26)(b) or a one-time
320administrative processing service charge at the inception of the
321payment plan pursuant to s. 28.24(26)(c).
322     Section 5.  Section 28.35, Florida Statutes, is amended to
323read:
324     28.35  Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.-
325     (1)(a)  The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
326is created as a public corporation organized to perform the
327functions specified in this section and s. 28.36 and shall be
328administratively housed within the Justice Administrative
329Commission. The corporation shall be a budget entity within the
330Justice Administrative Commission, and its employees shall be
331considered state employees. The corporation is not subject to
332control, supervision, or direction by the Justice Administrative
333Commission in the performance of its duties, but the employees
334of the corporation shall be governed by the classification plan
335and salary and benefits plan of the Justice Administrative
336Commission. The classification plan must have a separate chapter
337for the corporation. All clerks of the circuit court shall be
338members of the corporation and hold their position and authority
339in an ex officio capacity. The functions assigned to the
340corporation shall be performed by an executive council pursuant
341to the plan of operation approved by the members.
342     (b)  The executive council shall be composed of eight
343clerks of the court elected by the clerks of the courts for a
344term of 2 years, with two clerks from counties with a population
345of fewer than 100,000, two clerks from counties with a
346population of at least 100,000 but fewer than 500,000, two
347clerks from counties with a population of at least 500,000 but
348fewer than 1 million, and two clerks from counties with a
349population of more than 1 million. The executive council shall
350also include, as ex officio members, a designee of the President
351of the Senate and a designee of the Speaker of the House of
352Representatives. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall
353designate one additional member to represent the state courts
354system.
355     (c)  The corporation shall be considered a political
356subdivision of the state and shall be exempt from the corporate
357income tax. The corporation is not subject to the procurement
358provisions of chapter 287 120.
359     (d)  The functions assigned to the corporation under this
360section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37 are considered to be for a valid
361public purpose.
362     (2)  The duties of the corporation shall include the
363following:
364     (a)  Adopting a plan of operation.
365     (b)  Conducting the election of directors as required in
366paragraph (1)(a).
367     (c)  Recommending to the Legislature changes in the various
368court-related fines, fees, service charges, and court costs
369established by law to ensure reasonable and adequate funding of
370the clerks of the court in the performance of their court-
371related functions.
372     (d)  Developing and certifying a uniform system of
373performance measures and applicable workload performance
374standards for the functions specified in paragraph (3)(a) and
375the service unit costs required in s. 28.36 and measures for
376clerk workload performance in meeting the workload performance
377standards. These workload performance measures and workload
378performance standards shall be designed to facilitate an
379objective determination of the performance of each clerk in
380accordance with minimum standards for fiscal management,
381operational efficiency, and effective collection of fines, fees,
382service charges, and court costs. The corporation shall develop
383the workload performance measures and workload performance
384standards in consultation with the Legislature and the Supreme
385Court. The Legislature may modify the clerk performance measures
386and performance standards in legislation implementing the
387General Appropriations Act or other law. When the corporation
388finds a clerk has not met the workload performance standards,
389the corporation shall identify the nature of each deficiency and
390any corrective action recommended and taken by the affected
391clerk of the court. The corporation shall notify the Legislature
392and the Supreme Court of any clerk not meeting performance
393standards and provide a copy of any corrective action plans. For
394the purposes of this section, the term:
395     1.  "Workload performance measures" means the measurement
396of the activities and frequency of the work required for the
397clerk to adequately perform the court-related duties of the
398office.
399     2.  "Workload performance standards" means the standards
400developed to measure the timeliness and effectiveness of the
401activities that are accomplished by the clerk in the performance
402of the court-related duties of the office.
403     (e)  Pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial Officer,
404establishing a process for the review of proposed court-related
405budgets submitted by clerks of the court for completeness and
406compliance with this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37. Such
407process shall be designed and be of sufficient detail to permit
408independent verification and validation of such budgets. The
409contract shall specify the process to be used in determining
410compliance by the corporation with this section and ss. 28.36
411and 28.37 and shall require the corporation to determine the
412minimum amount of revenue necessary for each clerk of court to
413efficiently perform the list of court-related functions
414specified in paragraph (3)(a) in its budget review and approval
415process.
416     (f)(e)  Reviewing and certifying proposed budgets submitted
417by clerks of the court using the process approved by the Chief
418Financial Officer pursuant to paragraph (e) for the purpose of
419making the certification in paragraph (3)(a). As part of this
420process, the corporation shall: pursuant to s. 28.36.
421     1.  Calculate the minimum amount of revenue necessary for
422each to efficiently perform the list of court-related functions
423specified in paragraph (3)(a).
424     2.  Prepare a cost comparison of similarly situated clerks
425of court, based on county population and numbers of filings,
426using the standard list of court-related functions specified in
427paragraph (3)(a).
428     3.  Conduct an annual base budget review and an annual
429budget exercise examining the total budget of each clerk of
430court. The review shall examine revenues from all sources,
431expenses of court-related functions, and expenses of non-court-
432related functions as necessary to determine that court-related
433revenues are not being used for non-court-related purposes.
434Funds paid by a clerk to join or be a member of any group or
435organization shall be separately listed and the benefits
436received from any such group or organization described in
437detail. The review and exercise shall identify potential
438targeted budget reductions in the percentage amount provided in
439Schedule VIII-B of the state's prior year's legislative budget
440instructions, as referenced in s. 216.023(3), or an equivalent
441schedule or instruction as may be adopted by the Legislature.
442     4.  Identify those proposed budgets containing funding for
443items not included on the standard list of court-related
444functions specified in paragraph (3)(a).
445     5.  Identify those clerks projected to have court-related
446revenues insufficient to fund their anticipated court-related
447expenditures.
448     (g)(f)  Developing and conducting clerk education programs.
449     (h)(g)  Publishing a uniform schedule of actual fees,
450service charges, and costs charged by a clerk of the court
451pursuant to general law.
452     (i)  By August 1 of each year, submitting to the
453Legislative Budget Commission, as provided in s. 11.90, its
454proposed budget and the information described in paragraph (f),
455as well as the approved budgets for each clerk of court and the
456corporation. By September 15 of each year, the Legislative
457Budget Commission shall consider the submitted budgets and shall
458approve, disapprove or amend the corporation's budget and shall
459approve, disapprove, or amend and approve the total of the
460clerks' combined budgets or any individual clerk's budget. If
461the Legislative Budget Commission fails to approve or amend the
462clerks' combined budgets by September 15, the clerk shall
463continue to perform the court-related functions based upon the
464clerk's approved budget for the preceding county fiscal year.  
465If the Legislative Budget Commission fails to approve or amend
466the corporation's budget by September 15, the clerk shall
467continue to operate based upon the corporation's approved budget
468for the preceding county fiscal year.
469     (3)(a)  The list of court-related functions that clerks may
470fund from filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines
471is perform are limited to those functions expressly authorized
472by law or court rule. Those functions include the following:
473case maintenance; records management; court preparation and
474attendance; processing the assignment, reopening, and
475reassignment of cases; processing of appeals; collection and
476distribution of fines, fees, service charges, and court costs;
477processing of bond forfeiture payments; payment of jurors and
478witnesses; payment of expenses for meals or lodging provided to
479jurors; data collection and reporting; processing of jurors;
480determinations of indigent status; and reasonable administrative
481support costs to enable the clerk of the court to carry out
482these court-related functions.
483     (b)  The list of functions that clerks may not fund from
484filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines includes
485state appropriations include:
486     1.  Those functions not specified within paragraph (a).
487     2.  Functions assigned by administrative orders which are
488not required for the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph
489(a).
490     3.  Enhanced levels of service which are not required for
491the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph (a).
492     4.  Functions identified as local requirements in law or
493local optional programs.
494     (4)  The corporation shall prepare a legislative budget
495request for the resources necessary to perform its duties,
496submit the request pursuant to chapter 216, and be funded
497pursuant to a contract with the Chief Financial Officer. Funds
498shall be provided to the Chief Financial Officer for such
499purpose as appropriated by general law. Such funds shall be
500available to the corporation for the performance of the duties
501and responsibilities as set forth in this section as a budget
502entity in the General Appropriations Act. The corporation may
503hire staff and pay other expenses from such funds state
504appropriations as necessary to perform the official duties and
505responsibilities of the corporation as described in this section
506by law.
507     (5)(a)  The corporation shall submit an annual audited
508financial statement to the Auditor General in a form and manner
509prescribed by the Auditor General. The Auditor General shall
510conduct an annual audit of the operations of the corporation,
511including the use of funds and compliance with the provisions of
512this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37.
513     (b)  Certified public accountants conducting audits of
514counties pursuant to s. 218.39 shall report, as part of the
515audit, whether or not the clerks of the courts have complied
516with the requirements of this section and s. 28.36. In addition,
517each clerk of court shall forward a copy of the portion of the
518financial audit relating to the court-related duties of the
519clerk of court to the Supreme Court. The Auditor General shall
520develop a compliance supplement for the audit of compliance with
521the budgets and applicable workload performance standards
522certified by the corporation.
523     Section 6.  Section 28.36, Florida Statutes, is amended to
524read:
525     28.36  Budget procedure.-There is established a budget
526procedure for preparing budget requests for funding for the
527court-related functions of the clerks of the court.
528     (1)  Only those functions on the standard list developed
529pursuant to s. 28.35(3)(a) may be funded from fees, service
530charges, court costs, and fines retained by the clerks of the
531court. For the county fiscal year beginning October 1, 2010, and
532for each county fiscal year thereafter, each clerk of court
533shall prepare a budget request for court-related expenditures
534that the last quarter of the county fiscal year and the first
535three quarters of the next county fiscal year. The proposed
536budget shall be prepared, summarized, and submitted by the clerk
537in each county to the Florida Clerks of Court Operations
538Corporation in the manner and form prescribed by the corporation
539to meet the requirements of law. Each clerk shall forward a copy
540of his or her budget request to the Supreme Court. The budget
541requests must be provided to the corporation by June October 1
542of the each year prior to the year of the budget.
543     (2)  Each proposed budget shall also conform to the
544requirements of this subsection. On or before June 1 for each
545fiscal year thereafter, the clerk of the court in each county
546shall prepare, summarize, and submit a proposed budget to the
547Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation in the manner and
548form prescribed by the corporation. However, at a minimum, the
549proposed budgets shall include for each clerk the information
550required by s. 28.35(2)(f) and shall specify any salary
551increases or any bonuses anticipated to be made to employees of
552the office performing court-related duties. The proposed budget
553must provide detailed information on the anticipated revenues
554available and expenditures necessary for the performance of the
555standard list of court-related functions of the clerk's office
556developed pursuant to s. 28.35(3)(a) for the county fiscal year
557beginning the following October 1. The Florida Clerks of Court
558Operations Corporation shall also prepare its proposed budget by
559July 1 of each year clerk shall include in his or her budget
560request a projection of the amount of court-related fees,
561service charges, and any other court-related clerk fees which
562will be collected during the proposed budget period. If the
563corporation determines that the proposed budget is limited to
564the standard list of court-related functions in s. 28.35(3)(a)
565and the projected court-related revenues are less than the
566proposed budget, the clerk shall increase all fees, service
567charges, and any other court-related clerk fees and charges to
568the maximum amounts specified by law or the amount necessary to
569resolve the deficit, whichever is less.
570     (3)  Each proposed budget must be balanced, such that the
571total of the estimated revenues available must equal or exceed
572the total of the anticipated expenditures. Such revenues include
573cash balances brought forward from the prior fiscal period;
574revenue projected to be received from fees, service charges,
575court costs, and fines for court-related functions during the
576fiscal period covered by the budget; and supplemental revenue
577that may be requested pursuant to subsection (4). The
578anticipated expenditures must be itemized as required by the
579corporation, pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial
580Officer clerk shall include in his or her budget request the
581number of personnel and the proposed budget for each of the
582following core services:
583     (a)  Case processing.
584     (b)  Financial processing.
585     (c)  Jury management.
586     (d)  Information and reporting.
587
588Central administrative costs shall be allocated among the core-
589services categories.
590     (4)  If a clerk of the court estimates that available funds
591plus projected revenues from fines, fees, service charges, and
592costs for court-related services are insufficient to meet the
593anticipated expenditures for the standard list of court-related
594functions in s. 28.35(3)(a) performed by his or her office, the
595clerk must report the revenue deficit to the corporation in the
596manner and form prescribed by the corporation pursuant to
597contract with the Chief Financial Officer. The corporation shall
598verify that the proposed budget is limited to the standard list
599of court-related functions in s. 28.35(3)(a) and that any
600reported deficit funding is necessary for the clerk to
601adequately perform the court-related duties based on workload.
602     (a)  If the corporation verifies that the proposed budget
603is limited to the standard list of court-related functions in s.
60428.35(3)(a) and a revenue deficit is projected, a clerk seeking
605to retain revenues pursuant to this subsection shall increase
606all fees, service charges, and any other court-related clerk
607fees and charges to the maximum amounts specified by law or the
608amount necessary to resolve the deficit, whichever is less. If,
609after increasing fees, service charges, and any other court-
610related clerk fees and charges to the maximum amounts specified
611by law, a revenue deficit is still projected, the corporation
612shall, pursuant to the terms of the contract with the Chief
613Financial Officer, certify a revenue deficit and notify the
614Department of Revenue that the clerk is authorized to retain
615revenues, in an amount necessary to fully fund the projected
616revenue deficit, which he or she would otherwise be required to
617remit to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
618department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund pursuant to s.
61928.37. If a revenue deficit is projected for that clerk after
620retaining all of the projected collections from the court-
621related fines, fees, service charges, and costs, the Department
622of Revenue shall certify the amount of the revenue deficit
623amount to the Executive Office of the Governor and request
624release authority for funds appropriated for this purpose from
625the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund. Notwithstanding
626the provisions of s. 216.192 relating to the release of funds,
627the Executive Office of the Governor may approve the release of
628funds appropriated to resolve projected revenue deficits in
629accordance with the notice, review, and objection procedures set
630forth in s. 216.177 and shall provide notice to the Chief
631Financial Officer. The Department of Revenue shall request
632monthly distributions from the Chief Financial Officer in equal
633amounts to each clerk certified to have a revenue deficit, in
634accordance with the releases approved by the Governor.
635     (b)  If the Chief Financial Officer finds the court-related
636budget proposed by a clerk includes functions not included in
637the standard list of court-related functions in s. 28.35(3)(a),
638the Chief Financial Officer shall notify the clerk of the amount
639of the proposed budget not eligible to be funded from fines,
640fees, service charges, and costs for court-related functions and
641shall identify appropriate corrective measures to ensure budget
642integrity. The clerk shall immediately discontinue all
643ineligible expenditures of court-related funds for non-court-
644related functions and reimburse the Clerks of the Court Trust
645Fund for any previously ineligible expenditures made for non-
646court-related functions, and shall implement any corrective
647actions identified by the Chief Financial Officer. The budget
648request must identify the service units to be provided within
649each core service. The service units shall be developed by the
650corporation, in consultation with the Supreme Court, the Chief
651Financial Officer, and the appropriations committees of the
652Senate and the House of Representatives.
653     (5)  The budget request must propose a unit cost for each
654service unit. The corporation shall provide a copy of each
655clerk's budget request to the Supreme Court.
656     (6)  The corporation shall review each individual clerk's
657prior-year expenditures, projected revenue, proposed unit costs,
658and the proposed budget for each of the core-services
659categories. The corporation shall compare each clerk's prior-
660year expenditures and unit costs for core services with a peer
661group of clerks' offices having a population of a similar size
662and a similar number of case filings. If the corporation finds
663that the expenditures, unit costs, or proposed budget of a clerk
664is significantly higher than those of clerks in that clerk's
665peer group, the corporation shall require the clerk to submit
666documentation justifying the difference in each core-services
667category. Justification for higher expenditures may include, but
668is not limited to, collective bargaining agreements, county
669civil service agreements, and the number and distribution of
670courthouses served by the clerk. If the expenditures and unit
671costs are not justified, the corporation shall recommend a
672reduction in the funding for that core-services category in the
673budget request to an amount similar to the peer group of clerks
674or to an amount that the corporation determines is justified.
675     (7)  The corporation shall complete its review and
676adjustments to the clerks' budget requests and make its
677recommendations to the Legislature and the Supreme Court by
678December 1 each year.
679     (8)  The Chief Financial Officer shall review the proposed
680unit costs associated with each clerk of court's budget request
681and make recommendations to the Legislature. The Chief Financial
682Officer may conduct any audit of the corporation or a clerk of
683court as authorized by law. The Chief Justice of the Supreme
684Court may request an audit of the corporation or any clerk of
685court by the Chief Financial Officer.
686     (9)  The Legislature shall appropriate the total amount for
687the budgets of the clerks in the General Appropriations Act. The
688Legislature may reject or modify any or all of the unit costs
689recommended by the corporation. If the Legislature does not
690specify the unit costs in the General Appropriations Act or
691other law, the unit costs recommended by the corporation shall
692be the official unit costs for that budget period.
693     (10)  For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the corporation shall
694release appropriations in an amount equal to one-twelfth of each
695clerk's approved budget each month. The statewide total
696appropriation for the 2009-2010 fiscal year shall be set in the
697General Appropriations Act. The corporation shall determine the
698amount of each clerk of court budget, but the statewide total of
699such amounts may not exceed the amount listed in the General
700Appropriations Act. Beginning in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the
701corporation shall release appropriations to each clerk
702quarterly. The amount of the release shall be based on the prior
703quarter's performance of service units identified in the four
704core services and the established unit costs for each clerk.
705     (11)  The corporation may submit proposed legislation to
706the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of
707the House of Representatives relating to the preparation of
708budget requests of the clerks of court.
709     Section 7.  Section 28.365, Florida Statutes, is created to
710read:
711     28.365  Procurement.-The clerks of court are subject to the
712procurement requirements and limitations of chapter 287 for
713expenditures made pursuant to the budget provided for in s.
71428.35.
715     Section 8.  Section 28.37, Florida Statutes, is amended to
716read:
717     28.37  Fines, fees, service charges, and costs remitted to
718the state.-
719     (1)  Pursuant to s. 14(b), Art. V of the State
720Constitution, selected salaries, costs, and expenses of the
721state courts system and court-related functions shall be funded
722from a portion of the revenues derived from statutory fines,
723fees, service charges, and costs collected by the clerks of the
724court.
725     (2)  Beginning July 1, 2010, except as otherwise provided
726in ss. 28.241 and 34.041, one-third of all fines, fees, service
727charges, and court costs collected by the clerks of the court
728during the prior month for the performance of court-related
729functions shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for
730deposit into the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund.
731Such collections do not include funding received for the
732operation of the Title IV-D child support collections and
733disbursement program. The clerk of the court shall remit the
734revenues collected during the prior month due to the state on or
735before the 20th day of each month. The Department of Revenue
736shall make a monthly transfer to the General Revenue Fund of the
737funds in the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund that
738are not needed to resolve clerk of the court revenue deficits,
739as specified in s. 28.36.
740     (3)  Beginning January 1, 2010, and each January 1
741thereafter for the preceding county fiscal year of October 1
742through September 30, the clerk of the court shall remit to the
743Department of Revenue for deposit in the General Revenue Fund
744the cumulative excess of all fines, fees, service charges, and
745court costs retained by the clerks of the court, plus any funds
746received by the clerks of the court from the department's Clerk
747of the Court Trust Fund under s. 28.36(4)(a), that exceed the
748amount needed to meet the approved budget amounts established
749under s. 28.36.
750     (4)  The Department of Revenue shall collect any funds that
751the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation determines
752upon investigation were due on January 1 but not remitted to the
753department. Except as otherwise provided in ss. 28.241 and
75434.041, all court-related fines, fees, service charges, and
755costs are considered state funds and shall be remitted by the
756clerk to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Clerks
757of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
758Commission. However, 10 percent of all court-related fines
759collected by the clerk shall be deposited into the clerk's
760Public Records Modernization Trust Fund to be used exclusively
761for additional clerk court-related operational needs and program
762enhancements.
763     Section 9.  Subsection (1) of section 28.43, Florida
764Statutes, is amended to read:
765     28.43  Adoption of rules relating to ss. 28.35, 28.36, and
76628.37.-
767     (1)  The Department of Revenue may adopt rules necessary to
768carry out its responsibilities in ss. 28.35, 28.36, and 28.37.
769The rules shall include forms and procedures for transferring
770funds from the clerks of the court to the Clerks of the Court
771Trust Fund within the Department of Revenue Justice
772Administrative Commission.
773     Section 10.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
77434.041, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
775     34.041  Filing fees.-
776     (1)
777     (b)  The first $80 of the filing fee collected under
778subparagraph (a)4. shall be remitted to the Department of
779Revenue for deposit into the General Revenue Fund. The next $15
780of the filing fee collected under subparagraph (a)4., and the
781first $10 of the filing fee collected under subparagraph (a)7.,
782shall be deposited in the state courts' Mediation and
783Arbitration Trust Fund. One-third of any filing fees collected
784by the clerk under this section in excess of the first $95
785collected under subparagraph (a)4. shall be remitted to the
786Department of Revenue for deposit into the department's Clerks
787of the Court Trust Fund. An additional filing fee of $4 shall be
788paid to the clerk. The clerk shall transfer $3.50 to the
789Department of Revenue for deposit into the Court Education Trust
790Fund and shall transfer 50 cents to the Department of Revenue
791for deposit into the department's Clerks of the Court Trust Fund
792within the Justice Administrative Commission to fund clerk
793education. Postal charges incurred by the clerk of the county
794court in making service by mail on defendants or other parties
795shall be paid by the party at whose instance service is made.
796Except as provided herein, filing fees and service charges for
797performing duties of the clerk relating to the county court
798shall be as provided in ss. 28.24 and 28.241. Except as
799otherwise provided herein, all filing fees shall be retained as
800fee income of the office of the clerk of the circuit court
801remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the
802Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
803Commission. Filing fees imposed by this section may not be added
804to any penalty imposed by chapter 316 or chapter 318.
805     Section 11.  Subsection (5) of section 43.16, Florida
806Statutes, is amended to read:
807     43.16  Justice Administrative Commission; membership,
808powers and duties.-
809     (5)  The duties of the commission shall include, but not be
810limited to, the following:
811     (a)  The maintenance of a central state office for
812administrative services and assistance when possible to and on
813behalf of the state attorneys and public defenders of Florida,
814the capital collateral regional counsel of Florida, the criminal
815conflict and civil regional counsel, and the Guardian Ad Litem
816Program, and the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.
817     (b)  Each state attorney, public defender, criminal
818conflict and civil regional counsel, and the Guardian Ad Litem
819Program, and the Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation
820shall continue to prepare necessary budgets, vouchers that
821represent valid claims for reimbursement by the state for
822authorized expenses, and other things incidental to the proper
823administrative operation of the office, such as revenue
824transmittals to the Chief Financial Officer and automated
825systems plans, but will forward same to the commission for
826recording and submission to the proper state officer. However,
827when requested by a state attorney, a public defender, a
828criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or the Guardian Ad
829Litem Program, the commission will either assist in the
830preparation of budget requests, voucher schedules, and other
831forms and reports or accomplish the entire project involved.
832     Section 12.  Paragraph (x) of subsection (2) of section
833110.205, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
834     110.205  Career service; exemptions.-
835     (2)  EXEMPT POSITIONS.-The exempt positions that are not
836covered by this part include the following:
837     (x)  All officers and employees of the Justice
838Administrative Commission, Office of the State Attorney, Office
839of the Public Defender, regional offices of capital collateral
840counsel, offices of criminal conflict and civil regional
841counsel, and Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, including the
842circuit guardian ad litem programs and the Florida Clerks of
843Court Operations Corporation.
844     Section 13.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 142.01,
845Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
846     142.01  Fine and forfeiture fund; disposition of revenue;
847clerk of the circuit court.-
848     (2)  All revenues received by the clerk in the fine and
849forfeiture fund from court-related fees, fines, costs, and
850service charges are considered state funds and shall be remitted
851monthly to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Clerks
852of the Court Trust Fund within the Justice Administrative
853Commission.
854     (2)(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, all
855fines and forfeitures arising from operation of the provisions
856of s. 318.1215 shall be disbursed in accordance with that
857section.
858     Section 14.  Section 213.131, Florida Statutes, is amended
859to read:
860     213.131  Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the
861Department of Revenue Justice Administrative Commission.-The
862Clerks of the Court Trust Fund is created within the Department
863of Revenue Justice Administrative Commission. Funds received by
864the department from the clerks of court shall be credited to the
865trust fund as provided in chapter 2001-122, Laws of Florida, to
866be used for the purposes set forth in that act.
867     Section 15.  Paragraph (qq) of subsection (1) of section
868216.011, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
869     216.011  Definitions.-
870     (1)  For the purpose of fiscal affairs of the state,
871appropriations acts, legislative budgets, and approved budgets,
872each of the following terms has the meaning indicated:
873     (qq)  "State agency" or "agency" means any official,
874officer, commission, board, authority, council, committee, or
875department of the executive branch of state government. For
876purposes of this chapter and chapter 215, "state agency" or
877"agency" includes, but is not limited to, state attorneys,
878public defenders, criminal conflict and civil regional counsel,
879capital collateral regional counsel, the Florida Clerks of Court
880Operations Corporation, the Justice Administrative Commission,
881the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, and the Florida Public
882Service Commission. Solely for the purposes of implementing s.
88319(h), Art. III of the State Constitution, the terms "state
884agency" or "agency" include the judicial branch.
885     Section 16.  For the period of July 1, 2010, through
886September 30, 2010, the approved budget for the clerks of the
887circuit court shall be $112,845,078. The Clerks of Court
888Operations Corporation shall determine budget amounts for the
889individual clerks.
890     Section 17.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.


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