2016 Florida Statutes
Forfeiture to judgment.
Forfeiture to judgment.
903.27 Forfeiture to judgment.—
(1) If the forfeiture is not paid or discharged by order of a court of competent jurisdiction within 60 days and the bond is secured other than by money and bonds authorized in s. 903.16, the clerk of the circuit court for the county where the order was made shall enter a judgment against the surety for the amount of the penalty and issue execution. However, in any case in which the bond forfeiture has been discharged by the court of competent jurisdiction conditioned upon the payment by the surety of certain costs or fees as allowed by statute, the amount for which judgment may be entered may not exceed the amount of the unpaid fees or costs upon which the discharge had been conditioned. Judgment for the full amount of the forfeiture shall not be entered if payment of a lesser amount will satisfy the conditions to discharge the forfeiture. Within 10 days, the clerk shall furnish the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission with a certified copy of the judgment docket and shall furnish the surety company at its home office a copy of the judgment, which shall include the power of attorney number of the bond and the name of the executing agent. If the judgment is not paid within 35 days, the clerk shall furnish the Department of Financial Services, the Office of Insurance Regulation, and the sheriff of the county in which the bond was executed, or the official responsible for operation of the county jail, if other than the sheriff, two copies of the judgment and a certificate stating that the judgment remains unsatisfied. When and if the judgment is properly paid or an order to vacate the judgment has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, the clerk shall immediately notify the sheriff, or the official responsible for the operation of the county jail, if other than the sheriff, and the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation, if the department and office had been previously notified of nonpayment, of such payment or order to vacate the judgment. The clerk may furnish documents or give notice as required in this subsection by mail or electronic means. The clerk shall also immediately prepare and record in the public records a satisfaction of the judgment or record the order to vacate judgment. If the defendant is returned to the county of jurisdiction of the court, whenever a motion to set aside the judgment is filed, the operation of this section is tolled until the court makes a disposition of the motion.
(2) A certificate signed by the clerk of the court or her or his designee, certifying that the notice required in subsection (1) was mailed or electronically delivered on a specified date, and accompanied by a copy of the required notice constitutes sufficient proof that such mailing or electronic delivery was properly accomplished as indicated therein. If such mailing or electronic delivery was properly accomplished as evidenced by such certificate, the failure of a company to receive a copy of the judgment as prescribed in subsection (1) does not constitute a defense to the forfeiture and is not a ground for the discharge, remission, reduction, set aside, or continuance of such forfeiture.
(3) Surety bail bonds may not be executed by a bail bond agent against whom a judgment has been entered which has remained unpaid for 35 days and may not be executed for a company against whom a judgment has been entered which has remained unpaid for 50 days. No sheriff or other official who is empowered to accept or approve surety bail bonds shall accept or approve such a bond executed by such a bail bond agent or executed for such a company until such judgment has been paid.
(4) After notice of judgment against the surety given by the clerk of the circuit court, the surety or bail bond agent shall, within 35 days of the entry of judgment, submit to the clerk of the circuit court an amount equal to the judgment, unless the judgment has been set aside by the court within 35 days of the entry of judgment. If a motion to set aside the judgment has been filed pursuant to subsection (5), the amount submitted shall be held in escrow until such time as the court has disposed of the motion. The failure to comply with the provisions of this subsection constitutes a failure to pay the judgment.
(5) After notice of judgment against the surety given by the clerk of the circuit court, the surety or bail bond agent may within 35 days file a motion to set aside the judgment or to stay the judgment. It shall be a condition of any such motion and of any order to stay the judgment that the surety pay the amount of the judgment to the clerk, which amount shall be held in escrow until such time as the court has disposed of the motion to set aside the judgment. The filing of such a motion, when accompanied by the required escrow deposit, shall act as an automatic stay of further proceedings, including execution, until the motion has been heard and a decision rendered by the court.
(6) The failure of a state attorney to file, or of the clerk of the circuit court to make, a certified copy of the order of forfeiture as required by law applicable prior to July 1, 1982, shall not invalidate any judgment entered by the clerk prior to June 12, 1981.
History.—s. 70, ch. 19554, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 8663(70); ss. 3, 24, ch. 61-406; s. 3, ch. 65-492; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-149; s. 33, ch. 70-339; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 173, ch. 71-355; s. 34, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 81-47; s. 59, ch. 82-175; s. 2, ch. 83-83; s. 45, ch. 84-103; s. 9, ch. 86-151; s. 88, ch. 89-360; s. 1485, ch. 97-102; s. 5, ch. 99-303; s. 1921, ch. 2003-261; s. 3, ch. 2006-279; s. 8, ch. 2013-192.