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The Florida Senate

2013 Florida Statutes

Civil dispute resolution; mediation; relief.
F.S. 320.3210
320.3210 Civil dispute resolution; mediation; relief.
(1) A dealer, manufacturer, distributor, or warrantor injured by another party’s violation of ss. 320.3201-320.3211 may bring a civil action in circuit court to recover actual damages. The court shall award attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party in such action. Venue for any civil action authorized by this section must exclusively be in the county in which the dealership is located. In an action involving more than one dealer, venue may be in any county in which a dealer who is party to the action is located.
(2) Before bringing suit under this section, the party bringing suit for an alleged violation shall serve a written demand for mediation upon the offending party.
(a) The demand for mediation shall be served upon the offending party via certified mail at the address stated within the agreement between the parties. In the event of a civil action between two dealers, the demand must be mailed to the address on the dealer’s license filed with the department.
(b) The demand for mediation must contain a brief statement of the dispute and the relief sought by the party filing the demand.
(c) Within 20 days after the date a demand for mediation is served, the parties shall mutually select an independent certified mediator and meet with the mediator for the purpose of attempting to resolve the dispute. The meeting place must be in this state in a location selected by the mediator. The mediator may extend the date of the meeting for good cause shown by either party or upon stipulation of both parties.
(d) The service of a demand for mediation under this subsection stays the time for the filing of any complaint, petition, protest, or action under ss. 320.3201-320.3211 until representatives of both parties have met with a mutually selected mediator for the purpose of attempting to resolve the dispute. If a complaint, petition, protest, or action is filed before that meeting, the court shall enter an order suspending the proceeding or action until the meeting has occurred and may, upon written stipulation of all parties to the proceeding or action that they wish to continue to mediate under this subsection, enter an order suspending the proceeding or action for as long a period as the court considers appropriate. A suspension order issued under this paragraph may be revoked by the court.
(e) The parties to the mediation shall bear their own costs for attorney’s fees and divide equally the cost of the mediator.
(3) In addition to the remedies provided in this section and notwithstanding the existence of any additional remedy at law, a dealer or manufacturer may apply to a circuit court for the grant, upon a hearing and for cause shown, of a temporary or permanent injunction, or both, restraining any person from acting as a dealer, manufacturer, distributor, or importer without being properly licensed pursuant to this chapter, from violating or continuing to violate any of the provisions of ss. 320.3201-320.3211, or from failing or refusing to comply with the requirements of ss. 320.3201-320.3211. Such injunction shall be issued without bond. A single act in violation of s. 320.3203 is sufficient to authorize the issuance of an injunction.
History.s. 9, ch. 2007-258.