2004 Florida Statutes
Duty to negotiate.
(1) If a governmental entity files suit against another governmental entity, court proceedings on the suit shall be abated, by order of the court, until the procedural options of this act have been exhausted. The governing body of a governmental entity initiating conflict resolution procedures pursuant to this act shall, by motion, request the court to issue an order abating the case pursuant to this section. All governmental entities are encouraged to use the procedures in this act to resolve conflicts that may occur at any time between governmental entities, but shall use these procedures before court proceedings, consistent with the provisions of this section. The provisions of this act do not apply to administrative proceedings pursuant to chapter 120 or any appeal from any administrative or trial court judgment or decision. Nothing in this act shall limit a governmental entity from initiating and prosecuting eminent domain, foreclosure, or other court proceedings where, as a function of the nature of the suit, other governmental entities are necessary parties, if there are no materially disputed issues with regard to such joinder. Nothing in this act shall limit a governmental entity from filing any counterclaim or cross-claim in any litigation in which it is a defendant. Nothing in this act is intended to abrogate other provisions of law which provide procedures for challenges to specific governmental actions, including, but not limited to, comprehensive plan amendments and tax assessment challenges. The provisions of this act shall not apply to conflicts between governmental entities if an alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation or arbitration, is specifically required by general law or agreed to by contract, interlocal agreement, or other written instrument, or if the governmental entities have reached an impasse during an alternative dispute resolution process engaged in prior to the initiation of court action. Further, nothing in this act shall preclude a governmental entity from filing a suit without resort to the provisions of this act against any federal or other governmental entity not governed by state law. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to toll or waive jurisdictional time limits on specific pleadings or motions set forth in statute or court rules unless modified pursuant to s. 164.1061
(2) If a governmental entity, by a three-fourths vote of its governing body, finds that an immediate danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public requires immediate action, or that significant legal rights will be compromised if a court proceeding does not take place before the provisions of this act are complied with, no notice or public meeting or other proceeding as provided by this act shall be required before such a court proceeding. If a water management district, by three-fourths vote of its governing body, finds that an immediate danger to the natural resources, water resources, and wildlife requires immediate declaratory relief, or that significant legal rights will be compromised if a court proceeding does not take place before the provisions of this act are complied with, no notice or public meeting or other proceeding as provided by this act shall be required before such a court proceeding. However, the court, upon motion, may review the justification for failure to comply with the provisions of this act and make a determination as to whether the provisions of this act should be complied with prior to action by the court. If the court determines that the provisions of this act should be complied with prior to court action and that following the provisions of this act will not result in the compromise of significant legal rights, the court shall abate the suit until the provisions of this act are complied with.
History.--s. 4, ch. 99-279.