138.04 Names of towns, etc., for county seat to be filed with clerk.
138.05 Form of ballot.
138.06 Canvass and result of election; contests.
138.07 Second election when no place receives majority vote.
138.08 The two places receiving highest vote to be placed on ballot in second election.
138.09 Canvass of votes of second election; establishing county seat.
138.11 Unlawful use of money in election to change county seat.
138.12 Commissioners may expand county seat.
138.01 Petition to change county seat.—The qualified electors in any county in this state wishing to change their county seat, shall present to the board of county commissioners of such county a petition signed by one-third of the qualified electors, who are taxpayers on real or personal property, praying for a change of the location of such county seat.
138.02 Commissioners to order election.—The county commissioners of any county in this state, upon receiving such petition as is specified in s. 138.01 shall order an election to be held at the several precincts of such county for the location of such county seat, giving not less than 30 days’ notice thereof, and no person shall be allowed to vote in such elections except those qualified to vote under the general election laws of Florida.
138.03 Conduct and return of election.—All elections held under the provisions of this chapter shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by law for holding general elections in this state, except as herein provided, and the returns of all such elections shall be made to the county commissioners or the clerk thereof.
138.04 Names of towns, etc., for county seat to be filed with clerk.—Names of all towns, villages or cities, put forward as candidates for the county seat of any county in this state under the provisions of this chapter shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of such county not later than 15 days before the date set for holding said election.
138.05 Form of ballot.—The clerk of the circuit court of any county in this state, when the names of the towns, villages, and cities required in s. 138.04 have been furnished him or her, shall have printed, at the expense of the county, a suitable ballot to be used in the election, the ballot to contain, in alphabetical order, the names of all such towns, villages, and cities, and no other places shall be printed on the ballots.
History.—s. 5, ch. 6239, 1911; RGS 1582; CGL 2430; s. 843, ch. 95-147; s. 30, ch. 2001-40.
138.06 Canvass and result of election; contests.—The county commissioners shall, not later than 5 days after the aforesaid election is held, publicly canvass the same, and the place receiving a majority of all the votes cast shall be the county seat for the next 10 years. The result declared upon such canvass may be contested by five or more taxpayers, qualified electors who voted in such election for a candidate place other than the place declared elected, by proceeding in chancery for an injunction against the removal by the county commissioners of the county records and county offices to the place declared elected, or by mandamus to compel the removal of the county offices and records to the place alleged in such proceedings to have been elected; and the court in which any such proceeding shall be properly instituted, may inquire into the legality of such election, the qualification of electors voting therein, and render judgment or decree in favor of the place duly elected by the qualified electors, and may make such interlocutory orders or decrees, and issue such process as shall be necessary to the protection of its jurisdiction, or may be incidental to the principal relief sought; provided, that such action shall be brought within 3 years from the time of such election.
138.07 Second election when no place receives majority vote.—Should three or more places be put forward and voted for as the county seat of any county in this state, and the county commissioners of such county find that upon the canvass of the said election, as provided for in s. 138.06, that any of such places have received a majority of all the votes cast at said election, the place receiving such a majority shall be declared the county seat as aforesaid, but should the county commissioners find that no place has received a majority of all the votes cast in said election, they shall proceed at once without a petition to call a second election to be held within 30 days of the first election, and in the same manner and places as prescribed for the first election.
138.08 The two places receiving highest vote to be placed on ballot in second election.—Should the second election, as provided for in s. 138.07, be necessary to select the place as county seat of any county in this state, the clerk of the circuit court shall prepare the ballot as aforesaid, dropping the names or name of all places voted for in the first election except the two places receiving the highest vote in the same, and no other places shall be voted for nor shall the vote of any other place or places be counted or considered by the county commissioners in canvassing the result of such election.
138.09 Canvass of votes of second election; establishing county seat.—The county commissioners shall, within 5 days after the election provided for in s. 138.07 is held, meet and publicly canvass the same; and the place receiving the majority of all the votes cast shall be the county seat for the next 10 years. The county commissioners shall erect a courthouse as soon as possible and provide suitable offices for all the county officers who are required by law to keep their offices at the courthouse at the place so selected as the county seat.
138.11 Unlawful use of money in election to change county seat.—Any person using money, goods or chattels in any election to change the county seat of any county, to secure votes or influence for any place as the county seat of any county in this state, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 10, ch. 6239, 1911; s. 1, ch. 6480, 1913; RGS 5904; CGL 8168; s. 80, ch. 71-136.
138.12 Commissioners may expand county seat.—The board of county commissioners of any county may expand the geographical area of the county seat of its county beyond the corporate limits of the municipality named as the county seat by adopting a resolution to that effect at any regular or special meeting of the board. Such a resolution may be adopted only after the board has held not less than two public hearings on the proposal at intervals of not less than 10 or more than 20 days and after notice of the proposal and such meetings has been published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. However, nothing herein shall be deemed to extend the boundaries of the municipality in which the county seat was previously located or annex to such municipality the territory added to the county seat.