2011 Florida Statutes
106.265 Civil penalties.—
1(1) The commission or, in cases referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to s. 106.25(5), the administrative law judge is authorized upon the finding of a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 to impose civil penalties in the form of fines not to exceed $1,000 per count, or, if applicable, to impose a civil penalty as provided in s. 104.271 or s. 106.19.
1(2) In determining the amount of such civil penalties, the commission or administrative law judge shall consider, among other mitigating and aggravating circumstances:
(a) The gravity of the act or omission;
(b) Any previous history of similar acts or omissions;
(c) The appropriateness of such penalty to the financial resources of the person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party; and
(d) Whether the person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party has shown good faith in attempting to comply with the provisions of this chapter or chapter 104.
1(3) If any person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party fails or refuses to pay to the commission any civil penalties assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the commission shall be responsible for collecting the civil penalties resulting from such action.
(4) Any civil penalty collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(5) Any fine assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(6) In any case in which the commission determines that a person has filed a complaint against another person with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of the person complained against by filing the complaint with knowledge that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, the complainant shall be liable for costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against, including the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within 30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission shall forward such information to the Department of Legal Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and fees awarded by the commission.
History.—s. 61, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 4, ch. 86-276; ss. 7, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 51, ch. 97-13; s. 36, ch. 98-129; s. 3, ch. 2000-355; s. 22, ch. 2004-252; ss. 24, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 72, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
1Note.—Section 30, ch. 2011-6, provides that “[t]his act shall take effect July 1, 2010.” Passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives over the Governor’s veto March 24, 2011. House Joint Resolution 7105, 2011 Regular Session, provides that C.S. for C.S. for H.B. 1207, 2010 Regular Session, which became ch. 2011-6, is effective “upon becoming a law, the veto of the Governor notwithstanding. If any law amended by this act was also amended by a law enacted during the 2010 Regular Session, such laws shall be construed as if they had been enacted at the same session of the Legislature, and full effect shall be given to each if possible.” C.S. for C.S. for H.B. 1207, 2010 Regular Session, became law on March 24, 2011.