2006 Florida Statutes
Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.
28.35 Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation.--
(1)(a) The Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation is hereby created as a public corporation organized to perform the functions specified in this section. All clerks of the circuit court shall be members of the corporation and hold their position and authority in an ex officio capacity. The functions assigned to the corporation shall be performed by an executive council pursuant to the plan of operation approved by the members.
(b) The executive council shall be composed of eight clerks of the court elected by the clerks of the courts for a term of 2 years, with two clerks from counties with a population of fewer than 100,000, two clerks from counties with a population of at least 100,000 but fewer than 500,000, two clerks from counties with a population of at least 500,000 but fewer than 1 million, and two clerks from counties with a population of more than 1 million.
(c) The corporation shall be considered a political subdivision of the state and shall be exempt from the corporate income tax. The corporation is not subject to the procurement provisions of chapter 287 and policies and decisions of the corporation relating to incurring debt, levying assessments, and the sale, issuance, continuation, terms, and claims under corporation policies, and all services relating thereto, are not subject to the provisions of chapter 120.
(2) The duties of the corporation shall include the following:
(a) Adopting a plan of operation.
(b) Conducting the election of directors as required in paragraph (1)(a).
(c) Recommending to the Legislature changes in the various court-related fines, fees, service charges, and court costs established by law to ensure reasonable and adequate funding of the clerks of the court in the performance of their court-related functions.
(d) Pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial Officer, establishing a process for the review and certification of proposed court-related budgets submitted by clerks of the court for completeness and compliance with this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37 This process shall be designed and be of sufficient detail to permit independent verification and validation of the budget certification. The contract shall specify the process to be used in determining compliance by the corporation with this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37
(e) Developing and certifying a uniform system of performance measures and applicable performance standards for the functions specified in paragraph (4)(a) and clerk performance in meeting the performance standards. These measures and standards shall be designed to facilitate an objective determination of the performance of each clerk in accordance with minimum standards for fiscal management, operational efficiency, and effective collection of fines, fees, service charges, and court costs. When the corporation finds a clerk has not met the performance standards, the corporation shall identify the nature of each deficiency and any corrective action recommended and taken by the affected clerk of the court.
(f) Reviewing and certifying proposed budgets submitted by clerks of the court utilizing the process approved by the Chief Financial Officer pursuant to paragraph (d) for the purpose of making the certification in paragraph (3)(a). As part of this process, the corporation shall:
1. Calculate the maximum authorized annual budget pursuant to the requirements of s. 28.36
2. Identify those proposed budgets exceeding the maximum annual budget pursuant to s. 28.36(5) for the standard list of court-related functions.
3. Identify those proposed budgets containing funding for items not included on the standard list of court-related functions developed pursuant to paragraph (3)(a).
4. Identify those clerks projected to have court-related revenues insufficient to fund their anticipated court-related expenditures.
(g) Developing and conducting clerk education programs.
(3)(a) The Clerks of Court Operations Corporation shall certify to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Department of Revenue by October 15 of each year, the amount of the proposed budget certified for each clerk; the revenue projection supporting each clerk's budget; each clerk eligible to retain some or all of the state's share of fines, fees, service charges, and costs; the amount to be paid to each clerk from the Clerks of the Court Trust Fund within the Department of Revenue; the performance measures and standards approved by the corporation for each clerk; and the performance of each clerk in meeting the performance standards.
(b) Prior to December 1 of each year, the Chief Financial Officer shall review the certifications made by the corporation for the purpose of determining compliance with the approved process and report its findings to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the Department of Revenue. To determine compliance with this process, the Chief Financial Officer may examine the budgets submitted to the corporation by the clerks.
(4)(a) The list of court-related functions clerks may fund from filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines shall be limited to those functions expressly authorized by law or court rule. Those functions must include the following: case maintenance; records management; court preparation and attendance; processing the assignment, reopening, and reassignment of cases; processing of appeals; collection and distribution of fines, fees, service charges, and court costs; processing of bond forfeiture payments; payment of jurors and witnesses; data collection and reporting; processing of jurors; determinations of indigent status; and reasonable administrative support costs to enable the clerk of the court to carry out these court-related functions.
(b) The list of functions clerks may not fund from filing fees, service charges, court costs, and fines shall include:
1. Those functions not specified within paragraph (a).
2. Functions assigned by administrative orders which are not required for the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph (a).
3. Enhanced levels of service which are not required for the clerk to perform the functions in paragraph (a).
4. Functions identified as local requirements in law or local optional programs.
(c) Publishing a uniform schedule of actual fees, service charges, and costs charged by a clerk of the court for court-related functions pursuant to general law.
(5) The corporation shall be funded pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial Officer. Funds shall be provided to the Chief Financial Officer for this purpose as appropriated by general law. These funds shall be available to the corporation for the performance of the duties and responsibilities as set forth in this section. The corporation may hire staff and pay other expenses from these funds as necessary to perform the official duties and responsibilities of the corporation as described in this section.
(6)(a) The corporation shall submit an annual audited financial statement to the Auditor General in a form and manner prescribed by the Auditor General. The Auditor General shall conduct an annual audit of the operations of the corporation, including the use of funds and compliance with the provisions of this section and ss. 28.36 and 28.37
(b) Certified public accountants conducting audits of counties pursuant to s. 218.39 shall report, as part of the audit, whether or not the clerks of the courts have complied with the budgets certified by the Florida Clerk of Courts Operations Corporation pursuant to the budget review process pursuant to contract with the Chief Financial Officer and with the performance standards developed and certified pursuant to this section. The Auditor General shall develop a compliance supplement for the audit of compliance with the budgets and applicable performance standards certified by the corporation.
History.--s. 36, ch. 2003-402; s. 23, ch. 2004-265; s. 2, ch. 2005-2; s. 2, ch. 2006-312.