Online Sunshine Logo
Official Internet Site of the Florida Legislature
October 17, 2018
Text: 'NEW Advanced Legislative Search'
Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Go to MyFlorida House
Select Year:  
The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXX
SOCIAL WELFARE
Chapter 409
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 409.25656
409.25656 Garnishment.
(1) If a person has a support obligation which is subject to enforcement by the department as the state Title IV-D program, the executive director or his or her designee may give notice of past due and/or overdue support by registered mail to all persons who have in their possession or under their control any credits or personal property, including wages, belonging to the support obligor, or owing any debts to the support obligor at the time of receipt by them of such notice. Thereafter, any person who has been notified may not transfer or make any other disposition, up to the amount provided for in the notice, of such credits, other personal property, or debts until the executive director or his or her designee consents to a transfer or disposition, or until 60 days after the receipt of such notice. If the obligor contests the intended levy in the circuit court or under chapter 120, the notice under this section shall remain in effect until final disposition of that circuit court or chapter 120 action. Any financial institution receiving such notice will maintain a right of setoff for any transaction involving a debit card occurring on or before the date of receipt of such notice.
(2) Each person who is notified under this section must, within 5 days after receipt of the notice, advise the executive director or his or her designee of the credits, other personal property, or debts in their possession, under their control, or owed by them and must advise the executive director or designee within 5 days of coming into possession or control of any subsequent credits, personal property, or debts owed during the time prescribed by the notice. Any such person coming into possession or control of such subsequent credits, personal property, or debts shall not transfer or dispose of them during the time prescribed by the notice or until the department consents to a transfer.
(3) During the last 30 days of the 60-day period set forth in subsection (1), the executive director or his or her designee may levy upon such credits, personal property, or debts. The levy must be accomplished by delivery of a notice of levy by registered mail, upon receipt of which the person possessing the credits, other personal property, or debts shall transfer them to the department or pay to the department the amount owed by the obligor. If the department levies upon securities and the value of the securities is less than the total amount of past due or overdue support, the person who possesses or controls the securities shall liquidate the securities in a commercially reasonable manner. After liquidation, the person shall transfer to the department the proceeds, less any applicable commissions or fees, or both, which are charged in the normal course of business. If the value of the securities exceeds the total amount of past due or overdue support, the obligor may, within 7 days after receipt of the department’s notice of levy, instruct the person who possesses or controls the securities which securities are to be sold to satisfy the obligation for past due or overdue support. If the obligor does not provide instructions for liquidation, the person who possesses or controls the securities shall liquidate the securities in a commercially reasonable manner in an amount sufficient to cover the obligation for past due or overdue support and any applicable commissions or fees, or both, which are charged in the normal course of business, beginning with the securities purchased most recently. After liquidation, the person who possesses or controls the securities shall transfer to the department the total amount of past due or overdue support.
(4) A notice that is delivered under this section is effective at the time of delivery against all credits, other personal property, or debts of the obligor which are not at the time of such notice subject to an attachment, garnishment, or execution issued through a judicial process.
(5) The department is authorized to bring an action in circuit court for an order compelling compliance with any notice issued under this section.
(6) Any person acting in accordance with the terms of the notice or levy issued by the executive director or his or her designee is expressly discharged from any obligation or liability to the obligor with respect to such credits, other personal property, or debts of the obligor affected by compliance with the notice of freeze or levy.
(7)(a) Levy may be made under subsection (3) upon credits, other personal property, or debt of any person with respect to any past due or overdue support obligation only after the executive director or his or her designee has notified such person in writing of the intention to make such levy.
(b) Not less than 30 days before the day of the levy, the notice of intent to levy required under paragraph (a) must be given in person or sent by certified or registered mail to the person’s last known address.
(c) The notice required in paragraph (a) must include a brief statement that sets forth:
1. The provisions of this section relating to levy and sale of property;
2. The procedures applicable to the levy under this section;
3. The administrative and judicial appeals available to the obligor with respect to such levy and sale, and the procedures relating to such appeals; and
4. The alternatives, if any, available to the obligor which could prevent levy on the property.
(d) The obligor may consent in writing to the levy at any time after receipt of a notice of intent to levy.
(8) An obligor may contest the notice of intent to levy provided for under subsection (7) by filing a petition in the existing circuit court case. Alternatively, the obligor may file a petition under the applicable provisions of chapter 120. After an action has been initiated under chapter 120 to contest the notice of intent to levy, an action relating to the same levy may not be filed by the obligor in circuit court, and judicial review is exclusively limited to appellate review pursuant to s. 120.68. Also, after an action has been initiated in circuit court, an action may not be brought under chapter 120.
(9) An action may not be brought to contest a notice of intent to levy under chapter 120 or in circuit court, later than 21 days after the date of receipt of the notice of intent to levy.
(10) The department shall provide notice to the Chief Financial Officer, in electronic or other form specified by the Chief Financial Officer, listing the obligors for whom warrants are outstanding. Pursuant to subsection (1), the Chief Financial Officer shall, upon notice from the department, withhold all payments to any obligor who provides commodities or services to the state, leases real property to the state, or constructs a public building or public work for the state. The department may levy upon the withheld payments in accordance with subsection (3). Section 215.422 does not apply from the date the notice is filed with the Chief Financial Officer until the date the department notifies the Chief Financial Officer of its consent to make payment to the person or 60 days after receipt of the department’s notice in accordance with subsection (1), whichever occurs earlier.
(11) The Department of Revenue has the authority to adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 90, ch. 96-175; s. 12, ch. 96-189; s. 51, ch. 97-170; s. 15, ch. 99-375; ss. 34, 35, ch. 2001-158; s. 11, ch. 2002-173; s. 443, ch. 2003-261; s. 13, ch. 2004-334.