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Florida

West's Florida Statutes Annotated Currentness. Title XXVIII. Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation, and Use (Chapters 369-380). Chapter 379. Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Part IV. Wild Animal Life; Part VII. Nonrecreational Licenses.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: FL ST § 379.231 - 504

Citation: West's F. S. A. § 379.231 - 504


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 09/2010

Summary:   These Florida laws concern the keeping and taking of captive wildlife. Places where wildlife is held in captivity are subject to inspection by the officers of the state commission at any time. The commission shall promulgate rules defining Class I, Class II, and Class III types of wildlife. A companion statutory section provides that, in order to assure humane treatment of captive wildlife, no person, firm, corporation or association shall be in possession of captive wildlife for public display unless a permit has been obtained. The cost of the permit depends on whether the species fall into Class I, II, or III.


Statute in Full:

 

Part IV. Wild Animal Life.

379.231. Regulation of nonnative animals

379.303. Classification of wildlife; seizure of captive wildlife

379.304. Exhibition or sale of wildlife

379.305. Rules and regulations; penalties

Part VII. Nonrecreational Licenses.

379.372. Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles; license required

379.373. License fee; renewal, revocation

379.374. Bond required, amount

379.3751. Taking and possession of alligators; trapping licenses; fees

379.3752. Required tagging of alligators and hides; fees; revenues

379.3761. Exhibition or sale of wildlife; fees; classifications

379.3762. Personal possession of wildlife

PART VIII. PENALTIES

379.401. Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits

379.4015. Nonnative and captive wildlife penalties

379.402. Definition; possession of certain licensed traps prohibited; penalties; exceptions; consent

379.403. Illegal killing, taking, possessing, or selling wildlife or game; fines; disposition of fines

379.404. Illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey; evidence; penalty

379.405. Illegal molestation of or theft from freshwater fishing gear

379.406. Illegal possession or transportation of freshwater game fish in commercial quantities; penalty

379.407. Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions

379.408. Forfeiture or denial of licenses and permits

379.409. Illegal killing, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or eggs; confiscation of equipment

379.411. Killing or wounding of any species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern; criminal penalties

379.4115. Florida or wild panther; killing prohibited; penalty

379.413. Bonefish; penalties 

379.414. Additional penalties for saltwater products dealers violating records requirements

379.501. Aquatic weeds and plants; prohibitions; violations; penalties; intent

379.502. Enforcement; procedure; remedies

379.503. Civil action

379.504. Civil liability; joint and several liability

 

 

Part IV. Wild Animal Life.

379.231. Regulation of nonnative animals

(1) It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not native to Florida unless authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(2) A person in violation of this section commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.4015.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1970, c. 70-145, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 308; Laws 1971, c. 71-294, § 2; Laws 1980, c. 80-129, § 2. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 131, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 23, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 372.265 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 51, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 1, eff. July 1, 2010.


379.303. Classification of wildlife; seizure of captive wildlife

(1) The commission shall promulgate rules defining Class I, Class II, and Class III types of wildlife. The commission shall also establish rules and requirements necessary to ensure that permits are granted only to persons qualified to possess and care properly for wildlife and that permitted wildlife possessed as personal pets will be maintained in sanitary surroundings and appropriate neighborhoods.

(2) In instances where wildlife is seized or taken into custody by the commission, said owner or possessor of such wildlife shall be responsible for payment of all expenses relative to the capture, transport, boarding, veterinary care, or other costs associated with or incurred due to seizure or custody of wildlife. Such expenses shall be paid by said owner or possessor upon any conviction or finding of guilt of a criminal or noncriminal violation, regardless of adjudication or plea entered, of any provision of chapter 828 or this chapter, or rule of the commission or if such violation is disposed of under s. 921.187. Failure to pay such expense may be grounds for revocation or denial of permits to such individual to possess wildlife.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1974, c. 74-309, § 1; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 9; Laws 1993, c. 93-223, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 591. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 6, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 174, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 34, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 10, eff. June 12, 2003; Laws 2005, c. 2005-210, § 3, eff. July 1, 2005. Renumbered from 372.922(3), (4) and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 106, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

379.304. Exhibition or sale of wildlife

(1) Permits issued pursuant to s. 379.3761 and places where wildlife is kept or held in captivity shall be subject to inspection by officers of the commission at all times. The commission shall have the power to release or confiscate any specimens of any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles, whether indigenous to the state or not, when it is found that conditions under which they are being confined are unsanitary, or unsafe to the public in any manner, or that the species of wildlife are being maltreated, mistreated, or neglected or kept in any manner contrary to the provisions of chapter 828, any such permit to the contrary notwithstanding. Before any such wildlife is confiscated or released under the authority of this section, the owner thereof shall have been advised in writing of the existence of such unsatisfactory conditions; the owner shall have been given 30 days in which to correct such conditions; the owner shall have failed to correct such conditions; the owner shall have had an opportunity for a proceeding pursuant to chapter 120; and the commission shall have ordered such confiscation or release after careful consideration of all evidence in the particular case in question. The final order of the commission shall constitute final agency action.

(2) In instances where wildlife is seized or taken into custody by the commission, said owner or possessor of such wildlife shall be responsible for payment of all expenses relative to the capture, transport, boarding, veterinary care, or other costs associated with or incurred due to seizure or custody of wildlife. Such expenses shall be paid by said owner or possessor upon any conviction or finding of guilt of a criminal or noncriminal violation, regardless of adjudication or plea entered, of any provision of chapter 828 or this chapter, or rule of the commission or if such violation is disposed of under s. 921.187. Failure to pay such expense may be grounds for revocation or denial of permits to such individual to possess wildlife.

(3) Any animal on exhibit of a type capable of contracting or transmitting rabies shall be immunized against rabies.

(4) The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.

(5) A violation of this section is punishable as provided by s. 379.4015.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1967, c. 67-290, § 1; Laws 1969, c. 69-106, §§ 19, 35; Laws 1978, c. 78-95, § 16; Laws 1978, c. 78-323, § 4; Laws 1979, c. 79-164, § 84; Laws 1983, c. 83-85, § 27; Laws 1983, c. 83-218, § 32; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 8; Laws 1993, c. 93-223, § 2; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 590. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 5, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 173, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 33, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 9, eff. June 12, 2003; Laws 2005, c. 2005-210, § 2, eff. July 1, 2005. Renumbered from 372.921(4) to (6), (9), (10) and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 107, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 33, eff. July 1, 2009.

 

379.305. Rules and regulations; penalties

(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may prescribe such other rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to prevent the escape of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern, either in connection of construction of such cages or otherwise to carry out the intent of ss. 379.372-379.374.

(2) A person who knowingly releases a nonnative venomous reptile or reptile of concern to the wild or who through gross negligence allows a nonnative venomous reptile or reptile of concern to escape commits a Level Three violation, punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1953, c. 28263, § 6. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 172, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2007, c. 2007-239, § 6, eff. July 1, 2007. Renumbered from 372.92 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 108, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

Part VII. Nonrecreational Licenses.

379.372. Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles; license required

(1)(a) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any poisonous or venomous reptile or reptile of concern without first having obtained a special permit or license therefor from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as provided in this section.

(b) By December 31, 2007, the commission shall establish a list of reptiles of concern, including venomous, nonvenomous, native, nonnative, or other reptiles, which require additional regulation for capture, possession, transportation, or exhibition due to their nature, habits, status, or potential to negatively impact humans, the environment, or ecology.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person, party, firm, association, or corporation, whether licensed hereunder or not, to capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any venomous reptile or reptile of concern in any manner not approved as safe, secure, and proper by the commission. Venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern held in captivity are subject to inspection by the commission. The commission shall determine whether the reptiles are securely, safely, and properly penned. In the event that the reptiles are not safely penned, the commission shall report the situation in writing to the person, party, firm, association, or corporation owning the reptiles. Failure of the person, party, firm, association, or corporation to correct the situation within 30 days after such written notice shall be grounds for revocation of the license or permit of the person, party, firm, association, or corporation.

(d) Venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern shall be transported in a safe, secure, and proper manner. The commission shall establish by rule the requirements for the transportation of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.

(2)(a) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall keep, possess, import into the state, sell, barter, trade, or breed the following species for personal use or for sale for personal use:

1. Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus).

2. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus).

3. Northern African python (Python sebae).

4. Southern African python (Python natalensis).

5. Amethystine or scrub python (Morelia amethystinus).

6. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus).

7. Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus).

8. Any other reptile designated as a conditional or prohibited species by the commission.

(b) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1) to legally possess a species listed in paragraph (a), that person, party, firm, association, or corporation may possess such reptile for the remainder of the life of the reptile.

(c) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1) to legally possess a reptile listed in paragraph (a), and the reptile remains alive following the death or dissolution of the licensee, the reptile may be legally transferred to another entity holding a permit authorizing possession of the reptile for the remainder of the life of the reptile.

(d) If the commission designates a species of reptile as a conditional or prohibited species after July 1, 2010, the commission may authorize the personal possession of that newly designated species by those licensed to possess that species of reptile before the effective date of the species' designation by the commission as a conditional or prohibited species. The personal possession of such reptile is not a violation of paragraph (a) if the personal possession was authorized by the commission.

(e) This subsection does not apply to traveling wildlife exhibitors that are licensed or registered under the United States Animal Welfare Act or to zoological facilities that are licensed or exempted by the commission from the licensure requirement.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1953, c. 28263, § 1. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 165, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2007, c. 2007-239, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007. Renumbered from 372.86 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 159, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 2, eff. July 1, 2010.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Amendment Notes:

Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 7, provides:

”By December 31, 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall evaluate the placement of additional species, such as iguanas, on the list of reptiles of concern.”

 

379.373. License fee; renewal, revocation

(1)(a) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered to issue a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles, upon payment of an annual fee of $100 and upon assurance that all of the provisions of ss. 379.305 and 379.372-379.374 and such other reasonable rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe will be fully complied with in all respects.

(b) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered to issue a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of reptiles of concern upon payment of an annual fee not to exceed $100 and upon assurance that all of the provisions of ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 and such other reasonable rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe will be fully complied with in all respects. The annual fee for issuance or renewal of a license or permit under this paragraph for reptiles of concern is initially set at $100. However, the commission may reduce that annual fee by rule if the commission determines that there is general compliance with ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 and that such compliance allows for a reduction in fees to cover the costs of administering and enforcing the reptiles of concern program. The commission may issue a license or permit to an applicant who holds a current and valid license or permit for venomous reptiles under paragraph (a) and meets all requirements for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of reptiles of concern, but shall not require payment of an additional annual fee.

(2) Such permits or licenses may be revoked by the commission upon violation of any of the provisions of ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 or upon violation of any of the rules and regulations prescribed by the commission relating to the capturing, keeping, possessing, and exhibiting of any venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern. Such permits or licenses shall be for an annual period to be prescribed by the commission and shall be renewable upon the payment of said fee and shall be subject to the same conditions, limitations, and restrictions as set forth in this section. All moneys received pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund to be used to implement, administer, enforce, and educate the public regarding ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1953, c. 28263, § 2. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 166, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 8, eff. June 12, 2003; Laws 2007, c. 2007-239, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2008. Renumbered from 372.87 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 160, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.374. Bond required, amount

(1) No person, party, firm, or corporation shall exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission fee any venomous reptile without having first posted a good and sufficient bond in writing in the penal sum of $10,000 payable to the commission, conditioned that such exhibitor will indemnify and save harmless all persons from injury or damage from such venomous reptiles so exhibited and shall fully comply with all laws of the state and all rules and regulations of the commission governing the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles; provided, however, that the aggregate liability of the surety for all such injuries or damages shall, in no event, exceed the penal sum of the bond. The surety for the bond must be a surety company authorized to do business under the laws of the state or in lieu of such a surety, cash in the sum of $10,000 may be posted with the commission to ensure compliance with the conditions of the bond.

(2) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall possess or exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission fee, any Class I wildlife, as defined in s. 379.303 and commission rule, without having first guaranteed financial responsibility, in the sum of $10,000, for any liability which may be incurred in the possession or exhibition to the public of Class I wildlife. The commission shall adopt, by rule, the methods of payment that satisfy the financial responsibility, which may include cash, the establishment of a trust fund, an irrevocable letter of credit, casualty insurance, a corporate guarantee, or any combination thereof, in the sum of $10,000 which shall be posted with the commission. In lieu of the $10,000 financial responsibility guarantee required in this subsection, the person, party, firm, association, or corporation has the option to maintain comprehensive general liability insurance, with minimum limits of $2 million per occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate, as shall protect the person, party, firm, association, or corporation from claims for damage for personal injury, including accidental death, as well as claims for property damage which may arise. Proof of such insurance shall be submitted to the commission.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1953, c. 28263, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 588. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 167, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2007, c. 2007-239, § 3, eff. July 1, 2007. Renumbered from 372.88 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 161, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 3, eff. July 1, 2010.


379.3751. Taking and possession of alligators; trapping licenses; fees

(1)(a) No person shall take or possess any alligator or the eggs thereof without having first obtained from the commission a trapping license and paid the fee provided in this section. Such license shall be dated when issued and remain valid for 12 months after the date of issuance and shall authorize the person to whom it is issued to take or possess alligators and their eggs, and to sell, possess, and process alligators and their hides and meat, in accordance with law and commission rules. Such license shall not be transferable and shall not be valid unless it bears on its face in indelible ink the name of the person to whom it is issued. Such license shall be in the personal possession of the licensee while such person is taking alligators or their eggs or is selling, possessing, or processing alligators or their eggs, hides, or meat. The failure of the licensee to exhibit such license to the commission or its wildlife officers, when such person is found taking alligators or their eggs or is found selling, possessing, or processing alligators or their eggs, hides, or meat, shall be a violation of law.

(b) In order to assure the optimal utilization of the estimated available alligator resource and to ensure adequate control of the alligator management and harvest program, the commission may by rule limit the number of participants engaged in the taking of alligators or their eggs from the wild.

(c) No person who has been convicted of any violation of s. 379.3015 or s. 379.409 or the rules of the commission relating to the illegal taking of crocodilian species shall be eligible for issuance of a license for a period of 5 years subsequent to such conviction. In the event such violation involves the unauthorized taking of an endangered crocodilian species, no license shall be issued for 10 years subsequent to the conviction.

(2) The license and issuance fee, and the activity authorized thereby, shall be as follows:

(a) The annual fee for issuance of a resident alligator trapping license, which permits a resident of the state to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such alligator trapping license or otherwise legally acquired, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $250.

(b) The annual fee for issuance of a nonresident alligator trapping license, which permits a person other than a resident of the state to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such alligator trapping license, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $1,000.

(c) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator trapping agent's license, which permits a person to act as an agent of any person who has been issued a resident or nonresident alligator trapping license as provided in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) and to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such agency relationship, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $50.

(d) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator farming license, which permits a person to operate a facility for captive propagation of alligators, to possess alligators for captive propagation, to take alligator hatchlings and alligator eggs occurring in the wild, to rear such alligators, alligator hatchlings, and alligator eggs in captivity, to process alligators taken or possessed under authority of such alligator farming license or otherwise legally acquired, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $250.

(e) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator farming agent's license, which permits a person to act as an agent of any person who has been issued an alligator farming license as provided in paragraph (d) and to take alligator hatchlings and alligator eggs occurring in the wild, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such agency relationship, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $50.

(f) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator processor's license, which permits a person to buy and process alligators lawfully taken by alligator trapping licenseholders and taken or possessed by alligator farming licenseholders and to sell alligator meat, hides, and other parts, shall be $250.

(3) For the purpose of this section, “process” shall mean the possession and skinning or butchering of an alligator by someone other than the holder of the alligator trapping license, alligator trapping agent's license, alligator farming license, or alligator farming agent's license who has authorized the taking and possession of such alligator.

(4) No person shall take any alligator egg occurring in the wild or possess any such egg unless such person has obtained, or is a licensed agent of another person who has obtained, an alligator egg collection permit. The alligator egg collection permit shall be required in addition to the alligator farming license provided in paragraph (2)(d). The commission is authorized to assess a fee for issuance of the alligator egg collection permit of up to $5 per egg authorized to be taken or possessed pursuant to such permit. Irrespective of whether a fee is assessed, $1 per egg collected and retained, excluding eggs collected on private wetland management areas, shall be transferred from the alligator management program to the General Inspection Trust Fund, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose of providing marketing and education services with respect to alligator products produced in this state, notwithstanding other provisions in this chapter.

(5) The commission shall adopt criteria by rule to establish appropriate qualifications for alligator collectors who may receive permits pursuant to this section.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1987, c. 87-199, § 4. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 2000-364, § 15, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 7, eff. June 12, 2003. Renumbered from 372.6673 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 162, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 38, eff. July 1, 2009.

 

379.3752. Required tagging of alligators and hides; fees; revenues

The tags provided in this section shall be required in addition to any license required under s. 379.3751.

(1) No person shall take any alligator occurring in the wild or possess any such alligator unless such alligator is subsequently tagged in the manner required by commission rule. For the tag required for an alligator hatchling, the commission is authorized to assess a fee of not more than $15 for each alligator hatchling tag issued. The commission shall expend one-third of the revenue generated from the issuance of the alligator hatchling tag for alligator husbandry research.

(2) The commission may require that an alligator hide validation tag (CITES tag) be affixed to the hide of any alligator taken from the wild and that such hide be possessed, purchased, sold, offered for sale, or transported in accordance with commission rule. The commission is authorized to assess a fee of up to $30 for each alligator hide validation tag issued. Irrespective of whether a fee is assessed, $5 per validated hide, excluding those validated from public hunt programs and alligator farms, shall be transferred from the alligator management program to the General Inspection Trust Fund, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose of providing marketing and education services with respect to alligator products produced in this state, notwithstanding other provisions in this chapter.

(3) The number of tags available for alligators taken pursuant to a collection permit shall be limited to the number of tags determined by the commission to equal the safe yield of alligators as determined pursuant to s. 379.3013.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1987, c. 87-199, § 5. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 19, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 2000-364, § 16, eff. July 1, 2000. Renumbered from 372.6674 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 163, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

379.3761. Exhibition or sale of wildlife; fees; classifications

(1) In order to provide humane treatment and sanitary surroundings for wild animals kept in captivity, no person, firm, corporation, or association shall have, or be in possession of, in captivity for the purpose of public display with or without charge or for public sale any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, whether indigenous to Florida or not, without having first secured a permit from the commission authorizing such person, firm, or corporation to have in its possession in captivity the species and number of wildlife specified within such permit; however, this section does not apply to any wildlife not protected by law and the rules of the commission.

(2) The fees to be paid for the issuance of permits required by subsection (1) shall be as follows:

(a) For not more than 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $150 per annum.

(b) For over 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $250 per annum.

(c) For any number of Class III individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $50 per annum.

The fees prescribed by this subsection shall be submitted to the commission with the application for permit required by subsection (1) and shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund.

(3) An applicant for a permit shall be required to include in her or his application a statement showing the place, number, and species of wildlife to be held in captivity by the applicant and shall be required upon request by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to show when, where, and in what manner she or he came into possession of any wildlife acquired subsequent to the effective date of this act. The source of acquisition of such wildlife shall not be divulged by the commission except in connection with a violation of this section or a regulation of the commission in which information as to source of wildlife is required as evidence in the prosecution of such violation.

(4) The provisions of this section relative to licensing do not apply to any municipal, county, state, or other publicly owned wildlife exhibit. The provisions of this section do not apply to any traveling zoo, circus, or exhibit licensed as provided by chapter 205.

(5) This section shall not apply to the possession, control, care, and maintenance of ostriches, emus, rheas, and bison domesticated and confined for commercial farming purposes, except those kept and maintained on hunting preserves or game farms or primarily for exhibition purposes in zoos, carnivals, circuses, and other such establishments where such species are kept primarily for display to the public.

(6) A person who violates this section is punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1967, c. 67-290, § 1; Laws 1969, c. 69-106, §§ 19, 35; Laws 1978, c. 78-95, § 16; Laws 1978, c. 78-323, § 4; Laws 1979, c. 79-164, § 84; Laws 1983, c. 83-85, § 27; Laws 1983, c. 83-218, § 32; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 8; Laws 1993, c. 93-223, § 2; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 590. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 5, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 173, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 33, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 9, eff. June 12, 2003; Laws 2005, c. 2005-210, § 2, eff. July 1, 2005. Renumbered from 372.921(1) to (3), (7), (8) and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 164, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 39, eff. July 1, 2009.

 

379.3762. Personal possession of wildlife

(1) It is unlawful for any person or persons to possess any wildlife as defined in this act, whether native to Florida or not, until she or he has obtained a permit as provided by this section from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(2) The classifications of types of wildlife and fees to be paid for permits for the personal possession of wildlife shall be as follows:

(a) Class I--Wildlife which, because of its nature, habits, or status, shall not be possessed as a personal pet.

(b) Class II--Wildlife considered to present a real or potential threat to human safety, the sum of $140 per annum.

(c) Class III--All other wildlife not included in Class I or Class II, for which a no-cost permit must be obtained from the commission.

(3) Any person, firm, corporation, or association exhibiting or selling wildlife and being duly permitted as provided by s. 379.304 shall be exempt from the fee requirement to receive a permit under this section.

(4) This section shall not apply to the possession, control, care, and maintenance of ostriches, emus, rheas, and bison domesticated and confined for commercial farming purposes, except those kept and maintained on hunting preserves or game farms or primarily for exhibition purposes in zoos, carnivals, circuses, and other such establishments where such species are kept primarily for display to the public.

(5) A person who violates this section is punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1974, c. 74-309, § 1; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 9; Laws 1993, c. 93-223, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 591. Amended by Laws 1998, c. 98-333, § 6, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 174, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 34, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, c. 2003-151, § 10, eff. June 12, 2003; Laws 2005, c. 2005-210, § 3, eff. July 1, 2005. Renumbered from 372.922(1), (2), (5) to (7) and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 165, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 40, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 14, eff. July 1, 2010.

 

379.401. Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits

(1)(a) Level One violations.--A person commits a Level One violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing of reports or other documents required to be filed by persons who hold recreational licenses and permits issued by the commission.

2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to quota hunt permits, daily use permits, hunting zone assignments, camping, alcoholic beverages, vehicles, and check stations within wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.

3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to daily use permits, alcoholic beverages, swimming, possession of firearms, operation of vehicles, and watercraft speed within fish management areas managed by the commission.

4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to vessel size or specifying motor restrictions on specified water bodies.

5. Section 379.355, providing for special recreational spiny lobster licenses.

6. Section 379.354(1)-(15), providing for recreational licenses to hunt, fish, and trap.

7. Section 379.3581, providing hunter safety course requirements.

8. Section 379.3003, prohibiting deer hunting unless required clothing is worn.

(b) A person who commits a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited to appear before the county court.

(c) 1. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $50 plus the cost of the license or permit, unless subparagraph 2. applies.

2. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $100 plus the cost of the license or permit if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.

(d) 1. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $50 unless subparagraph 2. applies.

2. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $100 if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.

(e) A person cited for a Level One violation shall sign and accept a citation to appear before the county court. The issuing officer may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.

(f) A person cited for a Level One violation may pay the civil penalty by mail or in person within 30 days after receipt of the citation. If the civil penalty is paid, the person shall be deemed to have admitted committing the Level One violation and to have waived his or her right to a hearing before the county court. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for any subsequent violations.

(g) A person who refuses to accept a citation, who fails to pay the civil penalty for a Level One violation, or who fails to appear before a county court as required commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(h) A person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear before the county court shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on civil penalties provided under paragraphs (c) and (d). After a hearing, the county court shall determine if a Level One violation has been committed, and if so, may impose a civil penalty of not less than $50 for a first-time violation, and not more than $500 for subsequent violations. A person found guilty of committing a Level One violation may appeal that finding to the circuit court. The commission of a violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(i) A person cited for violating the requirements of s. 379.354 relating to personal possession of a license or permit may not be convicted if, prior to or at the time of a county court hearing, the person produces the required license or permit for verification by the hearing officer or the court clerk. The license or permit must have been valid at the time the person was cited. The clerk or hearing officer may assess a $10 fee for costs under this paragraph.

(2)(a) Level Two violations.--A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to seasons or time periods for the taking of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.

2. Rules or orders of the commission establishing bag, possession, or size limits or restricting methods of taking wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.

3. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting access or otherwise relating to access to wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.

4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the feeding of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.

5. Rules or orders of the commission relating to landing requirements for freshwater fish or saltwater fish.

6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to restricted hunting areas, critical wildlife areas, or bird sanctuaries.

7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to tagging requirements for wildlife and fur-bearing animals.

8. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of dogs for the taking of wildlife.

9. Rules or orders of the commission which are not otherwise classified.

10. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the unlawful use of finfish traps.

11. All prohibitions in this chapter which are not otherwise classified.

12. Section 379.33, prohibiting the violation of or noncompliance with commission rules.

13. Section 379.407(6), prohibiting the sale, purchase, harvest, or attempted harvest of any saltwater product with intent to sell.

14. Section 379.2421, prohibiting the obstruction of waterways with net gear.

15. Section 379.413, prohibiting the unlawful taking of bonefish.

16. Section 379.365(2)(a) and (b), prohibiting the possession or use of stone crab traps without trap tags and theft of trap contents or gear.

17. Section 379.366(4)(b), prohibiting the theft of blue crab trap contents or trap gear.

18. Section 379.3671(2)(c), prohibiting the possession or use of spiny lobster traps without trap tags or certificates and theft of trap contents or trap gear.

19. Section 379.357, prohibiting the possession of tarpon without purchasing a tarpon tag.

20. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the feeding or enticement of alligators or crocodiles.

21. Section 379.105, prohibiting the intentional harassment of hunters, fishers, or trappers.

(b) 1. A person who commits a Level Two violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 3. or subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 3 years after a previous conviction for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $250.

3. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 5 years after two previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 1 year. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under any exemption in s. 379.353.

4. A person who commits a Level Two violation within 10 years after three previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.

(3)(a) Level three violations.--A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the sale of saltwater fish.

2. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the illegal importation or possession of exotic marine plants or animals.

3. Section 379.407(2), establishing major violations.

4. Section 379.407(4), prohibiting the possession of certain finfish in excess of recreational daily bag limits.

5. Section 379.28, prohibiting the importation of freshwater fish.

6. Section 379.354(17), prohibiting the taking of game, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish while a required license is suspended or revoked.

7. Section 379.3014, prohibiting the illegal sale or possession of alligators.

8. Section 379.404(1), (3), and (6), prohibiting the illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey.

9. Section 379.406, prohibiting the possession and transportation of commercial quantities of freshwater game fish.

(b) 1. A person who commits a Level Three violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. A person who commits a Level Three violation within 10 years after a previous conviction for a Level Three or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for the remainder of the period for which the license or permit was issued up to 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.

3. A person who commits a violation of s. 379.354(17) shall receive a mandatory fine of $1,000. Any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 5-year period following the date of the violation.

(4)(a) Level Four violations.--A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Section 379.365(2)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking of stone crabs.

2. Section 379.366(4)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking and harvesting of blue crabs.

3. Section 379.367(4), prohibiting the willful molestation of spiny lobster gear.

4. Section 379.3671(2)(c) 5., prohibiting the unlawful reproduction, possession, sale, trade, or barter of spiny lobster trap tags or certificates.

5. Section 379.354(16), prohibiting the making, forging, counterfeiting, or reproduction of a recreational license or possession of same without authorization from the commission.

6. Section 379.404(5), prohibiting the sale of illegally-taken deer or wild turkey.

7. Section 379.405, prohibiting the molestation or theft of freshwater fishing gear.

8. Section 379.409, prohibiting the unlawful killing, injuring, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or their eggs.

(b) A person who commits a Level Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) Violations of chapter.--Except as provided in this chapter:

(a) A person who commits a violation of any provision of this chapter commits, for the first offense, a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(6) Suspension or forfeiture of license.--The court may order the suspension or forfeiture of any license or permit issued under this chapter to a person who is found guilty of committing a violation of this chapter.

(7) Conviction defined.--As used in this section, the term “conviction” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1943, c. 21945, § 6; Laws 1947, c. 23750, § 1; Laws 1949, c. 25035, § 11; Laws 1951, c. 26766, § 9; Laws 1969, c. 69-216, § 7; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 316; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 586. Amended by Laws 2000, c. 2000-362, § 40, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 32, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 20, eff. July 1, 2006; Laws 2007, c. 2007-223, § 22, eff. July 1, 2007; Laws 2008, c. 2008-111, § 37, eff. July 1, 2008. Renumbered from 372.83 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 168, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 41, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 5, eff. July 1, 2010.


379.4015. Nonnative and captive wildlife penalties

(1) Level one.--Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:

(a) A person commits a Level One violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Rules or orders of the commission requiring free permits or other authorizations to possess captive wildlife.

2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing of reports or other documents required of persons who are licensed to possess captive wildlife.

3. Rules or orders of the commission requiring permits to possess captive wildlife for which a fee is charged, when the person being charged was issued the permit and the permit has expired less than 1 year prior to the violation.

(b) Any person cited for committing any offense classified as a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in this section.

(c) Any person cited for committing a noncriminal infraction specified in paragraph (a) shall be cited to appear before the county court. The civil penalty for any noncriminal infraction is $50 if the person cited has not previously been found guilty of a Level One violation and $250 if the person cited has previously been found guilty of a Level One violation, except as otherwise provided in this subsection. Any person cited for failing to have a required permit or license shall pay an additional civil penalty in the amount of the license fee required.

(d) Any person cited for an infraction under this subsection may:

1. Post a bond, which shall be equal in amount to the applicable civil penalty; or

2. Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear before the county court. The officer may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.

(e) Any person charged with a noncriminal infraction under this subsection may:

1. Pay the civil penalty, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after the date of receiving the citation; or

2. If the person has posted bond, forfeit bond by not appearing at the designated time and location.

(f) If the person cited follows either of the procedures in subparagraph (e)1. or subparagraph (e)2., he or she shall be deemed to have admitted the infraction and to have waived his or her right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction. Such admission shall not be used as evidence in any other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for any subsequent violations.

(g) Any person who willfully refuses to post bond or accept and sign a summons commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who fails to pay the civil penalty specified in this subsection within 30 days after being cited for a noncriminal infraction or to appear before the court pursuant to this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(h) Any person electing to appear before the county court or who is required to appear shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on the civil penalty specified in paragraph (c). The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction has been proven, the court may impose a civil penalty not less than those amounts in paragraph (c) and not to exceed $500.

(i) At a hearing under this chapter, the commission of a charged infraction must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

(j) If a person is found by the hearing official to have committed an infraction, she or he may appeal that finding to the circuit court.

(2) Level two.--Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:

(a) A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Unless otherwise stated in subsection (1), rules or orders of the commission that require a person to pay a fee to obtain a permit to possess captive wildlife or that require the maintenance of records relating to captive wildlife.

2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to captive wildlife not specified in subsection (1) or subsection (3).

3. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an escape of wildlife other than Class I wildlife.

4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to wild animal life identified by commission rule as either conditional species or prohibited species.

5. Section 379.372, relating to capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles.

6. Section 379.373, relating to requiring a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.

7. Section 379.374, relating to bonding requirements for public exhibits of venomous reptiles.

8. Section 379.305, relating to commission rules and regulations to prevent the escape of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.

9. Section 379.304, relating to exhibition or sale of wildlife.

10. Section 379.3761, relating to exhibition or sale of wildlife.

11. Section 379.3762, relating to personal possession of wildlife.

(b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation and who has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 3-year period of any previous conviction of a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 with a minimum mandatory fine of $250.

(d) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 5-year period of any two previous convictions of Level Two or higher violations commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of all licenses issued under this chapter related to captive wildlife for 1 year.

(e) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 10-year period of any three previous convictions of Level Two or higher violations commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of all licenses issued under this chapter related to captive wildlife for 3 years.

(f) In addition to being subject to the penalties under paragraphs (b)-((e), a person who commits a Level Two violation that is a violation of s. 379.372 or rules or orders relating to wild animal life identified as conditional or prohibited shall receive a minimum mandatory fine of $100 and immediately surrender the wildlife for which the violation was issued unless such person lawfully obtains a permit for possession.

(3) Level three.--Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:

(a) A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:

1. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an escape of Class I wildlife.

2. Rules or orders of the commission related to captive wildlife when the violation results in serious bodily injury to another person by captive wildlife that consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of gasoline or other chemical or gaseous substances on wildlife.

4. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the release of wildlife for which only conditional possession is allowed.

5. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting knowingly entering false information on an application for a license or permit when the license or permit is to possess wildlife in captivity.

6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the illegal importation and possession of nonnative marine plants and animals.

7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the importation, possession, or release of fish and wildlife for which possession is prohibited.

8. Section 379.231, relating to illegal importation or release of nonnative wildlife.

9. Section 379.305, relating to release or escape of nonnative venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.

(b) 1. A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Three violation and who has not been convicted of a Level Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Three violation within a 10-year period of any previous conviction of a Level Three or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and permanent revocation of all licenses or permits to possess captive wildlife issued under this chapter.

(4) Level four.--Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:

(a) A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she violates any Level Three provision after the permanent revocation of a license or permit.

(b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) Suspension or revocation of license.--The court may order the suspension or revocation of any license or permit issued to a person to possess captive wildlife pursuant to this chapter if that person commits a criminal offense or a noncriminal infraction as specified under this section.

(6) Civil penalty.--

(a) In addition to other applicable penalties, the commission may impose against any person, party, firm, association, or corporation convicted of a criminal violation of any provision of s. 379.231, s. 379.372, s. 379.3761, or s. 379.3762 a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each animal, unless otherwise authorized pursuant to subparagraphs 1.-5. For all related violations attributable to a specific violator, the total civil penalty may not exceed $10,000 for each assessment for each animal.

1. The history of noncompliance of the violator for any previous violation of this chapter or rules or orders of the commission shall be considered in determining the amount of the civil penalty.

2. The direct economic benefit gained by the violator from the violation may be added to the scheduled civil penalty.

3. The costs incurred by the commission related to the escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife for which the violation was issued shall be added to the civil penalty.

4. The civil penalty assessed for a violation may not exceed $5,000 for each animal unless:

a. The violator has a history of noncompliance;

b. The economic benefit of the violation exceeds $5,000; or

c. The costs incurred by the commission related to the escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife for which the violation was issued exceeds $5,000.

5. The civil penalty assessed pursuant to this subsection may be reduced by the commission for mitigating circumstances, including good faith efforts to comply before or after discovery of the violations by the commission.

(b) The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund and shall be used for management, administration, auditing, and research purposes.

(7) Conviction defined.--For purposes of this section, the term conviction means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

(8) Commission limitations.--Nothing in this section shall limit the commission from suspending or revoking any license to possess wildlife in captivity by administrative action in accordance with chapter 120. For purposes of administrative action, a conviction of a criminal offense shall mean any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

(9) Annual report.--By January 1 of each year, the commission shall submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report listing each species identified by the commission as a conditional or prohibited species or a reptile of concern.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 21, eff. July 1, 2006. Amended by Laws 2007, c. 2007-239, § 7, eff. July 1, 2007. Renumbered from 372.935 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 169, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 42, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2010, c. 2010-185, § 6, eff. July 1, 2010.


379.402. Definition; possession of certain licensed traps prohibited; penalties; exceptions; consent

(1) As used in this section, the term “licensed saltwater fisheries trap” means any trap required to be licensed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and authorized by the commission for the taking of saltwater products.

(2) It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association to be in actual or constructive possession of a licensed saltwater fisheries trap registered with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in another person's, firm's, corporation's, or association's name.

(a) Unlawful possession of less than three licensed saltwater fisheries traps is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b) Unlawful possession of three or more licensed saltwater fisheries traps is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) Upon receipt of any judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of violating this section or any provision of law or rule making unlawful the possession of another's saltwater fishing trap, a person shall permanently lose all saltwater fishing privileges, including licenses, trap certificates, and the ability to transfer trap certificates.

(3) It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association to possess, attempt to possess, interfere with, attempt to interfere with, or remove live bait from a live bait trap or cage of another person, firm, corporation, or association. Unlawful possession of one or more live bait traps or cages is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4) This section shall not apply to the agents or employees of the registered owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap or to a person, firm, corporation, or association who has the written consent from the owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap, to possess such licensed saltwater fisheries trap, or to agents or employees of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who are engaged in the removal of traps during the closed season.

(5) The registered owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap shall provide the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with the names of any agents, employees, or any other person, firm, company, or association to whom the registered owner has given consent to possess said licensed saltwater fisheries trap.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1987, c. 87-120, § 5; Laws 1994, c. 94-356, § 225; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 990. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 104, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 1999, c. 99-390, § 4, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 2000-197, § 15, eff. June 5, 2000; Laws 2003, c. 2003-143, § 9, eff. July 1, 2003. Renumbered from 370.1107 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 170, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.403. Illegal killing, taking, possessing, or selling wildlife or game; fines; disposition of fines

In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates the criminal provisions of this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter by illegally killing, taking, possessing, or selling game or fur-bearing animals as defined in s. 379.101(19) or (20) in or out of season while violating chapter 810 shall pay a fine of $250 for each such violation, plus court costs and any restitution ordered by the court. All fines collected under this section shall be remitted by the clerk of the court to the Department of Revenue to be deposited into the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's State Game Trust Fund.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 1997, c. 97-201, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1997. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 154, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2001, c. 2001-122, § 14, eff. March 1, 2002; Laws 2002, c. 2002-46, § 29, eff. July 1, 2002. Renumbered from 372.7015 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 171, eff. July 1, 2008.

379.404. Illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey; evidence; penalty

(1) Whoever takes or kills any deer or wild turkey, or possesses a freshly killed deer or wild turkey, during the closed season prescribed by law or by the rules and regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or whoever takes or attempts to take any deer or wild turkey by the use of gun and light in or out of closed season, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401 and shall forfeit any license or permit issued to her or him under the provisions of this chapter. No license shall be issued to such person for a period of 3 years following any such violation on the first offense. Any person guilty of a second or subsequent violation shall be permanently ineligible for issuance of a license or permit thereafter.

(2) The display or use of a light in a place where deer might be found and in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of deer, together with the possession of firearms or other weapons customarily used for the taking of deer, between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to violate the provisions of subsection (1). This subsection does not apply to an owner or her or his employee when patrolling or inspecting the land of the owner, provided the employee has satisfactory proof of employment on her or his person.

(3) Whoever takes or kills any doe deer; fawn or baby deer; or deer, whether male or female, which does not have one or more antlers at least 5 inches in length, except as provided by law or the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, during the open season prescribed by the rules of the commission, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401 and may be required to forfeit any license or permit issued to such person for a period of 3 years following any such violation on the first offense. Any person guilty of a second or subsequent violation shall be permanently ineligible for issuance of a license or permit thereafter.

(4) Any person who cultivates agricultural crops may apply to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for a permit to take or kill deer on land which that person is currently cultivating. When said person can show, to the satisfaction of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, that such taking or killing of deer is justified because of damage to the person's crops caused by deer, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may issue a limited permit to the applicant to take or kill deer without being in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (3).

(5) Whoever possesses for sale or sells deer or wild turkey taken in violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the commission commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.

(6) Any person who enters upon private property and shines lights upon such property, without the express permission of the owner of the property and with the intent to take deer by utilizing such shining lights, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1965, c. 65-340, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 320; Laws 1977, c. 77-1, § 1; Laws 1977, c. 77-311, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1978, c. 78-173, § 2; Laws 1979, c. 79-400, § 144; Laws 1988, c. 88-381, § 48; Laws 1991, c. 91-224, § 56; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 593. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 179, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 30, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 372.99 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 172, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.405. Illegal molestation of or theft from freshwater fishing gear

(1)(a) Any person, firm, or corporation that willfully molests any authorized and lawfully permitted freshwater fishing gear belonging to another without the express written consent of the owner commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401. Any written consent must be available for immediate inspection.

(b) Any person, firm, or corporation that willfully removes the contents of any authorized and lawfully permitted freshwater fishing gear belonging to another without the express written consent of the owner commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401. Any written consent must be available for immediate inspection.

A person, firm, or corporation that receives a citation for a violation of this subsection is prohibited, immediately upon receipt of such citation and until adjudicated or convicted of a felony under this subsection, from transferring any endorsements.

(2) Any person, firm, or corporation convicted pursuant to subsection (1) of removing the contents of freshwater fishing gear without the express written consent of the owner shall permanently lose all of his or her freshwater and saltwater fishing privileges, including his or her recreational and commercial licenses and endorsements, and shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not more than $5,000. The endorsements of such person, firm, or corporation are not transferable.

(3) For purposes of this section, the term “freshwater fishing gear” means haul seines, slat baskets, wire traps, hoop nets, or pound nets, and includes the lines or buoys attached thereto.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 2002, c. 2002-264, § 11, eff. July 1, 2002. Amended by Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 29, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 372.99022 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 173, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.406. Illegal possession or transportation of freshwater game fish in commercial quantities; penalty

(1) Whoever possesses, moves, or transports any black bass, bream, speckled perch, or other freshwater game fish in commercial quantities in violation of law or the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.

(2) For the purposes of this section “commercial quantities” shall be deemed to be a quantity of freshwater game fish of 150 or more pounds, and the possession, movement, or transportation of freshwater game fish in excess of such weight shall constitute prima facie evidence of possession or transportation for commercial purposes.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1970, c. 70-380, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 321. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 181, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 31, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 372.9903 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 174, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.407. Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions

(1) Base penalties.--Unless otherwise provided by law, any person, firm, or corporation who violates any provision of this chapter, or any rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission relating to the conservation of marine resources, shall be punished:

(a) Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 60 days or by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(b) On a second or subsequent conviction within 12 months, by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Upon final disposition of any alleged offense for which a citation for any violation of this chapter or the rules of the commission has been issued, the court shall, within 10 days, certify the disposition to the commission.

(2) Major violations.--In addition to the penalties provided in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), the court shall assess additional penalties against any commercial harvester convicted of major violations as follows:

(a) For a violation involving more than 100 illegal blue crabs, spiny lobster, or stone crabs, an additional penalty of $10 for each illegal blue crab, spiny lobster, stone crab, or part thereof.

(b) 1. For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of shrimp from a nursery or other prohibited area, or any two violations within a 12-month period involving shrimping gear, minimum size (count), or season, an additional penalty of $10 for each pound of illegal shrimp or part thereof.

2. For violations involving the taking of food shrimp in certain closed areas:

a. Any person with a saltwater products license issued by the commission who is convicted of taking food shrimp in Santa Rosa Sound in violation of commission rule designating a closed area shall have that license and the saltwater products license of the boat involved in the violation revoked and shall be ineligible to make application for such a license for a period of 2 years from the date of such conviction. If a person who does not have a saltwater products license is convicted hereunder, that person and the boat involved in the violation shall not be eligible for such a license for 5 years.

b. A third or subsequent violation by any person of the designated closure to food shrimping in Santa Rosa Sound within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

c. A second or any subsequent violation by any person for taking food shrimp in a food shrimp production closed area in a portion of Monroe County designated by the commission is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

d. A third or any subsequent violation by the owner or master of any vessel engaged in food shrimp production in the Tortugas Shrimp Beds closed area designated by the commission within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

e. This subparagraph does not apply to persons shrimping for live bait shrimp in the designated closed area when such persons are shrimping with a live bait shrimping license issued by the commission.

3. The owner or master of any vessel not equipped with live shrimp bait tanks dragging shrimp nets in the Tortugas Shrimp Beds without a live bait shrimping license for this area is subject to the base penalties in subsection (1) for a first or second violation. A third or subsequent violation by any person under this subparagraph within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c) For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of oysters from nonapproved areas or the taking or possession of unculled oysters, an additional penalty of $10 for each bushel of illegal oysters.

(d) For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of clams from nonapproved areas, an additional penalty of $100 for each 500 count bag of illegal clams.

(e) For a violation involving the taking, harvesting, or possession of any of the following species, which are endangered, threatened, or of special concern:

1. Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum);

2. Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus);

3. Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis);

4. Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta caretta);

5. Atlantic green turtle (Chelonia mydas mydas);

6. Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea);

7. Atlantic hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata imbracata);

8. Atlantic ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi); or

9. West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris),

an additional penalty of $100 for each unit of marine life or part thereof.

(f) For a second or subsequent conviction within 24 months for any violation of the same law or rule involving the taking or harvesting of more than 100 pounds of any finfish, an additional penalty of $5 for each pound of illegal finfish.

(g) For any violation involving the taking, harvesting, or possession of more than 1,000 pounds of any illegal finfish, an additional penalty equivalent to the wholesale value of the illegal finfish.

(h) Permits issued to any commercial harvester by the commission to take or harvest saltwater products, or any license issued pursuant to s. 379.361 or s. 379.362 may be suspended or revoked by the commission, pursuant to the provisions and procedures of s. 120.60, for any major violation prescribed in this subsection:

1. Upon a first conviction, for up to 30 calendar days.

2. Upon a second conviction which occurs within 12 months after a prior violation, for up to 90 calendar days.

3. Upon a third conviction which occurs within 24 months after a prior conviction, for up to 180 calendar days.

4. Upon a fourth conviction which occurs within 36 months after a prior conviction, for a period of 6 months to 3 years.

(i) Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving stone crabs, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “major violation” means a major violation as prescribed for illegal stone crabs; any single violation involving possession of more than 25 stone crabs during the closed season or possession of 25 or more whole-bodied or egg-bearing stone crabs; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 75 illegal stone crabs in the aggregate are involved.

(j) Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving spiny lobster, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “major violation” means a major violation as prescribed for illegal spiny lobster; any single violation involving possession of more than 25 spiny lobster during the closed season or possession of more than 25 wrung spiny lobster tails or more than 25 egg-bearing or stripped spiny lobster; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 75 illegal spiny lobster in the aggregate are involved.

(k) Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving blue crabs, the licenseholder shall show just cause why his or her saltwater products license should not be suspended or revoked. This paragraph shall not apply to an individual fishing with no more than five traps. For the purposes of this paragraph, a “major violation” means a major violation as prescribed for illegal blue crabs, any single violation wherein 50 or more illegal blue crabs are involved; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 100 illegal blue crabs in the aggregate are involved.

(l) Upon the conviction for a major violation involving finfish, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her saltwater products license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a major violation is prescribed for the taking and harvesting of illegal finfish, any single violation involving the possession of more than 100 pounds of illegal finfish, or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 200 pounds of illegal finfish in the aggregate are involved.

(m) For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of any marine life species, as those species are defined by rule of the commission, the harvest of which is prohibited, or the taking or harvesting of such a species out of season, or with an illegal gear or chemical, or any violation involving the possession of 25 or more individual specimens of marine life species, or any combination of violations in any 3-year period involving more than 70 such specimens in the aggregate, the suspension or revocation of the licenseholder's marine life endorsement as provided in paragraph (h).

The penalty provisions of this subsection apply to commercial harvesters and wholesale and retail dealers as defined in s. 379.362. Any other person who commits a major violation under this subsection commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 948.01, no court may suspend, defer, or withhold adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence for any major violation prescribed in this subsection. The proceeds from the penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used for marine fisheries research.

(3) Penalties for use of illegal nets.--

(a) It is a major violation pursuant to this section, punishable as provided in paragraph (b) for any person, firm, or corporation to be simultaneously in possession of any species of mullet in excess of the recreational daily bag limit and any gill or other entangling net as defined in s. 16(c), Art. X of the State Constitution. Simultaneous possession under this provision shall include possession of mullet and gill or other entangling nets on separate vessels or vehicles where such vessels or vehicles are operated in coordination with one another including vessels towed behind a main vessel. This subsection does not prohibit a resident of this state from transporting on land, from Alabama to this state, a commercial quantity of mullet together with a gill net if:

1. The person possesses a valid commercial fishing license that is issued by the State of Alabama and that allows the person to use a gill net to legally harvest mullet in commercial quantities from Alabama waters.

2. The person possesses a trip ticket issued in Alabama and filled out to match the quantity of mullet being transported, and the person is able to present such trip ticket immediately upon entering this state.

3. The mullet are to be sold to a wholesale saltwater products dealer located in Escambia County or Santa Rosa County, which dealer also possesses a valid seafood dealer's license issued by the State of Alabama. The dealer's name must be clearly indicated on the trip ticket.

4. The mullet being transported are totally removed from any net also being transported.

(b) 1. A flagrant violation of any rule or statute which implements s. 16(b), Art. X of the State Constitution shall be considered a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes of this paragraph, a flagrant violation shall be the illegal possession or use of a monofilament net or a net with a mesh area larger than 2,000 square feet. A violation means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

2. In addition to being subject to the other penalties provided in this chapter, any violation of s. 16(b), Art. X of the State Constitution, or any statute or rule of the commission which implements the gear prohibitions and restrictions specified therein shall be considered a major violation; and any person, firm, or corporation receiving any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal of such violation shall be subject to the following additional penalties:

a. For a first major violation within a 7-year period, a civil penalty of $2,500 and suspension of all saltwater products license privileges for 90 calendar days following final disposition shall be imposed.

b. For a second major violation under this subparagraph charged within 7 years of a previous judicial disposition, which results in a second judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000 and suspension of all saltwater products license privileges for 12 months shall be imposed.

c. For a third or subsequent major violation under this subparagraph, charged within a 7-year period, resulting in a third or subsequent judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000, lifetime revocation of the saltwater products license, and forfeiture of all gear and equipment used in the violation shall be imposed.

d. For a first flagrant violation under this subparagraph, a civil penalty of $5,000 and a suspension of all saltwater license privileges for 12 months shall be imposed. For a second or subsequent flagrant violation under this subparagraph, a civil penalty of $5,000, a lifetime revocation of the saltwater products license, and the forfeiture of all gear and equipment used in the violation shall be imposed.

A court may suspend, defer, or withhold adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence only for any first violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its restrictions, determined by a court only after consideration of competent evidence of mitigating circumstances to be a nonflagrant or minor violation of those restrictions upon the use of nets. Any violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its restrictions, occurring within a 7-year period commencing upon the conclusion of any judicial proceeding resulting in any outcome other than acquittal shall be punished as a second, third, or subsequent violation accordingly.

(c) During the period of suspension or revocation of saltwater license privileges under this subsection, the licensee shall not participate in the taking or harvesting, or attempt the taking or harvesting, of saltwater products from any vessel within the waters of the state; be aboard any vessel on which a commercial quantity of saltwater products is possessed through an activity requiring a license pursuant to this section; or engage in any other activity requiring a license, permit, or certificate issued pursuant to this chapter. Any person who is convicted of violating this paragraph:

1. Upon a first or second conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(d) Upon reinstatement of saltwater license privileges suspended pursuant to a violation of this subsection, a licensee owning or operating a vessel containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters any gill net or other entangling net, or containing or otherwise transporting in nearshore and inshore Florida waters any net containing more than 500 square feet of mesh area shall remain restricted for a period of 12 months following reinstatement, to operating under the following conditions:

1. Vessels subject to this reinstatement period shall be restricted to the corridors established by commission rule.

2. A violation of the reinstatement period provisions shall be punishable pursuant to paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).

(4) Additional penalties for major violations involving certain finfish. --

(a) It is a major violation under this section for any person to be in possession of any species of trout, snook, or redfish which is three fish in excess of the recreational or commercial daily bag limit.

(b) A commercial harvester who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided under paragraph (3)(b). Any other person who violates this subsection commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.

(5) Saltwater products; unlicensed sellers; illegally harvested products.--In addition to other penalties authorized in this chapter, any violation of s. 379.361 or s. 379.362, or rules of the commission implementing s. 379.361 or s. 379.362, involving the purchase of saltwater products by a commercial wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility for public consumption from an unlicensed person, firm, or corporation, or the purchase or sale of any saltwater product known to be taken in violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or rule or statute implementing the provisions thereof, by a commercial wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility, for public consumption, is a major violation, and the commission may assess the following penalties:

(a) For a first violation, the commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and may suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 90 calendar days.

(b) For a second violation occurring within 12 months of a prior violation, the commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and may suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 180 calendar days.

(c) For a third or subsequent violation occurring within a 24-month period, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $5,000 and shall suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 24 months.

Any proceeds from the civil penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used as follows: 40 percent for administration and processing purposes and 60 percent for law enforcement purposes.

(6) Penalties for unlicensed sale, purchase, or harvest.--It is a major violation and punishable as provided in this subsection for any unlicensed person, firm, or corporation who is required to be licensed under this chapter as a commercial harvester or a wholesale or retail dealer to sell or purchase any saltwater product or to harvest or attempt to harvest any saltwater product with intent to sell the saltwater product.

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation who sells or purchases any saltwater product without having purchased the licenses required by this chapter for such sale is subject to penalties as follows:

1. A first violation is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. A second violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 90 days.

3. A third violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 6 months.

4. A third violation within 1 year after a second violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter shall be permanently revoked.

5. A fourth or subsequent violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter shall be permanently revoked.

(b) Any person whose license privileges under this chapter have been permanently revoked and who thereafter sells or purchases or who attempts to sell or purchase any saltwater product commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 379.337.

(c) Any commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer whose license privileges under this chapter are under suspension and who during such period of suspension sells or purchases or attempts to sell or purchase any saltwater product shall be assessed the following penalties:

1. A first violation, or a second violation occurring more than 12 months after a first violation, is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, and such commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 90 days.

2. A second violation occurring within 12 months of a first violation is a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 180 days. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 379.337.

3. A third violation within 24 months of the second violation or subsequent violation is a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer shall be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 24 months. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 379.337.

(d) Any commercial harvester who harvests or attempts to harvest any saltwater product with intent to sell the saltwater product without having purchased a saltwater products license with the requisite endorsements is subject to penalties as follows:

1. A first violation is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. A second violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and such commercial harvester may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 90 days.

3. A third violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months, and such commercial harvester may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 6 months.

4. A third violation within 1 year after a second violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such commercial harvester shall also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter shall be permanently revoked.

5. A fourth or subsequent violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such commercial harvester shall also be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter shall be permanently revoked.

For purposes of this subsection, a violation means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

(7) Revocation of licenses.--Any person licensed under this chapter who has been convicted of taking aquaculture species raised at a certified facility shall have his or her license revoked for 5 years by the commission pursuant to the provisions and procedures of s. 120.60.

(8) Licenses and entities subject to penalties.--For purposes of imposing license or permit suspensions or revocations authorized by this chapter, the license or permit under which the violation was committed is subject to suspension or revocation by the commission. For purposes of assessing monetary civil or administrative penalties authorized by this chapter, the commercial harvester cited and subsequently receiving a judicial disposition of other than dismissal or acquittal in a court of law is subject to the monetary penalty assessment by the commission. However, if the licensee or permitholder of record is not the commercial harvester receiving the citation and judicial disposition, the license or permit may be suspended or revoked only after the licensee or permitholder has been notified by the commission that the license or permit has been cited in a major violation and is now subject to suspension or revocation should the license or permit be cited for subsequent major violations.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1961, c. 61-22, § 1; Laws 1961, c. 61-231, § 2; Laws 1969, c. 69-106, §§ 11, 25, 35; Laws 1970, c. 70-378, § 1; Laws 1970, c. 70-439, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 277; Laws 1975, c. 75-180, § 1; Laws 1978, c. 78-95, § 23; Laws 1979, c. 79-65, § 31; Laws 1980, c. 80-356, § 1; Laws 1981, c. 81-259, § 220; Laws 1984, c. 84-258, § 30; Laws 1985, c. 85-234, § 2; Laws 1986, c. 86-132, § 1; Laws 1987, c. 87-116, § 5; Laws 1988, c. 88-412, § 5; Laws 1990, c. 90-310, § 11; Laws 1991, c. 91-221, § 86; Laws 1994, c. 94-356, §§ 197, 481; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 980; Laws 1995, c. 95-150, § 8; Laws 1995, c. 95-414, § 9; Laws 1996, c. 96-247, § 10; Laws 1996, c. 96-321, § 22. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-100, § 57, eff. July 1, 1997; Laws 1998, c. 98-200, § 78, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1998, c. 98-203, § 11, eff. May 24, 1998; Laws 1998, c. 98-227, § 2, eff. May 24, 1998; Laws 1998, c. 98-390, § 2, eff. July 1, 1998; Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 95, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2000, c. 2000-197, §§ 10, 42, eff. June 5, 2000; Laws 2000, c. 2000-364, § 36, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2001, c. 2001-62, § 1, eff. July 3, 2001; Laws 2002, c. 2002-264, § 1, eff. July 1, 2002; Laws 2003, c. 2003-143, § 1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2004, c. 2004-61, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2004, c. 2004-264, § 13, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 2, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 370.021(1) to (6), (11), (12) and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 175, eff. July 1, 2008. Amended by Laws 2009, c. 2009-21, § 42, eff. July 7, 2009.


379.408. Forfeiture or denial of licenses and permits

Any person convicted as aforesaid shall forfeit to the state any license or permit that may have been issued to her or him under the provisions of this law, or other law of this state relating to game shall forthwith surrender the same to the court. If such violation occurs in the open season, relating to game, no license or permit shall be issued under the provisions of this law to such person at any time during the remainder of such open season, or if such violation occurs during the closed season no license shall be issued to such person for the open season on game next following.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1943, c. 21945, § 7; Laws 1995, c. 95-148, § 587. Renumbered from 372.84 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 176, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.409. Illegal killing, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or eggs; confiscation of equipment

(1) It is unlawful to intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture, or attempt to kill, injure, possess, or capture, an alligator or other crocodilian, or the eggs of an alligator or other crocodilian, unless authorized by the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, in addition to such other punishment as may be provided by law. Any equipment, including but not limited to weapons, vehicles, boats, and lines, used by a person in the commission of a violation of any law, rule, regulation, or order relating to alligators or other crocodilia or the eggs of alligators or other crocodilia shall, upon conviction of such person, be confiscated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and disposed of according to rules and regulations of the commission. The arresting officer shall promptly make a return of the seizure, describing in detail the property seized and the facts and circumstances under which it was seized, including the names of all persons known to the officer who have an interest in the property.

(2) The commission shall promptly fix the value of the property and make return to the clerk of the circuit court of the county wherein same was seized. Upon proper showing that any such property is owned by, or titled in the name of, any innocent party, such property shall be promptly returned to such owner.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not vitiate any valid lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage on such property in effect as of the time of such seizure.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1970, c. 70-1, § 1; Laws 1970, c. 70-439, § 1; Laws 1971, c. 71-136, § 312; Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 1. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 144, eff. July 1, 1999. Renumbered from 372.663 by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 177, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

379.411. Killing or wounding of any species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern; criminal penalties

It is unlawful for a person to intentionally kill or wound any fish or wildlife of a species designated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, or to intentionally destroy the eggs or nest of any such fish or wildlife, except as provided for in the rules of the commission. Any person who violates this provision with regard to an endangered or threatened species is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1991, c. 91-134, § 4; Laws 1994, c. 94-356, § 244. Amended by Laws 1999, c. 99-245, § 48, eff. July 1, 1999. Renumbered by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 178, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.4115. Florida or wild panther; killing prohibited; penalty

(1) It is unlawful for a person to kill a member of the Florida “endangered species,” as defined in s. 379.2291(3), known as the Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi).

(2) It is unlawful for a person to kill any member of the species of panther (Felis concolor) occurring in the wild.

(3) A person convicted of unlawfully killing a Florida panther, or unlawfully killing any member of the species of panther occurring in the wild, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1978, c. 78-173, § 1; Laws 1984, c. 84-99, § 1. Renumbered from 372.671 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 179, eff. July 1, 2008.


379.413. Bonefish; penalties [FN1]

A commercial harvester or wholesale or retail saltwater products dealer who violates commission rules pertaining to bonefish shall be punished under s. 379.407. Any other person who violates commission rules pertaining to bonefish commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1972, c. 72-312, §§ 1 to 5; Laws 1985, c. 85-234, § 16; Laws 1989, c. 89-98, § 3. Amended by Laws 2006, c. 2006-304, § 9, eff. July 1, 2006. Renumbered from 370.1121 and amended by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 180, eff. July 1, 2008.

[FN1] Reviser's Note--1985: Section 7, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121, and by s. 1, ch. 85-163, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, the section would remain in force until such rules were effective. Section 9, ch. 83-134, provided that, prior to the adoption of rules amending, readopting, or repealing those provisions set forth in s. 7, the Marine Fisheries Commission would hold a public hearing thereon, and no such amendment, readoption, or repeal would be acted upon until it had been determined, based upon appropriate findings of fact, that such action would not adversely affect the resource. The Marine Fisheries Commission was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

379.414. Additional penalties for saltwater products dealers violating records requirements

(1) The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any saltwater products dealer for failure to make and keep records as required by s. 379.362, for failure to make required reports, for failure or refusal to permit the examination of required records, or for falsifying any such record. In addition to other applicable penalties, or in lieu of, the commission may impose against any person, firm, or corporation who is determined to have violated any provision of s. 379.362 or any provisions of any commission rules adopted pursuant to s. 379.407, the following additional penalties:

(a) For the first violation, a civil penalty of up to $1,000;

(b) For a second violation committed within 24 months of any previous violation, a civil penalty of up to $2,500; and

(c) For a third or subsequent violation committed within 36 months of any previous two violations, a civil penalty of up to $5,000.

(2) The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used for administration, auditing, and law enforcement purposes.

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Added by Laws 2008, c. 2008-247, § 181, eff. July 1, 2008.

379.501. Aquatic weeds and plants; prohibitions; violations; penalties; intent

(1) A person may not:

(a) Violate this section or any provision of s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 related to aquatic weeds and plants;

(b) Fail to obtain any permit required by s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 or by commission rule implementing s. 369.20 or s. 369.22, or violate or fail to comply with any rule, regulation, order, permit, or certification adopted or issued by the commission pursuant to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22; or

(c) Knowingly make any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22, or falsify, tamper with, or knowingly render inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 or by any permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) is liable to the state for any damage caused to the aquatic weeds or plants and for civil penalties as provided in s. 379.502.

(3) Any person who willfully commits a violation of paragraph (1)(a) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.

(4) Any person who commits a violation specified in paragraph (1)(a) due to reckless indifference or gross careless disregard commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5) Any person who willfully commits a violation specified in paragraph (1)(b) or paragraph (1)(c) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(6) It is the intent of the Legislature that the civil penalties and criminal fines imposed by a court be of such an amount as to ensure immediate and continued compliance with this section.

(7) Penalties assessed pursuant to ss. 379.501-379.504 are in addition to any penalties assessed by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the Department of Environmental Protection, or a water management district pursuant to chapter 253, chapter 373, or chapter 403.

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Added by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 43, eff. July 1, 2009.

379.502. Enforcement; procedure; remedies

The commission has the following judicial and administrative remedies available to it for violations of s. 379.501:

(1)(a) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to establish liability and to recover damages for any injury to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, caused by any violation of s. 379.501.

(b) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to impose and to recover a civil penalty for each violation in an amount of not more than $10,000 per offense. However, the court may receive evidence in mitigation. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (2)(c), the fact that the commission has failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, has failed to serve a notice of violation, or has failed to hold an administrative hearing before initiating a civil action is not a defense to, or grounds for dismissal of, the judicial remedies for damages and civil penalties.

(2)(a) The commission may institute an administrative proceeding to establish liability and to recover damages for any injury to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, caused by any violation of s. 379.501. The commission may order that the violator pay a specified sum as damages to the state. Judgment for the amount of damages determined by the commission may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof and may be enforced as any other judgment.

(b) If the commission has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, it may institute an administrative proceeding to order the prevention, abatement, or control of the conditions creating the violation or other appropriate corrective action. The commission shall proceed administratively in all cases in which the commission seeks administrative penalties that do not exceed $10,000 per assessment as calculated in accordance with subsections (3), (4), (5), and (6). The commission may not impose administrative penalties in excess of $10,000 in a notice of violation. The commission may not have more than one notice of violation seeking administrative penalties pending against the same party at the same time unless the violations occurred at a different site or the violations were discovered by the commission subsequent to the filing of a previous notice of violation.

(c) An administrative proceeding shall be instituted by the commission's serving of a written notice of violation upon the alleged violator by certified mail. If the commission is unable to effect service by certified mail, the notice of violation may be hand delivered or personally served in accordance with chapter 48. The notice shall specify the provision of the law, rule, regulation, permit, certification, or order of the commission alleged to have been violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation thereof. An order for corrective action, penalty assessment, or damages may be included along with the notice. If the commission is seeking to impose an administrative penalty for any violation of s. 379.501 by issuing a notice of violation, any corrective action needed to correct the violation or damages caused by the violation must be pursued in the notice of violation or they are waived. However, an order does not become effective until after service and an administrative hearing, if requested within 20 days after service. Failure to request an administrative hearing within this period constitutes a waiver, unless the respondent files a written notice with the commission within this period opting out of the administrative process initiated by the commission. Any respondent choosing to opt out of the administrative process initiated by the commission must file a written notice with the commission, within 20 days after service of the notice of violation, opting out of the administrative process. A respondent's decision to opt out of the administrative process does not preclude the commission from initiating a state court action seeking injunctive relief, damages, and the judicial imposition of civil penalties.

(d) If a person timely files a petition challenging a notice of violation, that person will thereafter be referred to as the respondent. The hearing requested by the respondent shall be held within 180 days after the commission has referred the initial petition to the Division of Administrative Hearings unless the parties agree to a later date. The commission has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the respondent is responsible for the violation. An administrative penalty may not be imposed unless the commission satisfies that burden. Following the close of the hearing, the administrative law judge shall issue a final order on all matters, including the imposition of an administrative penalty. If the commission seeks to enforce that portion of a final order imposing administrative penalties pursuant to s. 120.69, the respondent may not assert as a defense the inappropriateness of the administrative remedy. The commission retains its final-order authority in all administrative actions that do not request the imposition of administrative penalties.

(e) After filing a petition requesting a formal hearing in response to a notice of violation, a respondent may request that a private mediator be appointed to mediate the dispute by contacting the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium within 10 days after receipt of the initial order from the administrative law judge. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall pay all of the costs of the mediator and for up to 8 hours of the mediator's time per case at $150 per hour. Upon notice from the respondent, the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall provide the respondent with a panel of possible mediators from the area in which the hearing on the petition would be heard. The respondent shall select the mediator and notify the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium of the selection within 15 days after receipt of the proposed panel of mediators. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall provide all of the administrative support for the mediation process. The mediation must be completed at least 15 days before the final hearing date set by the administrative law judge.

(f) In any administrative proceeding brought by the commission, the prevailing party shall recover all costs as provided in ss. 57.041 and 57.071. The costs must be included in the final order. The respondent is the prevailing party when an order is entered awarding no penalties to the commission and the order has not been reversed on appeal or the time for seeking judicial review has expired. The respondent is entitled to an award of attorney's fees if the administrative law judge determines that the notice of violation issued by the commission was not substantially justified as defined in s. 57.111(3)(e). An award of attorney's fees as provided by this subsection may not exceed $15,000.

(g) This section does not prevent any other legal or administrative action in accordance with law. This subsection does not limit the commission's authority set forth in this section and ss. 379.503 and 379.504 to judicially pursue injunctive relief. If the commission exercises its authority to judicially pursue injunctive relief, penalties in any amount up to the statutory maximum sought by the commission must be pursued as part of the state court action and not by initiating a separate administrative proceeding. The commission retains the authority to judicially pursue penalties in excess of $10,000 for violations not specifically included in the administrative penalty schedule, or for multiple or multiday violations alleged to exceed a total of $10,000. The commission also retains the authority provided in this section and ss. 379.503 and 379.504 to judicially pursue injunctive relief and damages, if a notice of violation seeking the imposition of administrative penalties has not been issued. The commission may enter into a settlement before or after initiating a notice of violation, and the settlement may include a penalty amount that is different from the administrative penalty schedule. Any case filed in state court because it is alleged to exceed a total of $10,000 in penalties may be settled in the court action for less than $10,000.

(h) The provisions of chapter 120 shall apply to any administrative action taken by the commission under this section or any delegated program pursuing administrative penalties in accordance with this section.

(3) Administrative penalties must be calculated according to the following schedule:

(a) For violations of s. 379.501(1)(a) or (b), $3,000.

(b) For failure to conduct required monitoring or testing in compliance with a permit, $2,000.

(c) For failure to prepare, submit, maintain, or use required reports or other required documentation, $500.

(d) For failure to comply with any other regulatory statute or rule requirement relating to the administration of the commission's powers under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 not otherwise identified in this section, $500.

(4) For each additional day during which a violation occurs, the administrative penalties in subsection (3) may be assessed per day, per violation.

(5) The history of noncompliance of the violator for any previous violation resulting in an executed consent order, but not including a consent order entered into without a finding of violation, or resulting in a final order or judgment on or after July 1, 2009, involving the imposition of $2,000 or more in penalties, shall be taken into consideration in the following manner:

(a) One previous such violation within 5 years prior to the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 25-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.

(b) Two previous such violations within 5 years prior to the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 50-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.

(c) Three or more previous such violations within 5 years before the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 100-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.

(6) The direct economic benefit gained by the violator from the violation shall be added to the scheduled administrative penalty. The total administrative penalty, including any economic benefit added to the scheduled administrative penalty, may not exceed $10,000.

(7) The administrative penalties assessed for any particular violation may not exceed $3,000 against any one violator unless the violator has a history of noncompliance, the economic benefit of the violation as described in subsection (6) exceeds $3,000, or there are multiday violations. The total administrative penalties may not exceed $10,000 per assessment for all violations attributable to a specific person in the notice of violation.

(8) The administrative law judge may receive evidence in mitigation. The penalties identified in subsection (3) may be reduced up to 50 percent by the administrative law judge for mitigating circumstances, including good faith efforts to comply prior to or after discovery of the violations by the commission. Upon an affirmative finding that the violation was caused by circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the respondent and could not have been prevented by the respondent's due diligence, the administrative law judge may further reduce the penalty.

(9) Penalties collected under this section shall be deposited into the Invasive Plant Control Trust Fund to carry out the purposes set forth in ss. 369.20, 369.22, and 369.252. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium may use a portion of the fund to administer the mediation process provided in paragraph (2)(e) and to contract with private mediators for administrative penalty cases related to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22.

(10) The purpose of the administrative penalty schedule and process is to provide a more predictable and efficient manner for individuals and businesses to resolve relatively minor environmental disputes. Subsections (3) through (7) do not limit a state court in the assessment of damages. The administrative penalty schedule does not apply to the judicial imposition of civil penalties in state court as provided in this section.

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Added by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 44, eff. July 1, 2009.

379.503. Civil action

(1) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek injunctive relief to enforce compliance with ss. 379.501, 379.502, and 379.504 or any rule, regulation, permit, certification, or order adopted or issued by the commission pursuant to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22; to enjoin any violation specified in s. 379.501(1); and to seek injunctive relief to prevent irreparable injury to the waters and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, of the state and to protect human health, safety, and welfare caused or threatened by any violation of s. 379.501.

(2) All the judicial and administrative remedies to recover damages and penalties in this section and s. 379.502 are alternative and mutually exclusive.

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Added by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 45, eff. July 1, 2009.

 

379.504. Civil liability; joint and several liability

(1) A person who commits a violation specified in s. 379.501(1) is liable to the state for any damage caused to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, and for reasonable costs and expenses of the state in restoring its waters and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, to their former condition, and furthermore is subject to the judicial imposition of a civil penalty for each offense in an amount of not more than $10,000 per offense. However, the court may receive evidence in mitigation. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. This section does not give the commission the right to bring an action on behalf of any private person.

(2) If two or more persons violate s. 379.501(1) so that the damage is indivisible, each violator shall be jointly and severally liable for the damage and for the reasonable cost and expenses of the state incurred in restoring the waters and property of the state, including the animal, plant, and aquatic life, to their former condition. However, if the damage is divisible and may be attributed to a particular violator or violators, each violator is liable only for that damage attributable to his or her violation.

(3) In assessing damages for fish killed, the value of the fish shall be determined in accordance with a table of values for individual categories of fish, which shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to s. 403.141(3). The total number of fish killed may be estimated by standard practices used in estimating fish population.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Laws 2009, c. 2009-86, § 46, eff. July 1, 2009.

 

 



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