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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 09
Disposition of funds obtained through forfeiture proceedings.
F.S. 895.09
895.09 Disposition of funds obtained through forfeiture proceedings.
(1) A court entering a judgment of forfeiture in a proceeding brought pursuant to s. 895.05 shall retain jurisdiction to direct the distribution of any cash or of any cash proceeds realized from the forfeiture and disposition of the property. The court shall direct the distribution of the funds in the following order of priority:
(a) Any statutory fees to which the clerk of the court may be entitled.
(b) Any claims against the property by persons who have previously been judicially determined to be innocent persons, pursuant to s. 895.05(2)(e), and whose interests are preserved from forfeiture by the court and not otherwise satisfied. Such claims may include any claim by a person appointed by the court as receiver pending litigation.
(c) Any claim by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund on behalf of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund or the trust fund used pursuant to s. 253.03(12), not including administrative costs of the Department of Environmental Protection previously paid directly from the Internal Improvement Trust Fund in accordance with legislative appropriation.
(d) Any claims for restitution by victims of the racketeering activity. Where the forfeiture action was brought by the Department of Legal Affairs, the restitution shall be distributed though the Legal Affairs Revolving Trust Fund; otherwise, the restitution shall be distributed by the clerk of the court.
(2)(a) Following satisfaction of all valid claims under subsection (1), 25 percent of the remainder of the funds obtained in the forfeiture proceedings pursuant to s. 895.05 shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (b) into the appropriate trust fund of the Department of Legal Affairs or state attorney’s office which filed the civil forfeiture action; 25 percent shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (c) into the applicable law enforcement trust fund of the investigating law enforcement agency conducting the investigation which resulted in or significantly contributed to the forfeiture of the property; 25 percent shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund; and the remaining 25 percent shall be deposited in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the Department of Environmental Protection. If a forfeiture action is filed by the Department of Legal Affairs or a state attorney, the court entering the judgment of forfeiture shall, taking into account the overall effort and contribution to the investigation and forfeiture action by the agencies that filed the action, make a pro rata apportionment among such agencies of the funds available for distribution to the agencies filing the action as provided in this section. If multiple investigating law enforcement agencies have contributed to the forfeiture of the property, the court which entered the judgment of forfeiture shall, taking into account the overall effort and contribution of the agencies to the investigation and forfeiture action, make a pro rata apportionment among such investigating law enforcement agencies of the funds available for distribution to the investigating agencies as provided in this section.
(b) If a forfeiture action is filed by the Attorney General, any funds obtained by the Department of Legal Affairs by reason of paragraph (a) shall be deposited in the Legal Affairs Revolving Trust Fund as established by s. 16.53 and may be expended for the purposes and in the manner authorized in that section. If a forfeiture action is filed by a state attorney, any funds obtained by the state attorney’s office by reason of paragraph (a) shall be deposited in the State Attorney RICO Trust Fund as established by s. 27.345 and may be expended for the purposes and in the manner authorized in that section. In addition, any funds that are distributed pursuant to this section to an agency filing a forfeiture action may be used to pay the costs of investigations of violations of this chapter and the criminal prosecutions and civil actions related thereto. Such costs may include all taxable costs; costs of protecting, maintaining, and forfeiting the property; employees’ base salaries and compensation for overtime; and such other costs as are directly attributable to the investigation, prosecution, or civil action.
(c) Any funds distributed to an investigating law enforcement agency under paragraph (a) shall be deposited in the applicable law enforcement trust fund established for that agency pursuant to s. 932.7055 and expended for the purposes and in the manner authorized in that section. In addition, any funds distributed to an investigating law enforcement agency pursuant to this section may be used to pay the costs of investigations of violations of this chapter and the criminal prosecutions and civil actions related thereto, pursuant to s. 932.7055. Such costs may include all taxable costs; costs of protecting, maintaining, and forfeiting the property; employees’ base salaries and compensation for overtime; and such other costs directly attributable to the investigation, prosecution, or civil action.
(d) On a quarterly basis, any excess funds from forfeited property receipts, including interest, over $1 million deposited in the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the Department of Environmental Protection in accordance with paragraph (a) shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of an entity that files a forfeiture action to compromise a claim for forfeiture; however, any proceeds arising from a compromise or from the sale of property obtained in a compromise shall be distributed in the manner provided in subsections (1) and (2).
(4) Pending the final distribution of the cash or cash proceeds pursuant to this section, the court may authorize the cash or cash proceeds to be deposited in the court registry or in a qualified public depository.
(5) For purposes of this section, the term “cash or cash proceeds” includes, but is not limited to, damages or penalties or any other monetary payment, the monetary proceeds from property forfeited to the state pursuant to s. 895.05, or any payment made by any defendant by reason of any decree or settlement in any action filed pursuant to s. 895.05.
History.s. 1, ch. 84-249; s. 2, ch. 85-306; s. 7, ch. 86-277; s. 21, ch. 88-381; ss. 1, 6, ch. 89-102; ss. 8, 9, ch. 92-54; s. 41, ch. 93-39; s. 16, ch. 94-316; s. 478, ch. 94-356; s. 2, ch. 98-389; s. 306, ch. 99-8; s. 37, ch. 2004-234; s. 112, ch. 2006-1; s. 9, ch. 2008-16; s. 82, ch. 2015-229; s. 4, ch. 2016-84.