50.011 Where and in what language legal notices to be published.
50.021 Publication when no newspaper in county.
50.0211 Internet website publication.
50.031 Newspapers in which legal notices and process may be published.
50.041 Proof of publication; uniform affidavits required.
50.051 Proof of publication; form of uniform affidavit.
50.061 Amounts chargeable.
50.0711 Court docket fund; service charges; publications.
50.011 Where and in what language legal notices to be published.—Whenever by statute an official or legal advertisement or a publication, or notice in a newspaper has been or is directed or permitted in the nature of or in lieu of process, or for constructive service, or in initiating, assuming, reviewing, exercising or enforcing jurisdiction or power, or for any purpose, including all legal notices and advertisements of sheriffs and tax collectors, the contemporaneous and continuous intent and meaning of such legislation all and singular, existing or repealed, is and has been and is hereby declared to be and to have been, and the rule of interpretation is and has been, a publication in a newspaper printed and published periodically once a week or oftener, containing at least 25 percent of its words in the English language, entered or qualified to be admitted and entered as periodicals matter at a post office in the county where published, for sale to the public generally, available to the public generally for the publication of official or other notices and customarily containing information of a public character or of interest or of value to the residents or owners of property in the county where published, or of interest or of value to the general public.
History.—s. 2, ch. 3022, 1877; RS 1296; GS 1727; s. 1, ch. 5610, 1907; RGS 2942; s. 1, ch. 12104, 1927; CGL 4666, 4901; s. 1, ch. 63-387; s. 6, ch. 67-254; s. 21, ch. 99-2.
Note.—Former s. 49.01.
50.021 Publication when no newspaper in county.—When any law, or order or decree of court, shall direct advertisements to be made in any county and there be no newspaper published in the said county, the advertisement may be made by posting three copies thereof in three different places in said county, one of which shall be at the front door of the courthouse, and by publication in the nearest county in which a newspaper is published.
(1) This section applies to legal notices that must be published in accordance with this chapter unless otherwise specified.
(2) Each legal notice must be posted on the newspaper’s website on the same day that the printed notice appears in the newspaper, at no additional charge, in a separate web page titled “Legal Notices,” “Legal Advertising,” or comparable identifying language. A link to the legal notices web page shall be provided on the front page of the newspaper’s website that provides access to the legal notices. If there is a specified size and placement required for a printed legal notice, the size and placement of the notice on the newspaper’s website must optimize its online visibility in keeping with the print requirements. The newspaper’s web pages that contain legal notices must present the legal notices as the dominant and leading subject matter of those pages. The newspaper’s website must contain a search function to facilitate searching the legal notices. A fee may not be charged, and registration may not be required, for viewing or searching legal notices on a newspaper’s website if the legal notice is published in a newspaper.
(3)(a) If a legal notice is published in a newspaper, the newspaper publishing the notice shall place the notice on the statewide website established and maintained as an initiative of the Florida Press Association as a repository for such notices located at the following address: www.floridapublicnotices.com.
(b) A legal notice placed on the statewide website created under this subsection must be:
1. Accessible and searchable by party name and case number.
2. Posted for a period of at least 90 consecutive days after the first day of posting.
(c) The statewide website created under this subsection shall maintain a searchable archive of all legal notices posted on the publicly accessible website on or after October 1, 2014, for 18 months after the first day of posting. Such searchable archive shall be provided and accessible to the general public without charge.
(4) Newspapers that publish legal notices shall, upon request, provide e-mail notification of new legal notices when they are printed in the newspaper and added to the newspaper’s website. Such e-mail notification shall be provided without charge, and notification for such an e-mail registry shall be available on the front page of the legal notices section of the newspaper’s website.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2012-212; s. 1, ch. 2014-210.
50.031 Newspapers in which legal notices and process may be published.—No notice or publication required to be published in a newspaper in the nature of or in lieu of process of any kind, nature, character or description provided for under any law of the state, whether heretofore or hereafter enacted, and whether pertaining to constructive service, or the initiating, assuming, reviewing, exercising or enforcing jurisdiction or power, by any court in this state, or any notice of sale of property, real or personal, for taxes, state, county or municipal, or sheriff’s, guardian’s or administrator’s or any sale made pursuant to any judicial order, decree or statute or any other publication or notice pertaining to any affairs of the state, or any county, municipality or other political subdivision thereof, shall be deemed to have been published in accordance with the statutes providing for such publication, unless the same shall have been published for the prescribed period of time required for such publication, in a newspaper which at the time of such publication shall have been in existence for 1 year and shall have been entered as periodicals matter at a post office in the county where published, or in a newspaper which is a direct successor of a newspaper which together have been so published; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall apply where in any county there shall be no newspaper in existence which shall have been published for the length of time above prescribed. No legal publication of any kind, nature or description, as herein defined, shall be valid or binding or held to be in compliance with the statutes providing for such publication unless the same shall have been published in accordance with the provisions of this section. Proof of such publication shall be made by uniform affidavit.
History.—ss. 1-3, ch. 14830, 1931; CGL 1936 Supp. 4274(1); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 6, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 74-221; s. 22, ch. 99-2.
Note.—Former s. 49.03.
50.041 Proof of publication; uniform affidavits required.—
(1) All affidavits of publishers of newspapers (or their official representatives) made for the purpose of establishing proof of publication of public notices or legal advertisements shall be uniform throughout the state.
(2) Each such affidavit shall be printed upon white paper and shall be 81/2 inches in width and of convenient length, not less than 51/2 inches. A white margin of not less than 21/2 inches shall be left at the right side of each affidavit form and upon or in this space shall be substantially pasted a clipping which shall be a true copy of the public notice or legal advertisement for which proof is executed. Alternatively, the affidavit may be provided in electronic rather than paper form, provided the notarization of the affidavit complies with the requirements of s. 117.021.
(3) In all counties having a population in excess of 450,000 according to the latest official decennial census, in addition to the charges which are now or may hereafter be established by law for the publication of every official notice or legal advertisement, there may be a charge not to exceed $2 for the preparation and execution of each such proof of publication or publisher’s affidavit.
History.—s. 1, ch. 19290, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4668(1); s. 1, ch. 63-49; s. 26, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 76-58; s. 2, ch. 2012-212.
Note.—Former s. 49.04.
50.051 Proof of publication; form of uniform affidavit.—The printed form upon which all such affidavits establishing proof of publication are to be executed shall be substantially as follows:
NAME OF NEWSPAPER
Published (Weekly or Daily)
(Town or City) (County) FLORIDA
STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF :
Before the undersigned authority personally appeared , who on oath says that he or she is of the , a newspaper published at in County, Florida; that the attached copy of advertisement, being a in the matter of in the Court, was published in said newspaper in the issues of .
Affiant further says that the said is a newspaper published at , in said County, Florida, and that the said newspaper has heretofore been continuously published in said County, Florida, each and has been entered as periodicals matter at the post office in , in said County, Florida, for a period of 1 year next preceding the first publication of the attached copy of advertisement; and affiant further says that he or she has neither paid nor promised any person, firm or corporation any discount, rebate, commission or refund for the purpose of securing this advertisement for publication in the said newspaper.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this day of , (year) , by , who is personally known to me or who has produced (type of identification) as identification.
(Signature of Notary Public)
(Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of Notary Public)
History.—s. 2, ch. 19290, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4668(2); s. 6, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 93-62; s. 291, ch. 95-147; s. 23, ch. 99-2; s. 3, ch. 99-6.
Note.—Former s. 49.05.
50.061 Amounts chargeable.—
(1) The publisher of any newspaper publishing any and all official public notices or legal advertisements shall charge therefor the rates specified in this section without rebate, commission or refund.
(2) The charge for publishing each such official public notice or legal advertisement shall be 70 cents per square inch for the first insertion and 40 cents per square inch for each subsequent insertion, except that government notices required to be published more than once, the cost of which is paid for by the government and not paid in advance by or allowed to be recouped from private parties, may not be charged for the second and successive insertions at a rate greater than 85 percent of the original rate.
(3) Where the regular established minimum commercial rate per square inch of the newspaper publishing such official public notices or legal advertisements is in excess of the rate herein stipulated, said minimum commercial rate per square inch may be charged for all such legal advertisements or official public notices for each insertion, except that government notices required to be published more than once, the cost of which is paid for by the government and not paid in advance by or allowed to be recouped from private parties, may not be charged for the second and successive insertions at a rate greater than 85 percent of the original rate.
(4) A governmental agency publishing an official public notice or legal advertisement may procure publication by soliciting and accepting written bids from newspapers published in the county, in which case the specified charges in this section do not apply.
(5) If the public notice is published in a newspaper, the posting of the notice on the newspaper’s website pursuant to s. 50.0211(2) must be done at no additional charge.
(6) All official public notices and legal advertisements shall be charged and paid for on the basis of 6-point type on 6-point body, unless otherwise specified by statute.
(7) Any person violating this section, either by allowing or accepting any rebate, commission, or refund, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) Failure to charge the rates prescribed by this section shall in no way affect the validity of any official public notice or legal advertisement and shall not subject same to legal attack upon such grounds.
History.—s. 3, ch. 3022, 1877; RS 1298; GS 1729; RGS 2944; s. 1, ch. 12215, 1927; CGL 4668; ss. 1, 2, 2A, 2B, ch. 20264, 1941; s. 1, ch. 23663, 1947; s. 1, ch. 57-160; s. 1, ch. 63-50; s. 1, ch. 65-569; s. 6, ch. 67-254; s. 15, ch. 71-136; s. 35, ch. 73-332; s. 1, ch. 90-279; s. 3, ch. 2012-212; s. 2, ch. 2014-210.
Note.—Former s. 49.06.
50.0711 Court docket fund; service charges; publications.—
(1) The clerk of the court in each county may establish a court docket fund for the purpose of paying the cost of publication of the fact of the filing of any civil case in the circuit court of the county by the style and of the calendar relating to such cases. This court docket fund shall be funded by $1 mandatory court cost for all civil actions, suits, or proceedings filed in the circuit court of the county. The clerk shall maintain such funds separate and apart, and the proceeds from this court cost shall not be diverted to any other fund or for any purpose other than that established in this section. The clerk of the court shall dispense the fund to the designated record newspaper in the county on a quarterly basis.
(2) A newspaper qualified under the terms of s. 50.011 shall be designated as the record newspaper for such publication by an order of the majority of the judges in the judicial circuit in which such county is located, and such order shall be filed and recorded with the clerk of the circuit court for such county. The designated record newspaper may be changed at the end of any fiscal year of the county by a majority vote of the judges of the judicial circuit of the county ordering such change 30 days prior to the end of the fiscal year, notice of which order shall be given to the previously designated record newspaper.
(3) The publishers of any designated record newspapers receiving payment from this court docket fund shall publish, without additional charge, the fact of the filing of any civil case, suit, or action filed in such county in the circuit. Such publication shall be in accordance with a schedule agreed upon between the record newspaper and the clerk of the court in such county.
(4) The publishers of any designated record newspapers receiving revenues from the court docket fund established in subsection (1) shall, without charge, accept legal advertisements for the purpose of service of process by publication under s. 49.011(4), (10), and (11) when such publication is required of persons authorized to proceed as indigent persons under s. 57.081.