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§ 106.27 Determinations by commission; legal disposition.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs how criminal proceedings and civil proceedings for violations of chapters 106 and 104 are brought.

Statute

(1) Criminal proceedings for violations of this chapter or chapter 104 may be brought in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction. Any such action brought under this chapter or chapter 104 shall be advanced on the docket of the court in which filed and put ahead of all other actions.

(2) Civil actions may be brought by the commission for relief, including permanent or temporary injunctions, restraining orders, or any other appropriate order for the imposition of civil penalties provided by this chapter. Such civil actions shall be brought by the commission in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction, and the venue shall be in the county in which the alleged violation occurred or in which the alleged violator or violators are found, reside, or transact business. Upon a proper showing that such person, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party has engaged, or is about to engage, in prohibited acts or practices, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without bond by such court, and the civil fines provided by this chapter may be imposed.
(3) Civil actions may be brought to enjoin temporarily the issuance of certificates of election to successful candidates who are alleged to have violated the provisions of this chapter or chapter 104. Such injunctions shall issue upon a showing of probable cause that such violation has occurred. Such actions shall be brought in the circuit court for the circuit in which is located the officer before whom the candidate qualified for office.

History:

s. 27, ch. 73-128; s. 13, ch. 74-200; s. 62, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 8, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 37, ch. 98-129; ss. 25, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 25, ch. 2013-37.

Definition [Political Committee]

1. A combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that, in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 during a single calendar year:

a. Accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

b. Accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;

c. Makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or

d. Makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;

2. The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the following entities are not considered political committees for purposes of this chapter:

1. National political parties, the state and county executive committees of political parties, and affiliated party committees regulated by chapter 103.

2. Corporations regulated by chapter 607 or chapter 617 or other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates, if their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees or expenditures in support of or opposition to an issue from corporate or business funds and if no contributions are received by such corporations or business entities.

3. Electioneering communications organizations as defined in subsection (9). Fla. Stat. § 106.11(16).

 

Definition [Issue]

A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(13).

Definition [Person]

An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).

Definition [Candidate]

Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(6).

Cases

Florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Case State: florida

Case Name: Browning v. Florida Hometown Democracy, Inc., PAC

Citation: 29 So.3d 1053

Year: 2010

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/ad43c65c3746d76b166d523a4c8ba372?query=29%20So[...]

Case Summary: Browning v. Florida Hometown Democracy, Inc., PAC held that the statute establishing petition signature revocation procedures violated the citizen initiative provision of the state constitution and as such were unconstitutional, since it was neither neutral nor nondiscriminatory, nor was it necessary to ensure ballot integrity. The case further held that the state supreme court had mandatory appellate jurisdiction because the district court of appeal implemented regulations that impacted the citizen initiative process.

Federal Cases

Case Name: Let’s Help Florida v. McCrary

Citation: 621 F.2d 195

Federal Circuit Court: 5th Circuit Court

Year: 1980

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/b861df45a936966dae5928059adf5f43

Case Summary: Let's Help Florida v. McCrary held that statutory restrictions on the size of contributions to political committees in a referendum elections are unconstitutional because they abridged contributors' right to freedom of association under the 1st Amendment and the state had no compelling interest in abridging that right.

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 209, Generally

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 215, Generally

  • Florida Pleading and Practice Forms s 1:14, Checklist-Determining proper venue under special venue statutes