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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 501
CONSUMER PROTECTION
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F.S. 501.206
501.206 Investigative powers of enforcing authority.
(1) If, by his or her own inquiry or as a result of complaints, the enforcing authority has reason to believe that a person has engaged in, or is engaging in, an act or practice that violates this part, he or she may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses or matter, and collect evidence. Within 5 days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, after the service of a subpoena or at any time before the return date specified therein, whichever is longer, the party served may file in the circuit court in the county in which he or she resides or in which he or she transacts business and serve upon the enforcing authority a petition for an order modifying or setting aside the subpoena. The petitioner may raise any objection or privilege which would be available under this chapter or upon service of such subpoena in a civil action. The subpoena shall inform the party served of his or her rights under this subsection.
(2) If matter that the enforcing authority seeks to obtain by subpoena is located outside the state, the person subpoenaed may make it available to the enforcing authority or his or her representative to examine the matter at the place where it is located. The enforcing authority may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the matter on his or her behalf, and he or she may respond to similar requests from officials of other states.
(3) Upon failure of a person without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena and upon reasonable notice to all persons affected, the enforcing authority may apply to the circuit court for an order compelling compliance.
(4) The enforcing authority may request that an individual who refuses to comply with a subpoena on the ground that testimony or matter may incriminate him or her be ordered by the court to provide the testimony or matter. Except in a prosecution for perjury, an individual who complies with a court order to provide testimony or matter after asserting a privilege against self-incrimination to which he or she is entitled by law shall not have the testimony or matter so provided, or evidence derived therefrom, received against him or her in any criminal investigation or proceeding.
(5) Any person upon whom a subpoena is served pursuant to this section shall comply with the terms thereof unless otherwise provided by order of the court. Any person who fails to appear with the intent to avoid, evade, or prevent compliance in whole or in part with any investigation under this part or who removes from any place, conceals, withholds, mutilates, alters, or destroys, or by any other means falsifies any documentary material in the possession, custody, or control of any person subject to any such subpoena, or knowingly conceals any relevant information with the intent to avoid, evade, or prevent compliance shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs.
History.s. 1, ch. 73-124; s. 1, ch. 85-3; s. 6, ch. 93-38; s. 628, ch. 97-103.