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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title VI
CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 57
COURT COSTS
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F.S. 57.112
57.112 Attorney fees and costs and damages; arbitrary, unreasonable, or expressly preempted local ordinances.
(1) As used in this section, the term “attorney fees and costs” means the reasonable and necessary attorney fees and costs incurred for all preparations, motions, hearings, trials, and appeals in a proceeding.
(2) If a civil action is filed against a local government to challenge the adoption or enforcement of a local ordinance on the grounds that it is expressly preempted by the State Constitution or by state law, the court shall assess and award reasonable attorney fees and costs and damages to the prevailing party.
(3) If a civil action is filed against a local government to challenge the adoption of a local ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance is arbitrary or unreasonable, the court may assess and award reasonable attorney fees and costs and damages to a prevailing plaintiff. An award of reasonable attorney fees or costs and damages pursuant to this subsection may not exceed $50,000. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff may not recover any attorney fees or costs directly incurred by or associated with litigation to determine an award of reasonable attorney fees or costs.
(4) Attorney fees and costs and damages may not be awarded pursuant to this section if:
(a) The governing body of a local governmental entity receives written notice that an ordinance that has been publicly noticed or adopted is expressly preempted by the State Constitution or state law or is arbitrary or unreasonable; and
(b) The governing body of the local governmental entity withdraws the proposed ordinance within 30 days; or, in the case of an adopted ordinance, the governing body of a local government notices an intent to repeal the ordinance within 30 days after receipt of the notice and repeals the ordinance within 30 days thereafter.
(5) The provisions in this section are supplemental to all other sanctions or remedies available under law or court rule. However, this section may not be construed to authorize double recovery if an affected person prevails on a claim brought against a local government pursuant to other applicable law involving the same ordinance, operative acts, or transactions.
(6) This section does not apply to local ordinances adopted pursuant to part II of chapter 163, s. 553.73, or s. 633.202.
(7)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), this section is intended to be prospective in nature and applies only to cases commenced on or after July 1, 2019.
(b) The amendments to this section effective October 1, 2023, are prospective in nature and apply only to ordinances adopted on or after October 1, 2023.
(c) An amendment to an ordinance enacted after October 1, 2023, gives rise to a claim under this section only to the extent that the application of the amendatory language is the cause of the claim apart from the ordinance being amended.
History.s. 1, ch. 2019-151; s. 1, ch. 2023-309.