2009 Florida Statutes
Investigations; examinations; subpoenas; hearings; witnesses.
687.144 Investigations; examinations; subpoenas; hearings; witnesses.--
(1) The office may make investigations and examinations upon reasonable suspicion within or outside of this state as it deems necessary to determine whether a person has violated or is about to violate any provision of this act or any rule or order promulgated thereunder.
(2) The office may gather evidence in the matter. The office may administer oaths, examine witnesses, and issue subpoenas.
(3) Subpoenas for witnesses whose evidence is deemed material to any investigation or examination may be issued by the office under the seal of the office commanding such witnesses to be or appear before the office at a time and place to be therein named and to bring such books, records, and documents as may be specified or to submit such books, records, and documents to inspection. Such subpoenas may be served by an authorized representative of the office.
(4)(a) In the event of substantial noncompliance with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued by the office, the office may petition the circuit court of the county in which the person subpoenaed resides or has its principal place of business for an order requiring the person to appear and fully comply with the subpoena. The court may grant injunctive relief restraining the violation of this act and may grant such other relief, including, but not limited to, the restraint, by injunction or appointment of a receiver, of any transfer, pledge, assignment, or other disposition of such person's assets or any concealment, alteration, destruction, or other disposition of subpoenaed books, records, or documents, as the court deems appropriate, until such person has fully complied with such subpoena or subpoena duces tecum and the office has completed its investigation or examination. The office is entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011, and the court shall advance the cause on its calendar. Costs incurred by the office to obtain an order granting, in whole or in part, such petition for enforcement of a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum shall be taxed against the subpoenaed person, and failure to comply with such order shall be a contempt of court.
(b) When it shall appear to the office that the compliance with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued by the office is essential to an investigation or examination, the office, in addition to the other remedies provided for in this act, may, by verified petition setting forth the facts, apply to the circuit court of the county in which the subpoenaed person resides or has its principal place of business for a writ of ne exeat. The court may thereupon direct the issuance of the writ against the subpoenaed person requiring sufficient bond conditioned on compliance with the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. The court shall cause to be endorsed on the writ a suitable amount of bond on payment of which the person named in the writ shall be freed, having a due regard to the nature of the case.
(5) Witnesses shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage as they may be entitled by law for attending as witnesses in the circuit court, except where such examination or investigation is held at the place of business or residence of the witness.
(6) The material compiled by the office in an investigation or examination under this act is confidential until the investigation or examination is complete. The investigation or examination is not deemed complete if the office has submitted the material or any part of it to any law enforcement agency or other regulatory agency for further investigation or for the filing of a criminal or civil prosecution and such investigation and prosecution has not been completed or becomes inactive.
History.--s. 5, ch. 91-87; s. 1, ch. 94-262; s. 1876, ch. 2003-261.