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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 631
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F.S. 631.371
631.371 Seizure under order of the department.
(1) Upon the department filing a verified petition with any circuit judge of the proper judicial circuit as required by s. 631.021(2), which states that it believes that the interest of policyholders, the insurer, claimants, creditors, or the public will be endangered or jeopardized and that prima facie grounds exist for rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of an insurer under s. 631.051, s. 631.061, or s. 631.131, the department may request a seizure order and shall be entitled to an ex parte hearing forthwith and an appropriate seizure order from the judge or court in the interest of protecting the public and such insurer and its policyholders, claimants, or creditors. After a diligent effort is made to be heard by the judges of the circuit and such judges or the court fails or refuses to hear such petition for any reason, the department shall then file a duplicate original of said petition and exhibits, if any, in the Circuit Court of Leon County along with an affidavit which shall state that a diligent effort was made to obtain such initial hearing in the judicial circuit where such hearing was sought and that the request to be heard was refused or that a hearing was not granted and the reasons therefor, if known. Upon compliance with the above and if said affidavit further states that the department believes that irreparable harm will result to the public and the insurer and its policyholders, creditors, or claimants as a result of further delay, it may thereafter issue a seizure order on any ground that would justify court seizure under s. 631.361. Such seizure order may contain any or all the provisions of s. 631.361(1). The department shall retain possession and control until the order is vacated or is replaced by an order of court pursuant to subsection (2) or subsection (3) or pursuant to a formal delinquency proceeding under this chapter.
(2) The department may, at any time after seizure under its order, report its actions to the proper court; and, in the event that the insurer, for any reason, fails to avail itself of the judicial review provided for by law, then the department shall forthwith report its actions to the proper court. The department may request the court to substitute its order for the department’s or it may seek any other order which it deems appropriate.
(3) Every law enforcement officer of this state authorized by law shall assist the department in making and enforcing any such seizure, and every such officer shall furnish it with such deputies, patrolmen, patrolwomen, or officers as are necessary to assist it in execution of its order.
(4) Entry of a seizure order under this section shall not constitute an anticipatory breach of any contract of the insurer.
History.s. 18, ch. 70-27; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 21, ch. 78-95; s. 809(1st), ch. 82-243; ss. 184, 187, 188, ch. 91-108; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 409, ch. 97-102.