895.07 RICO Lien Notice

(1) Upon the institution of any civil proceeding, the investigative agency, then or at any time during the pendency of the proceeding, may file a RICO lien notice in the official records of any one or more counties. No filing fee or other charge shall be required as a condition for filing the RICO lien notice, and the clerk of the circuit court shall, upon the presentation of a RICO lien notice, immediately record it in the official records.

(2) The RICO lien notice shall be signed by the head of the Department of Legal Affairs or her or his designee or by a state attorney or her or his designee. The notice shall be in such form as the Attorney General prescribes and shall set forth the following information:

(a) The name of the person against whom the civil proceeding has been brought. In its discretion, the investigative agency may also name in the RICO lien notice any other aliases, names, or fictitious names under which the person may be known and any corporation, partnership, or other entity that is either controlled or entirely owned by the person.

(b) If known to the investigative agency, the present residence and business addresses of the person named in the RICO lien notice and of the other names set forth in the RICO lien notice.

(c) A reference to the civil proceeding, stating: that a proceeding under the Florida RICO Act has been brought against the person named in the RICO lien notice; the name of the county or counties in which the proceeding has been brought; and, if known to the investigative agency at the time of filing the RICO lien notice, the case number of the proceeding.

(d) A statement that the notice is being filed pursuant to the Florida RICO Act.

(e) The name and address of the investigative agency filing the RICO lien notice and the name of the individual signing the RICO notice.

A RICO lien notice shall apply only to one person and, to the extent applicable, any other aliases, names, or fictitious names, including names of corporations, partnerships, or other entities, to the extent permitted in paragraph (a). A separate RICO lien notice shall be filed for each person against whom the investigative agency desires to file a RICO lien notice under this section.

(3) The investigative agency shall, as soon as practicable after the filing of each RICO lien notice, furnish to the person named in the notice either a copy of the recorded notice or a copy of the notice with a notation thereon of the county or counties in which the notice has been recorded. The failure of the investigative agency to furnish a copy of the notice under this subsection shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the notice.

(4) The filing of a RICO lien notice creates, from the time of its filing, a lien in favor of the state on the following property of the person named in the notice and against any other names set forth in the notice:

(a) Any real property situated in the county where the notice is filed then or thereafter owned by the person or under any of the names; and

(b) Any beneficial interest situated in the county where the notice is filed then or thereafter owned by the person or under any of the names.

The lien shall commence and attach as of the time of filing of the RICO lien notice and shall continue thereafter until expiration, termination, or release of the notice pursuant to s. 895.08. The lien created in favor of the state shall be superior and prior to the interest of any other person in the real property or beneficial interest if the interest is acquired subsequent to the filing of the notice.

(5) In conjunction with any civil proceeding:

(a) The investigative agency may file without prior court order in any county a lis pendens under the provisions of s. 48.23; in such case, any person acquiring an interest in the subject real property or beneficial interest, if the real property or beneficial interest is acquired subsequent to the filing of lis pendens, shall take the interest subject to the civil proceeding and any subsequent judgment of forfeiture.

(b) If a RICO lien notice has been filed, the investigative agency may name as a defendant, in addition to the person named in the notice, any person acquiring an interest in the real property or beneficial interest subsequent to the filing of the notice. If a judgment of forfeiture is entered in the proceeding in favor of the state, the interest of any person in the property that was acquired subsequent to the filing of the notice shall be subject to the notice and judgment of forfeiture.

(6) A trustee who acquires actual knowledge that a RICO lien notice or a civil proceeding or criminal proceeding has been filed against any person for whom the trustee holds legal or record title to real property shall immediately furnish to the investigative agency the following:

(a) The name and address of the person, as known to the trustee.

(b) The name and address, as known to the trustee, of each other person for whose benefit the trustee holds title to the real property.

(c) If requested by the investigative agency, a copy of the trust agreement or other instrument pursuant to which the trustee holds legal or record title to the real property.

Any trustee who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(7) Any trustee who conveys title to real property for which, at the time of the conveyance, a RICO lien notice naming a person who, to the actual knowledge of the trustee, holds a beneficial interest in the trust has been filed in the county where the real property is situated is liable to the state for the greatest of:

(a) The amount of proceeds received directly by the person named in the RICO lien notice as a result of the conveyance;

(b) The amount of proceeds received by the trustee as a result of the conveyance and distributed to the person named in the RICO lien notice; or

(c) The fair market value of the interest of the person named in the RICO lien notice in the real property so conveyed; however, if the trustee conveys the real property and holds the proceeds that would otherwise be paid or distributed to the beneficiary or at the direction of the beneficiary or her or his designee, the trustee's liability shall not exceed the amount of the proceeds so held for so long as the proceeds are held by the trustee.

(8) The filing of a RICO lien notice shall not constitute a lien on the record title to real property as owned by the trustee except to the extent that the trustee is named in the RICO lien notice. The investigative agency may bring a civil proceeding in any circuit court against the trustee to recover from the trustee the amount set forth in subsection (7), and the state shall also be entitled to recover investigative costs and attorney's fees incurred by the investigative agency.

(9) The filing of a RICO lien notice shall not affect the use to which real property or a beneficial interest owned by the person named in the RICO lien notice may be put or the right of the person to receive any avails, rents, or other proceeds resulting from the use and ownership, but not the sale, of the property until a judgment of forfeiture is entered.

(10)(a) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any conveyance by a trustee pursuant to a court order, unless such court order is entered in an action between the trustee and the beneficiary.

(b) Unless the trustee has actual knowledge that a person owning a beneficial interest in the trust is named in a RICO lien notice or is otherwise a defendant in a civil proceeding, the provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. Any conveyance by the trustee required under the terms of the trust agreement, which trust agreement is a matter of public record prior to the filing of the RICO lien notice; or

2. Any conveyance by the trustee to all of the persons who own beneficial interests in the trust.

(11) All forfeitures or dispositions under this section shall be made with due provision for the rights of innocent persons.

History.--s. 3, ch. 81-141; s. 170, ch. 83-216; s. 224, ch. 91-224; s. 1449, ch. 97-102.