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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 320
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F.S. 320.861
320.861 Investigations; subpoenas and other process; oaths; rules.
(1) The department may conduct investigations and examinations of any person whom the department reasonably suspects of violating or of having violated this chapter or any rule adopted or order issued under this chapter based on specific facts in a written complaint to the department, the department’s observations, or evidence in the department’s possession.
(2) For purposes of any investigation or examination conducted pursuant to this section, the department may exercise the power of subpoena and, after providing a reasonable opportunity for a person or the person’s employee or agent to consult with counsel, exercise the powers to administer oaths or affirmations; to examine witnesses; to require affidavits; to take depositions; and to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers, documents, records, and other evidence relevant to the investigation or examination. A designated agent of the department may serve a subpoena relating to an investigation or examination.
(3) If a person refuses to testify; to produce pertinent books, papers, documents, or records; or to otherwise obey the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued under subsection (2), the department may petition a court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the person’s residence or principal place of business is located, upon which the court may issue an order requiring such person to obey the subpoena or show cause for failing to obey the subpoena. If the court determines that the person has not shown sufficient cause for failing to obey the subpoena, the court may direct the person to obey the subpoena. The court may rule that failure to comply with such order constitutes contempt of court.
(4) For the purpose of any investigation, examination, or proceeding initiated by the department under this chapter, the department may designate examiners or investigatory employees of the department or attorneys representing the department to serve subpoenas and other process and to administer oaths or affirmations. The department shall exercise this power on its own initiative in accordance with ss. 320.615 and 320.71.
(5) Information received by the department as a result of an investigation or examination conducted pursuant to this section is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until the investigation or examination ceases to be active or administrative action taken by the department has concluded or been made part of a hearing or court proceeding. The department may release information that is made confidential and exempt under this subsection in furtherance of its official duties and responsibilities or, if released to another governmental agency, in the furtherance of that agency’s official duties and responsibilities. This subsection is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 12, ch. 74-68; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 13, 16, 17, ch. 80-217; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 19, 20, ch. 88-147; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 2021-187; s. 3, ch. 2021-237.