2014 Florida Statutes
634.271 Civil remedy.—
(1) Any person damaged by a violation of the provisions of this part may bring a civil action against a person who violated such provisions, in the circuit court of the county in which the alleged violator resides or has her or his principal place of business or in the county wherein the alleged violation occurred. Upon an adverse adjudication, the defendant shall be liable for actual damages or $500, whichever is greater, together with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the plaintiff.
(2) No such court costs or attorney’s fee or compensation shall be allowed if such suit was commenced prior to the parties’ complying with any and all arbitration provisions existing in the service agreement or policy.
(3) When so awarded, court costs and compensation or fees of the attorney shall be included in the judgment or decree rendered in the case.
(4) If it appears to the court that the suit brought by the plaintiff is ill-founded or brought for purposes of harassment, the plaintiff shall be liable for court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the defendant.
(5) The penalty provisions in ss. 520.12 and 521.006, as well as the statutory penalty in subsection (1), do not apply to any violation of this part or chapters 520 and 521 relating to or in connection with the sale or failure to disclose in a retail installment contract or lease, prior to April 23, 2002, of a vehicle protection product, or contract or agreement that provides for payment of vehicle protection expenses, as defined in s. 634.011(8)(b)1., so long as the sale of such product, contract, or agreement was otherwise disclosed to the consumer in writing at the time of the purchase or lease. However, in the event of a violation for which such statutory penalties do not apply, the court shall award actual damages and costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the application of the referenced statutory penalty provisions where this subsection is not applicable.
History.—ss. 30, 33, ch. 82-234; s. 68, ch. 91-106; s. 20, ch. 93-195; s. 466, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2005-151; s. 5, ch. 2008-178.