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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 408
HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION
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F.S. 408.812
408.812 Unlicensed activity.
(1) A person or entity may not offer or advertise services that require licensure as defined by this part, authorizing statutes, or applicable rules to the public without obtaining a valid license from the agency. A licenseholder may not advertise or hold out to the public that he or she holds a license for other than that for which he or she actually holds the license.
(2) The operation or maintenance of an unlicensed provider or the performance of any services that require licensure without proper licensure is a violation of this part and authorizing statutes. Unlicensed activity constitutes harm that materially affects the health, safety, and welfare of clients, and constitutes abuse and neglect, as defined in s. 415.102. The agency or any state attorney may, in addition to other remedies provided in this part, bring an action for an injunction to restrain such violation, or to enjoin the future operation or maintenance of the unlicensed provider or the performance of any services in violation of this part and authorizing statutes, until compliance with this part, authorizing statutes, and agency rules has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the agency.
(3) It is unlawful for any person or entity to own, operate, or maintain an unlicensed provider. If after receiving notification from the agency, such person or entity fails to cease operation, the person or entity is subject to penalties as prescribed by authorizing statutes and applicable rules. Each day of operation is a separate offense.
(4) Any person or entity that fails to cease operation after agency notification may be fined $1,000 for each day of noncompliance.
(5) When a controlling interest or licensee has an interest in more than one provider and fails to license a provider rendering services that require licensure, the agency may revoke all licenses, impose actions under s. 408.814, and regardless of correction, impose a fine of $1,000 per day, unless otherwise specified by authorizing statutes, against each licensee until such time as the appropriate license is obtained or the unlicensed activity ceases.
(6) In addition to granting injunctive relief pursuant to subsection (2), if the agency determines that a person or entity is operating or maintaining a provider without obtaining a license and determines that a condition exists that poses a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of a client of the provider, the person or entity is subject to the same actions and fines imposed against a licensee as specified in this part, authorizing statutes, and agency rules.
(a) There is created a cause of action for an ex parte temporary injunction against continued unlicensed activity by a person or entity violating subsection (1), not to exceed 30 days.
(b) A sworn petition seeking the issuance of an ex parte temporary injunction against continued unlicensed activity shall allege all of the following:
1. The location of the unlicensed activity.
2. The names of the owners and operators of the unlicensed provider.
3. The type of services that require licensure.
4. The specific facts supporting the conclusion that the unlicensed provider is engaged in unlicensed activity, including the date, time, and location at which the unlicensed provider was notified by the agency to discontinue such activity.
5. That agency personnel have verified, through an onsite inspection, that the unlicensed provider is advertising, offering, or providing services that require licensure.
6. Whether the unlicensed provider prohibited the agency from conducting a subsequent investigation to determine current compliance with applicable laws and rules.
7. Any previous injunctive relief granted against the unlicensed provider.
8. Any previous agency determination that the unlicensed provider has been identified as engaging in unlicensed activity.
(c) A bond may not be required by the court for entry of an ex parte temporary injunction.
(d) Except as provided in s. 90.204, in a hearing to obtain an ex parte temporary injunction, evidence other than verified pleadings or affidavits by agency personnel or others with firsthand knowledge of the alleged unlicensed activity may not be used as evidence, unless the unlicensed provider appears at the hearing. A denial of a petition for an ex parte temporary injunction shall specify the grounds for denial in writing.
(e) If the court determines that the unlicensed provider is engaged in continued unlicensed activity after agency notification to cease such unlicensed activity, the court may grant the ex parte temporary injunction restraining the unlicensed provider from advertising, offering, or providing services for which licensure is required. The court may also order the unlicensed provider to provide to agency personnel access to facility personnel, records, and clients for future inspection of the unlicensed provider’s premises.
(f) The agency must inspect the unlicensed provider’s premises within 20 days after entry of the ex parte temporary injunction to verify compliance with such injunction. If the unlicensed provider is in compliance, the agency shall dismiss the injunction. If unlicensed activity has continued, the agency may file a petition for permanent injunction within 10 days after identifying noncompliance. The agency may also petition to extend the ex parte temporary injunction until the permanent injunction is decided.
(g) The agency may provide any inspection records to local law enforcement or a state attorney’s office upon request and without redaction.
(7) Any person aware of the operation of an unlicensed provider must report that provider to the agency.
History.s. 5, ch. 2006-192; s. 73, ch. 2018-24; s. 2, ch. 2023-307.