2004 Florida Statutes
(1) As an alternative to or in conjunction with an injunctive proceeding, the agency may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a receiver, if suitable alternate placements are not available, when any of the following conditions exist:
(b) The facility is closing or has informed the agency that it intends to close and adequate arrangements have not been made for relocation of the residents within 7 days, exclusive of weekends and holidays, of the closing of the facility.
(c) The agency determines there exist in the facility conditions which present an imminent danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the residents of the facility or a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm would result therefrom.
(d) The facility cannot meet its financial obligation for providing food, shelter, care, and utilities.
(2) Petitions for receivership shall take precedence over other court business unless the court determines that some other pending proceeding, having similar statutory precedence, shall have priority. A hearing shall be conducted within 5 days of the filing of the petition, at which time all interested parties shall have the opportunity to present evidence pertaining to the petition. The agency shall notify, by certified mail, the owner or administrator of the facility named in the petition and the facility resident or, if applicable, the resident's representative or designee, or the resident's surrogate, guardian, or attorney in fact, of its filing, the substance of the violation, and the date and place set for the hearing. The court shall grant the petition only upon finding that the health, safety, or welfare of facility residents would be threatened if a condition existing at the time the petition was filed is permitted to continue. A receiver shall not be appointed ex parte unless the court determines that one or more of the conditions in subsection (1) exist; that the facility owner or administrator cannot be found; that all reasonable means of locating the owner or administrator and notifying him or her of the petition and hearing have been exhausted; or that the owner or administrator after notification of the hearing chooses not to attend. After such findings, the court may appoint any qualified person as a receiver, except it may not appoint any owner or affiliate of the facility which is in receivership. The receiver may be selected from a list of persons qualified to act as receivers developed by the agency and presented to the court with each petition for receivership. Under no circumstances may the agency or designated agency employee be appointed as a receiver for more than 60 days; however, the receiver may petition the court, one time only, for a 30-day extension. The court shall grant the extension upon a showing of good cause.
(3) The receiver must make provisions for the continued health, safety, and welfare of all residents of the facility and:
(a) Shall exercise those powers and perform those duties set out by the court.
(b) Shall operate the facility in such a manner as to assure safety and adequate health care for the residents.
(c) Shall take such action as is reasonably necessary to protect or conserve the assets or property of the facility for which the receiver is appointed, or the proceeds from any transfer thereof, and may use them only in the performance of the powers and duties set forth in this section and by order of the court.
(d) May use the building, fixtures, furnishings, and any accompanying consumable goods in the provision of care and services to residents and to any other persons receiving services from the facility at the time the petition for receivership was filed. The receiver shall collect payments for all goods and services provided to residents or others during the period of the receivership at the same rate of payment charged by the owners at the time the petition for receivership was filed, or at a fair and reasonable rate otherwise approved by the court.
(e) May correct or eliminate any deficiency in the structure or furnishings of the facility which endangers the safety or health of residents while they remain in the facility, if the total cost of correction does not exceed $10,000. The court may order expenditures for this purpose in excess of $10,000 on application from the receiver after notice to the owner and a hearing.
(f) May let contracts and hire agents and employees to carry out the powers and duties of the receiver.
(g) Shall honor all leases, mortgages, and secured transactions governing the building in which the facility is located and all goods and fixtures in the building of which the receiver has taken possession, but only to the extent of payments which, in the case of a rental agreement, are for the use of the property during the period of the receivership, or which, in the case of a purchase agreement, become due during the period of the receivership.
(h) Shall have full power to direct and manage and to discharge employees of the facility, subject to any contract rights they may have. The receiver shall pay employees at the rate of compensation, including benefits, approved by the court. A receivership does not relieve the owner of any obligation to employees made prior to the appointment of a receiver and not carried out by the receiver.
(i) Shall be entitled to and take possession of all property or assets of residents which are in the possession of a facility or its owner. The receiver shall preserve all property, assets, and records of residents of which the receiver takes possession and shall provide for the prompt transfer of the property, assets, and records to the new placement of any transferred resident. An inventory list certified by the owner and receiver shall be made immediately at the time the receiver takes possession of the facility.
(4)(a) A person who is served with notice of an order of the court appointing a receiver and of the receiver's name and address shall be liable to pay the receiver for any goods or services provided by the receiver after the date of the order if the person would have been liable for the goods or services as supplied by the owner. The receiver shall give a receipt for each payment and shall keep a copy of each receipt on file. The receiver shall deposit accounts received in a separate account and shall use this account for all disbursements.
(b) The receiver may bring an action to enforce the liability created by paragraph (a).
(c) A payment to the receiver of any sum owing to the facility or its owner shall discharge any obligation to the facility to the extent of the payment.
(5)(a) A receiver may petition the court that he or she not be required to honor any lease, mortgage, secured transaction, or other wholly or partially executory contract entered into by the owner of the facility if the rent, price, or rate of interest required to be paid under the agreement was substantially in excess of a reasonable rent, price, or rate of interest at the time the contract was entered into, or if any material provision of the agreement was unreasonable, when compared to contracts negotiated under similar conditions. Any relief in this form provided by the court shall be limited to the life of the receivership, unless otherwise determined by the court.
(b) If the receiver is in possession of real estate or goods subject to a lease, mortgage, or security interest which the receiver has obtained a court order to avoid under paragraph (a), and if the real estate or goods are necessary for the continued operation of the facility under this section, the receiver may apply to the court to set a reasonable rental, price, or rate of interest to be paid by the receiver during the duration of the receivership. The court shall hold a hearing on the application within 15 days. The receiver shall send notice of the application to any known persons who own the property involved at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Payment by the receiver of the amount determined by the court to be reasonable is a defense to any action against the receiver for payment or for possession of the goods or real estate subject to the lease, security interest, or mortgage involved by any person who received such notice, but the payment does not relieve the owner of the facility of any liability for the difference between the amount paid by the receiver and the amount due under the original lease, security interest, or mortgage involved.
(6) The court shall set the compensation of the receiver, which will be considered a necessary expense of a receivership.
(7) A receiver may be held liable in a personal capacity only for the receiver's own gross negligence, intentional acts, or breach of fiduciary duty.
(8) The court may require a receiver to post a bond.
(9) The court may direct the agency to allocate funds from the Health Care Trust Fund to the receiver, subject to the provisions of s. 400.418(1).
(10) The court may terminate a receivership when:
(a) The court determines that the receivership is no longer necessary because the conditions which gave rise to the receivership no longer exist or the agency grants the facility a new license; or
(b) All of the residents in the facility have been transferred or discharged.
(11) Within 30 days after termination, the receiver shall give the court a complete accounting of all property of which the receiver has taken possession, of all funds collected, and of the expenses of the receivership.
(12) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve any owner, administrator, or employee of a facility placed in receivership of any civil or criminal liability incurred, or any duty imposed by law, by reason of acts or omissions of the owner, administrator, or employee prior to the appointment of a receiver; nor shall anything contained in this section be construed to suspend during the receivership any obligation of the owner, administrator, or employee for payment of taxes or other operating and maintenance expenses of the facility or of the owner, administrator, employee, or any other person for the payment of mortgages or liens. The owner shall retain the right to sell or mortgage any facility under receivership, subject to approval of the court which ordered the receivership.
History.--ss. 12, 22, ch. 80-198; s. 255, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 51, 75, 79, 83, ch. 83-181; s. 53, ch. 83-218; s. 14, ch. 91-263; ss. 18, 38, 39, ch. 93-216; s. 774, ch. 95-148; s. 15, ch. 98-80.