Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1562 By Senator Passidomo 28-00542A-18 20181562__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to elder abuse; amending s. 825.101, 3 F.S.; defining terms; creating s. 825.1035, F.S.; 4 creating a cause of action for an injunction for 5 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable 6 adult; providing for standing to bring a cause of 7 action for an injunction; providing that an injunction 8 may be sought regardless of any other action that may 9 be pending between specified parties; specifying that 10 the right to petition for an injunction is not 11 affected by a person temporarily or permanently 12 vacating a residence or household to avoid 13 exploitation; providing a list of persons who may seek 14 an injunction; providing that parties to an injunction 15 may not be required to be represented by an attorney; 16 specifying that the petitioner is liable for actual 17 damages under certain circumstances; providing for the 18 submission of evidence to the court; providing for 19 venue; providing that exploitation already having 20 occurred is not required as a prerequisite for filing 21 for or issuance of an injunction; requiring that a 22 petition be filed in certain proceedings under ch. 23 744, F.S.; prohibiting the clerk of the circuit court 24 from assessing a filing fee under certain 25 circumstances; authorizing the clerk of the circuit 26 court to request a reimbursement for such petitions, 27 subject to the appropriation of funds for that 28 purpose; requiring the clerk of the circuit court to 29 pay from such reimbursement any fee not exceeding $20 30 that a law enforcement agency requests; prohibiting 31 the court from requiring a bond for the entry of the 32 injunction; requiring a sworn petition to contain 33 certain allegations and statements; requiring the 34 court to set a hearing at a certain time; requiring 35 the respondent to be personally served with certain 36 documents prior to the hearing; requiring the clerk of 37 the circuit court to assist the petitioner in filing 38 an injunction or petition by providing certain forms 39 and instructions; requiring the clerk of the court to 40 ensure the petitioner’s privacy; requiring the clerk 41 of the court to provide the petitioners with certified 42 copies of the injunction order; requiring that the 43 clerks of the court and appropriate staff receive 44 certain training; requiring that the clerk of the 45 circuit court make available certain informational 46 brochures and create and distribute a specified 47 brochure containing specified information to the 48 petitioner at the time of filing for an injunction; 49 authorizing the court to grant a temporary injunction 50 ex parte under certain circumstances; prohibiting the 51 use of evidence other than verified pleadings or 52 affidavits in an ex parte hearing; providing an 53 exception; requiring the court to follow certain 54 procedures when issuing an order denying a petition 55 for an ex parte injunction; prohibiting an ex parte 56 temporary injunction from having a duration longer 57 than a specified number of days; requiring that a full 58 hearing be set for a date no later than the date the 59 temporary injunction expires; authorizing the court to 60 grant a continuance of the hearing for good cause; 61 authorizing the court to grant specified relief under 62 certain circumstances; providing factors that a court 63 must consider when determining whether petitioners 64 have reasonable cause; requiring that the court allow 65 certain advocates to be present under certain 66 circumstances; requiring that the terms of certain 67 injunctions remain in effect until modified or 68 dissolved; authorizing either party to move at any 69 time to modify or dissolve an injunction; requiring 70 that a temporary or final judgment on an injunction 71 meet certain requirements; specifying that granting 72 separate orders of protection to opposing parties is 73 not legally sufficient for certain purposes; requiring 74 that certain proceedings be recorded; providing 75 requirements and options for service of process; 76 authorizing the court to waive the service of process 77 requirement for a financial institution; requiring 78 that the clerk of the circuit court deliver a 79 certified copy of certain orders meeting certain 80 criteria to the parties under certain circumstances; 81 providing options for noting the service was 82 effective; requiring that the clerk of the circuit 83 court place a written certification in the court file 84 and notify the sheriff under certain circumstances; 85 authorizing the clerk of the circuit court to serve 86 certain respondents by certified mail; requiring that 87 the clerk of the circuit court, law enforcement 88 officers, and sheriffs follow certain procedures 89 within a certain timeframe after an injunction has 90 been issued or an injunction becomes ineffective; 91 requiring the clerk of the circuit court to provide 92 copies of certain petitions and orders to the adult 93 protective services program; requiring the adult 94 protective services program to treat petitions in a 95 certain manner; requiring the adult protective 96 services program to submit to the court the results of 97 any previous investigations relating to the vulnerable 98 adult within a specified timeframe; providing options 99 for enforcing and prosecuting a violation of an 100 injunction; requiring that the clerk of the circuit 101 collect any assessment or fine ordered by the court 102 and transfer it to the Department of Revenue for 103 deposit into the General Revenue fund on a monthly 104 basis; requiring that a respondent held in custody 105 after an arrest for violating an injunction be brought 106 before the court as expeditiously as possible; 107 providing construction; creating s. 825.1036, F.S.; 108 requiring that a clerk of the circuit court assist the 109 petitioner in preparing an affidavit or direct the 110 petitioner to a certain office, under certain 111 circumstances; requiring the clerk of the circuit 112 court or the office assisting the petitioner to 113 immediately forward the affidavit to certain people 114 and places depending on certain circumstances; 115 requiring a law enforcement agency to complete its 116 investigation and forward the affidavit along with a 117 report of any information obtained through its 118 investigation to the state attorney within a specified 119 timeframe; requiring the state attorney to determine 120 how it will proceed within a specified timeframe; 121 authorizing the court to immediately issue an order of 122 appointment of the state attorney in certain 123 circumstances; requiring the court to immediately 124 notify the state attorney that the court is proceeding 125 to enforce the violation through a ruling of criminal 126 contempt if the court does not issue an order of 127 appointment; providing a penalty for a willful 128 violation of an injunction; providing an exception; 129 providing for how an injunction may be violated; 130 providing that a person with two or more prior 131 convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign 132 protection order against the same victim who commits a 133 subsequent violation against the same victim commits a 134 third degree felony; defining conviction; authorizing 135 the court to award economic damages to a person who 136 suffers an injury or loss as a result of a violation 137 of an injunction; amending s. 901.15, F.S.; conforming 138 provisions to changes made by the act; providing an 139 effective date. 140 141 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 142 143 Section 1. Present subsections (6) through (12) of section 144 825.101, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (7) 145 through (13), respectively, and a new subsection (6) and 146 subsection (14) are added to that section, to read: 147 825.101 Definitions.—As used in this chapter: 148 (6) “Exploitation” has the same meaning as the term 149 “exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult” as defined 150 in s. 825.103(1). 151 (14) “Vulnerable adult” has the same meaning as in s. 152 415.102. 153 Section 2. Section 825.1035, Florida Statutes, is created 154 to read: 155 825.1035 Injunction for protection against exploitation of 156 vulnerable adults.— 157 (1) There is created a cause of action for an injunction 158 for protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult. 159 (a) Any person described in paragraph (d) has standing in 160 the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for 161 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult. 162 (b) A sworn petition for an injunction for protection 163 against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult may be filed 164 regardless of whether any other cause of action is currently 165 pending between either the petitioner and the respondent or the 166 vulnerable adult and the respondent. However, the pendency of 167 any such cause of action shall be noted in the petition. 168 (c) A person temporarily or permanently vacating a 169 residence or household in an attempt to avoid exploitation does 170 not affect his or her right to petition for an injunction. 171 (d) This cause of action for an injunction may be sought 172 by: 173 1. A vulnerable adult in imminent danger of being 174 exploited; 175 2. The guardian of a vulnerable adult in imminent danger of 176 being exploited; 177 3. A person or organization acting on behalf of the 178 vulnerable adult with the consent of the vulnerable adult or his 179 or her guardian; or 180 4. A person who simultaneously files a petition for 181 determination of incapacity and appointment of an emergency 182 temporary guardian with respect to the vulnerable adult. 183 (e) Parties to an injunction for protection against the 184 exploitation of a vulnerable adult may not be required to be 185 represented by an attorney. 186 (f) Notwithstanding any other law, the petitioner is liable 187 for actual damages if it is found that the petition was without 188 substantial fact or legal support. 189 (g) Any person who offers evidence relating to the 190 exploitation of a vulnerable adult must present the evidence 191 under oath at a hearing for which all parties have been given 192 reasonable notice. 193 (h) Notwithstanding chapter 47, a petition for an 194 injunction for protection against the exploitation of a 195 vulnerable adult may be filed in the circuit where the 196 petitioner currently resides, where the respondent resides, 197 where the vulnerable adult resides, or where the exploitation 198 occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to 199 petition for an injunction for protection against the 200 exploitation of a vulnerable adult. It is not required as a 201 prerequisite of filing a petition for or issuance of an 202 injunction under this section for exploitation to have already 203 occurred. If a proceeding concerning the vulnerable adult under 204 chapter 744 is pending at the time of the filing, the petition 205 must be filed in that proceeding. 206 (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the clerk 207 of the circuit court may not assess a filing fee for petitions 208 filed under this section. However, subject to legislative 209 appropriation for such purpose, the clerk of the circuit court 210 may, on a quarterly basis, submit a certified request for 211 reimbursement to the Office of the State Courts Administrator 212 for the processing of such petitions, at the rate of $40 per 213 petition. The request for reimbursement must be submitted in the 214 form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State Courts 215 Administrator. From each reimbursement received, the clerk of 216 the circuit court shall pay any law enforcement agency serving 217 the injunction for protection against the exploitation of a 218 vulnerable adult the fee requested by the law enforcement 219 agency. However, the fee may not exceed $20. 220 (j) The court may require a bond for the entry of an 221 injunction for protection against the exploitation of a 222 vulnerable adult. 223 (2)(a) A sworn petition filed under this section must 224 allege the existence of exploitation, or the imminent 225 exploitation, of the vulnerable adult and must include the 226 specific facts and circumstances for which relief is sought. 227 (b) The sworn petition must be in substantially the 228 following form: 229 230 PETITION FOR INJUNCTION 231 FOR Protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult 232 233 Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared 234 Petitioner ...(Name)..., who has been sworn and says that the 235 following statements are true: 236 1. The vulnerable adult resides at: ...(address)... 237 (The petitioner may furnish the address to the court in a 238 separate confidential filing if, for safety reasons, the 239 vulnerable adult requests that the location of his or her 240 current residence be kept confidential.) 241 2. The respondent resides at: ...(last known address).... 242 3. The respondent’s last known place of employment is: 243 ...(name of business and address).... 244 4. Physical description of the respondent: .... 245 Race.... 246 Sex.... 247 Date of birth.... 248 Height.... 249 Weight.... 250 Eye color.... 251 Hair color.... 252 Distinguishing marks or scars.... 253 5. Aliases of the respondent: .... 254 6. The respondent is associated with the vulnerable adult 255 as follows: .... 256 7. The following describes any other cause of action 257 currently pending between the petitioner and the respondent, any 258 proceeding under chapter 744 concerning the vulnerable adult, 259 and any previous or pending attempts by the petitioner to obtain 260 an injunction for protection against exploitation of the 261 vulnerable adult in this or any other circuit; related case 262 numbers, if available; and the results of any such attempts:.... 263 ................................................................ 264 8. The following describes the petitioner’s knowledge of 265 any reports made to a government agency, including, but not 266 limited to, the Department of Elderly Affairs, the Department of 267 Children and Families, and the adult protective services program 268 relating to the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the 269 vulnerable adult; any investigations performed by a government 270 agency relating to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the 271 vulnerable adult; and the results of any such reports or 272 investigations:................................................. 273 ................................................................ 274 9. The petitioner knows the vulnerable adult is either a 275 victim of exploitation or the petitioner has reasonable cause to 276 believe the vulnerable adult is, or is in imminent danger of 277 becoming, a victim of exploitation because the respondent has: 278 ....(describe in the spaces below the incidents of exploitation) 279 ................................................................ 280 10. The petitioner genuinely fears imminent exploitation of 281 the vulnerable adult by the respondent. 282 11. The petitioner seeks an injunction for the protection 283 of the vulnerable adult, including: ...(mark appropriate section 284 or sections).... 285 ....Prohibiting the respondent from having any direct or 286 indirect contact with the vulnerable adult. 287 ....Immediately restraining the respondent from committing 288 any acts of exploitation against the vulnerable adult. 289 ....Freezing the assets of the vulnerable adult held at 290 ...(name and address of depository or financial institution)... 291 even if titled jointly with the respondent, or in the 292 respondent’s name only, in the court’s discretion. 293 ....Providing any terms the court deems necessary for the 294 protection of the vulnerable adult or his or her assets, 295 including any injunctions or directives to law enforcement 296 agencies. 297 298 (c) Each petition for an injunction for protection against 299 the exploitation of a vulnerable adult must contain, directly 300 above the signature line, a statement in all capital letters and 301 bold type not smaller than the surrounding text, as follows: 302 303 I HAVE READ EACH STATEMENT MADE IN THIS PETITION AND 304 EACH SUCH STATEMENT IS TRUE AND CORRECT. I UNDERSTAND 305 THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THIS PETITION ARE BEING 306 MADE UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY PUNISHABLE AS PROVIDED 307 IN SECTION 837.02, FLORIDA STATUTES. 308 309 (d) Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall 310 schedule a hearing on the petition on the earliest possible 311 date. The respondent shall be personally served, pursuant to 312 chapter 48, with a copy of the petition, financial affidavit, 313 notice of hearing, and temporary injunction, if any, prior to 314 the hearing. 315 (3)(a) The clerk of the circuit court shall assist the 316 petitioner in filing an injunction for protection against the 317 exploitation of a vulnerable adult and any petition alleging a 318 violation thereof. 319 (b) The clerk of the circuit court shall provide simplified 320 petition forms for the injunction for protection against the 321 exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and any modifications 322 thereto, and for the enforcement thereof, and instructions for 323 completion of such forms. 324 (c) The clerk of the circuit court shall, to the extent 325 practicable, ensure the petitioner’s privacy while completing 326 such forms. 327 (d) The clerk of the circuit court shall provide the 328 petitioner with at least two certified copies of the order of 329 injunction, one of which is serviceable, and shall inform the 330 petitioner of the process for service and enforcement. 331 (e) Clerks of the circuit court and appropriate staff in 332 each county shall receive training in the effective assistance 333 of petitioners as provided or approved by the Florida 334 Association of Court Clerks. 335 (f) The clerk of the circuit court in each county shall 336 make available informational brochures on the exploitation of 337 vulnerable adults when such brochures are provided by local 338 senior centers, local aging and disability resource centers, or 339 appropriate state or federal agencies. 340 (g) The clerk of the circuit court in each county shall 341 produce an informational brochure and provide it to the 342 petitioner at the time of filing for an injunction for 343 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The 344 brochure must include information about the exploitation of 345 vulnerable adults and the effect of providing false information 346 to the court. 347 (4)(a)1. The court may grant a temporary injunction ex 348 parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the 349 court deems proper if it appears to the court that: 350 a. An immediate and present danger of exploitation of the 351 vulnerable adult exists; 352 b. There is a likelihood of irreparable harm and 353 nonavailability of an adequate remedy at law; 354 c. There is a substantial likelihood of success on the 355 merits; 356 d. The threatened injury to the vulnerable adult outweighs 357 possible harm to the respondent; and 358 e. Granting a temporary injunction will not disserve the 359 public interest. 360 2. Such relief the court deems proper may include, but is 361 not limited to, injunctions doing any of the following: 362 a. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of 363 exploitation against the vulnerable adult. 364 b. Awarding to the vulnerable adult the temporary exclusive 365 use and possession of the dwelling that the vulnerable adult and 366 the respondent share, or barring the respondent from the 367 residence of the vulnerable adult, if the court finds that the 368 vulnerable adult is able to reside safely without the 369 respondent. 370 c. Freezing any assets of the vulnerable adult in any 371 depository or financial institution whether titled solely in the 372 vulnerable adult’s name, solely in the respondent’s name, 373 jointly with the respondent, in guardianship, in trust, or in a 374 Totten trust. 375 (I) Assets held by a guardian for the vulnerable adult may 376 be frozen only by an order entered by the court overseeing the 377 guardianship proceeding. 378 (II) Assets held by a trust may be frozen only by an order 379 of the court if all the trustees of the trust are served with 380 process in accordance with Rule 1.070, Florida Rules of Civil 381 Procedure, and are given reasonable notice prior to any hearing 382 on the petition. 383 d. Prohibiting the respondent from having any direct or 384 indirect contact with the vulnerable adult. 385 e. Providing any injunctions or directives to law 386 enforcement agencies. 387 (b) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing ex parte 388 for the purpose of obtaining an ex parte temporary injunction, 389 only verified pleadings or affidavits may be used as evidence 390 unless the respondent appears at the hearing or has received 391 reasonable notice of the hearing. A denial of a petition for an 392 ex parte injunction must be by written order and note the legal 393 grounds for denial. When the only ground for denial is failure 394 to demonstrate appearance of an immediate and present danger of 395 exploitation of a vulnerable adult, the court must set a full 396 hearing on the petition for injunction at the earliest possible 397 date. Nothing in this paragraph affects a petitioner’s right to 398 promptly amend any petition consistent with the Florida Rules of 399 Civil Procedure. 400 (c) An ex parte temporary injunction may be effective for a 401 fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided 402 by this section, must be set for a date no later than the date 403 when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court 404 may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during the 405 hearing for good cause shown by any party, which must include a 406 continuance to obtain service of process. 407 (5)(a)1. The court may grant such relief as the court deems 408 proper when, upon notice and hearing, it appears to the court 409 that: 410 a. The vulnerable adult is the victim of exploitation or 411 that the vulnerable adult is in imminent danger of becoming a 412 victim of exploitation; 413 b. There is a likelihood of irreparable harm and 414 nonavailability of an adequate remedy at law; 415 c. There is a substantial likelihood of success on the 416 merits; 417 d. The threatened injury to the vulnerable adult outweighs 418 possible harm to the respondent; and 419 e. Granting a temporary injunction will not disserve the 420 public interest. 421 2. Such relief may include, but need not be limited to, 422 injunctions doing any of the following: 423 a. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of 424 exploitation. 425 b. Awarding to the vulnerable adult the exclusive use and 426 possession of the dwelling that the vulnerable adult and the 427 respondent share or excluding the respondent from the residence 428 of the vulnerable adult, if the court finds that the vulnerable 429 adult is able to reside safely without the respondent. 430 c. Ordering the respondent to participate in treatment, 431 intervention, or counseling services to be paid for by the 432 respondent. 433 d. Directing that assets under temporary freeze by 434 injunction be returned to the vulnerable adult, or directing 435 that those assets remain frozen until ownership can be 436 determined. 437 e. Ordering such other relief as the court deems necessary 438 for the protection of a victim of exploitation, including 439 injunctions or directives to law enforcement agencies, as 440 provided in this section. 441 (b) In determining whether a petitioner has reasonable 442 cause to believe that the vulnerable adult is, or is in imminent 443 danger of becoming, a victim of exploitation, the court shall 444 consider and evaluate all relevant factors, including, but not 445 limited to, any of the following: 446 1. The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued 447 previously or from another jurisdiction. 448 2. Any history of exploitation by the respondent upon the 449 vulnerable adult in the petition or any other vulnerable adult. 450 3. Any history of the vulnerable adult being previously 451 exploited or unduly influenced. 452 4. The capacity of the vulnerable adult to make decisions 453 related to his or her finances and property. 454 5. Susceptibility of the vulnerable adult to undue 455 influence. 456 6. Any criminal history of the respondent or previous 457 probable cause findings by the adult protective services 458 program, if known. 459 (c) The court must allow an advocate from a state 460 attorney’s office, a law enforcement agency, or the adult 461 protective services program to be present with the petitioner or 462 the respondent during any court proceedings or hearings related 463 to the injunction, provided the petitioner or the respondent has 464 made such a request and the advocate is able to be present. 465 (d) The terms of an injunction restraining the respondent 466 as provided in paragraph (a) remain in effect until the 467 injunction is modified or dissolved. The petitioner, respondent, 468 or vulnerable adult may move at any time to modify or dissolve 469 the injunction. No specific allegations are required for 470 modification or dissolution of the injunction, which may be 471 granted in addition to other civil or criminal penalties. 472 (e) A temporary or final judgment on an injunction must, on 473 its face, indicate: 474 1. That the injunction is valid and enforceable in all 475 counties of this state. 476 2. That law enforcement officers may use their arrest 477 powers pursuant to s. 901.15(6) to enforce the terms of the 478 injunction. 479 3. That the court had jurisdiction over the parties and 480 subject matter under state law and that reasonable notice and 481 opportunity to be heard were given to the person against whom 482 the order was sought, in a manner that was sufficient to protect 483 that person’s right to due process. 484 4. The date the respondent was served with the temporary or 485 final order, if obtainable. 486 (f) The fact that a separate order of protection is granted 487 to each opposing party is not legally sufficient to deny any 488 remedy to either party or to prove that the parties are equally 489 at fault or equally endangered. 490 (g) All proceedings conducted pursuant to this subsection 491 must be recorded. Recording may be by electronic means as 492 provided by the Rules of Judicial Administration. 493 (6)(a)1.a. The clerk of the circuit court shall furnish a 494 copy of the petition, the financial affidavit, the notice of 495 hearing, and any temporary injunction to the sheriff or a law 496 enforcement agency of the county in which the respondent resides 497 or can be found, who shall serve it upon the respondent as soon 498 thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any time of 499 the day or night. At the request of the sheriff, the clerk of 500 the circuit court may transmit a facsimile copy of an injunction 501 that has been certified by the clerk of the circuit court 502 pursuant to subparagraph 4., and this facsimile copy may be 503 served in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of the 504 circuit court shall also furnish to the sheriff such information 505 on the respondent’s physical description and location as is 506 required by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to comply 507 with the verification procedures set forth in sub-subparagraph 508 b. 509 b. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify 510 receipt with the clerk of the circuit court before attempting to 511 serve it upon the respondent. If the sheriff is in possession of 512 an injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the 513 circuit court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy of that 514 injunction to a law enforcement officer who shall serve it in 515 the same manner as a certified copy. 516 c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the chief 517 judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate 518 sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the 519 jurisdiction to effect service. A law enforcement agency 520 performing service pursuant to this section shall use service 521 and verification procedures consistent with those of the 522 sheriff. 523 2.a. The clerk of the circuit court shall furnish a copy of 524 the petition, the financial affidavit, the notice of hearing, 525 and any temporary injunction to the sheriff or a law enforcement 526 agency of the county in which the vulnerable adult resides or 527 can be found, who shall serve it upon the vulnerable adult as 528 soon thereafter as possible on any day of the week and at any 529 time of the day or night. At the request of the sheriff, the 530 clerk of the circuit court may transmit a facsimile copy of an 531 injunction that has been certified by the clerk of the circuit 532 court pursuant to subparagraph 4., and this facsimile copy may 533 be served in the same manner as a certified copy. The clerk of 534 the circuit court shall also furnish to the sheriff such 535 information on the vulnerable adult’s physical description and 536 location as is required by the Florida Department of Law 537 Enforcement to comply with the verification procedures set forth 538 in sub-subparagraph b. 539 b. Upon receiving a facsimile copy, the sheriff must verify 540 receipt with the clerk of the circuit court before attempting to 541 serve it upon the vulnerable adult. If the sheriff is in 542 possession of an injunction that has been certified by the clerk 543 of the circuit court, the sheriff may transmit a facsimile copy 544 of that injunction to a law enforcement officer, who shall serve 545 it in the same manner as a certified copy. 546 c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the chief 547 judge of each circuit, in consultation with the appropriate 548 sheriff, may authorize a law enforcement agency within the 549 jurisdiction of the circuit to effect service. A law enforcement 550 agency performing service pursuant to this section shall use 551 service and verification procedures consistent with those of the 552 sheriff. 553 3. When an injunction for protection against the 554 exploitation of a vulnerable adult is issued, if the petitioner 555 requests that a law enforcement agency assist the vulnerable 556 adult, the court may order that an officer from the appropriate 557 law enforcement agency accompany the vulnerable adult and assist 558 in the service or execution of the injunction, including 559 returning possession of a dwelling or residence to the 560 vulnerable adult. A law enforcement officer shall accept a copy 561 of an injunction, certified by the clerk of the circuit court 562 pursuant to subparagraph 4., from the petitioner and immediately 563 serve it upon a respondent who has been located but not yet 564 served. The law enforcement agency must also serve any 565 injunction freezing assets on the financial institution where 566 assets subject to dissipation are held; the court may waive such 567 service. 568 4. The clerk of the circuit court shall certify a copy of 569 all orders issued, changed, continued, extended, or vacated 570 subsequent to the original service of the original petition, 571 notice of hearing, or temporary injunction and deliver the 572 certified copy to the parties at the time of the entry of the 573 order. The parties may acknowledge receipt of a certified order 574 in writing on the face of the original order. If a party fails 575 or refuses to acknowledge the receipt of a certified copy of an 576 order, the clerk of the circuit court must note on the original 577 petition that service was effected. If delivery at the hearing 578 during which an order is issued is not possible, the clerk of 579 the circuit court shall mail certified copies of the order to 580 the parties at their respective last known mailing addresses. 581 Service by mail is complete upon mailing. When an order is 582 served pursuant to this subparagraph the clerk of the circuit 583 court shall notify the sheriff of the service and prepare a 584 written certification to be placed in the court file specifying 585 the time, date, and method of service. 586 5. If the respondent has been previously served with the 587 temporary injunction and has failed to appear at the initial 588 hearing on the temporary injunction, any subsequent petition for 589 an injunction seeking an extension of time may be served on the 590 respondent by the clerk of the court by certified mail in lieu 591 of personal service by a law enforcement officer. 592 (b)1. Within 24 hours after the court issues an injunction 593 for protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult or 594 changes, continues, extends, or vacates such an injunction, the 595 clerk of the circuit court must forward a certified copy of the 596 order to the sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the 597 petitioner for service in accordance with this subsection. 598 2. Within 24 hours after service of an injunction for 599 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult upon a 600 respondent, the law enforcement officer who served the 601 injunction must forward the written proof of service to the 602 sheriff with jurisdiction over the residence of the petitioner. 603 3. Within 24 hours after the sheriff receives a certified 604 copy of the injunction for protection against the exploitation 605 of a vulnerable adult, the sheriff must make information related 606 to the injunction available to this state’s law enforcement 607 agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the 608 Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 609 4. Within 24 hours after the sheriff or other law 610 enforcement officer has made service upon the respondent and the 611 sheriff has been so notified, the sheriff must make information 612 relating to the service available to other law enforcement 613 agencies by electronically transmitting such information to the 614 Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 615 5. Within 24 hours after an injunction for protection 616 against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult is terminated, or 617 otherwise rendered no longer effective by ruling of the court, 618 the clerk of the circuit court must notify the sheriff receiving 619 original notification of the injunction as provided in 620 subparagraph 1. The sheriff’s agency shall, within 24 hours 621 after receiving such notification from the clerk of the circuit 622 court, notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement of such 623 action of the court. 624 (c) The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of all 625 petitions filed pursuant to this section and all orders entered 626 on such petitions to the adult protective services program, 627 which shall treat such petitions in the same manner as a report 628 of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Within 629 24 hours after receipt of such orders or petitions, the adult 630 protective services program shall submit to the court overseeing 631 proceedings on the petition the results of any previous 632 investigations relating to the vulnerable adult. 633 (7)(a) The court may enforce a violation of an injunction 634 for protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult 635 through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state 636 attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under s. 637 825.1036. Any assessment or fine ordered by the court enforcing 638 such injunction shall be collected by the clerk of the circuit 639 court and transferred on a monthly basis to the Department of 640 Revenue for deposit in the Domestic Violence Trust Fund. 641 (b) If the respondent is arrested by a law enforcement 642 officer under s. 901.15(6) or for a violation of s. 825.1036, 643 the respondent must be held in custody until he or she is 644 brought before the court, which must occur as expeditiously as 645 possible, for the purpose of enforcing the injunction for 646 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult and 647 for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the 648 applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing. 649 (8) Nothing in this section may affect the title to any 650 real estate. 651 Section 3. Section 825.1036, Florida Statutes, is created 652 to read: 653 825.1036 Violation of an injunction for protection against 654 the exploitation of a vulnerable adult.— 655 (1) In the event of a violation of an injunction for 656 protection against the exploitation of a vulnerable adult when 657 the person who violated such injunction has not been arrested, 658 the petitioner may contact the clerk of the circuit court of the 659 county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. The 660 clerk of the circuit court shall assist the petitioner in the 661 preparation of an affidavit in support of the violation or 662 direct the petitioner to the office operated by the court within 663 the circuit which has been designated by the chief judge of that 664 circuit as the central intake point for injunction violations 665 and where the petitioner can receive assistance in the 666 preparation of the affidavit in support of the violation. 667 (2) The affidavit shall be immediately forwarded by the 668 clerk of the circuit court or the office assisting the 669 petitioner to the state attorney of that circuit and to such 670 court or judge as the chief judge of that circuit determines to 671 be the recipient of affidavits of violation. If the affidavit 672 alleges that a crime has been committed, the clerk of the 673 circuit court or the office assisting the petitioner shall also 674 forward a copy of the petitioner’s affidavit to the appropriate 675 law enforcement agency for investigation. Within 20 days after 676 receipt of the affidavit, the local law enforcement agency shall 677 complete its investigation and forward the affidavit and a 678 report containing the agency’s findings to the state attorney. 679 The state attorney shall determine within 30 working days 680 whether its office will proceed to file criminal charges, 681 prepare a motion for an order to show cause as to why the 682 respondent should not be held in criminal contempt, prepare both 683 as alternative findings, or file notice that the case remains 684 under investigation or is pending subject to another action. 685 (3) If, based on its familiarity with the case, the court 686 has knowledge that the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger 687 if the court fails to act prior to the decision of the state 688 attorney to prosecute, it should immediately issue an order of 689 appointment of the state attorney to file a motion for an order 690 to show cause as to why the respondent should not be held in 691 contempt. If the court does not issue an order of appointment of 692 the state attorney, it shall immediately notify the state 693 attorney that the court is proceeding to enforce the violation 694 through a ruling of criminal contempt. 695 (4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who 696 willfully violates an injunction for protection against the 697 exploitation of a vulnerable adult commits a misdemeanor of the 698 first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 699 775.083. A person may violate such injunction by: 700 1. Refusing to vacate the dwelling shared with the 701 vulnerable adult; 702 2. Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the vulnerable 703 adult’s residence; 704 3. Exploiting or unduly influencing the vulnerable adult; 705 4. Committing any other violation of the injunction through 706 an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to 707 the vulnerable adult; 708 5. Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with 709 the vulnerable adult directly or indirectly, unless the 710 injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third 711 party; 712 6. Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of 713 the vulnerable adult’s motor vehicle, regardless of whether that 714 vehicle is occupied; or 715 7. Defacing or destroying the vulnerable adult’s personal 716 property. 717 (b) A person who has two or more prior convictions for 718 violation of an injunction or foreign protection order against 719 the same victim, and who subsequently commits a violation of any 720 injunction or foreign protection order against the same victim, 721 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in 722 s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this 723 paragraph, the term “conviction” means a determination of guilt 724 which is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether 725 adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is 726 entered. 727 (5) Any person who suffers an injury or loss as a result of 728 a violation of an injunction for protection against the 729 exploitation of a vulnerable adult may be awarded economic 730 damages for that injury or loss by the court issuing the 731 injunction. Damages include costs and attorney fees for 732 enforcement of such injunction. 733 Section 4. Subsection (6) of section 901.15, Florida 734 Statutes, is amended to read: 735 901.15 When arrest by officer without warrant is lawful.—A 736 law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant 737 when: 738 (6) There is probable cause to believe that the person has 739 committed a criminal act according to s. 790.233 or according to 740 s. 741.31,
ors. 784.047, or s. 825.1036 which violates an 741 injunction for protection entered pursuant to s. 741.30, ors. 742 784.046, or s. 825.1035 or a foreign protection order accorded 743 full faith and credit pursuant to s. 741.315, over the objection 744 of the petitioner, if necessary. 745 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.